Earn more with 2022 FIFA World Cup
We are going to talk about betting products and how a brand owner, affiliate, agency, or mediabuyer can grow some numbers by launching ad campaigns for big sports events. We're gonna try to touch as many aspects of the business as possible, not just to tip in some key points, but to tell the story about the betting business itself, monetization, and ways to promote it around the digital marketing channels.
Table of Contents
Betting Big. Or how to prepare yourself and your product for a major event
What is sports betting (betting/sports wagering)?
Definitions, external and internal metrics, and KPIs
- How to choose an offer to work with?
- As an affiliate or a mediabuyer, an agency, or a website owner – how can I properly choose whom to work with?
- Traffic sources, ad formats, and creatives approach
- What to consider before setting up your ad campaigns?
- What ad formats do we have and how to use them at full strength?
- The Conclusion
What is sports betting (betting/sports wagering)? Definitions, external and internal metrics, and KPIs
According to the Wiki, Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. This means that it’s a high-risk, knowledge, analytics, and data-involved process with a barely predictable result. From the user’s perspective, sports betting could be a challenge, a way to earn some money or a way to waste some money, an adrenaline boost, or some new emotions. (Knowing that actually shows possible creative approaches, but we’ll get to this point eventually).
If you want to promote your betting product (or be a part of the product’s affiliate either directly or through a CPA network), you should get to know external and internal product metrics (or KPIs). By the way, there are many differences between working directly with a brand or through CPA-network – hold period, payment models, communication process, stat analysis and reporting, etc., which you should take into account.
We are going to start with promotional metrics and definitions such as
- FreeBet – a given amount of “funds” which could be wagered without an initial deposit from the user (or with a covered baseline).
- Bonus – pretty much the same as FreeBet but easier to understand for a regular user (who also could be retargeted from casino/gambling where “bonus” is more common). Within the FreeBet you can find a lot of internal metrics for the product/offer (total returns from freebets and avg stake from freebets).
External metrics are what you are going to work with and analyze according to your traffic performance. Most of the betting offers prefer to work on a CPA FTD basis (cost per first deposit) with or without a baseline (minimum amount of funds added to a betting account or a minimum amount spent on wagering). Once the user reaches baseline (if required) – your payout is going to be released. If there’s no baseline, the betting service pays a fixed amount of funds per depositor regarding the amount.
Next, you can go with an RS (revenue share / revshare) – a percentage-based payout according to either players' spend or the total amount of deposits. Note (!), that an RS can be positive and negative (yea, that also happens when a player won and should be paid by the betting service).
Considering the above, you can also find Hybrid deals (CPA for a first deposit + a smaller RS % of player’s bets spend). Depending on your traffic sources and budget (operational funds) you can choose between any of those.
- CPA FTD will give you a faster funds return
- RS – more income in a long term (considering the traffic quality)
- Hybrid will bring some balance in between.
Relatively fresh brands (and some of the well-known as well), sometimes allow their partners to deliver traffic on a CPL (CPR) basis – pay for each registered player. This type of deal is only considered when traffic is proven to be worthy after deep profitability and quality analysis.
Once approved, CPL deals can provide faster funds return but drastically lower income compared to CPA FTD. Aside from mentioned above, you should pay attention to the cookie period granted by the service. A user can come back to registration and start to deposit with a time gap between ad delivery (when your product’s ad was shown and his actions within it). In addition – users can register today and perform targeted actions in a week or month. Therefore – you should always know what is cookie time to evaluate long-term effects.
And of course – one and only the kind of clubs – CR (conversion rate) measured how many targeted actions were performed by the users. Usually, CR is determined by well-known R2D (registration to deposit) or I2D (install to deposit) measures, or other in-between metrics (for example - the number of clicks/ad impressions to deposit).
Internal metrics (which are called offer/product’s KPIs) are what you definitely should know but are rarely shared by the product owner or a CPA network.
- RR (retention rate) – one of the most valuable metrics for any type of product \ service, considering how often a player is using it;
- CLTV \ LTV – customer lifetime value (how much each of the players had spent over the service usage time);
- Daily/monthly active users – an internal metric that you won’t be able to analyze if you just deliver FTDs (because some of the users can start to be active off the cookie period).
- GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue), NR (Net Revenue), or NGR (Net Gambling Revenue) are the true financial metrics for the brand, measuring how much money a betting brand makes off its players – gross and net value-wise.
- ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) indicates the average amount of funds added by each service user within a timeframe.
- BV (Bet Value) or BVPU (Bet Value Per User) – a metric for internal analytics only, shows the average amount of funds, bet by a user within a timeframe. And so on and so forth.
Behind all those metrics and KPIs we also know something called “internal filters” (fraud/scam filters) – those are some metrics internally used by the product owners to evaluate the “true quality” of the user. No one is going to share those with us and there’s a reason behind it since the iGaming market is a high-risk business.
Let’s say, some traffic source brought 100 deposits within 1 hour, with a CR of 3/1 (registration-to-deposit), while statistically, that measure should be way higher. Or a RR / LTV is lower than some %%.
Or, for example, a chargeback rate is very high (which in this particular case can be a sign of misleading ads where a not-existing promo took place on the attractive creatives). The above examples are closely analyzed and compared with layers of data, which can cause a source lockdown or permanent ban (for an affiliate account).
How to choose an offer to work with?
First of all, let’s take a tour around the fundamentals of the iGaming business in general (and betting in common) and the risks involved. Short example – a well-known brand “A” offers you a reasonable reward of 100$ CPA FTD with a 65$ Baseline, saying that there will be strict traffic quality filters and hard KPI. At the same time, an unknown brand “B” offers the same 200$ CPA, without a Baseline and no KPIs.
That’s your first call to check that brand’s license and reviews on both – players’ and affiliate sides and proceed with caution, because either that brand is relatively new to the market and wants to grow its audience with higher costs or you can easily step on some scam...
And it’s not necessary for you (as an affiliate) who’s going to be scammed – you can easily be involved in a chain where the last link will be the “bad guy”, scamming up players.
Around the iGaming industry where sports betting is a big part, licensing is a must thing to get started with (and of course to look for if you are going to promote that brand). Licensing in general is a process of certification and standardization of a business to a certain authorization. For the end user (player) a licensed brand means – rules, regulations, obligations, security, and honest operation with certified software. For the brand, the license has 2 sides – obligations (annual fee for the license, tech, and operational sides, financial reporting, etc.) and benefits (prestige, legal operations for supported countries, trustworthiness, etc.).
Being an affiliate (a serious affiliate, an agency, or a CPA network), and working with a non-licensed brand brings a lot of legal risks to the business. Don’t forget to mention the US market, where each State has its own rules and regulations for iGaming business as well as licensing.
Considering the above let us find 3 possible brands existing in the iGaming industry:
- Fully licensed/regulated brands (let’s call them “White”) – have a license to operate in each country/state they represented;
- Partially licensed brands (let’s call them “Grey”) – they might have a license that covers some geos, but promotes/operating in others as well;
- Non-licensed brands (these will be “Black”) – have no licenses at all.
If working with white brands is legit and transparent, running gray products should always keep in mind the risks for all participants. In addition, a smarter (in terms of product analysis) player (user), will prefer a trusted licensed brand, rather than something with a “blank footer”. Black brands are always a lottery (not that one) – you never know what’s gonna happen. Yes, they often offer cosmic conditions for the delivered traffic, trying to lure in both the players and the affiliates/publishers with completely different and not always legal schemes.
Financial: there is a fact that sports betting has a lot of analytics and data involved, but here they may not even let you bet - they can simply scam the players’ deposits. And to send traffic for those brands – is the marginal risk of being left without payments;
Legal: it is one thing to become a scammed user, but a completely different responsibility can await those who attracted these users – legal, moral, and ethical (yes, you need to remain human).
As an affiliate or a mediabuyer, an agency, or a website owner – how can I properly choose whom to work with?
Everything is quite simple here - if you speak a foreign language, represent a team of media buyers or an agency (ideally, with a foreign legal entity), then almost all doors are open for you - you can knock on brand owners, negotiate terms and send traffic directly through the brand's affiliate program. You can also work with an iGaming CPA network – based on the volumes, they can give a better condition than owners will give at the start of work (and it can be easier to find a common language with a Network’s manager, as well as get faster payments in a convenient way.
If you are a solo buyer, but at the same time you have good work experience and confirmed results, you can register in the brand's affiliate program (not always meaning that they will approve it, but worth a shot), or go for a CPA network straight up negotiating better terms.
If you are a beginner or just do not deliver tons of traffic, then it will be easier and calmer to start with an affiliate program that is guaranteed to accept, suggest the right approach to the traffic source and provide the necessary creative materials, applications, etc. Don’t forget to choose the most profitable pricing model for you – short hold and CPL/CPI deals (rarely, but possible), CPA FTD, RS, or Hybrid.
The pricing models to choose depends on both – your traffic sources and the budgets you can operate with.
Now you finally understand how to choose a partner to work with. If it’s a brand – you need to understand which geos they operate in and therefore, match it with the traffic sources you have.
- If you connect with a CPA network – choose offers among their stack with suitable terms and conditions.
- If you’re a product owner – prepare your servers for a huge traffic income, secure it from crashes, add some catchy promos for new coming users and maybe get a license if you haven’t had any.
The best practice you can exercise is Event-based product promotions and that’s when we’re getting to the major football event of the year – FIFA World Cup 2022.
Traffic sources, ad formats, and creatives approach
Indeed, we are an ad network, so the majority of this part will be aimed to present what we have for the betting industry, but not to mention other traffic sources might leave a gap in understanding all the advantages and disadvantages in general view. So let’s split all the digital marketing channels into groups as followed:
- Social networks traffic (talking mostly about FB and TT)
- Search platforms traffic (talking about GA, Yandex, Baidu, and Bing ads platforms)
- SEO (keyword-based web traffic)
- ASO/ASA (in-app traffic in GP and AppStore-based applications)
- Ad Networks traffic (websites, apps, APKs integrated directly into the network’s supply system).
Social traffic can offer direct audience engagement, narrow targeting, social and behavioral-wise optimization (according to the user’s interests and activity) and automated optimization, and many features depending on their tech abilities.
Search platforms can compete, getting loads of info about their users via cookies, search feeds and user preferences – using that info to maintain ads targeted.
Pretty much the same (if not more) info is collected by the apps, pitching the user with those ads that match his in-app activity.
SEO traffic is always gonna be a top-notch choice because users are directly looking for specific info, using those keywords.
Ad networks mostly have an open iGaming ad policy, providing access to many traffic sources and different ad formats in one place, as well as full control of the budgets and bidding process.
But things are not that white and fluffy. Disadvantages are there as well – most of the mentioned traffic sources have an ad policy, blocking all restricted ads (betting included), some might experience ad accounts bans, tech difficulties with campaign setups, constant change of creative approach necessity, huge competition for the target audience – just add yours here…
Let us focus on what we can offer the industry in terms of traffic resources.
As an ad network, we try to cover the whole globe and diversify our sources as widely as possible to cover all the audience layers possible. It allows us and our advertisers to test their products on a large scale and with different approaches. We believe that iGaming stands strong within our ad feed and Betting is growing rapidly year after year, therefore each sport event (local or international) can be a target to aim your ad campaigns at. We have 7 ad formats for almost any type of promotional activity and creative approach.
What to consider before setting up your ad campaigns?
Always keep in mind the event dates, involved countries/teams, and matches schedule according to their time zones – it will help you to prepare eye-catching creatives. Carefully check up on the product restrictions (in terms of geos/states, accepted ad formats, settings, etc). Payment terms, pricing models, and offer KPIs – are also vital to acknowledge.
What ad formats do we have and how to use them at full strength?
Pop traffic grants a 100% redirect from a publisher’s website to the target URL. Keep in mind that pops are sort of “unexpected ads” therefore, you need to do a lot of pre-optimization (narrow the funnel). This ad format is relatively cheap and allows you to scale hard on a user's income to your product’s website.
The basic pattern you should follow with pop traffic is to either use a landing page (for example – wheel of fortune, gift boxes with promo) or a straight-up registration page (either with FB / google registration profile attachment, or a simple email submission).
For pre-optimizing you can get the data for most converting tech targeting from the product analytics – OS, OS Versions, Browsers and their versions, City/State targeting, etc and set it up as narrowly as possible.
Don’t forget to set a schedule (if your landing pages are aimed at a specific match) – in order to get a proper creative, setup for every game in the tournament. This approach is called event—creative rotation (mostly used for betting promotion on large sport/e-sport events).
Also, you can test out several creative approaches with your landing pages. Go for classic
- freebet or promo LP,
- success story,
- be a part of a great historical event and bet for your favorite team.
For a testing budget, you can benchmark out of the overall network’s traffic volumes for the targeting and competition for it (daily impressions and avg CPMs) – calculate your budget according to the several days’ test.
After a test stage (or in the process of it) you can optimize according to the source IDs (websites) to cut off less converting and focus on more profitable slices (source + OS + OS version etc), either dividing it into several campaigns or changing creative approach for each. After finding some amount of super-hot sources for your product – you can go big on ‘em and set the most competitive bids to get all available traffic.
Push Notifications (+InPage Push)
Push traffic allows you to get your hands on the user’s device and bring ads in front of his face! Push notifications allow you to make follow-up ad sets without a landing page (basically every creative-based ad format can). In addition, it’s way easier to manipulate multiple creatives at the same time and use, for example, only one registration form to follow, rather than build and host several different landing pages.
Keep in mind that push notifications are working only for chrome, FF, and IE browsers and if you go for mobile traffic – that will be only for Android OS-based devices. But for iOS – you can use the InPage push (which is more like floating banners and several times cheaper than classic push).
Classic push traffic is way more expensive than pop and harder to optimize according to the sources (simply because the subscribed users can get your ad with notification being off any web surfing activity). But on the other hand, click2reg and reg2dep stat will be gathered way faster.
Push notification itself contains textual and graphical components which offer you a wide range of creative approaches. We’d talked a lot about those approaches before and now just refresh it. Classic list giving us these options for a creative mindset:
- A Call To Action approach (straight and motivating – “Get your freeBets now!”)
- Yes=Success (Success story);
- Boost of confidence and status (“Bet like pros!” – and follow up with some celeb or brand ambassador Landing page);
- Become a part of something big (“National betting”, “Whole country gonna be on … today”);
- Test your prediction and knowledge skill (“Who’s gonna win today?”)
…and many more…
The major tip here is to
- Follow up your textual part to your visuals
- Lead your push notification itself to your landing page (or registration page).
Everyone knows what is banner ads – classic and oldest ad formats in the industry. Nothing more to add here, aside from what sizes and options we have.
300x100 and 300x250 px. are the sizes we have and allow us to add static IMG. and dynamic/gifs. The most effective of what we have is our header-placed banners allowing us to stick ads right in front of the user. The creative approach here is a bit limited (compared to push), but at the same time, dynamic visual content allows us to input more components. Our platform has a tech option to apply up to 5 creatives per campaign which can benefit your creativity and you can test out many ad sets in one campaign.
The general line of optimization is the same with pops and push and as same as with push – you should really follow up with your ad sets towards the landing pages (or registration page) you’re using.
Summarizing above, let us tell you this – if you have a hundred bucks in your pocket and want to try your luck setting up some betting campaigns, you’d better go to a café with your girlfriend instead. Even if you have a very good pre-optimized setup, you will face big brands with way larger budgets. You most likely get some registrations and even deposits, but if it’s all you have – you won’t last long to get a decent scale. iGaming in general is a risk-involved and highly competitive vertical.
Next thing – prepare your creatives for every approach you want to use with your ad campaigns. Be ready to switch from one to another. Use a tracking solution to get data fast and optimize accordingly – to go blindly, in this case, might be devastating.
Don’t ignore your manager’s assistance. We try to be as honest as possible to maximize your results because in this way – we will maximize ours as well. Closely look at the current stages of the tournament – who beats who, when the next match is going to go live, who are the favorites, which player got the better stats etc. and utilize that info in your creatives!
Sport is one of the most exciting parts of our lives and major sports events are the best time for your betting brand to shine!
The FIFA World Cup started recently, so don’t miss your chance to dive into iGaming and sports betting with Clickadu. Use our tips and try promoting. We hope you will get the best results!
Article by Clickadu BDCM George