When it comes to content marketing, there’s always a lot to do. Between writing blog posts, planning next year’s strategy, and prepping design for long-form content, it can be easy to focus only on the creation itself. But as with any great piece of content, the work doesn’t stop after you hit “publish.”
This couldn’t be truer for whitepapers and other pieces of gated content.
The reality is that creating whitepapers is tough. It takes a lot of time and resources, and when you complete one, you should be proud! But if you want that gated content asset to do its job — which is to convert website visitors into leads — then you need to distribute it.
It might sound elementary, but landing pages are an absolute must for any piece of gated content you create. Gated content is called “gated” because all that exceptional, valuable content lives behind a gate that your audience members unlock by providing some of their contact information. They do that on a landing page. Instapage and Unbounce can help you build quick pages to convert visitors into leads in no time.
That said, your prospects will never even see your gated content if they can’t find it, effectively turning your whitepaper — the piece that you worked long and hard to create — into an ineffective lead generation source.To get your content to your target audience at the right time and in the right place, use these nine tactics:
Picture this: Someone does a quick search on Google and finds one of your blog posts or guest-contributed articles. She reads it, finds the information valuable, and — what then? If you aren’t making it easy for your readers to take the next step by promoting your gated content in your ungated posts, then you might lose out on the chance to capture a lead for your sales team. You are also missing the opportunity to deliver your readers additional content that they may find valuable.
Help your readers discover additional content they might be interested in reading by including links and calls to action to download your gated content in all of your blog posts and guest-contributed content. It’s important to know that not all guest content will permit links — and some might have stipulations about landing pages — but as long as you are promoting relevant, high-quality gated content, you should be in the clear.
Join the 93 percent of B2B marketers who use email to distribute content. If you don’t already have an email newsletter, you need to create one and use it to alert audience members to all your recent content on a weekly (or monthly) basis.
On top of your newsletter, create an email blast. An email blast is an email that’s used exclusively to promote a new asset — and don’t be afraid to play around with it. Segment your list of subscribers first to make sure the right people are seeing the content, and include links so users can share the content directly to social media.
If your website receives any kind of traffic, it’s a good idea to include a CTA to download your high-value gated assets. You don’t want to let all that traffic go by just ignoring your chance to convert them.
For example, our homepage has two buttons side by side: one is a CTA to contact us, and the other is a CTA to download one of our most popular pieces of gated content.
Does your gated content include an interesting visual element, original research, or really great insights? Then consider creating basic images or pulling out quotes to highlight its value for social media, and add a prompt to entice readers to download the gated asset for more information.
For example, we took some stats from our “State of Digital Media 2018” report and used them to create an infographic.
You created this asset to help a specific audience. So target that audience with paid promotion on social, through native advertising, or even with pay-per-click display ads through Google and Bing.
Here’s an example of a paid ad of ours from Facebook, promoting our “State of Digital Media 2018” report.
Chances are, you didn’t create a piece of gated content that’s totally unrelated to the other content on your blog. So update those other, older pieces of content with links or calls to action to your new whitepaper. Specifically, look at old posts that get a lot of traffic and then work your way down the list.
For example, we recently launched this whitepaper about SEO. Once it was live, we combed back through all of our existing blog posts on SEO and updated them to include CTAs to download the whitepaper.
You created this whitepaper to bring in new leads, of course, but what about the leads who are already in your sales pipeline? Pass along your gated content to your sales team to send out to these prospects; it could be just the right touchpoint to re-engage any leads that have gone cold.
Share your content with people who could give it a boost among their followers or subscribers or those who could link to your landing page in their own content. Your list of influencers could include industry leaders, businesses, and other contacts you have at blogs or publications. And sharing your content with them is especially useful if you have some original research.
Too often, companies believe that creating a whitepaper or e-book is enough to make the leads roll in. But it's only step one. For your gated content to ultimately achieve what you created it to achieve in the first place, you need to actively promote it. Take these steps and watch the leads really start to roll in.