Marketing is the lifeblood of any business, and nowhere is that more true than the hyper-competitive online casino industry.
With new sites popping up every single day, how do existing casinos hold their positions and new ones compete against the established giants like Betfair and Bet365?
Teams of marketers have been asked the exact same questions, and have come up with some interesting solutions.
Here are the top five trends in online casino marketing this year.
How are casinos marketing themselves in 2017?
New Types of Bonus – The online casino bonus is as old as the hills, but inventive casinos ahead of the curve are reinventing them in 2017.
Since virtually every casino offers a standard welcome deposit match and perhaps some free spins, casinos have had to find a way to distinguish themselves and stand out from the crowd.
One of the newest and most novel approaches we discovered this year was that of PlayOJO, a brand new online casino. They have offered a bonus based on loyal play, for life, with no wagering requirements.
This will likely catch on and we will see more casinos offer such bonuses this coming year. PlayOJO has made quite a few waves by doing away with wagering requirements, and we expect that to catch on with others soon.
Virtual Reality – This one is just about making the transition from spark to slow burning fire, but we expect it to engulf the online casino scene in the coming years.
2017 seems to be the year most online casinos embraced the reality that VR is going to change everything about the industry forever, and the quickest off the mark have already embraced it.
Sites like Slots Million offer players the chance to walk around a virtual slots casino, playing games on their VR headsets.
While it’s all pretty rudimentary and there’s still a lot of work to be done, the effort to develop VR has paid off big time from a marketing perspective.
Slots Million has made a huge name for itself by being out ahead of the others, and we have noticed lots of others quickly adapting ad coming up close behind them.
As more casinos jump on the VR bandwagon the marketing power will somewhat dwindle as players realize ‘no big deal, most offer that now’. For now, however, there are still relatively few casinos offering it.
Mobile Apps – Mobile casinos have been around for awhile now, but in 2016 mobile players surpassed desktop players for the first time.
Naturally, this caused the marketing teams of online casinos to pay attention and 2017 has been a huge year for mobile gaming.
Making the mobile casinos apps as user-friendly, feature rich, and lite and compact as possible has been a huge trend in 2017. We expect this to keep growing as the mobile industry grows and grows.
From a marketing point of view there has been a massive push to emphasize the availability of mobile apps, with the smartest casinos understanding players don’t always like downloading them and offering the chance to play directly on flash sites, too.
Mr. Green still proudly boasts it is the best mobile casino in the world. We’ll leave that to you to judge for yourself.
Affiliate Marketing – This isn’t exactly a new way of marketing an online casino, but as more and more people switch on to the opportunities involved in making money on the internet from home, affiliate marketing continued to play a key role in casino marketing in 2017.
Affiliates can take home a huge piece of the pie, with the best casino affiliate programs offering as much as 45% of any profits.
When you stop and think about it, that’s actually something like owning your own casino, without the any of the financial risk. Affiliates can rake in profits into the multi-millions per year, so we aren’t surprised this tried and tested method continues to play a part in 2017.
Despite it becoming increasingly difficult for new affiliates to get a foothold, we are 100% convinced affiliate marketing isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
With $40,000,000,000 a year being spent globally every year on casino gaming online, there will always be an endless supply of entrepreneurs willing to help with marketing efforts for a piece of the pie.
Social Media – You might have noticed already, but everyone has stopped looking up and 90% of people rarely break away from their phones for more than a few minutes at a time.
It’s hardly surprising then, that online casino markets are spending record amounts of money marketing on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Facebook, for example won’t allow casinos to advertise without a minimum spend of $10,000 per month. This means the little guys find it difficult to get a foothold on the social media scene, and it virtually eliminates affiliates altogether, leaving direct links to the biggest casinos the only ads on social media.
As a result, social media markets have had to come up with inventive ways to get social media attention. From hilarious memes, to advertorial stories, the ways casinos are marketing themselves on social media is genius and many don’t even suspect they are being pitched.
Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, announced over 1 billion daily users in 2017. We think it’s safe to say social media marketing for online casinos is here to stay.
So, what other ways can you think of to market online casinos? What do you think will play a factor in the rest of 2017 and beyond?