The Gated Content Gimmick: You’re only fooling yourself

Gated content is a wonderful thing. Simply by placing your valuable content behind a gate, one that requires people to provide their name and email address or telephone number, you grow your opt-in email list and quickly have access to a huge base of potential customers. And potential customers have your content.  It’s a win win situation!

Not so fast. Here’s how gated content actually works. 

You, the company,

  • Create content that, in your opinion, is valuable and showcases the superiority of your brand
  • Choose not to share this content freely because you put time and money into it and therefore people ought to pay for it
  • Believe that receiving regular newsletters and repeated requests to meet, is fair payment for your content

Your potential customers, however,

  • Know that you are more interested in their dollars than in solving their problems because helpful companies are able to showcase their expertise with zero expectations
  • Know that you believe in tit for tat rather than generally being helpful, and this could easily transfer into any work they do with you. A little fee for this, a little fee for that.
  • Know that the second they share their email address, they will be bombarded with emails and phone calls they never wanted
  • Hate spam and therefore clicked off your website and over to a competitor’s where they can instantly see how transparent and helpful they are.  
  • Aren’t fooled by all the name dropping and filler in your ‘valuable’ content. It’s just another sales pitch with pretty pictures. ‘Content’ is not what they’re seeking anyways. 

So what is the solution?

  • Be a generous steward of the industry. Write excellent content. Put it out there with no expectations and no requests for contact details. People love generosity. You too should love generosity. You’ve benefitted from it a lot to get where you are.
  • Become known as an expert in your industry because so many people have seen the valuable information you have put together. Because so many people can share it without fear of spam (stop believing your newsletters aren’t spam).  Because so many people value your committment to helping them do better and be better.

In the end, there really is zero need to gate content.  It only “benefits” you not your potential customers, and I rather think that in the long run, it is a serious disadvantageous.  It gives people a completely incorrect vision of what your company is about. 

Let’s put gated content in the garbage where it belongs.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts!

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