You’re looking for info online. You find “A Guide to Fixing Your Exact Problem” on what seems like a reputable site.
“Heck yes!” you say. You click through and…you need to fill out a form to get it.
Your choices are:
- Hand over your email to this company’s marketing list
- Bounce away without your answers
What you do depends on how badly you want the content, how sure you are you can find it quickly elsewhere, or how much you care about getting yet another marketing email.
Say you decide to download the guide, but what you actually get is little more than a sales sheet. You’re never going back to that website again, are you? And, while you wouldn’t consider yourself a good lead for this company, their CRM system is already busy queuing up a string of emails (which you will almost certainly delete immediately) to send your way.
This is happening when a potential lead finds your content on your company’s website.
Open the gates
To avoid these less than pleasant outcomes, and help ensure their time and budgets are being used on cultivating better leads, more marketers are moving toward a different view of content — one that prioritizes providing information to audiences over capturing leads willy-nilly.
It can be a major shift in thinking about content strategy, but it’s one that can pay off.
Publishing accessible, sharable content regularly helps position your company as thought leaders in your field. You’re establishing credibility and building up a library of (SEO optimized) content that can keep your name in front of the right audiences.
An audience that trusts you is more likely to choose you when they need your product or service. Serving up content that helps your targets overcome challenges they face helps build trust, especially if you’re giving it to them freely, no strings attached.
Some content pieces we’ve done for CID clients following this strategy include:
- How-to guides
- Industry terms explainers
- Blog posts/articles
- How-to videos
This approach can help boost your awareness efforts as well. The more you publish the more likely your content is to be found in search and shared by users.
Keep high-value content behind the gate
We’re not suggesting you make all your content free and easily available. Being strategic about when to put a piece behind a gate vs. when to simply publish it can help you collect better leads.
For instance, exclusive content that users can't get anywhere else absolutely should be gated. The key is it needs to be high-value — and deliver on what’s promised — so handing over an email address and permission to be added to your marketing flow feels worth it.
Some content pieces that warrant a gate include:
- Annual reports
- Trends reports
- In-depth guides
Be strategic about how you share your content and what you choose to gate. Chances are you’ll start to reap the results in more clicks, more time on site, and more of the right, high-quality leads to hand off to your sales team.
Need help with your content strategy or content creation? Get in touch with us!