Do You Reeeeally Hate Gated Content? I Think Not.

Do You Reeeeally Hate Gated Content? I Think Not.

Todd Clouser 3 min

Do You Reeeeally Hate Gated Content? I Think Not.

By: Todd Clouser


I thought I left getting trolled online when I stopped doing YouTube full time. 


But I woke up on Friday to a DM on Slack. It was a simple threads link (I didn't even know threads still existed). Anyway, I clicked on it and immediately saw my face.


Now, I don't know if you've ever been called out in public, but the immediate reaction is typically a bit of shock. This was especially shocking because it came form someone that I follow and respect.


Then you get pissed (especially when you find out about it through a third party).


Then, if you know how to deal with this sort of thing, you step back and try to think about it as objectovely as you can. 


And I went through all of those emotions Friday morning after seeing this:

First, I totally understand the irony here. It was a poor decision on my part to make this content require a form fill to watch.


And reflecting on this post, I also came to another conclusion. The person that posted this doesn't get it. They made the post based on their knowledge of an old playbook that we all know and hate.


You know the one:


=> Download an ebook with over-hyped value

=> Get dropped into an automated email drip sequence
=> Get relentlessly pursued by an SDR
=> Try to unsubscribe when you know deep down, you can't


Bad experience is an understatement. This is the playbook that destroyed all trust in B2B marketing.


But take a look at the sequence of events I just listed above.


What part of that destroys trust?


It's not the fact that a form-fill sits in front of you and the content you want to read or watch.  It's what happens after the fact.


People don't have a problem with gates, they have a problem with the shady tactics that happen on the backend in order to try and turn that content into revenue.


And I'll prove this to you.


*rubs hands together* 


Alright, let's do this. The following marketing channels are all forms of gated content. And they're all gates that we know, love, and gladly implement as B2B marketers:


  1. Newsletters - In order to read ones newsletter, you need to give them your information. This is the definition of gated content.

  2. Webinars - If you do a digital event that’s hosted on any platform other than LinkedIn live, Twitch, or YouTube live; that's gated content. People need to register with their email to gain access.

  3. Communities - Your Slack, Discord, or other community platform that requires my email or credit card to access—gated content.

  4. Conferences - Unless it's a free conference, the content is gated. A different type of gate, but a gate nonetheless. 

The gate isn't the negative experience.  it's what happens after.


We've just been conditioned to know that if we give up our email in exchange for content, a hungry sales rep is going to be waiting on the other end.


But imagine if there was transparency in this whole process.


Imagine if you gated a library of your content, not to enroll people into a sales sequence, but to de-anonymize website traffic so you could see what content was impactful and where to invest more resources?


Imagine if you were transparent about everything that the audience was signing up for and they could opt-out at any time.


*cough* read the modal pop-up in the thread as an example *cough*


As a content marketer, imagine going into a meeting with your CMO and saying, 


"83% of people that watched episode 1 of Easy Mode watched the whole series. 78% of those were heads of content at mid-market saas companies. And 3% of those in ICP requested a demo. I want to invest more resources into video on these topics."


That is the power that content marketing has never had. It's the reason why content marketers rarely have their own budget or the ability to make strategic decisions. 


 ^That's the value prop of exclusive content and what we're building at AudiencePlus.


You're not gating individual pieces of content in order to score prospects based on their actions to enroll them into a sales cadence.


You, as the audience, give your email once to gain access to the entire library.


The content marketer on the other end gets the information they need in order to get the resources to keep creating the content you want to see.


And you never get unwanted outreach.


That's a win-win.


P.S. I reached out to the individual mentioned at the beginning of this article and he agreed to hop on and do a podcast with me, so stay tuned for that.


And in case you want to watch the webinar I did with Anthony, queued this whole conversation, here it is, completely free. No email required 👉

Todd Clouser 3 min

Do You Reeeeally Hate Gated Content? I Think Not.

Gated content is what single-handedly destroyed trust in B2B marketing. But was it the act of gating that led to that? Or was it the tactics that were used on the backend in order to turn that content into revenue? I've done a lot of reflecting ont his topic, and I think there's a real use case for responsible marketres to gate content.

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