After a long year of talking about it and preparing for it, GDPR is finally in effect and our personal data is that bit more secure. Hoorah! But how is your email list looking now that we’re post-D-Day?
For the solicitous companies that launched a re-opt-in campaign, gently pleading with their audience to tick the all-important ‘Yes’ box, the original email list may need a bit of extra love.
If you’re nodding along to the above, then take a deep breath. It’s time to launch a campaign you’ve probably heard of before and know you should have kicked off a long ago, but you could never find the time. Now is the time! The campaign is called Mission Gated Content!
What is gated content?
We’ve all come across gated content at some point while browsing online. Very often, but not always, it presents itself in the form of a pop-up. A box will appear requesting some of your details – email, name, industry, etc. – in exchange for the gated content. The gated content itself is usually a whitepaper or an e-book offering an in-depth report on a specific topic that the company has authority on.
The benefits of gated content
Growing your email list
The obvious benefit, which we’ve already alluded to, is that gated content is great for growing your email list – aka generating leads for you sales folk. It is an effective way to collect data from your target audience and begin to curate a high-value list of leads. Of course, you’ll only collect emails if your gated content is offering something really tasty, so make sure this is a premium piece of truly exclusive content.
Identifying warm leads
Not only do you now have leads, but these leads are exceptionally warmed up. Anyone who engages with gated content is very likely to have a genuine interest in your products and services. Gated content is time-consuming, not only for the team putting it together but also for the individual engaging with it. It is meant to be information-dense, therefore anyone who is willing to take the time to gain access to it and then consume it is a valuable lead for your company.
If you are wondering who would bother going to all this trouble, remember that consumers are more informed than ever before, and this is directly down to the research they conduct online before they make a purchase. This is true for B2B as well as B2C.
Google research shows that 90% of B2B buyers conduct online research to make business purchases and that they conduct, on average, 12 searches on Google. That’s before they even engage with a company website! Let your gated content answer their questions and reaffirm that you are the right choice for them.
Show off your expertise
Chances are you are competing in a large pool of rival companies. How is your target audience meant to know to pick you? Gated content is a fantastic way to show off your expertise. There is an expectation for gated content to contain premium information from an authoritative source. Meet this expectation! Fill your gated content with graphs, statistics and insider tips. Make the content so juicy that your audience simply must tell their friend/colleague/boss about it!
BEWARE: there is a wrong way to do gated content
If you Google “gated content”, you’ll find the internet divided on the subject. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, many people approach it from a to do or not to do perspective. We believe this is the wrong way to come at gated content. You should always offer gated content alongside open access content. Ideally, the two should complement each other.
Secondly, there is an opinion that gated content can leave a bad aftertaste. This is something to be concerned about, but it can be easily avoided if you follow this one simple rule: only provide gated content if you actually have something interesting and valuable to share.
Otherwise, your target audience will feel as though they have been hoodwinked into giving away their personal details for some mediocre sales fodder. This can be damaging to your brand reputation. Check the wording you use when advertising your gated content and make sure you meet the expectations you have set in the finished piece.
Repurpose gated content for maximum value
It might sound a bit controversial to repurpose content that is meant to be exclusive, but don’t worry, what we have in mind does not require you to leave your marketing morals at the door! If you are creating gated content to grow your email list, then it makes sense that your current email list should be able to access this content.
If you have a newsletter (and if you don’t, you should!) make sure to include some particularly juicy snippets of your genius gated content in the next email. There is no harm in reminding your clients/customers just how great you are and what a clever choice they made the day they decided to join forces with you!