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The future of influencer marketing in the igaming industry



Reading Time: 5 minutes

Author: Anna Zhukova, Team Lead (iGaming vertical) of Famesters agency 


Influencer marketing is no longer a way to promote a new mascara. Today, it is a dominating strategy for complex brands, products, and platforms. From 2016 to 2022, the average annual growth rate of the influencer marketing industry was 46.9%.

9 of 10 iGaming industry players use this channel permanently as a powerful way to connect and engage with their target audiences. It is easy to explain: smart leveraging the power of influencers can bring tremendous results already during the test launch.

Why use influencer marketing for iGaming?

By partnering with influencers who have a large and engaged audience in the iGaming community, brands can tap into a highly motivated audience that is more likely to respond positively to their marketing messages. Additionally, influencers provide a level of authenticity and trust that is difficult to achieve via traditional advertising channels, especially for those products that are not easy to promote due to legal risks. Finally, iGaming brands can leverage influencer marketing to stand out from competitors and stay on top of mind with consumers in a skyrocketing competitive market: the iGaming industry, comprising online gambling, sports betting, and casino games, has experienced rapid expansion in recent years. In 2021, the industry was estimated to be worth $61 billion annually, and has projections of an 86% growth rate by 2028. 

Current situation and upcoming trends

As the iGaming industry evolves year by year, brands build their communication and expand the audience with content creators. According to the BuzzGuru research, 89% of the marketers admit that ROI from influencer marketing is higher than from other channels.

Year by year, by allocating influencer marketing budgets, iGaming brands gain the ability to expand their reach to new audiences and improve performance among existing ones. This advantage enables iGaming industry players to skyrocket. Today, we observe the rise of brands’ collaborations with micro-influencers: 77% of the brands prefer working with this type of creators. It is easy to explain: collaborations with niche creators usually bring better performance. Micro-influencers are seen as more authentic and engaging than larger influencers, that is why they can help build a more loyal and engaged customer base.

The trends in influencer marketing shaping the future of the industry are: 

1. Diving deep

Influencer marketing is evolving towards a more comprehensive approach where content creators are deeply involved in promoting products. This approach goes far beyond traditional CPA deals, where influencers are paid based on the results they deliver. Today, we see creators who use iGaming products they promote regularly and at the same time express genuine excitement towards them becoming brand ambassadors. This leads to more genuine promotions because the creators provide not just the basic product information, benefits and bonuses the platform prepared for new users, but also their own unique experience. As a result, the promotions become more authentic and resonate better with the audience.

2. Long-term partnerships

More and more iGaming brands prefer to build long-lasting relationships with influencers, rather than one-off campaigns. This approach kills two birds with one stone: brands build more authentic and loyal relationships both with influencers and their audience, thus enlarge their own and attract new users. A successful approach is to build long-term relations for iGaming brand is to collaborate with influencers who already performed well and seek out content creators who are alike. Niche creators often form small communities, so partnering with such influencers can help broaden your brand’s reach by tapping into their audience. 

3. Transparent messages

There is a growing emphasis on the transparency of ads. Simple promotions of casinos and betting platforms on YouTube and Instagram are forbidden, that is why the ad messages should be native and transparent. Tell about the benefits of your platform, its USP, and bonuses new users get after registration. At the same time, be clear in calls for action and use simple ones, such as ‘click here’, ‘register now’, ‘use a promo code’, and others.

Opportunities and challenges

Promotion of betting platforms and online casinos through influencers unlocks new possibilities for brands to expand their existing audience, including the opportunity to target new geos, build brand awareness and trust, and, finally, attract new players. 

Let’s see how it works: an influencer showcases a bet slip or a feature they find impressive in an iGaming app or platform, along with a hyperlink in their post that  leads to a casino lobby or a betting platform. This provides the audience with a clear and understandable picture of what they can expect from the app or a platform from a trustworthy creator they follow.

The success of an influencer marketing campaign highly depends on certain factors: creatives’ quality, relevant creators and their audiences. It is crucial to find influencers who have a strong performance and whose values align with those of your brand. One key aspect to consider is the relevance of your product to the content produced by the influencer. For example, at Famesters when planning integrations for betting platforms, we prefer working with influencers who create sports or entertaining content – they usually bring the best performance. 

However, alongside opportunities come challenges. First, it can be difficult to find influencers that are experienced in the iGaming industry and are ready to take the risks: if a creator is caught in promoting iGaming, they get a strike from a platform, after 3 strikes the platform bans their account. Second, it is better to make sure you target the right audience. So it is better to identify them first. The ‘golden’ and the most desirable audience for iGaming brands is usually solvent males above 20. As for creatives, it’s essential to highlight any unique information or bonuses your platform provides. It’s also crucial to emphasize the expected action several times, at the same time this call-to-action should be clear and easy to understand.

Emerging technologies and their use for iGaming brands

The development of technologies does not stand still. One of the technologies to use for influencer marketing of iGaming brands is virtual and augmented reality: create immersive experiences for the audience, allowing them to see the creator in a ‘real-world’ casino or sportsbook. This can be especially effective for online casinos, which often struggle to replicate the excitement and atmosphere of a physical casino.

Another technology to be used is artificial intelligence (AI). On the one hand, AI could analyze data about the influencers’ account, including audience, the engagement rate, number of comments and others. Some AI, like BuzzGuru, help get a clear picture of competitors’ influencer marketing strategies, including paid and organic mentions, lists of influencers involved, videos links released and budgets spent. 

On the other hand, AI can assist in creating more engaging ad messages for the audiences, as well as developing tasks and briefs for creators, diversifying scripts and thus making every single launch unique. 

The importance of analytics in influencer marketing

As an agency, we stake on a deep analysis of current campaigns. This approach  always helps understand the key audience and provide recommendations for further launches – by cutting off non-working solutions, we easily increase the performance on the go. By going deeper into creators’ analytics such as audience data, engagement rates, average views and reach, in addition to previous launches’ performance for the similar products, we are able to make a clear estimation in order to squeeze the maximum possible outcomes. 

Besides, the industry is growing very fast and we’re always learning. The reality shows that even small changes in strategy can affect the whole launch significantly and only a proper analytics and the ability to overview things from the subtle side gives the luxury to absorb the newly came information.

Industry News

Azerion Announces Proposed Changes to its Supervisory Board



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Since the start of 2022, Azerion has seen a period of significant transformation and growth including its listing on Euronext Amsterdam, the completed sale of the Youda card games portfolio and the recently announced placement of EUR 165 million of senior secured floating rate bonds.

Following their successful stewardship throughout this period, Azerion now announced the decision of Peter Tordoir (Chairman) and Derk Haank to step down from Azerion’s Supervisory Board. Both decisions to step down are expected to take effect as from the date of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to be convened as soon as is reasonably practicable to appoint the proposed new Supervisory Board members described below.

As Azerion prepares for the next stage of its growth plan and the business continues to scale into becoming one of Europe’s largest digital advertising and entertainment media platforms, Azerion welcomed Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as proposed new Supervisory Board members. Further details relating to both proposed Supervisory Board members and the arrangements for the EGM are expected to be published shortly. A new Chairperson will be appointed by the Supervisory Board in due course.

Umut Akpinar, CEO of Azerion, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Tordoir and Derk Haank for their invaluable contribution to the success of Azerion and, in particular, during its initial phase as a listed company. We will be pleased to welcome Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as new Supervisory Board members bringing additional commercial, industry and capital markets experience to the Board.”

Background on Proposed New Supervisory Board Members

Zafer Karataş brings extensive experience in Business Management, M&A, Reorganizations and Financial Audit. He is currently Chairman of the Board of technology company MeritGrup and a Supervisory board member of DVA Bilisim and Most Teknoloji.

Wim de Pundert has been active as an investor and entrepreneur since the early 1990s, including through the use of buy and build and market consolidation strategies. De Pundert founded HTP Investments, a shareholder of Azerion, together with Klaas Meertens. He is also a member of the supervisory board of Knaus Tabbert AG, a European manufacturer of caravans and mobile homes listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

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Industry News

Entain Provides Update on Current Trading and FY23 Guidance



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Entain plc has provided an update on current trading and FY 2023 guidance, as well as plans to update shareholders on the progress of ongoing actions to accelerate operational performance and drive shareholder value.

Current Trading

Post the summer, Online Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) has been mixed across the Group, but in aggregate, softer than anticipated. Q3 Online NGR growth is now expected to be up high single-digit percent, and down high single digit percent on a proforma basis. Key drivers include:

  • Adverse sporting results impacting sports margins during September
  • Group wide implementation of industry leading safer gambling measures and ongoing regulatory headwinds persisting longer than expected, particularly in the UK
  • Slower growth than expected in Australia and Italy
  • Good underlying Online growth (ex-regulatory impacts) as evidenced by further strong proforma growth in active customers across the quarter
  • Strong performance from recent acquisitions, particularly SuperSport in Croatia
  • Robust performance across Retail

BetMGM in the US continuing to perform well: on track to deliver positive EBITDA in the second half of 2023; FY2023 NGR at the upper end of $1.8-$2.0bn guidance; and the successful rollout of Single Account Single Wallet, as well as online sportsbook enhancements supporting strong start to the NFL season.

Entain now expect Group Online NGR for FY2023 to be up low double-digit percent with proforma NGR down low single digit percent. The company reiterate their expectations for FY2023 EBITDA to be in the range of £1.00bn-£1.05bn supported by robust operational controls.

Actions to Accelerate Operational Strategy and Performance

Over the last three years Entain has undergone a significant strategic transformation, improving the quality of earnings and aligning operations to ensure the Group is positioned as strongly as possible to deliver long term shareholder value.

Alongside the Q3 trading update on 2 November 2023, management will share more detail on how these actions are being implemented to accelerate performance and delivery, including:

  • A comprehensive market review focusing on long-term sustainable organic growth
  • The simplification of Group structures and operations to improve operational leverage and reduce costs
  • A plan for the migration of acquired businesses on to the Group’s industry leading technology platform
  • Optimising our capital allocation priorities
  • Progress on delivery of the Group’s Online EBITDA margin target of 30%

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, said: “We continue to see good underlying growth in our online business and are reiterating our EBITDA guidance for the year despite softer than expected revenue growth in Q3 and the ongoing roll-out of industry-leading safer gambling measures. We continue to attract more customers than ever before to enjoy our products and services. BetMGM remains on track to deliver positive EBITDA in H2 and a full year NGR performance at the top end of our expectations, and we are particularly excited about the product improvements that we are rolling out over the NFL season.

“We have made significant changes to the Group over the last three years. Our focus now is on accelerating the actions we are taking to drive sustainable organic growth, expand our margins, capitalise on the US opportunity and deliver long-term returns for our shareholders. We remain confident in our ability to deliver on the vast opportunities ahead of us, and look forward to sharing more detail about the changes that we are making alongside our Q3 trading update in November.”

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Industry News

Holland Casino Identifies New Groningen Casino Site



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Holland Casino has chosen Business Park Ter Borch as the new location for its Groningen casino. Holland Casino selected the location at the gateway to Groningen for its accessibility and construction opportunities. Business park Ter Borch, on the edge of the municipality of Tynaarlo, offers Holland Casino the best opportunities to build a casino that meets the company’s architectural and sustainability requirements. Moreover, the location at the gateway to Groningen is easily accessible for guests and there is ample parking.

CEO Petra de Ruiter said: “We are happy that the decision has now been made. If the Tynaarlo municipal council is as enthusiastic as the board of Holland Casino, we can enter the period of planning and construction. I’m looking forward to that and especially to the moment when the new Holland Casino Groningen is open. That is not only good news for our guests, but also for our employees.

“They will soon be able to optimally welcome guests from a new building and offer the hospitality that can be expected from us.”

Spatial planning councilor Jurryt Vellinga of the municipality of Tynaarlo said: “The location makes sense because of the good accessibility and the space that the business park offers. For us it is a sign that the municipality of Tynaarlo and the region are still popular for companies. This location offers employment opportunities and is a great boost for tourism in our municipality.”

Attention has also been paid to the former Holland Casino location on Gedempte Kattendiep in Groningen. The casino was destroyed in a fire in 2017, with Holland Casino operating a temporary facility since 2018.

“Holland Casino offers the municipality of Groningen every cooperation to ensure that something beautiful comes back to the city center. We are grateful to everyone involved for all the cooperation and support we have received in recent years. We are very grateful to Groningen and Tynaarlo for the efforts made to find a suitable location,” Ms. de Ruiter said.

The new branch of Holland Casino, Holland Casino Groningen, is expected to open in 2027.

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