With websites, the general rule is to hide premium content offers (white papers, guides, infographics, etc.) behind forms. This way, you can capture a website visitor’s information as they gain access to the content. I am strongly encouraging all B2B firms to de-gate all content offers that are not proprietary. Here are the reasons to de-gate premium content on your website.
People Are Busy
As a B2B firm, you are typically targeting busy people who don’t want to be bothered. Most know the drill when they complete a form to access content. They know that sales people will harass them for weeks. It is time to respect people’s time and not insult their intelligence—give the content away without a form. Instead of a form, allow downloaders to opt-in to an email newsletter or check a “contact me” box. This way, it still acts as a lead generation tool but is not detouring prospects. By de-gating the content, the visitor gains immediate access to your content and by reading this content, is more likely to view your company as credible and thus more probable, to initiate contact.
Most Content is not That Special
Let’s be honest, most premium content placed behind forms is not groundbreaking. There are typically variations of your same content on competitor websites. If the content is proprietary information, absolutely keep it behind a form with more qualification required. However, if your content is useful but not earth shattering, don’t hide the content behind needless forms. Keep this content front and center and easy to access.
Passive Lead vs. Active Lead
In my experience, anyone who wants to work with Bop Design will actively contact us and request a meeting. Most website leads come after a visitor has viewed 8+ pages of the website and have downloaded some premium content (with no forms). Easily accessible premium content has helped Bop Design build a case of credibility strong enough for a visitor to reach out. This direct contact is an active lead ready to take the next step. When a visitor simply completes a few forms to access some content but never directly contacts me…that is a passive lead. It is typically a futile effort to nurture and engage passive leads. It can depend on your product or service, so I definitely advise experimenting. But in my experience, forms increase passive leads and prevent active leads.
It is time to free your content from forms and allow visitors to read all the content you have worked so hard to create!