While some regions are tightening restrictions on the gaming industry, there’s no doubt that the sector is flourishing in other areas. No matter where you are based, it’s fair to say that online marketing plays a huge role in attracting customers to your sportsbook.
PPC and affiliates are major acquisition channels in any bookmaker’s marketing plan but one area that often gets overlooked is SEO and in particular content marketing. Some of you may think these are the same thing under two different names. It’s important to note the differences. While SEO takes into account factors such as page speed, backlinks and other offsite factors. Content marketing, which I will discuss in this blog, is all about the creation of relevant blogs, podcasts and other media to draw attention to your brand.
A regular schedule of sporting previews and editorials has major benefits for your brand. We have seen the results first-hand how content can attract new customers and reengage existing bettors.
Having said all of that, it’s also important to remember that the gaming industry is one of the most competitive when it comes to content, SEO, PPC and affiliates. It’s important to spend your budget wisely. While you may not be able to match some of the big players in the PPC stakes, there are plenty of substantial wins available through content marketing.
A key element of your content marketing will be the preparation of your content plan. As Roy Keane once said, if you ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Breakdown the calendar in monthly and weekly sections and plot around the major sporting events accordingly. We know that the Grand National will be at the beginning of May, the Premier League will finish in May and Wimbledon will start at the end of June each year (apart from 2020!).
Your PPC team is probably lining up resources to target these events months in advance and the content team should be no different. If you’re working with a team of freelancers, they should be made aware of what is needed from them and when. Your social and CRM team should also be linked in to coordinate your approach. We have found that sporting previews and editorials can really boost engagement on social media and email marketing.
While a content plan traditionally focuses on written content, it’s important to consider other mediums like videos and podcasts. Many bookmakers now produce their own videos. These range from explainer videos, funny skits (see PP’s Fan Denial) to previews with pundits and former pros. Videos are great for engagement and the ROI can be huge.
Podcasts are another area that bookmakers and casinos have taken an interest in. While some, like William Hill, produce their own podcasts, other have seen podcast sponsorship as a great way to introduce themselves to new sports betting customers. In America, we have seen the likes of FanDuel and others sponsor The Bill Simmons Podcast and closer to home for us, Paddy Power and Boylesports have invested in Newstalk’s suite of sports podcasts.
What are the benefits?
Content marketing can play a key role in user acquisition and brand building for your site. Some of our previous posts outline the SEO benefits of a regularly updated website but there’s other advantages too.
For one, if you post your blogs on your social media pages you will see a real increase in your social media engagement and followers. This also increases the chances of your blog being shared on the web as a trusted news source. Over time, you will see more traffic from social media.
This also helps to build better customer relationships and brand loyalty. Using the personal ‘brands’ of your content writers (be they journalists, former sportspeople or freelancers) gives your brand an authentic feel that builds trust between you and the customer.
As your content portfolio grows it is more likely to be shared by different media outlets and social media pages. Creating helpful and engaging content only helps to build your brand as a knowledgeable and trustworthy site.
SBC Americas recently discussed the need to create content for the return of sporting activity in an article which referenced research from American firm HPL Digital Sport. This follows on from the announcement that FanDuel and SportsGrid have agreed an exclusive content and distribution partnership.
Content marketing is an effective and cost-efficient way to acquire new users and build your brand. It can sometimes be a long process but you will reap the rewards. With sports returning across the world now is a great time to start thinking about your content marketing plan.