The basics of gated and ungated content

Gated content is when we ask a visitor for something, like an email address or to fill a form, before allowing access to certain content. You will come across this all over the web, with lots of content behind walls of some form. The gated content is easy to identify, with a button that says “Download Now” or something similar. According to Starfleet Media, respondents to a survey said that they keep 80% of their content gated. The question is, should content be gated?

Supporters of gated content say that it helps generate sales leads, reflects the value of the content and filters out those who are just browsing. This is a common argument many make against people’s expectation that everything on the internet should come free.

There are those that do not think any content should be gated. They reason that by doing you build trust with prospects and viewers, remove road blocks for consumers and as a side effect will improve SEO.

Then there is the question of what should and should not be gated. Examples of content that could and should be gated are: webinars, demos, live content, white papers, downloadable books, quotes, newsletters, etc. On the other hand content like blogs, videos, podcasts, tips, infographics and archives.

Ultimately, the decision of what to gate and when will depend on the vertical, the content in question and the marketing plan. Regardless, it is a tool that can and should be used to further market the brand.