Today we conclude our recap of the panel discussion Destination Africa – Negotiating the Next Big Affiliate Market. Yesterday we posted part one, which you can read here. The session took place at the 2018 Affiliate Insider Bootcamp in London, and was chaired by our VP of Strategy Sarafina Wolde Gabriel. The other panellists were (in alphabetical order):
- Florian Guede – Head of Marketing, mybet.com (operating a Ghana-facing brand)
- Mark McGuinness – CMO, BetOlimp.za (South African brand)
- Mathew Symmonds – Director, Web Analysis Solutions (Africa-focused affiliate)
- Sarah McChesney-Gordon – Client Services Director, Fresh8 Gaming (marketing tech company focusing on Africa among other markets).
In the second half of this two-part piece, we highlight the remaining key points about attracting players and how the affiliate channel is evolving.
Even with rising internet penetration, consumers in Africa still tend to prefer physically interacting with brands and products before purchasing. With this in mind, affiliates should look to partner with operators where the mindset of land-based retail is leveraged in their online strategy. When mybet.com first expanded into Ghana, for example, FlorianGuede mentioned how “one of the first things we did was enable instant withdrawals.”
Because players in African markets generally deposit less than in Europe, it’s even more important for affiliates to possess in-depth player knowledge. This includes understanding the most popular betting events, and which times see the highest volume of bets placed. As SarahMcChesney-Gordon asked rhetorically: “If you don’t know what makes your customers tick, how are you going to build the promos?”
Trust is another key component to successful affiliate marketing in Africa. Asaffiliates who participate in land-based activities are likelier to gain a higher level of trust and better referrals, it’s advisable that they work alongside operators like mybet.com to develop strategies which fit this principle.
In Ghana especially, much emphasis is placed on creating successful local businesses. Guede expressed his desire to work with more African affiliates, and stressed how “a strong affiliate channel can really help the market’s growth.”
The Market is Evolving
Affiliates in Africa are playing an ever-growing role in driving market growth, and this trend seems likely to continue. As more brands emerge across the continent, MarkMcGuinness stated that their “reliance on player acquisition will primarily revolve around affiliate traffic.”
According to McChesney-Gordon, it’s likely that more affiliate programmes will be launched before too long: “From a tech perspective, I get a feeling that African operators are seeing an opportunity to really make a success in this market”. Affiliates should therefore be developing strategies now, and gaining a head start by joining existing programmes.
As African economies continue to grow and online penetration increases, relevant markets will have the potential to be lucrative for affiliates for years to come. However, as highlighted by Mathew Symmonds, they will also need to think ahead when choosing partners: “Choose which brands you work with carefully… you need to look at the long-term and focus on the right metrics, rather than single measures of success.”
A number of big brands, particularly in Nigeria and Kenya, have already opened affiliate programmes. More are following suit, meaning that markets will gradually become more saturated. As risk capital is currently still low, affiliates with quality regional traffic should develop long-term strategies and invest now.
Depending on the needs of players in each market, it’s also wise to tailor your approach accordingly. Players will also be more likely to deposit through sites they trust, so affiliates who become a resource and engage users through value-added content and extra land-based work will achieve better traffic and more repeat visitors.
Now that you’ve read both parts, what are your thoughts on affiliate marketing in Africa? Use the comments section below, and join the conversation on social media by using #AfricanGamingAffiliates.
The Income Access software powers affiliate programmes for brands in Africa and a range of other global markets. To find out more, please reach out.