The majority of B2B marketers use gated content as part of their marketing strategy. However, when it comes to gated assets (i.e. inputting your precious data to download a compelling whitepaper), the trade has to be fair.
The content has to be good, informative and educational. It has to be a little weighty so the reader feels they are getting their money's worth but the content shouldn't be so long that it is a deterrent to read. Research suggests that for whitepapers, 10 pages is the sweet spot.
If you gate content that is: freely available elsewhere; or lacklustre in quality and depth; you risk making the reader (and potential customer) feel that handing their valuable personal information over was not a fair trade; so when they do receive future marketing communications, they will not be as receptive.
On the other hand, it's important to think carefully about how much information you ask for. With data collection, less can mean more. As in, the less you ask for, the more uptake you will have. It is the industry standard to ask for first name, surname, email, telephone, address, company name, job title and even company size... Whilst that nicely conforms to your CRM fields, you can already imagine how many potential customers are scared of handing over all that information for a whitepaper that may or may not be what they are looking for. What's worse is, this lengthy form can actually encourage the reader to input false information (e.g. Joe Bloggs at Fake Inc.) just so they can download the content. This will skew the accuracy and efficiency of your CRM and can take a lot of resource to rectify.
With all the sales enablement technology we have at our fingertips these days, it's easier than ever to fill in the gaps ourselves. If we simply ask for a name, number and work email, the number of downloads will rise exponentially. Yet, this doesn't impact our lead quality as we can still obtain all the missing information with tools like LinkedIn, SalesNavigator and the company website.
For prospects at the beginning of their buyer journey, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to learn about your company and I would therefore suggest the "less is more" approach to upper-funnel marketing content. Similarly, if we reserve the more detailed data capture forms for lower-funnel marketing when we know the prospect is nearing their purchase and is already familiar with the brand, we will see an increase in the number of content downloads.
My Outreach are a B2B lead generation company based in London but operating globally. We generate demand for tech companies across the world via content syndication and telemarketing campaigns. To learn how we can help your business, please get in touch with us today.