The iGaming industry in many African regions is blossoming and continues to exhibit massive potential for growth opportunities.
Affiliate marketing, as you might expect with a relatively nascent iGaming industry, is a key part of this growth, providing greater access to online traffic for operators. However, corporate governance and partner trust remain key areas for improvement before this sector’s growth becomes completely sustainable.
In the first instalment of this 2-part special, Charles Herisson, CEO of Betadvisor (betadvisor.com) shares his thoughts with us on the future opportunities available in the African affiliate market and how he plans to adapt his content in response to the changing market landscape. Providing some valuable insights for anyone considering expanding their product portfolio in these novel times.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from, from the COVID 19 pandemic and how will you use this to help you grow moving forward?
One of the biggest lessons has been the importance of resilience and creativity.
Throughout this period, we’ve had a lot of unexpected problems, and what I try to do as a Chair of the company is to give to my staff a positive way to approach these challenges.
It’s very important to always lead by a good example for all the people in our business community – at Betadvisor we have tipsters, customers, iGaming operators and various stakeholders.
What was very important during this period was creativity and thinking outside of the box. We have regular internal communications about the ability to bounce back from challenges and how to adapt to change.
Resilience is a skill that can be developed by anyone and is something very important in this period.
It’s like a muscle which you can train through everyday action. You don’t need to be extraordinary; you just have to look to the problem and think creatively every day.
The main lesson was to be enthusiastic, be passionate about what you do, and try to see the positive factors behind any kind of experience.
You mentioned when you spoke at ICE Africa that football content is the most popular for African consumers. How did this affect you when all live sports were shutdown? What alternative content should African affiliates consider as a backup in case live sports get shutdown in the future?
We decided to take it as an opportunity to increase focus our long-term vision and long-term projects. We took the opportunity to redesign our software and generally focus on things you cannot do during normal life as you have lots of daily tasks to manage.
Betadvisor adjusted its focus from present to future, and we started to dream again. This was something very important and was a very positive experience in terms of opportunity.
We also took time to focus on building long-term partnerships and did a very interesting deal with www.hubaffiliations.org a network of affiliates. They’re giving us a lot of opportunity in terms of better connection with iGaming operators.
During these periods you have to think outside the box for the role of the tipster in terms of content, and we saw a very interesting opportunity to switch to a focus on esports.
We started to think about how we can integrate e-sports onto our platform, long terms. The new platform will get the esports section.
From March 2021, we will have announced the addition of esports to our platform.
The iGaming affiliate industry in Africa seems to be growing fast. What is the biggest hurdle to overcome as an industry before it can reach its full potential?
Behind the problem, there is the opportunity.
From my experience inside and outside of the betting industry, the main factor is trust. Trust is the keywords for everything that we do in the business.
In Africa, it’s a very big market, with very different challenges in the various countries.
Everything comes down to trust. The trust is between operators and affiliates, affiliates and customers, and customers and operators.
We need a bridge of the trust from the operators to the customers, However, in every country, there is a different way to build trust.
This is important as affiliate marketers play a key role in the acquiring and the retaining of the customer for the gaming operators. It’s very important that the operators start to put the affiliates in the middle of their marketing strategy.
They look at the affiliates only on the performance marketing side, but they have to understand that they can use affiliates to support their overall brands. I think that the affiliates are a key part of the marketing strategy and performance marketing should be considered alongside the brands perspective.
It’s also worth mentioning that in Africa the main turnover has been always been from retail. With Covid, we’re seeing more opportunity because of the increase in online betting.
This means the role of the affiliate is now even more important.
The future, by demographic and by trend, is for sure online. The affiliates are the shops of the future.
In Africa, where we have this big concentration of betting shops, we’ll see a big concentration of betting online, in the future.
Editor’s Note: From speaking with Charles it’s clear that affiliate marketing in Africa serves not only as a performance marketing tool but it now needs to be utilised as a brand marketing tool also.
The massive successes we’ve seen with iGaming affiliates, especially in Europe, is a trend we can expect to continue with up to 50% of all online traffic coming from affiliates.
However, before this potential growth can be realised in Africa there needs to be a bridge of trust from the operators to the affiliates, and then of course to the customers, and in every country, there is a different way to build this trust. Look out for part 2 where Charles breaks down some of the key aspects of this relationship.