Esports: How early adoption can benefit affiliates

Last week, we had the opportunity to learn more about Esports with Per Wolf at the Affiliate Insider Bootcamp. If you want to know more about what he had to say, but didn’t manage to make it along to our bootcamp, then we have you covered.

For many affiliates, this is an area they are aware of, but aren’t entirely sure on how to get involved to make money yet. Per joined us to demystify this elusive area and detailed what affiliates could look at as early adopters to this exciting space.

Esports aren’t they all the same?

Per started off with the basics in this talk, with an introduction of what Esports games actually are and why the audiences that play them require a differentiated marketing strategy within each. This is a sector that a lot of people are talking about, but not a lot of people know the specifics of. Popular titles like League of Legends, DOTA2 and Overwatch are ones that sports betting affiliates may be familiar with on a professional or personal level but aren’t yet promoting for revenue because they simply don’t have a connection to the type of audience that play these games.

Customers that are engaged in these games aren’t necessarily typical punters and won’t be attracted to generic sports betting offers. These games are becoming popular with mass audiences, as there are now televised competitions and heavily sponsored championships forming around the tournament plays.

So how can sports betting affiliates get involved?

On the surface , eSports can seem like a daunting sector to get involved with, especially if you don’t know much about it. Per advised that affiliates should recognise their target audience, understand the games and how they are played BEFORE trying to market the properties and tournaments on their sites. This secret of success here is to niche right down and focus on customers by game groups. The fact is the consumer probably knows more about this game than you, and won’t be fooled by half hearted attempts to engage.

The Asian market is a particularly strong one for eSports, but the UK market is coming along nicely. Approximately 66% of those involved in eSports gaming are over the age of 18, which means they have the potential to gamble with your partner operators. Within this sector, there are smaller microcosms of support for different teams and games. You’ll have to be aware of this ecosystem if you want to appear knowledgeable to your audience.

Opportunity knocks for early adopters

This is a growing market, with a larger public knowledge of the games comes a larger pool of potential bettors. At the moment, this is something of a niche, with plenty of opportunity for intrepid explorers and early adopters to stake a claim and build their brand before the esports boom. While you might not be able to sponsor the Champion’s League, for example, you could sponsor an innovative young eSports team and really get your name out there.

Your average eSports bettor is different from one that would bet on football or tennis, so you’ve got to understand the psychology of marketing to them, what they enjoy and how they engage with already established brand. It’s going to take research before you jump into the deep to formulate a strategy that can accommodate the transition. This  type of bettor won’t be swayed by the same promotions or terminology, so you will need to adopt a different approach. They’re also savvy to corporations that want to seem like they know what they’re talking about, but actually only have a limited understanding of the market.

New ways to make money

There are a lot of ways to make money in eSports and not a lot of companies are taking advantage of this as of yet. You can monetise your audience with merchandise, upselling games creating new content , building membership communities with benefits and more. This gives a unique opportunity for iGaming affiliates that really want to get the most from their existing business investments to diversify over to a new niche.

On average, these bettors may not spend as much initially, but using these ways to monetise you can get more from them. They can also be cheaper to acquire and there’s less competition, giving you an opportunity to make your mark.

What should your next steps be?

The first step is to think of how you can add value to this audience and whether it’s really a good fit for you. Understand and play the games – then look into the different Esports that are out there and begin to think of the ones you would want to specialise in.

Finally, you may also want to seek the help of an expert to guide you. This may be for an initial period of time, or on a more regular basis. When it comes to creating your esports brand, content and presence, this person will come in handy to help you get started not the right footing.

Affiliate marketing comes in many forms, don’t miss out on getting in early to try and monetise your business models again across a new sector. All it takes is a bit of time to do the research to get started.

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