A content lock is a reliable way to monetize new or existing content while accessing the benefits of a CPA model (Cost-Per-Action). Advertisers and publishers can work with content lock advertising networks to increase subscribers, generate qualified leads, and boost conversions using content locking.
But how can you make the most of this area of advertising? In this guide, we’ll help to outline what content locking is and what content lock advertising networks can do to help generate more leads. So, read on to discover why you should work with content lock advertising networks and uncover the right strategies to reach your goals.
What is content locking?
Content locking lets publishers and advertisers block access to specific content, in exchange for an action from the user. This action could range from signing up for a newsletter, completing a survey, becoming a subscriber, or sharing content on social media. Also known as gated content, content locking is a content marketing strategy and incentivized advertising method that allows publishers and advertisers to ‘gate’ their content as a value exchange.
Content locking works on a CPA (Cost-Per-Action or Cost-Per-Acquisition) model. And this often makes it an effective and risk-free option for generating leads. Some companies also use a content lock to protect users from inappropriate content. For example, app owners may need to add locks to protect users aged under 18.
Percentage of content locked by software companies
What are some examples of using a content lock?
Marketers can lock many different forms of content:
- Reports, guides, ebooks, and white papers: New trends, expert guides, and state-of-the-world statistical reports are often locked behind a qualifier. Users are then asked for their contact details, such as an email address, in return for a download.
- Blogs, podcasts, and video content: Many apps hide videos behind a content lock as a way to offer exclusive content to subscribers or viewers. And this can work for blogs and podcasts too.
- Webinars: Webinars are great mid-to-bottom-of-the-funnel tactics for audiences who may have some idea of what they want but need to build their knowledge before they commit.
- Livestream demos: In a similar way to webinars, live-streamed product demos are a key value exchange that helps prospects make a decision to invest in a new product or not.
- News articles: Most online newspapers lock their content behind a paywall. And so users who want to read their articles will often need to become subscribers.
- Restricted viewing: A content lock may apply to adult material or where there’s a legal need to do so.
Top Content Lock Advertising Networks
Why should you use a content lock to monetize content?
Adding a content lock to existing, high-value content can be very beneficial. Here are some of the ways it could help to drive results:
Increased lead generation
Free, high-value resources on a site will help to attract new visitors and users. But they won’t capture user details, which is what you need to turn users into leads. By adding a content lock, you’ll match other active lead-generation methods but save on their cost.
Content Marketer Goals 2022
Locked or gated content gives users the impression that content is of value. And by sitting behind a qualifier, like a form or a survey, marketers gain useful and active leads. Where visitors to gated content already have an interest in the content and are happy to share their details, they’ll be more likely to become a lead.
Adding gated content to your site or app is likely to improve your rankings in the search engines. This is because other sites want to link to a page with plenty of high-quality content. If the content is gated, it’s a sure-fire sign that it’s worthy.
Assisted affiliate marketing
Content locking is an effective method for affiliate marketing. It’s beneficial for affiliates because CPA content is not only more secure but it earns commissions based on actions. As a result, affiliates don’t need to make a direct sale to benefit.
Adding a content lock to valuable content can also increase sales. It opens up more opportunities to drive higher numbers of qualified leads and extends the potential for sales to third-party affiliates.
Content locking as a form of CPA marketing
Content locking is a form of CPA marketing. It works on a cost-per-action basis which enables marketers to gain value from a user’s action. Marketers achieve stronger levels of security by capturing details this way, making CPA marketing a lower-risk strategy.
Several different factors affect how much you pay for CPA rates. Here are a few examples to guide you:
- Facebook Ads Cost Per Action rate range: $8 – $55
- Google Ads Cost Per Action rate range: $19 – $135
- APAC Purchase CPA rate – $33
- APAC Subscription CPA rate – $21.9
- EMEA Purchase CPA rate – $42.2
- EMEA Subscription CPA rate – $69.4
- LATAM Purchase CPA rate – $5.3
- LATAM Subscription CPA rate – $18.6
- NAR Purchase CPA rate – $74.7
- NAR Subscription CPA rate – $64.3
What is a CPA Network?
A CPA network acts as a conduit between advertisers and publishers. It’s a model where publishers get paid for any actions that users take on their site. So, a CPA network is similar to traditional affiliate marketing but it differs where the individual won’t need to buy anything for the publisher to get paid.
In a CPA network, the publisher is the affiliate marketer for the advertiser. Through this arrangement, the consumer can request goods or services, fill out a questionnaire, install a program or download an app.
How should you use content locking?
A content lock is only effective if placed in the right position within the buyer’s journey. So it’s important to consider the type of prospects you want and where they may sit in the buyer’s funnel.
Content locking in the buyer’s journey
It’s important to consider what you want to achieve from content locking and how this fits into the buyer’s journey.
For example, at the Awareness Stage a buyer is unlikely to commit to a sale. They may instead be seeking more information like a blog post or guide to help them make a decision. Even at this stage, a content lock will help marketers benefit from the CPA model.
At the Consideration Stage, users may need something more in-depth to help them gain knowledge. This could be a white paper, for example, that they can download in exchange for their details. Then, at the Decision Stage, a more hands-on approach is best to drive a sale. And this approach could include things like webinars or product demos.
How to add and remove content locking
Generating leads from adding a content lock is easy when publishers work in partnership with content lock advertising networks.
Depending on which platform you use to run your site, partnering with a content lock advertising network can help. For example, if you run a site on WordPress you may need to adjust certain settings in order to lock the content but also review the difference its made.
Removing content locking will come down to reviewing the settings imposed on that content. And these are both aspects that content lock advertising networks can help you with.
What do content lock advertising networks do?
Content lock advertising networks provide a bridge between publishers, developers and advertisers. As specialists in their field, they offer the expertise to gain knowledge around content locking and provide appropriate levels of support to build the right type of strategies.
Other ways they can help include:
CPA targeting and strategic planning
Content locking requires careful planning and expertise to be successful. And apps that include gated content tend to generate higher CPA rates. Since every app is different, and has a different audience, recruiting a content lock advertising network to drive your sales is a smart move.
Determining audience profiles or personas as part of the user journey is important. And in practice, content is only valuable to users who need it. A content lock advertising network can make it easier to segment users and improve your ability to target audiences.
Analytics and KPI dashboards
Achieving a well-balanced approach between lock content and free content can improve the user experience and motivate users to engage. This is easier to achieve using effective analytics or KPI dashboards. So, it’s worth considering the difference that an analytics or KPI dashboard could make to your campaigns when you start to engage with content locking.
What are the benefits of working with content lock advertising networks?
Here are some strong reasons to consider working with a content lock advertising network:
Deploying a lead generation campaign using gated content is only effective when you understand your audience well. A content lock advertising network can help you to identify audiences and target them in the right way. And once you’ve established a credible campaign, you’ll be more likely to attract affiliate marketers that can boost your campaign numbers too.
Increases the quality of leads
Users are more likely to sign up to receive gated content if the content offers something they want or need. Qualifying this type of value exchange leads to better quality leads and reduces the rates of attrition and disengagement.
Boosts subscriber numbers
Increasing the volume of your email subscriber list is possible with gated content. But you can also increase app subscriber rates with this technique. For example, providing high-value video or how-to guides as part of a fitness app can drive regular monthly subscriptions. Advertising networks can help you to achieve this goal by finding the right ways to lock your content.
Provides deeper insights
Tracking CPA rates, analyzing user activity, and reviewing performance are all vital aspects of a successful content lock campaign. So, consider partnering with a content lock advertising network for state-of-the-art analytics.
Which areas should you be careful of when working with content lock advertising networks?
Content locking has a couple of areas to be mindful of when engaging in this area:
Some users may resist the tactics
Some people find that content locking impedes their experience of an app or view of a brand. But you can overcome this by ensuring your content locks only apply to valuable content. Give careful consideration to placing content locks and strike an appropriate balance. This can also be helped by planning your user journey and setting out where the content lies.
Risks of capturing false or incorrect information
Security risks are a factor in adding gated content. Some scammers may request free, valuable content using a false or stolen identity. You can overcome this by increasing the level of security and working with a content lock advertising network.
Why should you work with content lock advertising networks?
It’s not always simple to achieve lead generation, increased CPA rates, and higher-quality prospects on your own. Most publishers and advertisers need some expert support to get results from content locking.
By working with a content lock advertising network, you could benefit from the following:
- Well-crafted content that’s well-placed in your buyer’s journey
- Access to a large number of publishers and developers
- Better planning and A/B testing that’s more likely to yield results
- Increased brand awareness and lead generation
- The convenience of using a self-serve platform
So there you have our round-up of content locking. We hope you understand more about how this works. But before you go, take a look through our list of networks that could help you develop your next content lock campaign.