There’s no clear definition of what is regarded as strong affiliate content, therefore it makes it incredibly challenging for affiliates to ensure that the content they’re distributing is reaching its full potential.
Former eGaming Review reporter and eGR North America editor, Martyn Hannah has a wealth of experience, he sat down with Affiliate Insider to discuss how the future opportunities for casino affiliates look, as well how content can be tailored to suit the desired requests of operators.
Affiliate Insider: What content strategies should affiliates be taking in order to fully boost traffic and user engagement?
Martyn Hannah: Affiliates should focus on becoming information hubs for players. So, while quality, in-depth reviews are important, they must also provide a vast library of information covering all aspects of online casino/sportsbook play, from licensing and regulation, to the different games available to players, the suppliers making those games, how bonuses work, and the various promotions operators run. In addition to this evergreen content, affiliates must also provide up to date news, features and interviews. Increasingly, players also want access to data and stats.
By providing such a wealth of information, affiliates can boost traffic and drive long-term user engagement. It is about educating players, allowing them to keep up to speed with a form of entertainment they enjoy, and also to help them find the right place to wager.
AI: What style of content do you feel is best suited to increasing user activation?
MH: Content that offers genuine value to the reader/player. For affiliates, this can often mean producing content that doesn’t immediately lead to the reader signing up at one of their recommended casinos/sportsbooks. Consumers are very savvy, and know how affiliate relationships work. Content must therefore be objective, authentic, and deliver the information they are seeking. It may sound counter intuitive, but the best way of increasing user activation is to not think about increasing user activation.
Produce content that engages, educates and entertains, and the activations will come.
AI: Can you reveal some of the opportunities that you believe will arise for Casino affiliates in 2018?
MH: I think the biggest opportunity is capturing more traffic simply by improving the quality and breadth of the content on their sites. Gone are the days when affiliates could post a handful of reviews and then sit back and watch as thousands of players flocked to their sites and FTD revenues flowed in. Today, they have to be information powerhouses. In addition, the casino affiliate space is highly competitive, which means affiliates have to continue to up their game if they are to stand out from the crowd.
How can they do this? Quality written content is a must, but also by experimenting with other channels such as video and audio. Think video slot reviews and weekly podcasts discussing industry news such as new games and big wins.
AI: How can affiliates ensure that content traffic is converted into user engagement?
MH: It goes back to offering quality content without expecting anything in return. By doing this, affiliates can build long-term relationships with their readers, and foster incredible loyalty in the process. A percentage of the traffic they attract may not be looking to sign-up to a new casino site, sportsbook or poker room straight away, but when they do they will likely do it with a brand that particular affiliate recommends. It’s a case of playing the long game, and not going in for the hard sell. In this day and age, that approach simply does not work.
Instead, it is all about engaging consumers, building an authentic and genuine relationship with them via the content you publish, and letting them decide when they are ready to purchase.
AI: How challenging is it to provide content that is engaging on multiple platforms?
MH: Quality content is quality content, and is pretty platform neutral. That said, it is worth considering how readers access information and whether the majority prefer desktop, tablet or smartphone. For this, ensure it is optimised for each channel, or certainly the channel that is most popular. Take casino reviews, for example. A comprehensive and detailed review can easily stretch to 2,000+ words, which is fine for those reading it via desktop, but would incur a lot of scrolling for those on mobile. To help, break the review down into sections and hide each behind a dropdown box when accessed on tablet or smartphone.
That way all the same information is available, but is easy to access given the limited screen size of tablets and smartphones when compared to desktop.
Hannah recently announced the launch of new industry-focused content marketing agency ghostfoundry, The Leeds-based agency seeks to deliver effective marketing solutions for all industry stakeholders helping promote their services, products and operations through optimised content.