Guess What? Visitors Don’t Want to Fill Out a Form to Get to Your Content

Content marketing and lead generation have always gone hand in hand. Since the birth of the internet, marketers have enticed their web visitors to complete a form in exchange for the promise of some form of content. But guess what?

Visitors don’t want to fill out your form to get to your content.

Consider the most common content assets used for lead generation— whitepapers, webinars, research papers, solution briefs, videos. There is usually no way for your audience to consume or experience the content unless they’ve completed a form to gain access to it. Lucky them. In an ever-growing sea of undifferentiated, disappointing content, an increasing number of your visitors are probably landing and leaving when arrive at the all-too-familiar gate—a form to fill out before they get the right to see your content. Adding insult to injury, if your visitor was really interested in the topic, they are savvy enough to know they can probably do just a tiny bit more searching and surfing to uncover a free, un-gated source of good information.

The days of gating your best content and requiring visitors to complete a form before they are granted access are quickly becoming a thing of the past, because it’s just not working like it used to. The ‘let’s gate all of our great content’ mentality is old school lead gen marketing, and it’s butting right up against modern content marketing and user expectations, which is more about getting the content out there for all to consume, share and experience.

But that new reality doesn’t change the fact that a lot of marketers still have a lead KPI to hit—and may even have a lead quality KPI to his as well. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s latest research, 85% of B2B marketers cite lead generation as an organizational goal for content marketing and 87% say their most important content marketing metric is sales lead quality.

The way to use content to drive leads is to switch from old school gating to modern interactive content marketing. According to research conducted by Demand Metric, interactive content is almost twice as effective as static content for generating leads.

Interactive content can take the form of things like:

  • Quizzes
  • Assessments
  • Surveys
  • Contests and games
  • Calculators
  • eBooks
  • Interactive Infographics
  • Configurators
  • Interactive White Papers
  • Lookbooks

When we tested a gated interactive white paper in which visitors were required to complete the form in order to gain access to the interactive experience against a un-gated version, where visitors could freely access the content, with an optional form to receive the PDF version, the un-gated version drove 33% more leads than the gated version. Yes, that’s 33% MORE leads by allowing visitors to freely access the content, and optionally register for the PDF.

And our customer BloomReach found that a campaign quiz was 60% more effective at generating new leads and 40% more effective at nurturing existing prospects.

If you are a content marketer tasked with generating high quality, engaged leads, you know it’s hard enough to get a lead, let alone a great one.

Incorporating interactive content experiences to your lead generation campaigns creates an opportunity for higher conversion rates, more lead qualification, and much richer prospect profiles, while satisfying the ever-increasing expectations of the modern web visitor.

With almost double the conversion rates of static content, interactive content provides a demonstrable, effective way to engage and convert your traffic, with far greater insights and more robust lead profiles.

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