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Gated vs. Ungated Content

We have all had the debate internally or with our team on whether or not we should gate our content to capture leads and indicate intent. Should all your content be gated though? Or can we draw in the line somewhere to continue to generate leads while providing potential prospects the ability to educate themselves?

I, personally, do not like to gate all content and would never recommend this to a client regardless of industry or target market. If your future customer is on your site and looking for information, why force them to fill out form after form after form? I have even seen web experiences where I complete a form for something and then receive these 'extras' only to discover more forms lie in wait. No thank you.

Let's not start by saying all whitepapers should be gated and case studies should not. It's just too vague. I want you to consider how much the content is worth to your prospect, how much time it took you to develop and where the content fits in the buyer's journey.

Analyst Reports - I gate any analyst report that I have purchased a license to - the Forrester Wave report for example. This is an extremely valuable report (that cost me a ton of money) and I want to capture leads and return from it.

Case Studies - Never, never, never gate case studies. This is so important so I'll repeat myself here. Never, never, never gate case studies. Don't let a gate stand in the way of sharing an amazing success story with a prospect.

Infographics - While interesting, visually appealing and often packed full of information, I don't find any value in gating this form of content on a company website. However, I do like to use them for content syndication programs.

Whitepapers - Because of the time and resources required to publish a whitepaper and the length of the content itself, I suggest gating these. Like the analyst reports mentioned above, this is a piece of content that is deemed to be very high quality.

eBook - Often a condensed version of a whitepaper, compilation of case studies or a round-up of quotes, eBooks should not be gated. I would leverage a site like Slideshare to amplify the reach of this form of content.

Datasheets - Absolutely never ever gate anything very product related like a datasheet. You can track the clicks to this content through other means such as Google Analytics.

Product Demo Videos - Like the datasheet, I would give this away. Companies will often worry about the competition stalking them and seeing their 'parts' but they are going to get to it anyways. Better to un-gate it than to have a bunch of Mickey Mouse leads.

On-Demand Webinars - Because you required a registration to attend the event itself, it only makes sense to continue to gate these.

TIP: Regardless of whether a piece of content is gated or not, always ensure you have an ungated direct link to be used by your sales team and for follow-ups to live events. If you are pointing someone you have already connected with to a useful asset, let them actually use it.
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