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Webinar Recap | Affiliate Marketing in iGaming: Trends & Innovations

Last week, the news section in India was abuzz with the latest development around iGaming in the country. In the latest meeting of GST (Goods & Service Tax) Council in India’s capital New Delhi, 28 percent GST was announced on online gaming, horse racing, and casinos. Ever since then, opinions are divided on whether the move was necessary or it was calling upon a voluntary doom on the already nascent industry. 

Our webinar last on Affiliate Marketing in iGaming: Trends & Innovations started with an insightful discussion on the regulatory developments in iGaming in India, affiliate marketing trends in the iGaming industry, and how to capitalize on these trends to grow affiliate revenue in iGaming. Let’s go through each point in detail. 

New GST Rules For iGaming in India 

In April this year, the Indian government introduced new rules and regulations for the iGaming industry in the country. The rules applied to all sorts of online gaming that involve real money, also known as RMG – Real Money Gaming. 

Three Self-Regulatory Organizations have been set up to approve games that comply with the rules of operation in India. These organizations will include educators, specialists in psychology, and experts in organizations safeguarding child rights. This framework supports the legalization and regulation of the iGaming industry in India, which is already making headways in the US, Europe, and MENA region.

Two months later, the GST council announced 28 percent GST on online gaming, horse racing, and casinos. This decision was however met with mixed reactions. While some experts dwelled on the fact that the government is taking a step forward in legalizing iGaming in the country, others believed it would kill the industry that is still very young. The echoes of these regulations will be felt by the end of Q2 2023. 

Affiliate Marketing in iGaming: Trends & Importance

2023 has been a good year so far for the iGaming industry. According to the numbers, the industry was valued at $63.53 billion in 2022 and is expected to cross $88.65 billion by the end of this year. Coming to affiliate marketing, around 80% of brands find it an important source of revenue for their business. The picture is clear. 

Affiliate marketing is the only way forward for the iGaming industry. In fact, 69% of the iGaming operators have already started implementing affiliate marketing in their user acquisition and retention strategy. 

As affiliate marketing is seeing widespread adoption among iGaming operators, three trends have taken center stage.

  • Influencer Marketing
  • Mobile Optimization 
  • Gamification 

Trend 1: Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has experienced exponential growth in the iGaming industry due to its effectiveness in reaching and engaging the target audience. This type of marketing piggybacks on the personalities who already enjoy a vast audience in their niche and have the power to influence their buying/engagement decisions. 

In India alone, the gaming influencer industry is on a steady rise. According to a report by Influencer.in, the industry will reach $75 million by 2025 with iGaming dominating the major portion. 

According to YouGove, gaming influencers are the second most popular type of influencers among American teenagers, after music. 

All these numbers reflect the power influencer marketing holds in making or breaking the iGaming industry. 

Trend 2: Mobile Optimization 

With the growing number of users accessing iGaming content through mobile devices, mobile optimization has become essential for successful affiliate marketing. The dominance of smartphone users as compared to desktop users suggests how important it is for iGaming operators to optimize their games for the best mobile experience. Here’s what mobile game operators can do to optimize their games for mobile: 

  • Responsive Design: Ensure that affiliate websites and landing pages are responsive and adapt to different screen sizes, providing a seamless user experience.
  • Mobile-Friendly Content: Create concise, engaging, and visually appealing content specifically tailored for mobile users. Consider the use of short paragraphs, bullet points, and clear call-to-action.
  • Fast Loading Speed: Optimize website and content loading speed for mobile devices to reduce bounce rates and enhance user experience.
  • Thumb-Friendly Navigation: Implement easy-to-use navigation menus and buttons that can be easily accessed and interacted with using a thumb on mobile devices.
  • Optimized Visuals: Compress images and use appropriate file formats to minimize load times without compromising quality. Ensure images are properly scaled for mobile screens.

Trend 3: Gamification 

Gamification, the integration of game elements into non-game contexts, has gained significant traction in affiliate marketing for iGaming, enhancing user engagement and driving conversions.

Here are some ways in which you can utilize gamification in your mobile app to catch up on the trend: 

  • Loyalty Programs: Implement gamified loyalty programs that reward players for their engagement and encourage repeat visits and conversions.
  • Challenges and Rewards: Introduce challenges, missions, or achievements that players can complete to unlock rewards, creating a sense of accomplishment and incentivizing continued participation.
  • Social Competitions: Organize social competitions, tournaments, or leaderboards where players can compete against each other, fostering a sense of community and driving engagement.
  • Personalization and Progression: Incorporate personalized experiences and progression systems that allow players to level up, unlock exclusive content, or customize their gaming journey.
  • Bonus Systems: Utilize gamified bonus systems that provide players with opportunities to earn additional rewards or benefits based on their performance or actions.

Real-World Example: Casino Affiliate’s Gamified Loyalty Program

Background: A prominent casino affiliate implemented a gamified loyalty program to engage and retain players while promoting iGaming brands.

Implementation

  • The loyalty program introduced different tiers or levels that players could progress through by earning points or meeting specific criteria.
  • Players were rewarded with exclusive benefits, such as personalized offers, faster withdrawals, and access to VIP events, as they advanced through the levels.
  • Special gamified elements, such as missions, challenges, and tournaments, were incorporated to encourage continued participation and competition among players.
  • Points earned through gameplay could be redeemed for various rewards, including cashback, bonus funds, or merchandise.

Results 

  • The gamified loyalty program increased player engagement, with players actively participating in missions and challenges to earn rewards and progress through the levels.
  • Player retention significantly improved, as players were motivated to continue playing in order to maintain their status and unlock higher-tier benefits.
  • The program drove higher customer lifetime value, as players spent more time and money on the affiliate’s iGaming partners to earn loyalty points and enjoy the associated rewards.
  • The gamification elements fostered a sense of community and competition among players, leading to increased social interactions and referrals.

Evolving Tracking and Analytics Tools for Affiliate Marketing in iGaming

Tracking and analytics play a crucial role in affiliate marketing, providing valuable insights and data-driven decision-making to optimize performance and drive success.

Tracking Tools Adapting to the Changing Landscape

  • Multi-Channel Attribution: Tracking tools are evolving to capture data from multiple touchpoints, enabling accurate attribution of conversions across various channels, including web, mobile, and social media.
  • Advanced Conversion Tracking: Enhanced tracking capabilities allow affiliates to measure and attribute conversions beyond traditional metrics, such as clicks or installs, to include more valuable actions like registrations, deposits, or player activity.
  • Fraud Detection and Prevention: Analytics tools are incorporating advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to identify and prevent fraudulent activities, ensuring the integrity of affiliate marketing campaigns.
  • Real-Time Reporting and Dashboards: Tracking and analytics tools provide real-time reporting and customizable dashboards, allowing affiliates to monitor performance metrics, track campaign effectiveness, and make data-driven optimizations on the fly.
  • Personalization and Segmentation: Advanced analytics enable affiliates to segment their audience based on various criteria, such as player behavior, demographics, or preferences, to deliver personalized marketing campaigns and improve targeting efficiency.

Using Actionable Insights for Optimizing Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

Data-driven insights have become a powerful tool in optimizing affiliate marketing campaigns, allowing affiliates and operators to make informed decisions and drive success.

  • Performance Metrics: Advanced analytics tools provide affiliates and operators with granular performance metrics, such as clicks, conversions, revenue, and player activity. This data enables them to evaluate campaign effectiveness and make data-driven optimizations.
  • Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) – is the amount wagered minus the winnings returned to players, a true measure of the economic value of gambling. GGR is the figure used to determine what a casino or other gaming operation earns before taxes, salaries and other expenses are paid. GGR is the equivalent of “sales” not “profit”.
  • Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) – is defined as gross bets minus payout derived from any real transaction with a linking visitor in which revenue is paid or credited to the client, minus chargebacks and discretionary returns, sign up bonuses, and promotional bonuses. It is the basic profit share that you are due to collect at the end of the month.
  • NGR = Bets – Wins – Bonus Cost – Tax
  • Conversion Ratio (CR) – measures the effectiveness of your traffic at converting visitors into leads, and leads into new customers (FTDs).
  • First Time Deposit (FTD) – measures the first deposit of the user who came from your sites or ads. Usually, Affiliate Programs pay for FTDs in CPA or Hybrid models.
  • Earning per Clilc (EPC) – the be-all-end-all performance metric to affiliates. This key performance metric is your average revenue for each individual click you are driving to an advertiser.
  • EPC = earnings/clicks
  • Audience Segmentation: Data analytics tools allow affiliates and operators to segment their audience based on demographics, behavior, or preferences. This segmentation facilitates targeted marketing campaigns, ensuring relevant and personalized messaging to maximize engagement and conversions.
  • Conversion Funnel Analysis: By analyzing the conversion funnel, affiliates and operators gain insights into user behavior at each stage of the customer journey. This helps identify bottlenecks, optimize conversion rates, and enhance user experience for improved campaign performance.
  • A/B Testing: Advanced analytics tools enable A/B testing, where affiliates and operators can compare different variations of their campaigns or landing pages to determine the most effective approach. Data-driven insights from A/B testing guide optimization efforts and drive better results.

In a Nutshell

  • Influencer marketing is on the rise, with affiliates collaborating with popular influencers to tap into new audiences through trusted endorsements.
  • Mobile optimization is increasingly important for affiliate marketing in iGaming, as more users engage with iGaming content on mobile devices.
  • Gamification techniques are being utilized in affiliate marketing to enhance engagement and drive conversions.
  • Tracking and analytics tools are evolving to provide real-time insights, automation, and machine learning for data-driven optimization of affiliate campaigns.
  • Data-driven insights are vital in optimizing affiliate marketing campaigns, enabling affiliates to make informed decisions and improve performance.
  • The future of affiliate marketing in iGaming holds opportunities for niche affiliates catering to specific player interests and preferences.
  • Challenges and opportunities lie ahead, but by staying updated with industry trends and leveraging innovative strategies, affiliates can thrive.

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