Excitement over the upcoming Russian World Cup is at fever pitch, not only is the tournament an unrivalled global opportunity for operators, but it also provides affiliates with a key chance to generate traffic and increase customer acquisition.
We spoke to the Intertops affiliate team, who gave us their insight into how affiliates can maximise the potential of the tournament, as well as why focusing on mobile content can help them achieve their goals at this summer’s showpiece event.
AI: Given the restrictive marketing guidelines, how important is affiliate marketing to operators at Russia 2018?
Intertops: The World Cup is one of just a few really big events (another being, for example, the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight) where you really have the chance to do something special to lift yourself above your day-to-day marketing strategy and, of course, your competitors. Everyone wants to have the biggest slice of the cake in his core markets, but competition is extremely tough. Affiliate marketing at Russia 2018 is of major importance to Intertops sports-betting – you only have a certain amount of space on a landing page to convince possible new players to sign up and make a deposit.
AI: How important is it that affiliates interact with fans of the World Cup via Social Media platforms?
Intertops: Social media marketing continues to grow, as do the opportunities to target specific groups on social media channels. Affiliates need to interact with the players, even though it has been a long season for everyone. But at this stage of the season, quality affiliates show their sense of staying-power by increasing their exposure on social media while others have already packed their holiday suitcase and are looking forward to enjoying the World Cup themselves.
AI: How much do you think this World Cup will be based on mobile platforms, and how do you feel this will effect affiliates?
Intertops: The importance of mobile betting is increasing on a monthly basis and without a proper mobile solution affiliates will soon find themselves limited. Imagine how many enthusiastic soccer fans around the world are watching games at a public-viewing event or have been invited to a barbecue, where it is very unlikely that they’ll switch on their laptop or desktop machine to place a bet.
Coming back to affiliates – they need to look deeper into operators’ apps/mobile versions in order to give an objective view about where bet can be placed quickly and safely using a smartphone and where, for example, live winnings are credited immediately. If a player wins a wager, then of course he wants to celebrate, but how long does a cash-out take with a specific operator, etc? It’s all connected somehow and, at the end of the day, full customer satisfaction is the goal – although we all know that this is not as easy as it sounds.
AI: Do you anticipate that this World Cup will see enhanced levels of personalisation with regards to offers, promotions and player marketing?
Intertops: Well, over the past four years enhanced odds/price boosts/etc. have really taken off and all big-brand TV commercials nowadays have replaced their sign-up offers with improved odds promotions. This gives the operators the opportunity to specialize their offers to certain markets and players. The more specific your CRM is, the more chance you have of increasing the lifetime value of your players.
AI: How important will individual player data be to providing engaging content at this Summer’s World Cup?
Intertops: I wouldn’t say that player data is a “World Cup thing”. Sure, most of the best players come to the World Cup and every step they make, every word they say is viewed under the microscope.
Player data is the most speedily expanding aspect of live-betting offers as fans start to identify themselves more with single players than with a full squad/team. They enjoy deep insights into the lives of their idols via social media, receiving info that the clubs can’t publish. And yes, of course, they also want to wager on their favourite players. At this stage I have my doubts as to whether FIFA is able to measure player data in the same way that, for example, US Major Leagues do.