Today, we share the second and final part of our iGB Affiliate article, which discusses some of the major trends observed in the iGaming space in 2019, in addition to expectations for 2020. In part one, we looked at the evolving iGaming landscape and the importance companies are putting on M&A. In the second part, presented below, we will explore different digital marketing trends, technology and user experience.
Digital Marketing: SEO & Voice Search
Between retail brands, online brands and other offerings, the iGaming sector is more competitive than ever. This makes marketing and SEO vital for brand awareness and relevancy, especially as search engines regularly review their rules on advertising.
In October, Google updated its policies surrounding gambling and games. The changes will allow operators to run adverts in certain US states, as well as Colombia, Kenya and Nigeria. Complete beta testing of sports betting ads will also be permitted in some US states.
Another SEO opportunity is the coveted ‘position zero’ on a search engine’s results page (SERP). Position zero in SERP is the featured snippet displayed before select ads and top organic search results. The snippet summarises details pulled from a web page that best answers the search query. According to Jumpshot, nearly 62% of all Google search results are now zero-search. While each search result is generated based on the user’s location, the listings yield a condensed view of the most useful content, which correspondingly designates stakeholders as trustworthy experts in their field.
Position zero also caters to mobile and voice searches. As of January 2019, 66.4 million US adult consumers own at least one smart speaker such as the Google Home or Amazon Echo. Google reported that 20% of queries made on its mobile app and Android devices were completed via voice search in 2016. With an increased usage of built-in voice assistants like Alexa, along with smart speakers, stakeholders are presented with the opportunity to optimise campaigns, ads and sites for the platform. To emerge at the top of SERP, brands are being advised to provide relevant answers to gaming-related questions using conversational tones and long tail keywords.
These trends indicate that select strategies and new technology can improve organic performance, boost brand awareness and increase player acquisition, retention and deposits.
Technology and User Experience
Technological advancements within the industry have streamlined the data collection process and ensuing analysis, which provide insights on how consumers interact with brands.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one technology making headway in the industry. Accumulated consumer and website data become resources feeding into machine learning algorithms, which can be used as support tools for a brand’s customers. For instance, casino operators can integrate AI to create better in-game content and serve personalised ads.
In November 2019, Wondr Gaming acquired Rival.ai, an esports AI integration company offering data and insights to the wider betting community. Through the acquisition, specialised data services will be extended to stakeholders, complementing current processes.
Another opportunity created by AI is chatbots. Chatbots enhance user experience by providing 24/7 human-like customer service to basic user queries. Their integration streamlines the communications process and incorporates personalisation capabilities for customer support. In 2017, Paddy Power became the first bookmaker to introduce a chatbot for customer service. The chatbot allows users to login to their account, place wagers, check balances and receive custom updates.
Technology, evolving markets and industry movements all have an impact on the marketing strategies employed by brands to drive quantifiable results. The shift towards a digital-first strategy will require industry stakeholders to exhibit a strong brand identity and an affinity for community building to promote future growth.
We thank you for taking the time to read our full article on iGaming marketing trends that are driving opportunity. We now invite you to get in touch with us and let us know what your expectations are for the 2020 year, relative to the iGaming landscape.
For more information on our affiliate marketing and digital marketing services, please reach out.