So you’ve already gotten your blog up and running, and are regularly pumping out short, impactful think-piece blog articles, perhaps 400 to 600 words apiece. What now? Apart from focusing more on distribution (think: using email lists and social media posts to disseminate your blogs and drive traffic to your posts), it may be time to start thinking about gated content. What does this mean, exactly?
Getting Started with Gated Content
Simply put, “gating” content means placing some sort of hurdle between the user/website visitor and the content in question. Have you ever visited a website that only allowed you to read an article after you registered for an account? Or have you ever wanted to download a whitepaper, but could only do so after providing your email address? Both of these scenarios are examples of gated content, and while it may seem counterintuitive to place barriers between your target audience and your precious content, the results can be surprising.
To be clear, we’re not suggesting you “gate” all of the content you produce—far from it. Think of your blog articles and social media posts as the drivers of traffic. They’re what draw potential investors and interested financial advisors to your website in the first place. Once they’ve experienced the value and thought leadership on offer through your short blogs, they will probably be interested in digging deeper into richer, lengthier content on offer. That’s where gating comes in.
Be sure to also read 4 Other Ways to Turbocharge your ETF Marketing this year.
What Not to Gate
To convince potential investors and financial advisors to trade their precious personal information (usually an email address), you need to be able to offer a something of real value—content that goes beyond an ordinary blog article, like a detailed report, whitepaper, or even an ebook. It’s not good deceiving a website visitor into providing their email address in exchange for mediocre content. For gated content to truly succeed, it should ideally be lengthy (at least 3-5 pages), attractively designed, and thoroughly-researched. It should provide a quick win for the potential investor or financial advisor, and satisfy an immediate need.
Placing your “gated” content prominently alongside your blogs will help boost its visibility, and make it clear to readers that you are offering something even more informative and impactful than the blog they’re already reading. Although quality gated content requires a substantial investment of time, effort, and research to produce, the payoff can be enormous: imagine a list of prospective investors and financial advisors, all of them “warm” leads that you can now contact and cultivate through a concerted email campaign, or even contact directly. Perhaps even more importantly, you know that they’re interested in the topic of your gated content, because they were willing to part with something quite precious (their personal information) in order to obtain it.
Keep the Barrier Low
Be sure to keep the barrier low when it comes to gating your content. No one wants to jump through hoops (read: multiple contact fields) to reach gated content; an email address is often enough to get the ball rolling. By introducing quality gated content into your marketing mix, you’ll be well-positioned to kickstart your sales funnel, while providing your readers with additional value.