2020 has been a very unpredictable year for many industries, including iGaming. Affiliates have had to adapt but luckily for many, online gambling hasn’t been hit too hard – excluding sports betting, of course. As we move closer toward 2021, we look at some of the key trends that are shaping the iGaming affiliate landscape this year.
Declining usage of tablets and PCs
According to the Global Media Intelligence Report for 2020, released by eMarketer, there has been a sharp decline in ownership of laptops, desktops and tablets this year. The report noted that since the pandemic began, only 22% of internet users were spending more time on tablets. This was low in comparison to those spending more time on smartphones (45%).
It was also noted that 43% of internet users said that their laptop time had decreased since the pandemic began. While there have been suggestions that those of an older demographic are more likely to use desktops or laptops, affiliates targeting a younger audience might want to move their focus away from these devices.
Smartphones are seen as the primary digital device around the world and so any affiliate marketing strategies should reflect this in the coming year.
Increased streaming and video
It comes as no surprise that the streaming industry has seen an increase in customers since the pandemic began. Audiences are choosing to watch digital videos through paid-for or free services. Penetration for subscription video-on-demand services increased sizably this year in many countries.
In Italy, for example, there was a 19.1% OTT video service user growth in 2020. The figures for Germany (17.7%), France (16.7%), Spain (16.3%) and the UK (14.8%) were all very high. According to eMarketer, there are more than 185 million Netflix users in the USA.
There are numerous opportunities for affiliates in the iGaming industry as a result of these increases. Firstly, an increase in the number of people streaming content could have a knock-on effect on players who are interested in live streamed casino games.
Live streamed social media content such as competitions, Q+As etc can also maximise this trend that is shaping the industry. With more people going online for their entertainment, players might be more active.
Voice search and its impact on SEO
Finally, it is important to recognise just how important voice search has been this year and how it has shaped the iGaming affiliate landscape. Voice technology has been around for a number of years but it has significantly improved more recently. According to Google, its voice search has 95% accuracy.
According to eMarketer, nearly 40% of internet users in the US are using voice search. This large figure has had a knock-on effect with many affiliates in the iGaming industry adapting their content to maximise SEO.
There are a number of ways that a website should be adapted for voice searching including through keyword length, use of natural language, question words and semantic search. Branded SEO is also key in this area. In our most recent episode of The Affiliate Marketing Podcast, Matthew Hughes discusses this in more detail.
We have already seen many brands add FAQs to their content in order to boost SEO results. It is expected that next year, this will begin to shape the iGaming affiliate landscape even more.
Keep an eye on trends
iGaming affiliates must always stay on top of the latest trends in the industry. These are the trends that shape the landscape that we operate in so they must not be cast aside. For now, focus on voice search, mobile content and of course, streaming.