The need to adapt to reach new audiences

The need to adapt to reach new audiences

Friday, November 11, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
New products bring new challenges for affiliates

Affiliates need to think differently if they want to reach the new audiences attracted by new products from the industry, according to a panel of experts who spoke at last month’s EiG Expo.

Esports betting consultant Mark McGuinness, who is also a director at eSportsbet.com, explained that the eSports demographic shows entirely different behaviour and demand curve compared to existing mainstream sports bettors due the generational age gap.

He explained: “The audience is already truly digital so traditional affiliate model of ranking for SEO / SEM on keywords and long tail keywords may not be as effective, simply as the eSports audience generally know what they need and hang out in different places compared to Baby Boomers and Silver Surfers using Google as the 'discovery' phase in the sales funnel journey.”

With eSports audiences hanging out on VK, Reddit, Steam, Twitch, YouTube and messaging apps affiliates have got to think differently to engage this audience.

Once the audience has been reached however, are the bookmakers geared to take this kind of traffic? The trend by many operators it to treat it like any other sport, but the suggestion has been from the esports community that this won’t wash.

“Conversion is an issue,” McGuinness said. “The eSports audience expects authentic community-based platforms similar to how the Skin sites looked when they were in operation. Fixed odds platforms merely offer eSports as a sports category on the 24-hour wagering menu.

“So the transition to unfamiliar brands and user interfaces that perhaps don't respect or understand the core values of the audience, means that affiliates should be selective in who they promote brand-wise.”

Also on the panel was Paul Archer, international affiliates manager for DFS operator DraftKings. Archer explained that part of his remit is to educate affiliates about the DFS product and the advantages of including it in the business mix, especially as it is rubbing shoulders with traditional sportsbook partners.

Archer commented: “We are seeing growing interest in working with us; as a new product we are offering the opportunity to offer users something new - contrasting from the numerous saturated products available we hope that we are offering a concept proven by the US market and fresh to the markets that many affiliates already have a footprint.”

He explained that unlike sportsbooks DFS isn’t going head to head with customers, but instead facilitating competition between them. “We are not subject to the same volatility as gambling products and as such we may not see the same spikes for affiliates but similarly us and our affiliates never experience big hits from winning players.”

Totally Gaming says: The affiliate market is probably due a bit of a shake-up and the vast number of platforms around esports could be a catalyst for taking a fresh look at how affiliates interact with customers and maybe engender a stronger (and more lucrative) brand relationship.

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