How Online Casinos Market Themselves

In a competitive market place organisations need to take advantage of every possible opportunity to get ahead of the rest – and few markets are quite as competitive as online gambling. From simply not existing as recently as 25 years ago it is now a multi-billion dollar business that is set to continue growing at an incredible pace.

So the stakes have never been higher for online casinos to market themselves effectively if they want to continue riding the crest of the wave. But the good news for them is that there are many more techniques available than there ever have been before. The best online casinos implement all of the following strategies, when it comes to marketing an online casino it must be done effectively both online and offline.

Media Buying
A media buyer is vital to any online casino. Media buyers negotiate, purchase and monitor ad space. It is the responsibility of the ad buyer to get the best deal for the online casino company, this means that the advert should reach as many people as possible for the lowest price. In recent years media buying has grown increasingly complex, especially for online casinos, this is due to the amount of competition they face. Lots of companies are all vying to get the best ad space that will appeal to their target audience.

Traditional Media
Although the marketing spend on media like TV advertising, press and posters has been in decline since the advent of the internet these are still very powerful ways to both build a brand identity as well as getting specific marketing messages and offers across. Sponsorship is also a very effective way of raising brand awareness, whether it's a question of being shirt sponsors for football teams or even sponsoring TV films or programmes.

Google Paid Ads – Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Naturally, getting visitors to a site is absolutely crucial for success so appearing high in the Google search results is a high priority for any casino. Many use Google AdWords, this is an online advertising service that is used to ensure that their service appears prominently in any search. When this marketing technique is deployed, the online casino pays to display their advertising to web users. Google AdWords' system is based on keywords that the web user has searched for as well as cookies. Through doing this, Google can place the ad in the relevant places, this service is then paid for when the web user clicks on the advert. This Pay-Per-Click advertising method is very popular among online casinos due to the fact that they don't have to pay for their advertising unless it is getting results.

Google AdWords have now introduced remarketing. This allows online casinos to connect with users that have previously visited their site. The Google AdWords remarketing programme uses cookies to make this possible, this software is able to monitor the sites that a user has visited so it can advertise these sites again in the future. The ads can appear on a wide range of different internet pages that are visited by the user. These targeted ads are likely to work due to the user having been interested in the service at one point or another, so with enough encouragement they are likely to be tempted in. Remarketing works through the Google Display Network, this network spans over 2 million websites and reaches over 90% of people using the internet. By using remarketing, online casinos can connect with people while they are visiting their favourite websites or even sites that are similar to what the online casino is offering. This sophisticated advertising can cause a user to believe that a company has a large advertising budget as their ad is appearing in numerous different places, in reality it is the Google AdWords remarketing tool that has monitored the cookies. However, advertisers must ensure that they do not run the remarketing campaign for too long. Users can become frustrated at seeing the same ad over and over again, resulting in negative feelings towards the company.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is used by many online casinos, the sites that adopt this method now employ professionals that are tasked with getting the site towards the top of Google's search results. SEO is done to increase a sites visibility on Google without paying for it, these results are referred to as ‘natural' or ‘organic'. This particular marketing discipline requires both technical and creative expertise in order to drive traffic and increase the sites awareness. It is a complex method though; Google are frequently changing their criteria for what they regard as a high quality and reliable site. There's always a battle to stay in touch with their requirements but it's one that's essential for success. Research has shown that as few as 9% of people make it to page 2 of any Google search.

Affiliate Marketing
Another key technique that all successful online casinos use to attract new players is through appearing on affiliate sites. These are effectively notice-boards giving a round-up of different casinos and the bonuses that they are offering, often with reviews too. They earn their money by receiving commission for each new customer who clicks through to a specific site and makes an initial deposit. 888casino, one of the first online casinos on the internet, have developed an affiliate programme which has attracted many affiliates who are incredibly successful, the affiliates encourage those that visit their website to enjoy some of the features offered by the online casino, such as the brilliant live casino with real dealers. If they do successfully encourage the visitors to visit the online casino and deposit money with the site then they can earn good money. Affiliate marketing is only successful for online casinos when the link to their site is placed on high quality websites with lots of visitors that are potentially interested in gambling online.

Innovative content
We've all heard the expression that “content is king” and nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of the online casino. Players are always after novel and exciting experiences and offering them is a way to stand apart from the crowd, the best online casinos offer a range of new exclusive slots games developed internally as well as a number of other exciting features such as a live casino. Providing a smooth and efficient interface with any of these innovations is also essential.

Native apps are downloaded through an app store, they are then stored on the device. A well designed native app can be extremely beneficial to an online casino company due to the fact that the user doesn't have to search for the brand through their browser. The app is already installed on their phone making for easy access. Online casinos that have efficient apps are able to send the user push notifications, often resulting in them visiting the app when they were not previously considering doing so. This also provides them with the opportunity of making their users aware of special offers and promotions. Web apps are also available; web apps have the advantage of not requiring time and effort to download the app, they are available without the need for installation. Many online casinos choose to not manufacture a native app due to them not being available to android users. The Google Play Store prohibits gambling apps.

Email Marketing
One major positive of email marketing is the low cost. There are no fees paid to ensure that your message is viewed. In addition to this, fans of the brand are easily targeted due to their email address being on the database from transactions with the online casino. Some people often opt-in to receive special offers and promotions via email. Emailing marketing campaigns are not too difficult to create, although the contents of the emails must grab the reader's attention. Previous estimates have found that email campaigns typically return £40 for every £1 invested.

YouTube and Programmatic Ads
YouTube videos are a great way for an online casino to increase their brand awareness. By creating videos that are designed to be viewed and shared the company can portray themselves as they wish. Advertising on YouTube is also measurable, online casinos can either promote themselves or design instructional videos that show game strategies and techniques. Whatever it is they choose to do they can immediately measure how many people have viewed the advert and also when people have clicked off the video, making it easier to improve the marketing material in the future.

Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic ads uses software to purchase digital advertising. This is different to the old-fashioned technique of human negotiations. When ads were bought and sold by humans it often resulted in people overpaying, the process was considered rather unreliable. These cleverly designed ads allow online casino companies to pick and choose which type of people see the adverts. It is able to narrow people down due to their demographics and only show the advert if it is likely to cater to them. This ensures that the adverts are only shown to the right people at the right time.

Social Media
Once a casino gets a good reputation word of mouth is another great way to recruit more players – hence the commitment to social media shown by all of the big operators. There are countless ways that this can be harnessed in a number of ways including having active Facebook and Twitter accounts. Social media is a brilliant way of increasing brand awareness. If it is implemented correctly it can result in an increase in inbound traffic due to the fact that it can be seen by a wide range of different types of people. It is also a great way to increase brand loyalty due to the fact that the customers can interact directly with the brand.

So, as you can see, there are countless ways that online casinos market themselves and the most skilful use a perfect combination of them all. Online casino companies must ensure that all of their marketing channels are coordinated and orchestrated, they must all have the same tone.

Of course, there are many more than we've had space to go into here and, no doubt even more will start to present themselves as technology advances and becomes even more sophisticated.

And – one thing's for sure – the online casinos who are the first to adopt them will be the ones who really win out in the end.

Key Points

  • The online casino industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.
  • There are a wide range of marketing techniques.
  • There is a lot of competition between companies that are all vying to get the best ad space that will appeal to their target audience.
  • Google AdWords have a number of fantastic techniques that help online casinos and their marketing campaigns.
  • The Google Display Network spans over 2 million websites and reaches over 90% of people using the internet.
  • Online casinos must continue to market themselves in order to continue growing.
  • The most common marketing techniques are: the use of traditional media, Google and SEO, Affiliate marketing, Innovative content, apps, YouTube and programmatic ads and social media.
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