The Biggest Challenge of Advertising Materials Is Repetition: Nicc Lewis, Founder and CEO at Expozive
Nicc Lewis, the founder and CEO at Expozive, talks about advertising materials attracting players, as well as about promising gambling technologies and trends, in an interview with Minsk iGaming Affiliate Conference.
Nicc is a marketing specialist with 10 years of experience. He started his career in the fashion industry, held executive positions at companies providing gaming and broker solutions. In March 2018, he founded Expozive, a marketing agency offering iGaming and affiliate marketing services.
Interviewer: Minsk iGaming Affiliate Conference (MiAC)
Respondent: Nicc Lewis (N.L.)
MiAC: What is the role of content in the iGaming brand promotion?
N.L.: Even taking into account advertising restrictions both in traditional media and digital channels such as Google and Facebook, content marketing has a vital role to play. Its benefits include SEO and better search ranking on relevant terms. Controlling the search engine results page with positive brand messaging is also important. SERP is connected to both content and SEO.
Many understand that content marketing builds brand awareness. However, they miss that content also enhances click rates on ads and encourages higher conversion rates even on PPC campaigns.
MiAC: What should advertising materials look like to draw attention of potential players?
N.L.: The biggest challenge of advertising materials is repetition. Affiliate programs and advertisers frequently provide partners with off-the-shelf creatives along with offers, resulting in certain consequences. Users are not intrigued by the same banners with similar suggestions.
The first rule is to make sure the brand is instantly recognizable on all creatives. The second rule is to make sure that the materials are memorable and stand out. Often customers go back to a brand they recall or engage with a later advert based on a positive recollection: “Oh yes, I’ve seen them before…”
The third rule is the variety. The consumer should see fresh materials that are memorable and recognizable as the brand. Moreover, there should be a variety of messaging for different target groups with different needs. Offers should suit the requests of this audience and give what it is looking for.
In the context of gambling, it could be a particular game or a focus on safer and fast banking and withdrawals. It could be low roll over requirements or special bonus programs. Everything depends on customer needs. The list can go on.
MiAC: What gambling industry trends can we see now? And what trends became obsolete?
N.L.: The most critical issues facing both operators and players are banking, payments, and KYC. They are caused by privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Therefore, fast registration and efficient payments are more valuable than bonuses.
In the UK, banners have turned into looking more like terms and conditions. The majority of countries are blocking and restricting gambling advertising, including bans on advertising during football matches. Newer regulating jurisdictions are placing their own requirements. Let’s see Switzerland as one of the latest examples: if you want a license and you are not local, you will need to partner with someone local.
The final trend is the coming of age of the millennials. Advertisers are still trying to work out how to target them. They do not watch TV like previous generations. They prefer content on demand to scheduled programming, selecting a convenient time and a specific nature of materials. They have their own channels and media such as Twitch. Note: Facebook is for older generations.
MiAC: What aspects should marketing specialists take into account while developing an advertising campaign for a platform combining gambling and betting areas?
N.L.: Cross sell is important but it is not obvious. I have seen many operators make the mistake that they can convert their sports bettors into slots players and generate huge revenues. The first objective should always be the initial conversion based on the initial intention.
If someone is a sports bettor, you should engage and incentivize him or her using sports rather than slots. And the opposite is true for casino players. Once in the system cross sell can happen. Using sports events as a basis for timing promotions for both casinos and sports is the key factor. It will naturally increase cross play and extend session time of players beyond the end of the sports event.
MiAC: What innovative technologies are iGaming market representatives integrating today? Which of them are efficient?
N.L.: AI is already here. You only need to look at programmatic advertising, lead scoring, chatbots, and automation of messaging and offers. These things are increasing personalization on a massive scale. Crypto is interesting: there are some moves using cryptocurrencies for payments. I think it is very early days but it will become more prominent. Especially with the launch of Libra.
Blockchain, as opposed to Crypto, I think has more potential uses that we will start seeing very soon. I believe one of the first instances will be token-based KYC, as well as smart contracts for affiliates and publishers for performance marketing. We could also potentially see blockchain used for bet resolution on decentralized instant servers. I still believe we should all keep an eye on wearables and AR (not together).
MiAC: Development of your own program or cooperation with affiliate networks: what is more profitable for advertisers?
N.L.: You need to do some of everything. My advice is generally not to have more than 30% of your new traffic coming from sources outside your own direct efforts.
MiAC: What changes do you think will occur in the iGaming industry over the next 5 years?
N.L.: There is a particular pattern in my previous answers. Millennials will drive the market. Technologies will make mass personalization more and more possible, bring down barriers, and change the way we do business. Regulation will play a big part and I think will lead to more fragmentation, localization, and niche markets. Local and niche operators will have an advantage.
MiAC: What is the impact of gambling and affiliate marketing events on the industry evolution?
N.L.: We all spend too much time running our day-to-day businesses. Being able to pause and confer is priceless. Ideas and partnerships are formed this way, affecting future business and opening opportunities you may not have known even existed. Meeting someone face to face is the key point. I often repeat that we are all in the people’s business.
On March 5, at MiAC 2020, Nicc Lewis will make a presentation revealing how to avoid advertising restrictions and attract a new audience.