The very strong link that not only builds the operator-affiliate relationship but also keeps it tightly together, is the customer-player relationship itself. Impossible as it might seem, imagine how tense the partnership could be if the affiliate was not able to provide the operator with the promised traffic!
The key to keeping this equation in order is for both ends to know the customers they are dealing with, and find ways to keep them happy. In the operator’s case, the support agents and the CRM team in general are responsible for knowing the customer and their habits and needs. Large amounts are invested, in most cases, in order for these teams to be solidly built with experienced members, who are not only able to assist the customers, but also the marketing team with their very important player feedback reports. What happens though, in the affiliate’s case, when very often the budget is limited and does not allow such investments? You might be surprised to know that the affiliate himself is armoured with some great marketing weapons/tools, which in most cases come for free!
Instead of pouring money into advertising in magazines, newspapers, radio, billboards, TV or any other means of expensive maxi-media marketing solutions, the affiliate has access to the inexpensive world of the e-media! The social media, forums boards, chat rooms, domain name registrations, landing pages, blogs, newsletters or other bulk mailing campaigns which all help in building a good armory of marketing weapons in order to promote their work but also get feedback from it!
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Once you have set your marketing plan, bought your domain names and are ready to go, your first step should be content writing! Build as many pages as possible and pay serious attention to their content. As in your college years, plagiarism is not going to get you anywhere. Your content needs to be original and of good quality if you are hoping for good Search Engine rankings. Once this step is in process, (I have avoided saying “once this step is done” simply because it never is as you need to be adding content whenever you find some information that your visitors might be interested in) get people to join in, leave feedback, agree or disagree with your views or share their experience with other readers. These days there are at least a dozen ways to do that! A simple shout-box, an embed chat room at the side or bottom of the page, or a link to a Facebook/Twitter or other social media page could help you spread the word. Keep in mind that Facebook can be a free advertising tool if you get people to start sharing your articles or leaving comments on your posts, so once again, your content needs to be not only informative but also original!
If you find the above ideas are too high maintenance for your business and you would like to try a more traditional marketing approach such as promotional mailers or newsletters, then you need to find alternative ways of getting the so wanted feedback. Using your own tracking codes to monitor how many emails were actually read out of the ones you sent, or to which part of the world most of your emails reached, is essential. Also, adding a poll or a competition in your mailer asking your readers to write back to you could work too!
What works best for most affiliates who want to build a longer term partnership with their business partners, and that includes both operators and players, are forums! Build a small forum, start with some product reviews (again, write your own reviews if you want good SEO) and ask your forum members to share their experience with the rest of the forum members. Be an active member of the forum, and be attentive to your forum members. Get to know what products they like the best and suggest to them alternative ones that they might find entertaining too. Find the best promotions and ask your operator partners to give you exclusive ones for your forum members. Keep the forum tidy by monitoring all the content the members post, and appoint forum moderators to help you with that. Make a good solid community, patiently watch it grow and see it turning into gold!
About the Author:
Konstantinos Veletas started his career in iGaming in 2002 when he successfully built an affiliate network, primarily consisted by sports webpages and forums targeting the markets of central and eastern Europe. In 2010, he moved to the other side of the industry helping with Club Gold Casino project management and eventually became the marketing manager of the brand.