The Issue

It is time for casino affiliates to accept that social networking has become the trademark of this generation. Zynga is a company that realized this a long time ago and managed to nail down a deal with the most popular website in the world: Facebook – with over 800 million users at the moment. Zynga is the company behind the most popular Facebook games, including Farmville, Mafia Wars, and of course the one that’s relevant to our industry, Zynga Poker.

Zynga Poker attracts millions of users on Facebook every month; in 2011 the company reported having 200 million active users every month and that its market value was around $1 billion. Casino affiliates have been worried about the growth of Zynga Poker, considering that none of that revenue is going to the igaming industry and that their play money format keeps the company protected from legislative measures in the United States. In short, Zynga’s got game and everyone is finding it hard to compete against it.

The Tissue

Casino affiliates can now stop whining and crying, just keep reading and wipe your tears away with solutions regarding this topic. Casino affiliates can take advantage of all the positive additions Zynga has brought to the igaming industry, and they can also try to come up with strategies that will enable them to buffer the negative effects of Zynga on their business.

  1. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Casino affiliates are facing a time in which online networking sites have taken over the internet. Zynga Poker is not responsible for the social networking madness, all they did was nail down the deal with Facebook and use the marketing tools necessary to attract a broad audience.
  2. Play the Game. The best part of learning about how Zynga became one of the most popular online gambling services providers is that you can learn how to do it their way. Casino affiliates can use Zynga to their advantage by buying advertisement space on Facebook for the application as Zynga Poker has not ventured into real money gaming yet, so you have an edge over them. As a result of this, you may end up adding to Zynga’s billions of profit, but your site will gain more relevance and you could recruit players this way.
  3. Add Your Own Twist. Given that Zynga is so popular, makes tons of money, and manages to stay off the scope of the law by not engaging in real money gaming, affiliates may wonder what it is about Zynga Poker that draws the masses. The answer is very simple: social gaming. The concept behind Zynga Poker is the merge between the concepts of social networking and online gambling. The best way in which affiliates can go about this is to keep an eye on the sites they promote and look out for those that are capitalizing on the social gaming trend. Some casinos have started to enable friendlier chat windows, longer player profiles, and players seem to be biting the bait. Doing business with these sites and promoting them could point you in the right direction to increase profit and recruit more players.
  4. If you can’t beat them, join them. Zynga offers some juicy advertising deals to anyone who’s interested in promoting their business through them. You can do ads, banners, video-intersitials, brand partnerships and sponsorships. Maybe if you do a little chatting with their PR team you can find something that is mutually beneficial. Don’t worry if your site is small, a little persuasion and assertiveness should put you on the right track. You can also think of making peace with the enemy and recommending Zynga games as practice to your players, but this requires that you know your audience and that your relationship with your players is dynamic and positive.

What do you think of the Zynga monster? Have you already thought of partnerships and advertising deals with them? Share your thoughts with the CAP team and other affiliates at our forums and/or the comments section below.


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