Learn why gated content works for generating healthcare leads, which content to gate and how to do it for maximum impact.
Hubspot defines gated content as “any type of content that viewers can only access after exchanging their information.” In other words, there is a quid-pro-quo transaction between the brand and site visitors where content is hidden behind a form (gated) and can only be accessed by submitting contact information like name, title, organization and email address.
While there has been some debate on whether gated content is more effective than ungated content in generating leads, we believe both are critical elements of an effective healthcare content strategy. The key is understanding the goals, user intent and expected outcomes for each type.
Here’s an overview of ungated and gated content based on highly effective content and campaigns we’ve developed for healthcare organizations.
The Goals of Ungated and Gated Content
Ungated content is created to boost SEO, site traffic and brand awareness. This is top-of-the-funnel content developed to engage a broader audience within your target market, build relationships with new prospects and bring existing leads back to your website as they’re searching for healthcare information, specific providers and/or treatment options.
Gated content is designed to generate and convert prospects into patients. This is middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel content created to engage and nurture candidates for high-value service lines like orthopedics, bariatric surgery and more.
This approach to filling the funnel is especially critical with the loss of patient revenue due to COVID-19. Growing volume and downstream revenue is emerging as the highest priority for healthcare organizations. In fact, half of the healthcare marketers surveyed for our annual State of Healthcare Content Marketing report said lead generation is among their top content marketing goals.
Learn More: Read our blog post on Top Lead Generation Content Types.
The Types of Ungated and Gated Content
Ungated content is typically a short-form review of a subject that aligns with audience needs and interests as identified by search analysis. This can be formatted as a blog post, infographic or video and should be optimized for specific keywords so the content is discoverable by search engines.
Gated content is usually a longer-form piece focused on a specific topic (e.g. Preparing for Bariatric Surgery) and features proprietary research or insights as incentive for submitting contact information. This can be educational resources like white papers, eBooks or seminars that guide patients and prospects through the healthcare journey.
Read the Case Study: Learn How Altru Health System Leveraged Lead Forms to Drive 650 Orthopedic Encounters and 225:1 ROI.
Best Practices for Gated Content in Healthcare
When creating lead generation campaigns for healthcare organizations, here are a few best practices we’ve found to be essential for gated content:
Promotion is paramount. Since gated content is walled off from search bots, organic traffic probably won’t be a primary source of traffic. We recommend driving users to gated content through highly targeted paid media (search and social ads), direct mail and calls to action embedded within your website content. Email marketing is also an effective way to convert subscribers or re-engage previous leads to relevant resources based on their interests.
Create a conversion-focused landing page. Unlike a treatment and condition page or blog post, a landing page is laser focused on motivating users to take a single action. An effective landing page has a strong headline, action-oriented copy and a simple form that captures visitor information that informs immediate follow up along with personalized nurturing campaigns.
Nurture leads through the decision cycle. The majority of site visitors who access gated content—whether downloading a guide, completing a health risk assessment or other conversion—are not ready to make a healthcare decision. This makes nurturing an essential part of any service line growth strategy, and email marketing remains an effective way to keep your brand top of mind, segment prospects and advance them through to conversion.
Track performance and apply insights to future content. By measuring metrics like total landing page visitors against conversions, marketers can identify friction points in the user experience, determine how well certain types of content perform, and fine tune subsequent content and campaigns. Along with the front-end SEO analysis, this type of research will help refine your content strategy and drive higher ROI.
We Can Help You Generate Healthcare Leads
Our team of healthcare content marketing experts can develop lead generation campaigns that grow key service lines.