Memo to early-stage tech companies: Tear down that wall!

Posted: October 30, 2012 in content creation, marketing, websites
Tags: , , , ,
Breaking Brick Wall
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So now that you’ve written that white paper, what do you do with it – do you put it up on your site and make it immediately available with one click?  Or do you put it behind a wall (AKA “gate”) and ask for the requester’s contact information?  “Gated” or walled-off content asks for various levels of contact information from the requester. It enables you to build a database. But does this hinder your efforts to build a large audience quickly?  Turns out there are no clear-cut rules for free-form vs. gated.  You’ll have to decide the relative merits of the tradeoff.  To our way of thinking, it boils down to this:  if you’re an early stage outfit, you likely want to build an audience. This means you want to make your content easily available.  Anything that slows down the acquisition of your material impedes this process.  If, on the other hand, you’re at the point in your audience volume where you want to start filtering out the tire-kickers and place greater focus on sales-ready leads, a gate that extracts some profile or contact information is appropriate.

Still, we concur with Dayna Rothmanof marketing software developer Marketo, who says that you have to formulate your own policy. “You have to find your own balance to meet your own audience and lead goals”.  This is why Write Angle  advises against putting your early-stage content in front of a gate.  In the early going, it’s more important to have a wide funnel.   As the brand is being built, then you can start making decisions about adding the filters.  If you need a rule, consider the one offered by CMO.com:  If you are out to position your company or brand as a thought leader, offering insights into the issues and challenges of the day, then free-form (un-gated) is the way to go. If you are more interested in driving leads to conversion quickly, then gating the content makes more sense.

(This post appeared today in The Write Stuff, a blog published by technology writing and content development agency Write Angle)

 

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