Gated Content Strategy– Enhancing User Experience

Part 2 of the Great Gate Debate: Value isn’t just in the content, its in how you treat the reader, too.

Tips for better user experience with gated contentSo…you’ve decided to begin using a marketing automation platform to help you gather leads with gated content. Great!

…Now what?

How do you enhance your customers’ user experience with your content to ensure this is helping, not hindering, your chances of nurturing those new leads into excited new customers?

Here are some tips for landing pages, the ever-important thank you and when you should use gated vs. non-gated content.

Landing pages

  1. Creating landing pages that are both useful and valuable to your potential customers/clients is key for any type of gated content.
  • The page must be genuine so visitors want to give you their personal information for the content behind the gate
  • Show that you’re an expert in the subject area so potential customers trust you are providing them with educational information
  • Display a level of professionalism to assure everyone reading your page that you will be developing a relationship with them built around a mutual best interest
  1. Your landing page should set clear expectations for the reader. Be sure to give them exactly what they are looking for once they have supplied the personal information you have requested.
  • Don’t tease with a workbook that will help them through the process of creating their own customized product, and then deliver only minimal information coupled with the need to call your sales team. (People are doing more and more research on their own before talking to a live person…be a useful resource during that process so they come back to you when it’s time for a purchase.)
  1. Make sure your lead capture form is clear and concise. It should only ask for the most innocuous of information – name, email, company and title. Make the call to action (CTA) readily apparent.
  • ‘DOWNLOAD MY GUIDE’ is clear and not gimmicky, especially compared to ‘GET THE BEST GUIDE EVER!!!!’


Thank you…

Once your visitors have filled out the form for the gated content, you should send or supply not only the promised content, but also provide a common courtesy of a “thank you”. This can be a page that thanks them for downloading the content or confirms that an email will be sent to them with the content that they requested.

This small extra step conveys your gratitude for their visit and interest as well as confirms their action went through properly and they should expect to see the promised content momentarily. It should also, once again, set proper expectations.  Providing a positive user experience continues to build rapport and avoids disappointment on their part. Provide the visitor with what the next steps may be, on your part and theirs.


Implementing gated content

By using the hub and spoke model we discussed previously, you’ll understand when to implement your gated material.

As a refresher, the hub and spoke model is when you research, produce and publish a main piece of content (the hub), then you create smaller pieces of content (the spokes) that relate back to the main piece of content.

The hub and spoke model ensures that you are creating different content for various phases of the customer journey. Over time, you will become a trusted source because you will have delivered high-quality, engaging content that talks specifically to different features and benefits of your product/service for your customers. People want to be educated, not sold to, so be sure to provide useful information for all aspects of the sales cycle.


Keep things in perspective

Throughout this whole development process, it’s important to remember when to NOT gate your content as well. Gating content that isn’t “worth the price” will make people hesitant to register for other pieces, which might actually be more useful. Or, worse still, they might think you don’t have the expertise you claim to have if the content isn’t as valuable as expected. So refer to this handy flow chart as you begin creating content, but also keep in mind the user experience tips for when you develop the process.

Gated or not gated content flowchart

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