Based on Google Trends data, worldwide searches for the keyword “affiliate marketing” have steadily increased over the past five years.
This billion-dollar industry is showing no signs of slowing down and especially for those working in the online sports betting and iGaming space.
So you may be wondering; what is affiliate marketing and how does it work?
This article lifts the lid on affiliate marketing and, most importantly, how you can get involved.
Let’s start with some definitions:
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of performance-based advertising in which a person or website (the affiliate) earns rewards for sending traffic, visitors, or business to a third party. This is tracked via a hyperlink, also known as an ‘affiliate link’.
What is an affiliate link?
The link itself is a unique hyperlink that is marked or linked to the affiliate using it to send and refer players to a brand.
It is how the brand or ‘affiliate program’ tracks the traffic and players generated from an affiliate. It will record and tag players that pass through the link as originating from a specific affiliate.
What is an affiliate?
The affiliate is the person or site that promotes a brand, product, or service and sends relevant traffic to these third-party partners.
You may have noticed the phrases ‘affiliate’ or ‘sponsored post’ on content before; this is an advertising disclosure and means that the promotor is either getting paid to promote the product or will earn a commission on sales generated.
How do you become an affiliate? Usually, you will need to have a website. More on this below.
What is an affiliate website?
An affiliate website is a website that promotes products.
Let’s use an example in the gaming industry.
A casino or sportsbook affiliate will create a website and populate it with expert content, casino, and slot reviews, advice, and thought leadership articles. Within that content will be hyperlinks that point to partners, or in this case, casinos or sportsbooks.
If the content is of high quality, relevant and informative, it should attract users from the SERPs (search engine results pages such as Google) looking for the information that the affiliate has provided.
If the user clicks through the hyperlink on an affiliate website, sign-ups, deposits, and plays, the affiliate will be rewarded with payment or commission for delivering that player.
According to Google, good affiliates add value by offering original product reviews, ratings, navigation of products or categories, and product comparisons.
Affiliates will need to sign up for a number of affiliate programs offered by different brands in order to earn through a range of affiliate links.
What is an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is run by a company seeking to work with affiliates. Through the program, they provide the tracking link, a portal to view clicks, FTDs, revenues, etc plus the commercial agreement affiliates work to.
The affiliate program or agreement is arranged before the activity starts and will outline the details and terms of the commercial agreement.
In the gaming sector, there are three main commission structures.
- Revenue share – it is what it says on the tin. The affiliate will earn a percentage share of the revenue generated by the player it sends. Usually, this percentage is around 30% but can go up to 50% with some partners. This revenue should be active for the full lifetime of that player, so as long as that player is active, you are able to keep earning from them.
- CPA – cost per acquisition. The affiliate and the partner agree on a fixed amount that is paid per player. The cost can vary significantly but you can expect to receive about $350 – $500 per depositing player.
- Hybrid – this is a combination of the two. You agree on an amount that includes a revenue share percentage and a fixed acquisition fee.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to agreeing on a deal and many affiliates will learn what works best for them by testing out a few different options.
Is affiliate marketing for you?
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a living online. But remember in order to rank well on Google and attract users, your website must provide value.
You should focus on building and providing value to your audience first, then you can start to monetise after with an affiliate program.