Due to a combination of digitization and COVID-19, the iGaming industry has undergone a rapid and transformative evolution in the last three years. iGaming, which encompasses online casinos, sports betting platforms, and other interactive gaming experiences such as sweepstakes casino games, is a thriving marketplace with millions of players worldwide.
This is a competitive sector, and to stand out, iGaming providers need to nail their marketing. For example, sweepstakes online casinos and their games are surging in popularity but require effective marketing to stand out. In this article, we’ll explore the top marketing techniques used in this sector that have helped to make it as successful as it is today.
Understanding the iGaming industry
iGaming is short for interactive gaming, and it started with the advent of the internet in the 1990s. From rudimentary betting platforms to huge online casinos, it’s certainly an industry that’s grown dramatically over the years. In 2021, the global online gambling and betting industry amounted to $61.5bn. This is expected to rise to around $114bn by 2028.
This rise stems from improved connectivity and an increase in smartphone use. More and more platforms are coming on board, so their marketing must be exceptional and highly competitive. As this arena appeals to a broad spectrum of players, marketing has unique challenges. This means that other sectors can learn a lot from the iGaming industry’s approach to marketing.
Top marketing strategies from the iGaming industry
Here are some of the ways in which the iGaming industry ensures its marketing campaigns are successful:
With such fierce competition and high expectations, high-quality content is essential. This isn’t just about churning out 1000s of words; it must engage, educate and entertain. With thought-provoking, well-researched and informative content, the audience becomes trusting, which helps to establish brand authority.
Diversity matters too. With such a broad audience, not every piece of content will interest everyone. Even if you do find something that works well for most, they won’t want to see the same thing week after week. It’s a good idea to vary the formats by including long-form content such as blogs, and videos and short-form content like social media.
Content also needs to be personalized and localized if it is to be successful. Though many industries are now global marketplaces, feeling as though something is aimed at you makes you more likely to engage. Even English-speaking countries have unique needs. A one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t work.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is nothing new. It has been a fundamental part of marketing for many years, and it is constantly evolving. Website owners know that as soon as Google releases an update to their algorithms, things go crazy. SEO must be reviewed continuously. However, some key strands always remain relevant:
Keywords: All marketers should be researching and using keywords for their niche to optimize their website content. For example, a healthcare provider can target specific medical terminology to direct people to their site.
On-page optimization: Content structure matters, as do meta tags, the site speed and layout. This is relevant for all types of content, whether it’s a news website or a non-profit organization.
Off-site optimization: Backlinking and guest posting can help websites rank higher and are important marketing tools that the key players in the iGaming industry have used well. The link needs to be high quality from an authoritative and ethical source.
Social media marketing
Being present and engaging on social media is a strategic imperative. To resonate with your audience, you need to choose the platforms that align with your brand’s goals and identity. This is where the iGaming industry has it easy because their audience is so broad. For brands that target younger audiences, you’re looking at platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. For older audiences, consider Facebook.
It also helps if you tailor your posting schedule accordingly. Not everything is direct marketing on social media. You don’t need to be overly salesy. However, understanding that every engagement on social media is a way of marketing is important.
This means engaging with the audience. Respond to their comments, encourage discussions, and like their posts. Being an active participant online helps foster a positive reputation for the brand. This is something that the gaming industry does well. The biggest iGaming brands have time for their audience and followers, which pays dividends in the end.
This tool has emerged as a powerful marketing strategy as it helps bridge the gap between the brand and its audience. Using the credibility and reach of an influencer can make a huge difference.
It’s important to find the right individuals for the industry. iGaming influencers tend to be those who are well-known as gamers or minor celebrities. Successful influencer partnerships are based on mutual interests and their collaborations can take many forms. Popular uses are sponsored content, live streams, exclusive promotions, and reviews.
Ultimately, influencers are critical in expanding your reach and building credibility. They can lend authenticity and authority to the brand due to their already established presence and trusting following.
Though many consider email marketing to be old school now that there’s social media and influencer marketing on the scene, it still has an important role to play. Effective email marketing involves personalizing campaigns to connect directly with the audience.
The backbone of any email marketing is having a robust contact list that you can continue to grow. Of course, you’ll need to ensure adherence to data protection laws and regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This means respecting user privacy and obtaining consent. You’ll also need to be transparent about how their data is used. Your security will also need to be robust as you’re dealing with sensitive information.
Once you’ve nailed the compliance side of things, you need to craft tailored content that maximizes engagement and conversions. You can send personalized promotions based on the information collected about your contacts.
Data analytics and customer insights
Data is key to making good marketing decisions. Data analytics helps marketers understand their audience and make campaigns effective. It’s not just something to observe; it can actually be used to make improvements. For instance, A/B testing can be used to determine which marketing campaigns are more successful for your audience.
Tools such as Google Analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) software and marketing automation platforms are excellent investments for marketers too.
Regulatory and ethical considerations
Though marketing is a powerful tool, there are important ethical considerations, especially in industries where trust and credibility are key. For many, lessons can be learned from the iGaming industry, which establishes itself as being transparent, fair, and honest. These aspects extend to all sectors’ marketing efforts and are universally important.
Whether you’re promoting an online casino or a healthcare brand, you need to provide unbiased and accurate information. No marketing effort should be deceptive. Though they might work initially, they’ll soon be proven inaccurate, damaging the brand’s reputation. It’s simply not worth getting this wrong.
Future trends in iGaming marketing and beyond
With the continuous evolution within the iGaming industry, other sectors can often see a glimpse of the future of marketing trends through observation.
The integration of emerging technologies often begins in the gaming sector. For instance, virtual reality (VR) is rapidly becoming a tool for immersive marketing experiences.
Though it was initially popular in gaming, industries such as tourism, education and real estate are now beginning to leverage VR to provide immersive experiences like virtual tours and educational simulations.
Another emerging technology that has been used heavily in the gaming industry is blockchain. This secure and transparent technology has also grown to be employed in applications in healthcare, finance, and supply chain management. Leveraging this for marketing is inevitable.
The last 12 months or so have been all about artificial intelligence (AI) and language learning models (LLMs). With rapid changes occurring, all sectors are now able to leverage AI, to provide personalized recommendations, predictive analytics and chatbots. The retail, healthcare, and financial sectors are already adopting this to improve customer engagement.
As has been seen in the iGaming industry, content personalization is expected to continue to be a prominent marketing trend. E-commerce, retail, and entertainment are expected to use personalized content to engage with new customers and retain existing ones.
User-generated content is also expected to rise. The power of this, as seen in iGaming, can be harnessed easily in hospitality, fashion, and tourism — or anywhere where customer experiences and reviews are valued above anything else.
Successful marketing continues to boost the iGaming industry
The iGaming sector has benefited from the power of successful marketing. This has occurred through high-quality content, a robust presence on social media, and influencer and email marketing. The sector also uses data analytics and customer insights while keeping ethical considerations at the forefront to uphold transparency.
It’s clear that other industries can learn a lot from the iGaming sphere but we’re sure that iGaming can also learn a lot from them too.