After reading the article “To Gate or Not to Gate, Why You Should Give Your Content Away” by Kim Stiglitz (as well as a few other articles) I have came to the conclusion that I feel as though businesses should not gate their content online.
David Meerman Scott says that according to his statistics, “a white paper or eBook will be downloaded 20 times and up to 50 times more without a gate in front of it.” What do you think about that? If you were a company who was trying to get as many eyeballs on your product as possible, bring in as many customers as possible, wouldn’t you want your content to be viewed for free and as many times as the user wants at the touch of their hand? This way at least the content is not being forced upon the user.
However, not everyone is interested in having the most views of content from his or her page. Some people are more concerned with a qualified lead, which is fine. I read another article that I found this week “Is Gated Content a Necessary Evil?” by Kathryn Aragon and in the article, as said by Mike Volpe, the CEO of HubSpot, “If I can get 100,000 people to see that page and I can get 28,000 people to fill it out, 28,000 contacts may be more valuable than even 50,000 people seeing the content”. I really like that quote and that is why I added it. It shows how not everyone has to have the same view on what they want out of people viewing their content. As stated above, some people may be looking for quantity as others are looking for quality.
As some people see ungated content as a great thing, not everyone agrees. From the same article in the paragraph above, Copyblogger’s chief copy writer Demian Farnsworth discusses why he feels as though content gates are great for building a relationship with ideal prospects. He states that most people online are publishing content to generate some type of audience that they can build their business around.
He also states “Holding something back identifies those who are more serious.” Perhaps the person publishing the content wants you to dig deeper and download some information they have provided. Farnsworth goes onto state that the more valuable the content of the download, the more trust gained between the two parties. I would have to agree with Farnsworth in this situation. If I download a piece of information from a business online and that information seems to benefit me in someway, I am a lot more inclined to feel something positive towards that business
In my opinion, I feel as though a great relationship can be maintained and started from ungated content as well as gated content. This being said I feel as though most sites should not have gated content. We live in a world where people like the access of things at their fingertips. Give the people access to see all of your available content, even if they aren’t a good lead, you never know they could pass the message of your business along benefitting you.