[WATCH] The Road Ahead for Super Affiliates in iGaming – AGS Europe
In an AGS Europe 2021 panel which was held in Malta, the moderator Per Hellberg, CEO of PlayStar Casino, and the panelists Jonas Cederholm, CEO & Founder of Game Lounge Group, Robert Andersson, CEO of Acroud, and Šimon Vincze, Head of Sustainable & Safer Gambling of Casino Guru discuss “The Road Ahead for Super Affiliates in iGaming”.
Hellberg asks the panel what their take on “super affiliates” is. Cederholm says that he doesn’t like the term affiliate. Andersson says that affiliation is “attached to the business model of sharing an income” and that we are historically stuck in this affiliation stem. Hellberg asks Andersson how do they foresee the future, he asks him about the moves they’re making in terms of technology, and about the trends they’re adapting. Vincze says that there are different aspects of how to define a super affiliate. One of them is authority; how others look at you for inspiration, how your name is known in the industry. Another aspect is the perspective of the affiliation business. The third one is responsibility. Responsibility doesn’t only refer to responsible gambling, but all kinds of responsibility. A super affiliate has the power to influence others.
Andersson says that they have just announced an efficiency program, where they start seeing their synergies in the company. They have invested a lot in technology, automated content, and automated tracking, which has led to redundancies. He adds that “technology and optimisation will lead, but it will have to provide a lot better content for the user as well”.
Hellberg tells Vincze that Casino Guru is different to more traditional affiliation side or marketing lead generator. Hellberg asks for Vincze’s view. Vincze says that he doesn’t believe that things will highly change in the future. Affiliates will still need to provide good service to the customer and to create the best customer experience possible.
Hellberg asks Cederholm how do they adapt their content to fit the regulations which are constantly changing. Cederholm agrees that during the last few years there have been many changes with regulations and for them as an affiliate, that’s also a big change. They need to follow all the guidelines from different local authorities; therefore, they put a lot of focus on that. As for the content, he says that competition is getting tougher, hence you need to be always better. To remain in the top spots, you need to be on top of the game. He adds that in the last couple of years we have also seen a lot of media partnerships. He adds that this and collaborations are the way forward.
Follow the whole panel discussion here:
Hellberg asks Andersson whether acquisitions will be more focused on paid rather than organic. Andersson says that companies need to be ready for diversification and since media consumption is constantly changing, they need to stay on top of it. He says that as new business models come into play, new things become popular. He mentions TikTok as an example which didn’t even exist a few years back and now it is at the forefront.
Hellberg mentions the use of technology. He asks Andersson what are the latest content management technology trends that he can see going forward. He also asks how did content itself change technology.
Andersson says that with this technology, they are not only able to be more effective with the content produced, but also to make richer content that can be spread across their different platforms. He says that we will have fewer copyrights and more focus on user behavior and intent. Links and content are no longer sufficient to rank. Andersson adds that the “automation of all of this across multiple sites will lead to a lot of efficiency”. As a result, it will become more software based and people-based.
Hellberg asks Cederholm about his take on content and technology adaptation. Cederholm says that they have seen a big shift in their company. Previously, they depended on the quality of the links to their site. Today, content is key. In the future there will be a combination of an increase in content and technology.
Hellberg mentions SEO and says that it is key. From his experience, if you ask 10 SEO superstars how SEO works, they will all give you a different answer. He asks Cederholm how do they manage and how do they deal with this today. Cederholm says that since every market is different, you need to have local expertise. He believes that in some markets, content is king, in others video is. Even the use of social media differs. Localisation is key. Andersson adds that even though you have local knowledge, if you have 10 local experts, they will all have their own opinion and they will all be right at some point. He adds that there are different truths, and we all can share them.
Hellberg adds that this is why in his opinion automation, machine learning, and AI are ideal. He asks Vincze whether in his opinion the content they provide is less harmed by Google updates.
Vincze says that they are always looking into how to convince Google. They have recently updated their SEO department and started to look more strictly into their content and links. He adds that there is no manual given and basically, they experiment. They look into their markets and analyse what might work for that market specifically, then they collect data, and see how it went. He says that they try, sometimes they fail, and they try again.
Hellberg changes topic to the relationship between operators and affiliates; a relationship which has always been tough. He asks Cederholm what his company will do to have better relationships with operators, or to improve them. Cederholm says that the bigger you are as an affiliate, the bigger are the responsibilities and operators need to trust you. There should be tight cooperation between affiliates and operators.
Andersson says that perspective changes when you are on either side. When he was an operator, he used to think that affiliates take a lot of money; when he was an affiliate, he used to think that they are underpaid. He says that the bigger ones should make sure that there is a win-win situation. Hellberg says that he is a fan of regulations because regulations will remove those people from the market who are only there for the short-term.
Hellberg asks Vincze how they would enhance their relationship with operators even more. Vincze says that the most important thing is to provide quality. It is also important to be reactive and communicative. Finally, it is also important to educate. He says that if they want to stay here for the long-term, this approach is sustainable.
Hellberg asks Vincze what affiliates can do to supply better traffic and become more sustainable for operators. Vincze says that it cannot be 100% from one area. For example, affiliates don’t have the direct connections to players that operators have. As a result, you cannot really influence players. What you can do is provide more information on your affiliate page, provide educational content, and responsible gambling content. However, it’s important not to forget that the players are there because they want to play and not to read. Therefore, the two things need to be combined effectively.
Hellberg closes the panel by summarising what has been discussed, the challenges for affiliates and lead generators, their importance within the industry, and how they work towards becoming more efficient.
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