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Gated Content Marketing:

Will this work

for forums?

Gated content marketing is best described as restricting access from viewing full or partial content from a web visitor unless an action is performed. We see this commonly on major news websites and digital magazines services. In order for you read an article, you have to pay for it. Gated content is often described as annoying by many people. However, some report that the marketing technique does work to gain sales. When you run a website or service that depends on making sales, you have to do what you have to do to get the sales, right? But what about a message forum? Most forums are not selling anything, but could we define membership as making a sale?


The Pros of Gated Content Marketing on a Forum

For a message forum, a gated content marketing strategy could be effective. Forum owners want to gain new members and restricting public access to content might be a good way to gain the members. For most forums, joining is free. The simple act of gaining a registration could be what we forum owners would define as the selling point for using the gated content marketing strategy in the first place. Forum owners could require visitor’s login or become registered members in order to see the content they are trying to access. It could be a good method of getting more members on the forum. Of course, this would rely on the fact that people are actually finding the message forum.


The Cons of Gated Content Marketing on a Forum

Gated content means that the content will not be seen by search engines. A gated content marketing strategy will often means that search engine optimization (SEO) ranking will be harmed. This could significantly decrease traffic to your forum. If you’re relying a web traffic as your main source of being found, gated content is going to play against your forum. Gated content may also annoy visitors enough where they leave the forum quickly after seeing it. This could also hurt your ranking on search engines as the bounce rate will be bad. If not done correctly, this strategy will likely do more harm than it will do good for a message forum.


Effective Methods of Gated Content Marketing on a Forum

An effective strategy for gated content marketing for your forum is to do partial gated content rather than full gated content. Partial would be only hiding a portion of content from your post to visitors. There are a few ways you could do this. You can install addons for most software or adjust internal settings to only show a certain number of characters before a visitors needs to login or register for an account. Another method would be for article sections on a forum. You would show the full article but hide the most important parts within a spoiler block and disable spoilers to be opened by guests. A custom message could be added to register to see behind the spoiler. This may require custom coding work pending the forum software you use.


Traffic Sources for Gated Content Marketing to work on a Forum

It is important that your forum traffic is coming from sourced outside of search. If you rely completely on search engines to get traffic to your forum, then gated content marketing is a bad choice. The search engine will need access to the best parts of your content to draw people to it. If you rely on an alternative source for traffic such as other forums, paid advertisements, and/or social media – the gated content method could work out a lot better. Nonetheless, after start gated content marketing on your forum, you should watch your website analytics for a few months. If you notice a dip down in views and activity since you started gating content, then you will know that it wasn’t a good idea.


And that concludes this marketing strategy for message forums. Like with most marketing strategies, gated content marketing is an experiment. It isn’t always going to work for every type of website, blog, or forum. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t work out. You just have to try and analyze for results. I hope you have enjoyed this article. If you have, please share it with other forum owners to support my efforts of creating it and providing it for free.

Now over to you, my friend! Have you ever used the gated content marketing strategy on your message forum? Did it prove to work or was it a failure for your online community?



Founder, Forum Tips Blog

Howdy! My name is Shawn and I founded ForumTips.Blog! I created this blog to share my 20+ years of message forum knowledge with other community administrators and moderators. Learn about useful topics here such as managing, marketing, profiting, and sustaining your message forum community!