It’s undeniable that 2020 has been an unprecedented year for many industries – and iGaming is no exception. COVID-19 has turned many companies upside down, wreaking havoc with quarterly forecasts and generally pushing businesses to adapt rapidly – or risk going under.
As the dust settles and we adjust to the world’s ‘new normal’ many of you will be asking how you can ensure your affiliate program is a success as we navigate our way into Q3.
You may also be on the lookout for emerging iGaming trends that you can use to your advantage. We’ve compiled some top tips to give you the edge over your competitors.
Affiliate marketing trends that will affect your business in the current climate
COVID-19 caused a huge shift in consumer behaviour across the betting industry. As sports betting shut down almost overnight, traditional sports gamblers shifted their attention to online casinos, lottery and with online poker traffic figures hitting a record five-year-high. The trend we’re watching for now is if things will go back to normal or if the efforts that have been made during this pivot period will continue?
In fact, a report by Technavio reveals that the global gaming market is expected to grow by $1.56 billion USD during 2020-2024, whilst wider affiliate marketing industry spend is expected to hit $ 6.8 billion in 2020 alone.
Whilst most sporting events have now resumed, the widespread lockdowns led to many new customers signing up to alternative iGaming platforms, meaning affiliate managers and marketers need to strike while the iron is hot and continue to engage with their newly acquired players. With the risk of a second wave and potential further lockdowns, now is the time to invest in growing your affiliate marketing program to ensure its resilience – and even growth. Look for niche traffic sources, expand your portfolio reliance on top performing affiliates and get out there to virtually network and bring in new deals.
How will COVID-19 impact affiliate programs going forward?
Start by getting your business operations in check, as effective affiliate programs become more important than ever. The impact of social distancing measures mean that consumers are shifting online in their droves. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly led to a 47 percent increase in broadband data usage.
With a captive online audience, we recommend testing, analysing and prioritising your affiliate marketing spend, to build quality long tail relationships, especially as we move into Q3.
Consider what’s working well for you? Where are the most significant sources of traffic coming from? With consumer behaviour changing so rapidly, keeping tabs on this is essential. The results may surprise you. You may find a lot of value in looking at the long tail relationships that have been largely ignored in your affiliate program portfolio. Now is the time to review old relationships and start meaningful conversations with sites that have maintained their brand and content structure during this trying time.
Consider alternative ways of engaging and remunerating affiliates
Work with your partners to create bespoke affiliate campaigns that deliver real ROI for your business. As gambling advertising regulations become more stringent in many parts of Europe, affiliate advertising is the ideal channel to create memorable marketing content that meets the industry’s strict regulations.
Don’t just stick to one market or one commercial deal type. As the lockdown proved, your audience is global and could be tapping into your brand from anywhere in the world. Now is the time to branch out and expand your affiliate marketing activities into new markets and consider new remuneration models too. Be sure to do your research and ensure your content meets the country’s required regulations. Take a look at our global growth tips here.
How do you generate new affiliate leads without any physical events?
Although physical events have been given the green light to resume in the UK from October 2020, many of the events we are cancelled until next year due. If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s important to build your network online. That way, even if the world slows to a standstill – your business leads don’t.
LinkedIn is a great place to start when trying to build your professional network. Set aside time each day to research and reach out to relevant people in your industry, and work to build a connection with them. As many people adapted to working from home, they also embraced Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp Teams calls – so be bold and get yourself in front of new people, who ordinarily might not have had time to meet in person. A virtual coffee with the right affiliate might be just what you need to discuss the next big business opportunity!
Many events have also made the move online and are being hosted virtually. Why not join us for our free Digital + Affiliate Marketing Mixer on Friday 28 August? Taking place between 4pm and 6pm (BST) in the afternoon, the event has attracted delegates from both the US, Asia and the UK with a wide range of sectors represented. RSVP FREE here.