'African Gaming Affiliates': A Recap (Part I)

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Recently, our VP of Strategy Sarafina Wolde Gabriel chaired the panel discussion Destination Africa – Negotiating the Next Big iGaming Affiliate Market at the 2018 Affiliate Insider Bootcamp in London. The other panellists were (in alphabetical order):

  • Florian Guede – Head of Marketing, mybet.com (operating a Ghana-facing brand)
  • Mark McGuinness – CMO, BetOlimp.za (South African brand)
  • Mathew Symmonds – Director, Web Analysis Solutions (Africa-focused affiliate)
  • Sarah McChesney-Gordon – Client Services Director, Fresh8 Gaming (marketing tech company focusing on Africa among other markets).

The session aimed to not only showcase the current and future opportunities for affiliates in African markets, but also contextualise the affiliate channel within operators’ broader marketing mixes.

In part one of this two-part piece, we present the panel discussion’s key points about player profiles and marketing approaches.

Volume and Value

Lifetime player values vary widely, and leading affiliate Mathew Symmonds explained how some of Web Analysis Solutions’ partners “see player lifetime values of just one of months, while others see twelve [months] plus”.

It’s important to note that, while many players in Africa bet low stakes to try and achieve a considerable payout, there are also heavy-duty players who deposit larger amounts. Symmonds emphasised the size of these players’ impact: “There’s a huge divide between your average street punter and the very rich. The latter of these will spend big money every month – we’re talking UK player amounts.”

The range of player lifetime values means that affiliates should work with operators to define the best segmented strategy. This can be done by diversifying marketing approaches depending on a brand’s audience. For example, promoting long-bet code banners for lower-value players and reaching more frequent depositors with regular SMS promotions.

Because African markets tend of have a larger volume of players than in Europe, this allows for multiple targeted campaigns. As South African brand BetOLimp.za’s MarkMcGuinness illustrated. “While UK salaries are higher, and the market is more sophisticated, the likes of South Africa make up for this through a high volume of players,” he said.

Marketing Made Simple

Because the majority of African online traffic comes from mobile, it’s imperative that affiliates optimise their sites accordingly and also make them easy to read on smart phones and tablets. Content should be short and concise. Both Symmonds and McGuinness agreed that “nobody wants to read long-form content”.

Promotional banners should also contain messages which are easy enough for players to understand in two seconds. In terms of which visuals work best, Fresh8 Gaming’s Sarah McChesney-Gordon talked about relying “a lot on static images to try and simplify campaigns” for brands she works with.

Because internet penetration in African countries is growing strongly and has yet to plateau, it’s still currently relatively easy to achieve a higher search engine ranking through common SEO practices such as using the correct short and long-tail keywords. McGuinness felt that now is the best time for new affiliates to get involved: “From a SEO perspective, the entry level is still comparatively low [compared to Europe]. You can smash the market pretty quickly.”Tomorrow we’ll continue with the second and final part of the takeaways from our African market panel. In the meantime, tell us your own views on the African opportunity for iGaming affiliates in the comments section below.