The BizProfits Blog

Content Locking: The Fundamentals

Written by: Kate Almog Promotion Tips


An important part of being a successful performance marketer is knowing what kind of traffic to use for which offers and verticals. Not so long ago we have made a recap post, which we hope has shed some light on the traffic sources accepted at BizProfits. Today, we’d like to elaborate on one that sometimes causes doubts for new publishers – content locking.

Website content locking is a rather well known form of marketing that allows webmasters to monetize their traffic. It is often used as a synonym to “incentivized” or “incent” traffic, but is in fact just a type of it.

The mechanism is quite simple: a user clicks through to the website to download free music, but before the download begins, a pop-up box appears asking the user to take a simple action (download a free app, submit an email address, etc.) To close the box and download the music (i.e. “unlock” the content), the user must fulfill the required action (i.e. “complete the CPA offer”).

When it comes to choosing what to lock, virtually anything can be distributed: software, videos, music, or art. For now, information products are the easiest things to start locking. The only condition is – it must be valuable for users to want to unlock it.

There are lots of ways to get people interested in the content offered – posting in relevant forums, using social media and content sharing sites, video marketing, and so on – you probably know all the ways even better than we do.

Moderation is important. If a marketer suddenly locks all videos or playlists, visitors may never come back. Therefore, it’s crucial to implement the locking slowly, while analyzing site usage, bounce rate, and revenue generation.

Content locking


In the beginning, content locking could only be achieved by placing an overlay, i.e. a piece of JavaScript code on a website or page. By doing so, webmasters would deny access to the locked area of a website or a page and force visitors to engage with the pop-up to unlock the content.

With the development of content lockers came the ability to customize every detail of the creation process. This included setting the time it would take for the locker to appear, using custom CSS markup, editing text within the locker, and even changing the dimensions of the locker itself.

Today, lots of providers offer easy and fast content locking solutions. Website owners can set up a locker using pre-made designs and then customize them to fit their content and website style.

Advertiser’s perspective

content locking
Since content locking is considered incentivized traffic, the majority of advertisers do not accept it. This is only reasonable, as users are interested in a publisher’s free content, rather than the product featured in a CPA offer, and are not likely to become returning customers. However, incentivized traffic does serve certain advertising purposes, which include:

1. Raising brand awareness, i.e. making people know that a new advertiser has entered the market, even though they might not be willing to buy the product or service just yet

2. Boosting rankings in app stores: more incentivized downloads bring higher rankings, which, in turn, facilitate more organic downloads.

Incentivized traffic can be useful as a part of the general marketing strategy. It works even better if the CPA offer and the referring website’s content fall in the same category of interest, i.e. incentivized users could easily be organic ones.

Content locking at BizProfits

For now, very few advertisers we work with accept content locking traffic, and those that do usually pose restrictions, e.g. what content CANNOT be used for locking. To make sure you promote offers in line with advertisers’ requirements, contact your affiliate manager before signing up for a new offer.

We will keep you posted about any changes in our “mostly no-incent” policy. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us for detailed information about promoting our offers.

Join BizProfits today and get access to unbeatable conditions of cooperation, respectable partners, and a large professional performance marketing community.

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Kate Almog

Affiliate Manager


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