Lead generation. Will everything become gated again?

The disappearance of third party-cookies and its consequential impact on remarketing has prompted many companies to seek new ways of staying connected with their target audience. Active lead generation and the collecting of first-party data are among the solutions.

First-party data refers to the information collected directly from your target audience. Instead of relying on Meta to inform you about a group of people interested in your product based on algorithmic searches, you proactively discover this information yourself. You have full ownership, which is advantageous, but it also holds the responsibility of collecting it securely and using it in accordance with privacy regulations.

However, to be able to collect first-party data, you must first gather the lead. Unfortunately, companies that have long relied on big tech to do the job for them must now make up a substantial deficit.

In short
  1. Gated content’s challenges and the (unwanted) rise of AI-generated content.
  2. Offering high-quality content may enhance brand reputation but may not boost lead generation.
  3. Creativity is key for successful lead generation campaigns.
  4. Maintaining data privacy and ethical marketing practices are essential for brand reputation and building trust.

Why is gated content so annoying?

Using gated content is a popular method for attracting leads. You’ve undoubtedly encountered websites multiple times that request your email address to ‘unlock’ a whitepaper, participate in a webinar, or access a small snippet of information you were looking for. Often, this experience resulted in disappointment, with poorly written whitepapers that appear untouched by any design tool and fail to address the questions you had hoped to have answered.

Our perception of gated content is likely to deteriorate even more as artificial intelligence becomes more widely adopted. Large chunks of text can be generated with ease, and AI-powered design tools can transform them into something that appears somewhat professional.

This fear of disappointment, coupled with the awareness of the low quality AI-generated content, results in a diminished enthusiasm for engaging with gated content. The risk of not getting an answer to your questions but getting relentlessly spammed is just too big.

Provide good content and you earn the right to promote your product.
Guy Kawasaki

Show them what you’ve got

A straightforward solution would be to refrain from gating content in the first place, especially when you have confidence in the quality of the content you’ve created. High-quality content undeniably enhances your brand’s reputation. It garners praise, gets shared, and will probably earn numerous thumbs up and likes. However, it may not contribute to your lead generation efforts.

Moreover, from an investment point of view, it creates a possible conflict? Producing quality content demands substantial resources, and when no guaranteed return can be assured, it’s challenging to get approval for such projects in the boardroom. This is especially true since we’ve become so accustomed to relying on an abundance of data to support our decision-making processes, no matter how flawed those data might have been to begin with.

The term ‘content sampling’ refers to the practice of offering free samples of your content. It’s a promotional technique that eliminates any doubts about your content’s quality and encourages individuals to provide their data in exchange for full access. While ‘sampling’ is a common practice for food and certain consumer products, it is only beginning to gain traction as a practice for lead generation.

Creativity in lead generation

A lead generation strategy is often reduced by implementing a paid performance campaign to direct traffic towards a landing page featuring a bland content offer accessible behind an email gate. This frequently results in getting your inbox stuffed with a nurture flow that is as underwhelming as the initial offer. It’s a common approach made by novice growth hackers prioritising speed over effectiveness and brand health.

To truly stand out from the crowd, your content needs to speak out. While brands are willing to allocate sizable resources to classic advertising methods, it makes sense to extend that budget to the lower end of your sales funnel. Employing rich media and unconventional creativity to attract potential leads, capture their attention, nurture them and ultimately persuade them to convert.

Beyond the pursuit of leads, brands should recognise that lead generation is a building block of your brand identity, similar to other sales and marketing endeavours. By treating your lead generation efforts as a way not only to acquire customers, but also to facilitate your brand’s growth and foster long lasting relationships.

Lead generation is a piece of your brand puzzle. And just like any other tactic it should be aligned with your brand values.

Keep data privacy in mind

Data privacy involves handling personal information securely. Individuals trust companies with their data, making online privacy vital to maintain trust. Neglecting cybersecurity risks losing customer confidence, damaging your brand’s reputation and potentially leading to financial repercussions.

While lead acquisition is essential for growth, ethical marketing practices matter. Striking a balance between lead generation and data protection is key.

How can June2O help you?

Lead generation frequently is the first contact individuals have with your brand. June20 views lead generation as an integral component of your brand identity from a brand strategy perspective. Similar to other sales and marketing endeavours, it needs to be consistent, align with long-term brand objectives, consider your target audience, and integrate seamlessly with other activities. Serving as the lead agency for brands like Etex and Beaphar, we have years of experience in helping brands harmonise their sales and marketing efforts.

Interested in our approach to lead generation? Subscribe to our newsletter and let’s get in touch 😉. Curious about what we’ve done, check out how we helped SDWorx.

Koen Hoogenboom

KOEN HOOGENBOOM, was introduced from an early age to the media by his father. Who publishes 2 professional pharmacy magazines. No surprise Koen kickstarted his media career at DTG Group. He further developed his skills at Companeo, an online lead generator, and at ReachLocal, a Google partner company. After travelling the world Koen landed at ‘addurance’, where our paths crossed for the first time. With over 15 years of media and marketing experience, Koen is now Media Director at June20.

Photo of Koen Hoogenboom, Media Director at June20