Author: Anna Zhukova, Team Lead (iGaming vertical) of Famesters agency
Influencer marketing is no longer a way to promote a new mascara. Today, it is a dominating strategy for complex brands, products, and platforms. From 2016 to 2022, the average annual growth rate of the influencer marketing industry was 46.9%.
9 of 10 iGaming industry players use this channel permanently as a powerful way to connect and engage with their target audiences. It is easy to explain: smart leveraging the power of influencers can bring tremendous results already during the test launch.
Why use influencer marketing for iGaming?
By partnering with influencers who have a large and engaged audience in the iGaming community, brands can tap into a highly motivated audience that is more likely to respond positively to their marketing messages. Additionally, influencers provide a level of authenticity and trust that is difficult to achieve via traditional advertising channels, especially for those products that are not easy to promote due to legal risks. Finally, iGaming brands can leverage influencer marketing to stand out from competitors and stay on top of mind with consumers in a skyrocketing competitive market: the iGaming industry, comprising online gambling, sports betting, and casino games, has experienced rapid expansion in recent years. In 2021, the industry was estimated to be worth $61 billion annually, and has projections of an 86% growth rate by 2028.
Current situation and upcoming trends
As the iGaming industry evolves year by year, brands build their communication and expand the audience with content creators. According to the BuzzGuru research, 89% of the marketers admit that ROI from influencer marketing is higher than from other channels.
Year by year, by allocating influencer marketing budgets, iGaming brands gain the ability to expand their reach to new audiences and improve performance among existing ones. This advantage enables iGaming industry players to skyrocket. Today, we observe the rise of brands’ collaborations with micro-influencers: 77% of the brands prefer working with this type of creators. It is easy to explain: collaborations with niche creators usually bring better performance. Micro-influencers are seen as more authentic and engaging than larger influencers, that is why they can help build a more loyal and engaged customer base.
The trends in influencer marketing shaping the future of the industry are:
1. Diving deep
Influencer marketing is evolving towards a more comprehensive approach where content creators are deeply involved in promoting products. This approach goes far beyond traditional CPA deals, where influencers are paid based on the results they deliver. Today, we see creators who use iGaming products they promote regularly and at the same time express genuine excitement towards them becoming brand ambassadors. This leads to more genuine promotions because the creators provide not just the basic product information, benefits and bonuses the platform prepared for new users, but also their own unique experience. As a result, the promotions become more authentic and resonate better with the audience.
2. Long-term partnerships
More and more iGaming brands prefer to build long-lasting relationships with influencers, rather than one-off campaigns. This approach kills two birds with one stone: brands build more authentic and loyal relationships both with influencers and their audience, thus enlarge their own and attract new users. A successful approach is to build long-term relations for iGaming brand is to collaborate with influencers who already performed well and seek out content creators who are alike. Niche creators often form small communities, so partnering with such influencers can help broaden your brand’s reach by tapping into their audience.
3. Transparent messages
There is a growing emphasis on the transparency of ads. Simple promotions of casinos and betting platforms on YouTube and Instagram are forbidden, that is why the ad messages should be native and transparent. Tell about the benefits of your platform, its USP, and bonuses new users get after registration. At the same time, be clear in calls for action and use simple ones, such as ‘click here’, ‘register now’, ‘use a promo code’, and others.
Opportunities and challenges
Promotion of betting platforms and online casinos through influencers unlocks new possibilities for brands to expand their existing audience, including the opportunity to target new geos, build brand awareness and trust, and, finally, attract new players.
Let’s see how it works: an influencer showcases a bet slip or a feature they find impressive in an iGaming app or platform, along with a hyperlink in their post that leads to a casino lobby or a betting platform. This provides the audience with a clear and understandable picture of what they can expect from the app or a platform from a trustworthy creator they follow.
The success of an influencer marketing campaign highly depends on certain factors: creatives’ quality, relevant creators and their audiences. It is crucial to find influencers who have a strong performance and whose values align with those of your brand. One key aspect to consider is the relevance of your product to the content produced by the influencer. For example, at Famesters when planning integrations for betting platforms, we prefer working with influencers who create sports or entertaining content – they usually bring the best performance.
However, alongside opportunities come challenges. First, it can be difficult to find influencers that are experienced in the iGaming industry and are ready to take the risks: if a creator is caught in promoting iGaming, they get a strike from a platform, after 3 strikes the platform bans their account. Second, it is better to make sure you target the right audience. So it is better to identify them first. The ‘golden’ and the most desirable audience for iGaming brands is usually solvent males above 20. As for creatives, it’s essential to highlight any unique information or bonuses your platform provides. It’s also crucial to emphasize the expected action several times, at the same time this call-to-action should be clear and easy to understand.
Emerging technologies and their use for iGaming brands
The development of technologies does not stand still. One of the technologies to use for influencer marketing of iGaming brands is virtual and augmented reality: create immersive experiences for the audience, allowing them to see the creator in a ‘real-world’ casino or sportsbook. This can be especially effective for online casinos, which often struggle to replicate the excitement and atmosphere of a physical casino.
Another technology to be used is artificial intelligence (AI). On the one hand, AI could analyze data about the influencers’ account, including audience, the engagement rate, number of comments and others. Some AI, like BuzzGuru, help get a clear picture of competitors’ influencer marketing strategies, including paid and organic mentions, lists of influencers involved, videos links released and budgets spent.
On the other hand, AI can assist in creating more engaging ad messages for the audiences, as well as developing tasks and briefs for creators, diversifying scripts and thus making every single launch unique.
The importance of analytics in influencer marketing
As an agency, we stake on a deep analysis of current campaigns. This approach always helps understand the key audience and provide recommendations for further launches – by cutting off non-working solutions, we easily increase the performance on the go. By going deeper into creators’ analytics such as audience data, engagement rates, average views and reach, in addition to previous launches’ performance for the similar products, we are able to make a clear estimation in order to squeeze the maximum possible outcomes.
Besides, the industry is growing very fast and we’re always learning. The reality shows that even small changes in strategy can affect the whole launch significantly and only a proper analytics and the ability to overview things from the subtle side gives the luxury to absorb the newly came information.