How (And Why) to Gate Video Content: A Comprehensive Guide

THINK creative group blog on gating video content

Gated content is a hotly contested issue among digital and inbound marketers. Most agree that gating content can be a great tactic for securing sales leads and valuable information related to buyer personas. But it’s not without its drawbacks, and not every piece of content should be gated. With the rise of video marketing, it's important to understand how your video content can and should be gated.

Traditionally, gated content has taken the form of white papers, e-books and other text media provided in exchange for user information like name, email address, telephone number, professional information or other details. But more and more content producers are using videos to gather leads through content gating.

When to Gate Video Content

Consider the Subject Matter

Depending on the type of content, gating may or may not be advisable. Blatantly self-promotional content like testimonials, product demonstrations and commercial ads should not be gated.

Gating should be restricted to content that genuinely benefits consumers. Typically this will mean highly informational content—webinars, presentations, case studies or anything else that will save them time, effort or money.

The reason for this is simple. Consumers who get through your content gate do so by providing you with their contact information and volunteering to enter your sales funnel—and they expect to be given something of roughly equivalent value in return. Falling short of that produces a poor user experience and will negatively impact conversion rates on the bottom line.

Where Does it Align with Your Buyer's Journey?

Good marketers align their content with the buyer’s journey, video content included.

Content intended for prospects at the top of the sales funnel, or the Awareness stage, shouldn’t be gated in most cases. Instead, consider gating for content aligned with the Consideration or Decision stages.

For example, in the Awareness stage, your personas are simply looking for some information, so an ungated quick tips video may be the way to go. In the Consideration stage, they've moved from understanding their problem to finding a solution. Now's the time to start gating your videos and give something more meaty, educational and entertaining like a demo-video or live case study. If you've done your job of creating great video content in the first two stages, your personas will come back to learn even more about your company's products and services when vetting their choices in the Decision stage. Here is where you can drive it home with an expert webinar or product comparisons.

In general, gated content converts better leads through a more targeted audience. If the video in question isn’t intended to directly convert then it might be best leave it ungated. If a video is meant to directly drive leads, though, gating it might be a good way to help it do that.

How to Gate Video Content

Now that you have a better idea of when to gate your content, how should you approach gating your videos?

First, make sure your video is accessible via a private link and not hanging around the internet for all the world to see. After all, if anyone can Google it, then why gate it? The simplest way to do this is by uploading it to your YouTube page and making it "unlisted."

Next, you'll want to create an easy to fill out conversion form. In exchange for anything gated you should always ask for an email address—which is all you should expect to receive for simple, introductory content. For more substantial videos, you can ask for extra details like name,  job title, company, URL and industry challenges.

Now, build a custom landing page that is devoted solely to promoting the video and driving users to fill out the form and receive a link to the gated video. Once they fill out the form, send them to a thank-you page with a link to the video and a related follow-up offer. Now, finish it all off with an automated email thank you with another link to the video (a nice touch for those who want multiple viewings).

A great way to get people to give you their information for these types of videos is to first tease them with a 30-second clip of the video, so they know its value upfront. And remember, it's not over once you've converted a lead. Lead nurturing is a crucial inbound practice necessary to retain happy, life-long customers.

“If your #video is meant to directly drive leads, making it #GatedContent is the way to go” TWEET THIS

Why Focus on Video Content?

So, with all of the great content like e-books, white papers, tutorials and blogs that you already have, why should you shift your focus to video content?

Because video content is the future.

As high-speed and mobile Internet connections have become more common, video content has become more practical to both producer and consumer. This has led to a huge increase not only in video spending by marketers, but also engagement by users.

Consider the facts. Four times as many consumers prefer video content about a product to written content, and almost 60% of executives would rather watch a video than read text. What’s more, 70% of marketers claim that video produces more conversions than any other form of online content, and landing page conversions increase 80% with the inclusion of a video.

It’s not hard to believe, given all this, that global consumer Internet video traffic will account for 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by the year 2019.

A diverse, well-rounded content lineup is necessary for any successful campaign, but if you want to be where the customers are, video content is key. And gating this content may be just the ticket to increasing your lead conversions and ROI. As you’re planning your content strategy into 2017 and beyond be sure to keep a significant spot set aside for video—gated or otherwise.

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