Creating the perfect marketing strategy for iGaming
The iGaming industry is full of opportunities for both profitability, and innovation. But achieving this can be easier said than done, for a host of different reasons.
Firstly, it’s a highly competitive marketplace, where countless organisations are competing with each other to gain the interest and stakes of customers. This market saturation means that the total value of the gaming market is on a trajectory to exceed $250billion by 2025. But just as importantly, the operations and marketing of gaming is highly regulated to protect customers from the harms of addiction, and to prevent gambling being marketed to children.
Both of these challenges make it harder than ever for gaming companies to stand out from the crowd and drive their growth. However, with the right iGaming marketing strategy in place, it’s by no means impossible, especially if you’re willing to devote significant resources to it. As an example of just how key marketing spend is in this industry, in 2021 DraftKings spent over 70% of their revenue on marketing.
This blog takes a look at how to build a brand, improve awareness and nurture customer journeys through marketing, in the context of today’s gaming landscape.
Step one: create buyer personas and promote the right games
Not everyone is a gambler, and not every gambler is the same: they differ greatly in terms of their age, their socio-economic standing, and their reasons for gaming. This means that the right messages must be directed at the right people. For example, an older man who games as a way of relaxing in the evenings after work is unlikely to be receptive to loud, brash marketing that sells the aspirational image of living the high life. That kind of message would, however, work much better with younger and more adventurous players.
These differences in buyer preferences show why it’s so important to understand your target market, and focus appropriate games and messaging on them. Market research and solid data can help you draw up buyer personas that describe your typical player, which can then be used as the basis for your marketing strategy. At a time when traffic acquisition costs more than ever, this background research is essential for maximising the efficiency of your marketing investment. Additionally, the more budget you have, the more personas you can target, rather than being restricted to choosing a narrow band of personas and games to promote.
Step two: choose the right blend of marketing strategies
There are lots of different marketing strategies you can apply, but understanding which ones to emphasise or focus on depends on the goals and demographics you set out in the previous step. Three particular iGaming marketing strategies we recommend exploring include:
- Affiliate marketing: is where either corporate or individual third parties are paid by an organisation to advertise or promote gaming platforms on the organisation’s behalf. This can help broaden marketing reach by using well-known and trusted bodies and influencers to connect at a more granular level with potential gamers (especially younger adults). As Betfair’s brand director Stephen Mault said:
More brands are starting to understand that we need to be more emotional and appeal to customers in a slightly different way and grow brand affinity, rather than being quite so direct-response
However, taking care not to break the strict advertising regulations imposed on iGaming affiliate marketing is important here.
- Data-driven personalisation: reaching target audiences with personalised incentives such as birthday promotions, tailored newsletters, personal manager contacts and other offers that demonstrate to a customer that they’re valued. In fact, Hero Gaming makes use of a real-time data feed that allows them to automate engagements based on player behaviour, as well as see the results of these efforts across different channels and markets.
- Loyalty programmes: the kinds of loyalty concepts that casinos use in real life are just as applicable in the iGaming space. These can be through regular rewards, access to VIP events, or options for customised experiences within the platform.
Step three: put the right tools in place to maximise your strategies
For each of the three strategies mentioned above, it’s vital to have the right tools and technologies in place to execute them successfully:
- Smart advertising: automated testing allows gaming organisations to control where their advertising messaging is displayed over different sites, and ensure messaging is aligned and personalised to the right personas and to your affiliate marketing strategy
- Personalisation tooling: real-time messaging that’s tailored to individual customers can boost retention and cut churn rates. The Spanish sportsbook operator Mondobets reached 90% of their target audience at a 15-20% conversion rate within 24 hours of launching an integrated campaign that sent personalised promo offers to each player. The campaign included calling over 10,000 customers and sending SMS to those who agreed to receive it. This approach can also generate a detailed view of every player, so that even more
- iGaming marketing automation: allowing headlines, images and calls-to-action to be created and distributed in real-time, making it easier to encourage interest and loyalty from gamers, especially as it frees up staff time to explore opportunities to increase customer retention. Adda52, India’s no.1 Poker site, is a perfect example of the effectiveness of marketing automation tools as they experienced over 85% growth in repeat cash game players after implementation
Gaming organisations shouldn’t be deterred by the effort needed to maximise their marketing efforts. The rewards on offer for getting it right are great in an industry that’s growing and innovating all the time. By using the strategies and solutions highlighted here, you can give yourself the best chance of success in a competitive marketplace.
Retainly’s automated engagement platform is ideal for helping you turn these marketing strategies from promising theories into tangible success – learn more about how it works here.