In a new relationship, trust isn’t immediate. You have to prove yourself trustworthy.
Brands get this, which is why B2B brands do content marketing.
To show they’re trustworthy, brands demonstrate their expertise on a topic, via content, so that new audiences know they’re legit.
But somewhere along the way, many brands’ content marketing programs got warped into a process that doesn’t align with the original goal: building trust.
Many B2B brands are sending NEW audiences to landing pages with gated content.
Gated content, secured by a form that captures email addresses & more, has a place, but it’s NOT meant for NEW audiences.
Asking for a new site visitor’s data before they can get a piece of content is a very paradoxical strategy.
As I said above, the goal of content marketing is to create and build trust.
Content marketing is how brands show that they know what they’re talking about. That they’re industry leaders. That they can be TRUSTED.
Giving up your contact data - specifically your email - shows that you TRUST a brand.
So the content marketing path that starts with getting introduced to a brand and leads to trusting that brand looks something like this:
However, when a brand serves gated content to a new audience, they’re creating a paradox:
They want to build trust with a piece of content, but the content consumer won’t fill out the long form to get the content UNTIL they trust the brand.
If the brand and the new site visitor had a conversation, I imagine it’d go something like this.
This happens because our marketing teams get too focused on lead volume and nothing else. We start sending ALL audiences to gated content, to get the marketing qualified lead (MQL) count up. We’re impatient and don’t want to wait for a new audience member to go through the trust-building phase before we get their email. Or, it’s not that we’re impatient, but maybe leadership needs to measure the productivity of content marketing and it’s hard to prove ungated content is working as effectively as gated content.
We address the core of what each party in this exchange wants:
This is something we’re building into The Juice. We give our members the option to say “just browsing” when they want to read, watch, or listen to a piece of content on The Juice. This option gives content consumers the control over the relationship and the ability to let a brand know when they trust the brand enough to give their contact information.
This is also what we’re hoping to accomplish with The Juice. Brands that claim their company pages, similar to G2, can see aggregated metrics on their content, for free!
Trust is a journey, not immediate. There’s a lot that goes on between the initial point of Introduction and the point of Trust, just like in normal relationships. We’re aiming to make that trust-building phase smoother for both content consumers and brands.