The pandemic and quarantine have changed people's lives in all areas, and betting is no exception. The quarantine measures in 2020 caused the complete closure of betting points and sped up the industry's full digitalization, which continues into 2021. Our Chief Marketing Officer, Ivan Lyashenko, predicted betting digital marketing trends and activities in 2021.
Along with the gradual lifting of restrictions, sporting events returned. As top European football matches and other sporting fixtures resumed, betting saw a significant uptick.
Companies are cautiously increasing their marketing budgets after the economic crisis to achieve higher volumes and access new advertising channels. Marketers are launching special projects, employing non-standard formats, and making bold decisions.
Despite overall industry losses, one area has seen profitable growth—esports. About 30-40% of all bets placed during the quarantine period were on esports events in the CIS market.
Due to the rising popularity of esports, Parimatch is highlighting its development as one of the priority business areas reflected in the product, mobile applications, special promotions, and game mechanics for esports fans. We’ve partnered with renowned esports clubs; we also support amateur tournaments in various disciplines, organize our own professional leagues, and create content for the esports community on social media.
Yes, esports is the only segment that has grown during the pandemic. Tournament broadcasts regularly break records in terms of reach and views. For example, the international esports competition organizer, ESL, reported a 113.2% increase in the audience of CS: GO tournaments compared to the previous season.
Because of their presence in esports, companies can reach a young audience, achieve a high engagement level, and have constant contact with the tournament audience.
Betting companies will strengthen their presence in esports through tournament sponsorship, ambassador signings, and online integration – organizing events within the tournament framework where users can participate and receive bonuses.
Betting companies realize that social media is one of the most valuable assets for audience engagement and not a place for boring branded images. The role of social networks will increase as part of the activation of sponsorship contracts: in this way, most of the interaction between companies and ambassadors will take place through social networks.
We also expect gamification in social networks – the launch of sweepstakes, games, and other subscriber activities.
Historically, in the CIS, partnerships with affiliates have been built on personal relationships. During lockdown and in a general transition to online, relationships are evolving into a win-win partnership format with an increase in the price tag for services.
Bans on betting advertising in the UK and similar restrictions in Spain and Italy continue. Against the background of the ban on betting-company sponsorship of football teams in several top championships, there will be an increase in media cost for inventory within the packages, but the cost of the packages will drop because of the reduction in the options to display advertising.
The year 2020 showed that the industry no longer has time to swing: betting will master technology rapidly because doing so will result in savings on marketing. Marketing departments will apply fresh approaches everywhere, from automated media planning to anti-fraud precautions.
For example, where we previously tailored anti-fraud systems to billing operations, we now plan to use them in marketing to detect fraud much earlier in the conversion process.
In gambling, performance-marketing anti-fraud is relatively poorly developed, limiting the ability to purchase traffic by models other than CPA for FTD or Revenue Share.
Now, in most gambling companies, the conversion funnel looks like this:
Registration → confirmation of registration → first deposit ↘️paying to affiliates↙️ → repeat deposit → customer who makes a profit
The development of marketing anti-fraud and traffic assessment models will expand purchasing models for leading affiliate programs.
Your conversion funnel will look like this:
Registration ↘️paying to affiliates↙️ → confirmation of registration → first deposit → repeat deposit → customer who makes a profit
With innovative work on the funnel and the use of behavioral models of traffic estimation, it becomes possible, on the one hand, to save the budget for an affiliate and, on the other, to connect new websites from different high-risk niches.
2020 showed that long-term planning has lost matchup versus situational adaptability. Therefore, I advise everyone to be ready for the new realities of the industry and trends in digital marketing.