Most B2B marketers gate content at least part of the time, according to The B2B Content Marketing Report, a study released last month by Finite in partnership with 93x.
Of the brands polled, 5% gate content all of the time, 25% often do it and 34% sometimes do so.
Speaking solely as a consumer of content, that’s too much.
Enter a content site and you will be assaulted by flashing pop-ups to get you to accept cookies, set up an account, provide more details than you may know or want to reveal, from company size to number of employees, and check off a mandatory box to receive email newsletters.
We understand that the purpose of this is to obtain the reader’s email address and move them along the funnel toward a conversion.
But prospects may not be ready for that, nor for phone calls from salespeople, nor for emails that will clutter their inbox.
As for cookies, a firm is asking for trouble to demand that the reader accept them to access the content.
Email is the biggest problem. How many newsletters and promotional emails can a person read?
Unopened emails can damage your sender reputation and land you in the spam folder.
The key is to go lightly at the early stage and not scare people away by demanding too much information or too great a commitment.
Getting that right isn’t the only worry facing content providers.
For 35%, the most daunting task is producing enough content at all — 30% rarely or never get colleagues outside of marketing to contribute. And 70% find it challenging to keep up both quality and quantity.
"That's not too surprising," states Christina Pashialis, content marketing manager at Soldo. "Lack of resource and stakeholder buy-in is often at play here."
Another 26% say the biggest hassle is reaching the right audience, and 16% claim it’s measuring ROI.
Of the firms polled, 43% have only sometimes defined key performance indicators (43%). And 18% have rarely or never done so. Moreover, only 8% always attribute ROI to content marketing.
But they must be measuring it on some level, as 68% of marketers are confident in their approach to content marketing.
The study also found that 70% say SEO is an important element in their content strategy.
Pashialis concludes that brands need to create content that “educates a B2B niche audience about specific problems that require the careful sourcing of writers with industry and product knowledge, well-defined briefs, time for research, writing, editing and design. Skip these steps and the quality or quantity of content drops."