What is gated content and does it work?

We’re all trying to get our content noticed — that’s the whole point of content marketing after all! But that’s easier said than done. We know how hard it can be getting your work in front of people’s eyes these days, but there are some strategies you can use to help.

We’ve already spoken about repurposing content, why keyword research is crucial, and the power of visual content but what about gated content? Well, let’s take a look at gated content, what it is, its benefits, and whether it actually works as a marketing tool. 

Read on to find out more!

What is gated content?

what is gated content

As with many of the strategies we’ve discussed on this blog, the name “gated content” pretty much tells us what it is all about. In short, gated content refers to any valuable piece of digital content, such as ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, or exclusive reports, that is accessible only after the user provides certain information.

In other words, it’s content that is gated behind the reader providing information, usually through the use of a form submission. This information can include a bunch of different contact details like name, email address, job title, or company name. Once the reader has submitted the required information, they gain access to the content.

Gated content is content that is gated behind the reader providing information, usually through the use of a form submission.

Important to note here — gated content is not locked behind a paywall. Some content may need to be purchased, which places it in a different category from gated content. Gated content is always free, otherwise it becomes paid content.

The benefits of gated content

Right, now we know what gated content is, let’s look at why we might want to use it. At first glance, if you’re not charging readers to view your content, then it might be difficult to see why you would require their information. After all, wouldn’t this just make them more likely to click away?

In short, yes. However, if your offering is compelling enough, readers should have no problem inputting their information to access it. But that still doesn’t answer the question of “why bother?”. Well, let’s look at a few of the benefits of gated content!

Lead generation

One of the primary benefits of gated content is its ability to generate high-quality leads. By offering valuable content in exchange for contact information, you can attract individuals who are genuinely interested in your products or services, and as a result, more likely to convert.

Nurturing leads

Once users have accessed gated content, you can continue to nurture them through targeted follow-up strategies, such as email marketing or newsletters. By delivering relevant content based on your audience’s interests and stage in the buyer’s journey, you can guide leads through the sales funnel and facilitate the conversion process effectively 

Information gathering

Related to the above point but slightly different, gated content allows you to obtain information about your audience to better help you understand who is engaging with your content and what they are looking for. 

Using the information gleaned from your gated content, you can then segment your audience more effectively. By analyzing the information provided by users, you can gain insights into their interests, preferences, and pain points. This data can then be used to tailor future marketing campaigns and deliver personalized content that resonates with specific audience segments.

Establishing authority

Creating gated content requires time, effort, and expertise, making it an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. By offering valuable insights and actionable advice, you can build trust with your audience and position yourself as trusted advisors, ultimately increasing your brand’s credibility and authority.

Boosting engagement

Accessing gated content requires intentional, specific action from your reader. If they have decided that a piece of your content is worth putting in their details to access, they are far more likely to engage with it fully and read all the way to the end. As mentioned earlier, this in turn means they are more likely to convert or take any other action that you are looking for.

So, does gated content work?

So, does gated content work

It’s all well and good harping on the virtues of gated content and all the benefits it can provide, but does it actually work as a marketing tool? We’re here to tell you that, yes, it does indeed work. However! This hinges on a few things that are worth bearing in mind when creating your gated content.


The success of gated content hinges on its perceived value by the target audience. The perceived part is key here. We know your content is great and you know your content is great but before they’ve read it, your audience doesn’t know if it’s great or not.

This starts by ensuring your non-gated content is top notch. That way, your audience can be confident that if you’re gating something off, it must be worth it. Then, you need to ensure that your gated content is top notch too!

Make sure to stuff your gated content full of actionable insights, unique perspectives, or exclusive information that users cannot easily access elsewhere. Conducting thorough research and understanding the needs and pain points of your audience is also crucial for creating compelling gated work.


If you’re asking for readers’ personal information, you need to make sure you’re completely upfront as to why you’re asking for their information, what it will be used for, and what they will get in return. Clearly communicating the benefits of accessing the content and assuring users of their privacy and data security can help build trust and credibility.

Keep it balanced

While gated content can be a valuable lead generation tool, it’s essential to strike a balance between gated and ungated content. Providing a mix of both gated and ungated content allows you to cater to multiple segments of your audience and also ensure you are providing value to everyone, not just those willing to input their personal information.

Plus, offering occasional promotions or limited-time access to gated content is a great way of creating a sense of urgency and driving conversions.

Refine and optimize

This should probably go without saying but we’re saying it anyway — make sure you refine and optimize your gated content too! Analyze what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your gated content, both in the content itself and in your messaging around it. Does one tactic lead to more signups? Double down. It’s a process, so keep iterating until you’ve got the perfect product on your hands.

Alright, we’ve done it. We’ve let you know what gated content is, how it can help, and some strategies for ensuring it actually works for you! Hopefully, you’ve now got everything you need to start creating your top-quality gated content.

And if you’re looking to create high-quality gated content but don’t have the resources to do so in-house, why not work with Scribly? Our team of content strategists and writers would be happy to help with any ebook or whitepaper projects!