While form-fills may seem like a barrier to higher traffic, they can actually improve your overall inbound lead generation. Gated content is a common occurrence in inbound marketing; an individual gives up personal information through an online form in exchange for access to content of value. That content might be a video, article, tool kits, research, coupons, or access to some other hidden offering.

For example, this is one of our form-fills required to access certain resources on our website.

Effective inbound marketing isn’t just about how many clicks you can get, it’s how many qualified leads and conversions come from that traffic. Gated content can reduce traffic, but also improve conversion rates overall. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using a form-fill, with the goal of inbound lead generation.

Pros of using form-fills

– Higher quality leads: Individuals that fill out forms tend to be more dedicated customers, showing a higher interest in the product, brand, or subject matter.
– Lead nurturing: Capturing data means you can follow up with your leads, strengthening their relationship with your brand.
– Understand your audience: The data you require can give you a better picture of who your audience is, including tracking repeat visitor behavior.
– Higher conversion rates: Targeting leads that have shown a more dedicated interest, and the ability to follow up with those leads, yield higher conversion rates.

Cons of using form-fills

– Reaching a more limited audience: Less eyes see your content when it is gated.
– Harder to earn links: People are less likely to link to and share form-fills than direct access to the content.
– Less effective SEO: Too much content hidden can affect SEO, but there are ways to combat that by having preview content or highlights on the form-fill page.

Is your content form-fill worthy?

Gating content is a balance, and it’s important to know when to use it effectively. According to a study by The Manifest, 81% of people have abandoned at least one web form, with 59% doing so within the last month. To combat those numbers, it’s important to ask: is your content valuable enough to your target audience? This should be the first question asked when choosing whether to use a form-fill for inbound lead generation. This is important on the front end to entice your audience to give up their data. Additionally, once they access that content, they need to feel the exchange was a good one. Great content will strengthen brand loyalty and yield higher conversion rates from those leads.

Industry knowledge and understanding your target audience allows you to identify what content is valuable and what’s not—a great partner can help you identify the difference. At HCS, we specialize in generating valuable content and can help you identify the best practices for inbound lead generation. Visit our Content Marketing page to learn more or send us a message! We’d love to help you generate quality leads and higher conversion rates.