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A Guide to Affiliate Marketing for Sports Betting Programs & Businesses

Aug 4, 2023

Having a comprehensive and convenient sports betting platform is essential for a prosperous iGaming business. However, it is not quite enough. To attract new players to the platform an operator has to develop a strong marketing strategy.

Different marketing instruments can be used to boost a sports betting business. Operators prefer to diversify strategies with content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and others. Yet, one of the most suitable and proven types for the iGaming industry is affiliate marketing.

However, we need to establish what exactly sports betting affiliate marketing is and how it works. And this guide is going to help you with that.

What is Sports Betting Affiliate Marketing?

To have a better understanding of this particular type of marketing, we need to clarify what affiliate marketing is in general.

Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing that uses affiliates as product advertisers. Each partner receives a payout for referring players to an iGaming brand. Once the player clicks an affiliate link, registers, makes a deposit, or performs one of the many trigger actions, the affiliate gets their payment. Naturally, the sports betting affiliate marketing operates on the same principle, only affiliates bring clients, or players, to a particular sports betting platform or brand.

How Do Sports Betting Affiliate Programs Work?

Most of the sports betting websites have created affiliate programs to attract new players with help from partners. In exchange, the partners get a certain payment based on the revenue generated by the players they bring.

After an affiliate chooses a suitable program, they need to sign up for it. This process takes minutes in most cases. However, additional verifications may be required by the partner program admins. 

Once the affiliate account is registered and verified, affiliates can get their referral links and codes to publish on affiliate websites, blogs, streams, and so on. Then, when potential players follow the link, they get redirected to the sportsbook. Sometimes that is enough for a partner to get a commission. Sometimes it isn’t, depending on the commission type.

There are common types of commissions that are widely used across affiliate programs in iGaming:

CPA

In order for an affiliate to get the payment in the Cost Per Acquisition (or per Action) type, their lead is required to make a predetermined action. Usually, it a visitor has to make a deposit or wager a certain minimum amount of money.

CPL

In the Cost or Pay Per Lead commission type, an affiliate is responsible not only for leading a player to the website but also for signing up. Only then the commission is paid. Yet, sports betting operators and partners tend to avoid this commission type because registering does not guarantee that the player will bring revenue.

RevShare

Unlike the previous types, where the affiliates get one-time payments, Revenue Share is a long-term commission type. The idea is in the name – an affiliate is getting paid a commission for as long as their players keep delivering revenue to the sportsbook. This is also a great stimulus for affiliates to bring only high-quality players.

Hybrid

Being a combination of RevShare and CPA, this type is loved by many affiliates. And it is no surprise– the partners get the first payment for bringing the player to the merchant. And then, they keep getting paid during the whole player lifecycle, as long as the player brings revenue.

The Definition of an Affiliate Network

An affiliate network is a sports betting affiliate marketing solution and hub that can greatly help with promotion by involving affiliate marketers. In fact, it is their primary purpose. Affiliate networks connect sportsbook operators and affiliate partners within one digital platform.

The indisputable advantage of using an affiliate network is that it serves as the middleman between operators and direct affiliates. Sports betting platforms are given access to convenient reporting and analysis tools that monitor the performance of affiliate marketers. In turn, the marketers are able to browse affiliate programs within various niches and countries. And each party has access to each other’s features and terms.

It is fair to assume that affiliate networks are the intermediary between the merchants and their partners. They allow the latter to locate affiliate programs and advertise betting platforms to a much wider and more appropriate audience.

Sports Betting Affiliate Network Solutions

The variety of solutions affiliates use to reach the target audience and increase engagement and site attendance makes a solid case in favour of considering sports betting affiliate marketing networks as promotional tools.

Here are the main approaches that are usually used by affiliate marketers to attract leads and boost the exposure of a sportsbook:

Website Content

Attracting leads with sports articles, recommendations, news, and so on is a working way of driving traffic to the partner’s website. Affiliate marketers create websites with relevant content that is of interest to potential players. Then it is a matter of keeping the content interesting, engaging, and updated.

Another way of using website content is by posting ads on a partner’s website. It may not be a custom-built betting-themed website, but people are going to see the ad anyway and potentially act on it.

YouTube

This method is very similar to the previous one. Simply promoting the sports betting site on more or less popular betting channels can bring players to a sports betting brand. Usually, the promotion comes in the form of a short ad during the video, where an affiliate tells about the sportsbook and invites their audience to follow the link or use a referral code.

Reviews

It is never a bad thing to have some well-structured, yet truthful sports betting affiliate reviews of the platform out there. Good-written reviews tend to describe all the sides of a particular sportsbook, along with the user experience and quality of the content. Reviews give potential players everything they crave to learn about their site of choice and incline them to try it by following the link and signing up.

Social Networks

This method offers a sports betting affiliate marketing partners a variety of advantages. It can not only attract people who are looking for entertainment but also promote the betting site to the right audience. Those are just a few reasons why social networks are a worthy tool for any affiliate promoter. However, affiliate marketers know too well that social platforms have their own restrictions in promoting sports betting-related content.

Email Newsletter

For some businesses, newsletters are the main form of advertising. The participants of an affiliate program are given unique links to the sites, particular articles, or offers, which they distribute across their email databases. Afterwards, thanks to the referral links, sportsbooks can easily monitor the leads using tracking software.

SEO

It is hard to overestimate the significance of ranking high on search pages. That is why SEO is among the most vital tools implemented by sports betting affiliate marketing networks for iGaming brands. This solution considerably increases the odds that the site will be noticed by potential players.

Promotions

Limited discounts, promotional coupons, and other means are just a few ways to promote sports betting websites that help affiliate marketers bring quality leads. Special offers become even more useful if promoted at the right time of the year.

Advantages

The pluses of affiliate marketing for sports betting platforms are significantly greater than the risks. In a modern world, being competitive as it is, having a wide and stable social media presence is essential. Sometimes a good ad can bring a lot of customers, even if the product does not deliver.All things considered, potential players need to know that they are choosing a high-quality and honest website to spend their time and money at.

Affiliate marketing is the type of promotion that can help reach great exposure with minimum risks. It has a lot of benefits compared to the other types of marketing. Let’s find out what they are:

Better Targeting

Affiliates in iGaming are quite proficient in the industry and know their audience really well. That helps them in the effective promotion of sports betting websites. Due to that, sportsbooks receive well-aware, well-informed, and already interested players that bring more revenue and are there to stay.

Minimal Risk

Most sportsbooks use sports betting affiliate marketing to grow their online presence and increase their conversion. Affiliate marketing does not require extraordinary costs, since most affiliate marketers are getting paid only after their leads prove to be of high quality.

Increased Awareness

Affiliate marketing enables sports betting platforms of all sizes to increase their exposure and brand awareness among players. This helps brands become more relevant and attract more players.

International Expansion

Players from various parts of the planet visit sports betting sites. This makes affiliate marketing a particularly useful promotional instrument. The partners that join affiliate programs can be located all over the world, so quite often they have to appeal to their local audiences. That means additional promotion overseas and subsequent expansion of the brand.

Detailed Stats

Modern affiliate tracking software gives access to very detailed statistics that are of great use to both affiliate marketers and operators. For example, affiliate software helps affiliate marketers with tracking key data points, so affiliates and sportsbook operators have access to detailed  referral link performance reports and more.

Conclusion

As one of the more effective and cost-efficient marketing solutions, affiliate marketing works especially well in the iGaming industry. It allows sports betting platforms to increase their revenue without too many risks or high costs. With a variety of approaches to attract players, each with its own benefits, it is clear why affiliate marketing is such a widespread phenomenon in the sports betting industry.

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