Updated January 10, 2023Reading Time: 3 minutes
What’s Worth Fencing
Today we’re going to look at the types of downloadable content you might want to put behind a gate. The idea of gated content is that you build something that has enough value for a customer to be happy to exchange their information for your content. As a side note, if your site is attracting customers from the European Union you need to consider GDPR regulations before you gate any content. So, for the purposes of this article, let’s assume you’re not.
There are lots of different things you can hide behind a form on your website, but here we’ll go through some of the five most popular types of downloadable content and explain when is a good time to use them.
eBook – An eBook is a great way of going into detail on a subject. Typically we would suggest a blog post should be around 500 words. Anything longer than that, and people tend to stop paying attention. But with an eBook you have no such limitations. You can create highly detailed content, presenting data, images and graphs, all to help support your topic, with no real limitation to length. Depending on the topic you could choose, an eBook could sit anywhere in your buyer’s funnel, but we feel they’re a good piece of content to use for early stage leads, offering mainly general educational content.
Case Study – A case study is a detailed account of something you have done for a previous customer. Here is where you can truly show off your successes by interviewing your happy client and showing exactly what you did for them and how it helped their business. Case studies are better suited to leads that know what your business is about, so perhaps should be offered to leads that are closer to making a purchase.
Trials & Demos – While it might not technically be considered as ‘content’ any kind of trial, or demonstration video can also be gated. If someone is interested in seeing a demonstration of your product we feel that this interaction should be done person to person (over the phone at the least), so putting it behind a contact us form makes the most sense. Again this is best suited to leads who are evaluating choosing your business, so those further along the funnel.
Presentations – Another interesting type of content to share is presentations. Platforms like Slideshare allow you to create interactive slideshows that really help illustrate a story for the reader. A presentation could be good at explaining a service that has a long process. For example, the manufacturing steps needed to make a bespoke piece of furniture or the farming process of organic coffee. Of the five types of downloadable content listed here, this is the most interesting suited to early stage leads, who are still looking for an explanation of who you are.
Online Courses – An online course is a good way of building a relationship and demonstrating your reliability to a new lead. The content of the course should, of course, be educational and could be a repurposed eBook, or series of blog posts. But instead of delivering it in one go, you set up an automated series of emails, helping to explain a particular idea or theory to a customer. This is suited to early stage leads, but could also be used for existing customers, if you want to promote certain features or issues to a customer that they may not be taking advantage of.
Five Types of Downloadable Content
These five different types of content are all valuable and should, in our opinion be gated. If you are putting in the effort to create high-value content like that described above, you need to show to your customers that it has value by putting it behind a form.