How Tracking Has Changed Affiliate Marketing in the iGaming Affiliate Sector
by Lee-Ann Johnstone, Affiliate Insider
Getting the right infrastructure and program tracking is one of the most important aspects of an in iGaming affiliate program’s success. The foundation on which you build your “affiliate house” plays a key role in how you monetise and deliver ROI in this channel.
There have been many changes and innovations in this sector across the past decade which I’ll explain in more detail below. It’s key to plan for the future when considering your affiliate technology and the plug-ins that you can use to maximise it’s performance and growth.
Where We’ve Come From
Affiliate management is built around transparency – and accurate reporting helps build that trust. It also helps affiliates to optimise their campaigns and to improve their (and your) ROI. If you do not spend adequate time bolstering your tracking procedures then you cannot truly hope to understand how affiliates are performing for your business.
There have been many leaps forward in this sector, and all of these changes have allowed for affiliate managers in both iGaming and beyond to effectively manage program ROI down to the minute data the technology provides.
Technology Takes Big Leaps Forward
The big benefits of ensuring your tracking is efficient often come from the gathering of data and intelligence that is then used to push sign ups and campaign optimisations. While ten years ago we saw little support in these areas, there is now so much data available that can help you get more insight on affiliate campaigns and traffic sources.
No matter what type of tool you are searching for, you should be able to able to find one that can offer the tracking and program insights your business needs. Many brands think they can build their own affiliate interface, but when you start to look more deeply at what white label software providers offer, you quickly see that there isn’t any point trying to compete with what’s already on the open market.
When searching for new customers, or launching into new markets the right tracking system and data analysis tools can offer precise insights into what is happening in real-time and help your brand adjust accordingly.
Your technology should be capable of accommodating multiple affiliate traffic sources. One of the biggest things to change in affiliate marketing over the past ten years is that we are no longer just working on the web, but mobile and app market places as well as offline to online tracking has developed over time. Now blockchain is starting to come to the fore as another iteration of where and how customers are engaging online and all aspects of these channels need in depth and customised tracking – that simply didn’t exist before.
One of the first steps you can take to creating a wholistic program that functions as part of your marketing strategy is incorporating your affiliates as part of your overall brand marketing. Don’t look into them just an acquisition source, but think of them as an extension of your own marketing team.
The truth is affiliates can play a role in every stage of the customer journey and good affiliate programs leverage that. How you are aligning your strategy and where affiliates can fill the gaps to help you reach your sales goals is of utmost importance to your overall ROI.
Growing Your Program
Growing your affiliate program can be incredibly difficult, but strategising is about thinking of the long game. There are several things you can implement that will quickly boost your affiliate program. That can include looking into your affiliates’ SEO practices to providing real time reporting; and server to server tracking as well as custom tracking ID’s for affiliates who are bidding on multiple long tail keywords. Not to mention app tracking, bonus codes and rewards and cash back functions which previously didn’t exist in affiliate technology ten years ago. Working on incorporating these specialist areas plus the tracking of your brand will pay dividends in the long run.
You also need to be aware of new marketing ecosystems and also new traffic driving channels. For example blockchain and the use of smart contracts, can your technology incorporate these methodologies and move forward to incorporate them? Social media and the impact of influencer marketing has exploded in the past few years and making sure your program can provide simple tracking to manage and monitor these campaigns can seriously help you capitalise on the opportunities that can be taken from new traffic sources here.
Attribution modelling is another concept that didn’t exist a decade ago. Understanding the buyer journey and where affiliates are playing a role to convert and incentivising them for their exact part plays an important role in your margins.
Your tech needs to be able to compensate on multiple triggers, not just for a sale. Right now it’s estimated that around 40-60% of iGaming revenue can come in from the affiliate channel. Your tech is responsible for managing this and it will give you the tools you need to impact margins and growth.
Overall, you always need to know how to best manage your tracking and strategy planning when trying to improve an affiliate program. This is where the help specialist agencies and experts can really help you maximise your program ROI. There are so many ways for you to improve these techniques – far more than we had access to ten years ago – and there are always new discoveries being made that could change things yet again. Real-time tracking is going to be one of the most important tools at your disposal as an affiliate manager, so it is important that your brand has what they need to be able to ensure that this data is always delivered no matter what.
On top of this, you always need to ensure that you are not just focusing on tracking and traffic, but how they can be used to further your brand overall. A good affiliate marketing brand will have many strategies in place that can be used to build it up and ensure that it is succeeding over any competitors. You, as the business owner, need to ensure that your brand as a whole is always growing and reaching new customers and opportunities – whether this is through tracking or another part of your business overall.
About Lee-Ann Johnstone
With almost two decades of digital marketing and affiliate experience within the retail, payments and the fast paced iGaming industry, Lee-Ann Johnstone is an award winning digital marketing strategist and affiliate management coach. In 2018 she started AffiliateINSIDER, a Google News approved content hub and affiliate marketing agency.
She was recently voted one of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in iGaming by IGB Affiliate in 2019 and helps brands implement best practice within their affiliate marketing teams. She also runs an exclusive Affiliate Manager Coaching program: AMPP (Affiliate Marketing Performance Program) offering affiliate managers skills development and coaching to grow their affiliate program performance.
Lee-Ann’s ethos is all about keeping Affiliate Marketing, Simple.
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