Is your gated content worth the relationship currency you’re asking your customers to pay?
What you think is valuable content may be considered worthless to the customer on their buying journey!
Like a toll road, gated content full of how-to insight and relevant research is likely the quickest way for your client to reach their decision destination. However, this swift and easy access comes at a price.
Do your customers value your content marketing enough to provide their contact information, email address or social sign-in credentials? This CRM contribution is vital to your sales pipeline. The customer really doesn’t care, though.
It is critical for content marketers to find and build their credibility and articulate their value proposition to collect their customers’ relationship currency – and shorten the buyer’s journey and the sales process!
What The Content Marketing and Relationship Currency Facts Tell Us
- Use Blogging To Increase Credibility. Marketers, who have prioritized blogging, are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI, suggesting that starting the conversation with a blog with a call-to-action is a way to engage with customers at the right place in the journey. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
- Help Self-Educating Customers. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their buying relationship without talking to a human, indicating decision makers will count on content more than ever. (Gartner Research)
- More Content Is Always Better In The Eyes Of The Customer; but is it really? The average B2B decision maker consumes 11.4 pieces of content before they buy, suggesting they are spending a lot of time reading content (Source: Forrester)
This content marketing research indicates customers are counting on content to help them make their decision. Maybe too much content, actually. What if they had access to better content earlier in their decision-making process?
3 Ways To Manage Help Customers Manage The Toll Road
1. Use ‘Content Bait.’ Use shorter consumable content to establish your reputation and catch the attention of your customers. This attention-getting strategy will drive qualified traffic to your gated content. Tip: Leverage evergeen blogs by exchanging links to gated content landing pages
2. Create A Great Landing Page. Make sure your landing page clearly articulates the value proposition so the customer understand what they will receive in exchange for their contact information. TIP: Place a short SlideShare presentation on your landing page to help you seal the deal!
3. Offer Only High-value Gated Content. Leverage, a paid research report, white paper, or an e-book to collect on your customers’ relationship currency. Tip: Collect the minimal amount of data to begin a strategic nurturing program.
Do you have another content marketing tip for your gated thought leadership? If so, please share below.
To Toll or Not To Toll, That Is Content Marketing Question
If customers don’t value your content to exchange their relationship currency for it, then they’ll likely continue to self-educate themselves – taking the long and winding road to avoid the toll road fee. They’ll consume a lot of interesting content; however, they’ll waste time and energy to avoid sharing their personal information. They will frame their problem and work toward solving it. Their assessment and action may be right, but then again, it may be wrong.
If you’re going to gate your content, then ensure your customer sees the value in it. Or, embrace a free-for-all content marketing strategy and build a relationship with goodwill and easy access! Kind of like the yellow brick road. But then again, there were flying monkeys that weren’t too friendly on that free road.
P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of MarketingThink.com, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.