How to move toward a more impactful content strategy with ungated content

Andy Binkley
March 21, 2023

Introducing Ungated, a video series where Jason Graub and myself will chat about the B2B space and SaaS marketing as it relates to the world of gates — content, websites, products — the stuff we’re seeing out there, plus we’ll chat with others in the industry along the way.

This week, we talk about why gating became so common, how it’s changing, and why it can be hard for teams to change their gated ways. 

Check it out below!

Key Takeaways

1 - Why do we gate content? 

It's been an easy way to get new leads and measure some degree of interest while being a direct source of attribution. And almost always, the process comes from the exec team by giving marketing teams KPIs solely focused on quantity of new leads and number of MQLs. Then those leads would be given to SDRs to get qualified and later closed by AEs.

2 - Why is it so hard to remove gates?

— Because it's working for so many companies. They're getting leads and they're fine trying to qualify and sift through those not really in a buying cycle.

— It’s a complete business mindset shift from the top down. To really ungate everything, the entire sales and marketing strategy has to change. Marketers can't continue to be goaled on number of leads but instead work toward pipeline and real revenue. Processes, flows and automations are often built entirely around gated content and lead captures so all of that needs to be rethought and updated.

— Fear of the unknown.

3 - As a marketer, when should you avoid gating?

a. Case studies
These can be valuable at driving conversions early on. Given how much research people do online, real customer stories can provide insights into different use cases and a glimpse into other customer's success and the ROI they're experiencing.

b. When there's a 1:1 relationship
If you're already talking to someone and have that personal connection (especially if they're in your pipeline) there's absolutely no reason to make them submit another form. Figure something else out.

c. When it's fundamental to the value you provide — don't hide your "how".

4 - Tips to start moving to ungated (or less gated) content

— Limit the number of fields on your forms. Instead of 12 fields asking for this data, use a data enrichment tool that can supply it automatically, giving your buyers a better experience.

— See if you can provide a way to fill in your form with third-party info, like from LinkedIn

— Try the 80/20 rule and delay the gate. Give visitors a preview of what your content has to offer so they have a better idea the value they can gain. This could be an article, template, or interactive tour of your product.