Lack of content and lack of time to create content are the two single most challenging issues B2B companies face in digital marketing. Hiding some of the content you worked so hard to create, then, makes no sense. Here's why.
Content is hard. I came to this conclusion after 13 years of waiting for clients to deliver all the necessary content for producing their websites. Most projects dragged on for months, some even for years, before the client's marketing team managed to finish the content.
(How web agencies and digital marketing consultancies can help their clients reduce content creation time to a fraction of what it normally takes is a subject for another article).
Still, this does not mean that companies don't have enough content: they do. Their most valuable, most persuasive content is locked up behind customer registration walls.
The most valuable B2B website content is content that customers actively look for when they need to complete certain tasks in various buying cycle stages. Tasks such as:
- researching products and services: fact sheets, comparison tables, and white papers usually do the trick
- getting fast, unattended online help and support for using products and services: online manuals, documentation and support sections are what those customers are looking for
- getting fast answers to their questions: wouldn't an online FAQ be lovely?
Companies usually bury this content behind a "customer support" registration wall. They do this to hide their most useful information from competitors.
If you hide your content behind a registration wall, it does your company almost all harm and little good because:
- You're also hiding that content from prospects who need this content to make a decision to buy. A competitor's website of higher informational and educational value is just a click away.
- You're making it impossible for new customers to find you because Google can't see your gated content either.
- You now have to invest additional time to create new content.
- The new content you'll create "for marketing purposes" will most likely be written in marketese. And because you're strapped for time, you won't have the time to copy edit it and your marketese will more likely turn out to be bad marketese. Such a shame, because your hype-free, fact-driven content that customers love is sitting forgotten behind a registration wall.
"But Competitors Will Steal My Content"
Most reputable companies don't just copy and paste other companies' content.
If some of them steal from you, they'll have to hide it behind their registration walls so that you don't notice it and send your legal team after them.
And when they do, they'll run into all the drawbacks of gated content I listed above, while your content-rich website attracts new customers.