Adam Rowley, general manager at Raven Track, speaks about what affiliates and operators should look for in tracking systems.
There have been significant advances made in technology and AI over the past few years, so it makes sense that the gambling industry should have a tracking platform that utilises all of these wonderful new tools. In speaking with both affiliates and operators at affiliate conferences around the world over the past few years, the feedback has been consistent (although the pain points differ slightly between the two). The tracking industry needs to apply the very latest technology coupled with a strong understanding of what the affiliate marketers and gambing brands need, and support it with an industry-trained customer support team. Using a culmination of online gambling affiliate experience, operator needs and incorporating intuitive UX make the next-generation of tracking platforms like Raven easier to use.
What pain-points are associated with tracking platforms?
Like most things in life, communication is crucial to a relationship. Whether it’s in your personal life or dealing with business partners, the ability to address issues quickly is vital for a healthy partnership. It may sound simple, but open communication is a tremendous amount of hard work. Having a one-to-one relationship with your account manager really does make all the difference. If there’s an issue with tracking or commission payments, webmasters and operators need to know their problem will be handled and that their tracking provider is just a phone call away.
How does compliance and regulations factor?
To prevent affiliates and operators from receiving hefty fines from industry regulators, all marketing communications must not entice their users to gamble excessively. Compliance guidelines should be considered an integral factor within marketing plans, and every effort should be made to create a more responsible message. Most affiliates don’t have an internal compliance team, so they should partner with businesses who monitor products and messages to present a suitable and responsible tone of voice. It includes:
- Ensuring images do not appeal to children
- Enforcing self-exclusion policies
- Transparent terms and conditions on acquisition offers
- Messages that should have 18+ restrictions
- Steering clear of ads that glamourise gambling or encourage chasing losses
- Avoiding promotion offers with games that feature cartoon characters
Alongside these industry regulations are the mandatory advertising codes when it comes to promoting gambling offers and products. Any ad for gambling services must act in accordance to the LCCP Code of practice, which prevents misleading adverts that promote gambling as a means of improving an individual’s quality of life, appealing to juveniles or chasing losses.
What other areas should affiliates and operators focus on?
For affiliates and operators, channels like SEO, social, native ads and CRM are getting harder to conquer. Therefore, take the time to work with a tracking partner who will make things simple so you can focus on the variety of digital marketing disciplines to promote your brand. You may be overdue to take an objective look at your existing content. Is it adding value or just repeating the same thing as every other i-gaming site? Is there a unique perspective you offer? How much of it is quality, long-form content? While you’re at it, have a look at your tone of voice. Is your content dynamic and informative? It’s an issue for an online casino copy because the information is ‘static’ (as opposed to sportsbook, which enjoys a constant stream of new content fodder). To be successful, affiliates need to address this concern in a dynamic industry like gambling. An ongoing problem with most websites is page speed. Affiliate sites in particular host a multitude of banners and creative from operators. Therefore, a site audit (ideally coupled with a technical SEO audit) can pinpoint the pages on the site that need attention. It’s particularly important for affiliates who don’t invest in PPC ads; getting a keyword to rank at the top of the SERP organically will be near impossible if these areas aren’t addressed.
Google has already announced that UX will be a significant ranking factor in 2021, so webmasters have the time to prepare. I would advise running a third-party UX test to see where players may get ‘stuck’ and then work to improve the user journey. Despite the constantly changing algorithm changes on search engines like Google, the internet is an infinitely better place because of these ongoing updates. It forces webmasters to think about the content served to readers, which ultimately makes it a better experience for site visitors.