Business Case

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Generating value from content marketing

Organisations the world over are doubling down on content marketing. However, the singular act of creating content – be it educational articles, whitepapers or webinars – isn’t enough to generate a meaningful return on your investment.

To create a profitable content marketing strategy, your organisation needs a way to translate the value you create for your customers into value for your business. That means improved customer insight, better on-site engagement, and a consistent inflow of qualified leads. Content gating – offering valuable resources in exchange for contact data, collected through a form – provides the solution to this mismatch of value. Unfortunately, the approach taken by many organisations is actually hindering their content marketing efforts – not helping.

The problem with marketing automation platforms

Many organisations rely on Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) to build the infrastructure for their content gating strategy. These platforms typically approach form creation as a way to enter data into a database: a contact fills out a form, and the form submission triggers some form of data processing.

However, a simple web form is rarely enough to persuade an anonymous visitor to become a known contact. There’s a wealth of wider context messaging, the number of form fields, the type of information solicited that directly impact conversion rates.

Relying solely on a Marketing Automation Platform, these features need to be manually created. Essential functionality like dynamic form fields and integration with web analytics has to be coded, staged, deployed and tested, across every possible combination of page and form. Worse still, MAP forms operate as siloed entities, processing data individually: the more forms deployed, the greater the resource burden becomes.
This process is manageable for a single content gate, but the effort required grows exponentially with every deployed form, every supported language and every business unit involved. Eventually, it creates a huge technical overhead, a complex logistical challenge, and a serious risk of outright failure.

Managing global data & GDPR compliance

Consistently generating lead data is only half of the problem.

This process of manually creating individual forms creates a real data management headache, making it almost impossible to standardise data schemas and field taxonomies from form-to-form. This problem is amplified when stakeholders from different teams, regions and partner agencies get involved.

This can make it difficult to maintain compliance with global privacy standards, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Web conversion plays a key part of the compliance chain, and with manual MAP form deployment, the burden of maintaining adherence to data protection policies - whilst balancing conversion rates - falls squarely on your shoulders.

These problems are amplified for organisations operating in international markets. Deploying a MAP form in multiple languages requires the development of a new form for each and every language. That form remains static, regardless of the regional location of a user. In a global business, that creates problems for regional teams, offering little in the way of flexibility to cater to different cultures, expectations and policies within their market.

A better solution:

Many of these problems can be solved by decoupling the user interface – the part of a form that users see and engage with – from the marketing automation platform, treating the MAP purely as a container to receive contact data.

In doing so, language, gating, messaging, tracking and integration can be created programmatically – removing most of the manual overhead associated with deploying new, customisable forms.

Some solutions achieve this by building out a system for creating form templates directly in their CMS. Though an improvement over MAP forms, each form is still bound to a single page, and there’s no way to deploy forms across different web environments, like microsites or external landing pages.

Gated Content takes a different tact, using a cloud-based approach that allows web conversion forms to be deployed on to web pages via client-side scripts. In practice, this means:

Easier Deployment

Forms and gating can be managed remotely, and deployed onto any web environment with a simple embed code. Gates can be deployed multiple times using the same embed code, and any changes to the underlying CMS will no longer require a rebuild of the form experience and web conversion solution.

Effective Data Management and Compliance

Gated Content’s central dashboard provides detailed performance analysis across all of your gated assets, and our centrally governed web form process removes the burden on individual web or marketing teams to maintain compliance with data privacy. In short, you can spend less time on compliance, and more time increasing traffic, conversions and leads.

Region-specific Personalisation

Form fields and languages can be quickly adjusted on a region-by-region basis, affording local teams the freedom to personalise their gating strategy with pre-approved options, pulled through from GatedContent’s central dashboard.

Better User Experience

Full integration with your marketing tech stack allows for fine-tuned conversion optimisation, making it easy to implement features like geo-location and data pre-population to tailor the user experience to each and every visitor.

Effective Gating and Dramatic Cost Savings

Over the course of a single pan-EMEA campaign, Canon’s deployment of Gated Content generated a significant uplift in both lead volume and the quality of contact data. Over the course of the campaign, Canon saved in excess of 350 hours on form deployment alone; equivalent to a cost saving of £10,000 of in-house resource, or over £35,000 in agency and supplier costs. is the only solution built from the ground up to provide remote governance and deployment of web conversion forms for Enterprise marketing teams.

To see how we can improve the ROI of your content marketing, get in touch now.

Tim Bohn

Article by Tim Bohn

Head of Product Development,

After 15+ years of technology and development, Tim moved to cross over into the marketing world where for the past 10 years he has been working to help multi-national corporates build best-in-class marketing technology eco-systems.