Should I Remove Offer Content from My Website During a Campaign?

A client asks: “If we’re planning on using a particular white paper as part of a lead generation campaign, or even for lead nurturing, is it a good idea to remove that same content asset from our main Website? I’m concerned about people bypassing the campaign and just downloading the paper from our site.”

My response:

The short answer to your question is: “no,” but let me expand a little. First of all, I’m assuming that the content hosted on your Website is gated, that is, available only behind a registration form. If that’s the case, it matters less whether people download the content from the designated landing page or the main site because you’ll track the response regardless (although the download from the main site may not credit your campaign.)

However, even if the content is ungated (perhaps you’re only gating “premium” content), I’d still argue that there’s little reason to remove the content from the site, even temporarily. First, the percentage of people who will bypass the landing page in search of a more anonymous route should be nominal at best. (If it’s anything more than nominal, that likely points to problems with your landing page.)

Secondly, some subset of respondents will always seek a detour around your selected path for them, no matter how difficult you make it to do otherwise. There’s little reason to make your Website less content-rich in deference to the few visitors that don’t do what they’re told no matter what.

Of course, to minimize the chances that anyone will want to do anything but complete the designated form, your landing page should be devoid of any extraneous links or other escape routes that would entice a visitor to go elsewhere. Also, sell the offer in a way that stresses the convenience of responding via the form using phrases like “instant download,” or “emailed instantly to your inbox.” Lastly, consider “packaging” content by pairing assets – a white paper and a case study, for example. By doing so you’ll broaden the appeal of the information and make the appeal of downloading each individual asset from your Website less attractive.

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