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By Dale Shelabarger, Updated:
The first, inaugural Affiliate Insider Bootcamp 2018 took place this Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, home to Chelsea Football Club. Approximately 100 affiliate “delegates” attended the event, which took place during SBCEvents’ Betting on Football conference. Although just in its first year, the Bootcamp was organised by industry veteran and founder of AffiliateFest, Lee-Ann Johnstone.
Over the course of one day, the AI Bootcamp hosted seven talks. Each tackled a different area of affiliate marketing, be it making the most of using social media, improving SEO, creating unique content, or branching out into different markets and verticals. In between these insightful sessions, there were opportunities to eat, meet and network with fellow affiliates, marketers, operators and experts. To cap off the day, attendees converged on the Namco Funscape arcade bar for a night of nostalgic, retro gaming on the Southbank.
Every one of the seven talks bestowed the audience golden nuggets of expert information. In this article, we want to share some of what we learnt at this invaluable industry event in the form of 7 snappy takeaways for affiliates in the iGaming industry. This article is not intended to be an exhaustive recollection, rather a distillation of what was an insightful day of learning. We hope this information will be interesting to fellow affiliates, as well as those with an interest in SEO and digital marketing.
Inside Casino presents 7 Takeaways from the 7 talks at the first Affiliate Insider Bootcamp 2018:
The Social Media Hacks Workshop – Sarah Sangster, founder of Sangster Digital
Never underestimate the importance of a good social media strategy. It is an excellent way to build a brand and a following. However, it is too often overlooked and under-cooked, especially when it comes to creating video and animated graphics. Affiliates often think that producing unique video content is way beyond their skill set. However, you don’t have to be Stephen Spielberg to produce peppy videos, in the Snapchat or “Instastory” mould. As Sangster pointed out, there are Apps that are cheaply available which allow you to create meaningful, eye-catching content within 20 minutes.
Sarah Sangster’s Talk
On Wordswag, an app available for just £4.99, you can create any social media graphic with layers of text, images and live video. The app comes with Pixabay’s entire database of copyright-free pictures and you can even brand your creation with an image of your logo. On Videoshop, available on the app store for just £1.99, you can edit video and piece together individual slides. Before long, you’ll have created professional looking digital video content that can elevate you in this highly competitive market.
Takeaway #1 – Create a piece of video content for sharing on social media
The “Real Deal” SEO Workshop – Andrew Edwards, CEO of Madabout Media
When Andy Edwards’ own affiliate site started to go down the tubes, he resolved to master SEO to understand why his rankings had plummeted and what he needed to do to fix it himself. Several years later and Edwards has done just that. Apart from providing a timely reminder that the new google update in June/July will see a full migration to mobile indexing, Edwards analysed the SEO dos and don’ts on an affiliate site live on a projector. He emphasised the evolving challenge that SEO throws up in today’s world. He was particularly vocal about some little bits of on-site technical SEO that can make a huge difference, including our second takeaway below.
Takeaway #2 – Optimize Images! This can half your page speed and increase rankings with minimal effort or expertise.
The Big Link Debate – Nick Garner, Founder of Rize Digital
According to Garner, there is no such thing as a bad link, only good or neutral links. This may sound like a “hot take” to some people, but Garner says that Google have effectively admitted there’s really no need to disavow “toxic links.” In fact, Garner downplayed the importance of links in general in today’s SEO world. According to research, links perhaps only contribute around 30% to rankings. That means that a much larger chunk, around 45%, of rankings are made up of CTR (Click Through Rate). That is to say…
Takeaway #3 – User engagement is more important than link-building. Content must be good and, what’s more, useful.
Content Strategies for Sports Betting Affiliates – Martin Calvert, MD of Blueclaw Media
Though Calvert’s talk focused on Sports Betting for the most part, his points rang true across all sectors of the industry. Once again, the focus in today’s SEO environment has to be on quality, legitimacy and usefulness to the user.
Takeaway #4 – Adopt a “PR Mindset” – Affiliates should try to create news from a unique, or data driven angle in order to gain coverage (and links) from trade and mainstream publications.
Starting your Esports Journey – Per Wolf, Consultant at United Affiliate Partners
Per Wolf is an Esports expert who began playing back at the turn of the Millennium. Though the sector is not perfectly defined, it is already popular and expanding. Esports tournaments already fill stadiums in North America, Asia, and even in Europe.
Takeaway #5 – Affiliates should not be afraid to take on new verticals and expand their horizons. In an increasingly saturated and regulated market, such evolution will become necessary.
Round Table: The African iGaming Market – Chaired by Sarafina Wolde Gabriel, VP Strategy & Operations at Income Access
Though African traffic is a long way from Inside Casino’s radar, this panel talk once again highlighted the need for affiliates to be adaptable and forward thinking in an increasingly difficult environment.
Takeaway #6 – If you have traffic from countries like Kenya, Nigeria or South Africa, then come up with a strategy to monetise it! Many online operators now have affiliate programs on platforms like Income Access. What are you waiting for?
Afterparty at Namco Funscape in London
7 takeaways from affiliate bootcamp
Takeaway #7 – Only drink-drive when you’re behind the wheel of a bumper car!
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