Gated content used to be all the rage a few years ago. Businesses would “lock” every valuable piece of content they had and required multiple pieces of information from their website visitor to have access to it. Luckily, this older trend never affected chamber website content or marketing.
Today, marketers are being smarter about their usage of this tactic. Only the most valuable pieces are gated and they require just a name and an email, generally. Businesses using this tactic know that they can get more information from interested parties later. Right now, the connection is the most important thing and you don’t want to ruin that connection by asking for a whole lot of information.
That will just turn someone off.
Are You Asking for Too Much for Chamber Website Content?
Most likely your chamber doesn’t have a lot of gated content right now or “lead magnets” but you probably will start heading in that direction because building a list will become more and more important this year. There could be a lot of money in your list both from a member recruiting perspective and for other businesses.
Marketing this way is easy enough:
- Know your ideal member and what they struggle with
- Produce content that speaks to that need and gives them the tools to solve or at least assess the problem
- Feature it prominently on your site and request an email so that you can send the download.
Relatively easy steps to follow and a big pay off when you’re able to continue building a relationship with them.
But the one mistake you don’t want to make is one that newspapers do all the time.
You can’t ask for information from someone if you’re not offering them anything of value.
Ever go to an elementary school lunch, before they banned swapping lunch items? You would’ve seen one kid with a food he didn’t like, trying to trade it for a food he did like. Sometimes it was something the other child wanted — good trade. Everyone is happy. But sometimes it wasn’t and the other child refused the deal because she wasn’t interested in the offer.
This happened to me the other day. I was reading the Chicago Tribune online and yes, I was skimming Dear Abby. About three sentences into the question, a pop-up came up with a completely unrelated, and not at all valuable (to me) survey. If I wanted to continue reading Dear Abby I had to complete the survey. To make matters worse the survey told me this was the first question of 5. If I answered all 5 multiple-choice questions, I could go back to dear old Abby.
Guess what I did?
Had this been something other than a time killer, maybe I would’ve “paid” with my opinions but all that did was serve to remind me that I needed to get back to the task at hand.
The Tribune asked me to pay for her column more than it was worth to me.
If you lock your content, make sure the content has value to your audience. Give them enough of it for free that they get hooked and interested in what you’re offering. If you don’t, they may decide that it’s just not worth an email and a download.