A lot of people assume that affiliate webmasters are hamstrung for interesting content. However, there is some real ingenuity evident in the affiliate market, which just goes to show that, with a bit of inspiration, you can wring a lot of variety out of our niche.
Here are ten innovations from affiliates, who have thought outside the box and added a touch of originality to their content.
1) Video guides
While game guides of some description should be a prerequisite for affiliate websites, nobody likes trawling through heaps of tedious text about betting optimisation.
While there’s definitely a place for text guides – particularly for advanced strategies – if you’re catering for beginners, a succinct video guide could be a good option.
You don’t have to do anything fancy, a simple screencast demonstration of the rules of the game with an accompanying voiceover should suffice. Steve Bourie from American Casino Guide and Michael ‘The Wizard of Odds’ Shackleford have produced gambling educational videos to great effect.
2) Jackpot trackers
This could be particularly effective if you focus on slots and bingo. For example, Casinolistings.com tracks over 500 progressive jackpots, updating its listings in real time. This is extremely valuable content and excellent for driving conversions.
The only downside to this kind of functionality is that it takes a fair bit of development, so make sure you consider the upfront costs and ROI before committing to a jackpot tracker.
3) Odds calculators
While providing odds calculators for a competitive range of markets is a massive undertaking, it’ll definitely be worth the effort if you specialise in sports betting, as proved by the success of Bettingexpert.com.
This isn’t necessarily the kind of content that drives conversions, but it’ll definitely aid retention and establish your website as a credible resource rather than a throwaway ad farm for your clients.
4) Tipster community
While tipsters have always been a driving force in commercial betting, several iGaming affiliate sites (including OLBG.com and Bettingexpert.com) now allow users to emulate their tipsters’ bets at the click of a button.
The upshot of this is that a complete layman can now gamble intelligently by mirroring the bets of an authoritative tipster. The increasing social integration of iGaming means that many affiliate webmasters also integrate their tipsters’ social media accounts, creating a better synergy between the tipsters’ social presence and on-site activities.
5) Shops (not loyalty schemes)
It doesn’t matter how slick your website looks or functions: as an affiliate, it is imperative to provide actual user value in order to distinguish yourself from your competitors.
For example, Casinolistings.com runs a ‘shop,’ where players can redeem ‘CLchips’ (basically comp points obtained by signing up to casinos) for physical ‘gifts,’ including cash vouchers and iPods. This is a great way for ensuring brand loyalty and permits better control over financials than a standard cashback or cash-reward scheme.
6) Offline listings
Bingotastic has successfully dominated ‘offline’ search terms for bingo by providing listings of live bingo halls in the United Kingdom. While less valuable than terms relating to online gambling, offline queries are also less competitive and gift a great deal of traffic.
Affiliates can replicate this strategy for other gambling niches by providing listings of land-based casinos and live poker tournaments. Such an approach could easily net a lot of traffic overlooked by competitors in the scrabble for online terms.
7) Industry interviews
While conversions and retention are the bread and butter of affiliate marketing, webmasters should not overlook indirect goals. If you’re looking to vary your backlink profile and rank for non-money queries, interviews with industry authorities can prove extremely valuable.
This type of content is relatively inexpensive and has the potential to attract links from premium domains, including general news sources. For example, RightCasino.com’s series of interviews with Dr Mark Griffiths (a gambling psychologist and addiction specialist) has been quoted as a source on authoritative websites like the Conversation.
A common bugbear among affiliate webmasters is that the iGaming market (with the exception of poker and sports betting) lacks a dedicated community of users.
However, it can still be worth investing in content with viral appeal, because the right kind of gambling content can and does travel on social media. For instance, Pocket Winnings’ infographic on The Growth of the Mobile Gambling Industry performed very respectably from an SEO standpoint attracting over 10 backlinks. Quirky bingo affiliate twolittlefleas published a ‘Selfie’ infographic to similar effect. Although this has little brand or product relevance, it is good link-bait, and certainly appeals to their target audience.
Even if your infographic flops on social media, it’ll still serve as a valuable linkable asset, justifying its up-front cost over time.
9) Host your own games
Why should operators get to have all the fun? Obviously, you won’t be hosting real-money casino games on an affiliate website. However, free games can be excellent on-site assets for drumming up social buzz, acquiring links and improving retention.
The Vegas Strip Tease Game on Liveroulette.co.uk, developed by Zazzle, remains the most widely shared piece of content on the site. The product itself is nothing mind-blowing (it’s a Java-powered gambling trivia game), but if you’re looking for content that users will organically share amongst their friends, something along these lines could be a viable option.
I’ve encountered some pretty blue sky ideas at gambling affiliates, but Slotozilla’s slot rap is probably the most ‘out there.’
While a funny bit of content like this provides no immediate utility in and of itself, it demonstrates the wealth of creativity in the affiliate marketing game and should silence any doubters who contend that affiliates websites are just a bunch of uninspired banner farms. Dope beat, too.
Sam Miranda is a content strategist for Right Casino and acquisition manager for Castle Casino. He runs the CastleAffiliates.com affiliate program, helping all Castle Casino affiliates produce innovative content to help with SEO and conversions.