Influencer marketing has been in the news a lot recently, with brands and influencers themselves coming under fire for this new promotional practice. With new regulation clamping down on iGaming in the way brands advertise to consumers it’s a prime time to jump aboard this new marketing trend and locate new sources of traffic.
The boom of influencer marketing
This form of digital marketing can be a great way for you to connect your brands with millennials. This generation are more likely to have disposable income to spend on products, including online gaming. Reaching this audience has long since baffled some brands, as they don’t know how to think and present themselves in a way that engages this subset of users.
Cue the introduction of influencer marketing, which has quickly taken off. There are a couple of categories for these influencers to fall into, either celebrities that are famous for their offline careers or those that have built up a fanbase online. Mega influencers like Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to feature a product.
Not many brands can afford this kind of exposure, so we’re seeing many more platforms pop up to connect influencers with brands that can afford their sponsored posts. Influencer is one of the top platforms in this field, with a clear vision to connect brands with these micro-influencers helping brands reach bigger pockets of online audiences at pricing that is applicable for their brands.
It’s clear that this demographic gravitate to this kind of marketing, as opposed to ads or advertorials. Consumers are more internet savvy and have learnt to ignore advertising in standard formats whilst browsing the web, so it’s no surprise that this kind of forward thinking is what those in iGaming really need to be doing in order to be able to reach out to engage this audience.
Pitfalls within this market
Not many gambling brands are really using this form of marketing very well yet. We have seen some steering into dangerous waters because of a misunderstanding of the market. Ladbrokes Coral and some of the stars of Geordie Shore entered into an affiliate partnership, however this was also seen to fall into the realms of influencer marketing.
From Ladbrokes Coral’s point of view, the stars were treated as standard affiliates, however the ASA took a different stance. They deemed that the posts should have been market as sponsored, otherwise they would potentially be misleading their audience. With their combined 15.3 million follower count, the Geordie Shore stars were warned that the ads were irresponsible and could have appealed to a portion of their audience that were under the age of 18.
This was a small skirmish between the brand and the ASA, but it could be indicative of more to come. Therefore, if you’re using influencers within gambling ads, you have to ensure they’re compliant. Clearly marking the post as an ad is a must, you should also consider the audience that they reach out to.
Using tools like Social Blade can also give you some more insight on the audience of an account. Be very careful that you’re not paying for these representatives to advertise to fake followers. It’s possible to buy followers through a bot based system, but of course none of them are reals and will not impact your brand. A quick upshot of followers can be the result of news coverage, a viral article or purchased followers, do your research before you do a deal.
Assess the engagement levels that these influencers have for another clue as to whether they’re worth partnering with. As this phenomenon has become more popular, it’s becoming more important to assess each potential partner carefully.
Influencer marketing moving forward
Influencers are becoming more prominent, with many more of them getting involved in the market. As the spotlight grows on this industry, there will likely be more rules and regulations to watch out for. iGaming is already under a lot of scrutiny, so make sure you follow all of the advertising guidelines available to you.
Platforms like Influencer will also gain more traction, however there are many more companies out there looking to do the same thing. Rand Fishkin, who has left Moz, has created a new platform called SparkToro, which has similar ideals. It will be interesting to see how these platforms branch out to become unique, or if they will become carbon copies of original ideas and eventually die out.
While you must exercise caution with this form of marketing, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. Get ahead of the competition and do something that hasn’t yet been explored to its full potential you may be missing out if you don’t. Be sure to register for AffiliateFEST this year and meet one of the biggest experts in influencer marketing who will be teaching affiliates how to harness the power of this new digital medium.