Founded in 2016 to provide performance marketing and customer acquisition services for the iGaming sector, Seven Star Digital specialise in comparison sites for online casinos and bookmakers.

At the recent LAC 2017 we spoke to Seven Star founder and CEO Luke Eales about the challenges presented by the company’s affiliate model, the best practices for growing a start-up affiliate business and the current state of digital marketing.

Income Access (IA): What affiliate and broader digital marketing changes have you seen in the past 12 months and which trends do you expect to see in 2017?

Luke Eales (LE): A growing number of web searches are being made on mobile, and affiliates are becoming very attracted to the SEO benefits they can potentially exploit. I expect them to increasingly adopt web personalisation. The benefits of personalisation will continue to spread as advertisers look to extract every penny of ROI.

IA: You specialise in casino and bookmaker comparison affiliate sites. Tell us about the challenges and opportunities this type of affiliate marketing presents in 2017.

LE: The key challenge is to create value for both consumers and commercial partners. We are always working to give our site visitors the best possible online experience to help them choose where to bet. At the same time, we strive to provide operators with reliable player volume and value. We believe these two objectives will become increasingly complementary into 2017 and beyond.

IA: More broadly, what key challenges do recently-founded firms such as yours face?

LE: One of our main challenges is deciding what not to do. There are so many opportunities in iGaming, making it more important than ever to remain disciplined and stick to our strategy. We intentionally began with a narrow scope and focused on doing a few things well. As we expand, we are careful to take the right steps and avoid spreading ourselves too thinly.

IA: Are you looking to expand into emerging markets across the world? If so, which ones?

LE: Being early in our evolution as a business, many good opportunities remain ahead of us within traditional iGaming territories such as Scandinavia and more of Western Europe. Regulatory changes will also shake up other European markets such as Netherlands, as well as the Americas, creating significant opportunities.

IA: In the age of content marketing, are traditional methods such as banner advertising still relevant?

LE: Marketing channels don’t need to be new or trendy to be effective. Banner advertising itself has really evolved into a powerful set of tools for affiliates of all shapes and sizes to leverage. Newer channels like native and social ads have also emerged, generating explosive growth and measurable results for advertisers.

IA: What tips do you have to affiliates who are just starting out and looking to grow?

LE: You’re unlikely to rank first for ‘gambling’ immediately, so find a niche and focus on becoming the best possible traffic source. Consider starting with a non-English speaking territory or emerging technologies like bitcoin, virtual reality or eSports. This is a good way to build your momentum and expertise, which makes expansion easier when the time is right.

IA: Thanks for chatting with us, Luke. We wish you and Seven Star Digital all the best for 2017!

About Seven Star Digital

Luke Eales founded Seven Star Digital in 2016 to provide performance marketing and customer acquisition services to the iGaming sector. The company is based in London, UK, and its flagship site is TopRatedCasinos.co.uk.

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