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Marketing & Affiliation: Alternatives to traditional affiliation

Is there room for innovation within affiliate marketing? Can apps play a role in affiliation and even further move away from cyberspace?

16 Sep 2020 AUTHOR: Shenaly Amin

If you missed last weeks SBC Marketing and Affiliate Panel – Alternatives to traditional affiliation, Rightlander Product Advisor, Brean Wilkinson,  joined Eitan Gorodetsky: Acquisition Director – Betsson Group, Serge Varadayan: Founder & CEO – Win.GG and Jeff Summers: Operations Director – iwinBack Inc to discuss the opportunities and challenges we face when moving away from traditional affiliate marketing.  

Kicking off the discussion, Brean delved into the numerous challenges affiliates now face in relation to how they market to their audience. It’s no longer just a case of pushing out content and ranking high on Google. 

Regulation has grown and intensified, starting with the UK and Sweden and of course ever changing regulation in the USA. Although this poses challenges for affiliates, it seems like regulation is playing a large part in filtering out the bad actors. 

Eitan also mentioned the challenges faced by affiliates branching out of the SEO world, with Google becoming increasingly stringent and tighter in their approach towards online gambling. 

Affiliates are now looking into user journeys and conversion rates, and focusing on providing value to users such as integrations of betting slips, and live streaming within the affiliate websites. Bonuses hold less weight in the industry than in previous years.

We also have newer younger affiliates coming into the market, which creates a new set of problems for operators. These newer affiliates are more inclined to use video, live streaming and more innovative forms of marketing. Using companies like Twitch which is hard to monitor. 

When it comes to esports vs traditional sites, given the demographic is typically 18 -35 years old, traditional affiliates are less abundant. Esports brings about the world of streaming and a live environment with a huge following. This brings about challenges when engaging in deals with a streamer as operators have no clarity on who these affiliates are marketing too, posing a regulatory risk to the business. Esports is one of the fastest growing areas within affiliate marketing right now which has very little regulation. 

The panel discussed the merits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in affiliate marketing. 

Eitan explained how AI helps break down the content barrier, to get proper content you need an expert to make sure it ranks. The further you go away from English, the more money affiliates need to spend. It looks like an area for larger affiliate networks to increase their revenue streams. Smaller affiliates would need to invest heavily to make this work. 

Serge talked about the use of AI within win.gg, curating content customised to users preferences which seems to be driving revenues in the right direction. Data is beneficial to organisations that have the resources to break this data down into a strategy. 

Remarketing and retargeting is an area that looks to currently be under-utilised, keeping the customer journey simple by simply pushing them towards a landing page. There is a heap of opportunities in this area to provide a more targeted user journey. 

The panel seemed to be in agreement that the role of affiliates within 2021 is still going to remain a huge part of the industry. Affiliates are agile, adaptive, smart and are constantly innovating the way they advertise. There is a big question mark over ‘influencer’ marketing, encouraging people to gamble causing more issues with the move towards tighter regulation. 

Affiliates will need to be more creative in the years to come and adapt to more stringent rules and regulations. However there is no reason why they won’t continue to grow. If operators continue to innovate with products uch and ‘pay and play’, there is more room for affiliates to innovate also.