Tips and lessons to be learned from gaming affiliates
Joonas Karhu, Chief Business Officer at Bojoko, suggests ways that operators can identify professional affiliates and then work with them to promote their brands
For affiliate managers, finding affiliates to promote their brand is fairly straight forward. The iGaming industry is mature and there are hundreds if not thousands of affiliates looking to partner with operators and push their brands to players.
What is a challenge, however, is finding the right affiliates to work with. While you can partner with any site, not all of them will be meeting the necessary responsible gambling and safe gaming standards, nor will they have traffic that is relevant to your brand.
Finding high-quality affiliates and negotiating a mutually beneficial partnership with them is easier said than done; affiliate managers essentially need to sell their brand to the affiliate and then ensure a fair commercial agreement is reached.
While this is a challenge, it is one that can certainly be overcome. Below I share my thoughts on how affiliate managers can identify professional affiliates and then work with them to promote their gambling brands.
Do some research on Google:
To find affiliates you want to partner with, search engines are an excellent place to start. Make a list of relevant search terms within your industry – for example, new online casinos, PayPal casinos, no deposit bonus casinos, etc.
The affiliates that rank highly for those terms will be attracting high volumes of relevant traffic to their sites, and so long as your brands match those search terms (you are a new casino, you do offer PayPal deposits, etc.) then they will make for a good partner.
Head to relevant industry groups:
Sticking to search engines alone won’t achieve the best results. Another good idea is to find relevant industry groups on social media, join them, and then start discussions. You can also engage with individual members and contact them directly.
Facebook and LinkedIn are the best social media platforms for this.
Read iGaming publications:
Industry publications are an excellent way to stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of iGaming. But you may also indirectly find that they are helpful for networking.
When flicking through the pages of the latest magazine and scrolling through publication websites, keep an eye on any affiliates mentioned in the news. You should also look for any covered in features, along with those contributing thought leadership articles.
Don’t pigeonhole yourself
Once you’ve gained more experience as an affiliate manager, you’ll have your favourite methods of outreach and engagement. While many of these will serve you well throughout your time in the industry, keeping an open mind is essential if you want to keep improving.
Think outside the box. What platforms, such as streaming channels, have relevant traffic you can leverage? Are you missing a trick with alternative social media platforms, such as Quora? Be bold and try new things; you’ll be surprised at what you may find.
Visit affiliate forums
Finding the best potential affiliate partners means going where they hang out. Often, the most accessible place to find them is on relevant forums.
On these forums, you’ll find a mixture of newer sites and industry stalwarts. Like with social media groups, make a list of any relevant affiliates you want to contact. Or simply start a discussion in the forum and engage with affiliates from there.
Once you’ve gathered a list of the affiliates you want to contact, you need to take a few extra steps.
Your first port of call should be to research them further and understand how they list casinos on their site. As an example with online casinos on Bojoko, the operators have listed their gambling brands themselves with easy steps.
It is important to understand the type of affiliate you are engaged with in order to position your brand correctly on their site. It also shows the affiliate that you have looked at their site and understand how they drive traffic and push players to their casino partners.
Once you have done your research, it’s time to make the first contact.
How to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship
From the moment you send the first message or make an initial call, staying professional is imperative for building a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship. Even if nothing materialises, your industry reputation will suffer if you adopt unprofessional practices.
If you decide to move forward with a partnership, you must remain transparent. Doing so begins with your contract – make clear what fees are imposed on affiliates and why they are necessary.
Beyond that, outline the other conditions related to the agreement – such as the commission structure and the true revenue share once fees have been deducted. Always prioritise a fair deal over trying to make the most money from your affiliate partners.
When both parties are happy with the agreement, the fun work can begin. During your relationship, work closely with the affiliate to ensure that your casino is getting the optimal amount of traffic. To achieve this, you’ll need to communicate regularly.
If they need extra help, like new marketing materials or contributions to content, don’t hesitate to send these over.
Working with the right affiliates requires mutual understanding
Finding the right affiliates for your programme may feel daunting at first but by following the steps above you will be able to identify professional sites that can drive relevant traffic at scale to your casino or sportsbook.
To create strong industry relationships, regularly thinking outside the box is necessary. Casting your net wide will also help to sift through the lower-quality affiliates, along with those that don’t serve your business needs.
Even after a partnership is established, professionalism and proactivity are key. Casinos and affiliates must work together to ensure that both meet each other’s business goals. Because only when one meets their objectives can the other do likewise.
Next up: Malta Week
Don’t miss out on amazing networking opportunities and exclusive industry insights at Malta Week. Four leading shows will bring the best of the business back-to-back to a first-class meeting point. Malta Week will consist of events of SiGMA, AIBC, Med-Tech World and AGS, each presenting the top developments of their focal industries.
The cross-collaboration of each brand make Malta Week the number one destination for leading think-tanks of the gaming sector, emerging tech, digital health and digital marketing. The middle of the Mediterranean is the perfect place for multi-faceted business deals and face-to-face conversations with leading affiliates, policy makers and thought leaders.