During the last few months, our gurus have been happily busy with Master Data Management (MDM) related projects. The experiences and lessons learned from these projects result in information that can be of value, not only to ourselves but to anyone, if analyzed, structured and written in a clear format.
Thus, we did a guide on the things to consider when choosing a master data tool and made it available on our web page behind a contact form. When I posted the link on LinkedIn, one of my connections brought up a valid question: “Why put content behind a gate?” Instead of just commenting back on LinkedIn, I was inspired to delve a bit deeper.
To gate or not to gate?
Gated* or non-gated, that is the question. We are not the only ones who has been diving in to this problem. And, as it seems, the Shakespearian title was already taken – multiple times over.
Demodia.com: To Gate, or Not to Gate, That is The Question
Business2Community.com: To Gate or Not to Gate Content? Yes is the Answer.
Capterra.com: To Gate or Not To Gate, That is the Debate
Technologyadvice.com: To Gate or Not to Gate: Which is Best for B2B Content?
Verticalresponse.com: To Gate, or Not to Gate? Why You Should Give Your Content Away
All of the sources mentioned above draw to the same conclusion: From a content provider’s perspective, it is ultimately a question of whether the aim is to increase brand awareness or to gain potential leads.
Gaining & losing
From the recipient’s perspective, it is mostly a question of how valuable the informational content actually is which, in turn, depends whether the subject at hand is perceived relevant/acute/helpful or just something that piqued one’s interest.
As usually is the case when making a choice, you gain and you lose. When gating content, you will probably lose readers and shares as well as see your search engine optimization (SEO) score decline. Then again, the leads you gain will most probably be more relevant to your business.
Verticalmeasurers.com has listed a number of clear recommendations. You should gate e.g. templates, tools, checklists, eBooks, guides, White Papers and leave e.g. blog posts, articles, infographics, lists and press releases as non-gated.
I would dare to say that most companies, including us, will continue to offer both gated and non-gated content because – simply – there is more than one end goal.
Listen, give & receive
Behind every decision, there should be a thought out rationale. Think of your audience and end goals and make an informed decision.
But most of all: listen. Understanding your customer, knowing who is interested and in what, is always the most valuable thing.
And this is why, the content that inspired this blog post is now non-gated. You can find it here.
*WhatIs.com explains gated content: “Gated content is online materials, such as white papers, articles and videos, that require that users fill out a form before they can access them. According to content marketing expert David Meerman Scott, ungated content is downloaded 20 to 50 times more often than gated content.”