Six years ago an online gaming marketer could set up an affiliate program, set up an SEO program and then just sit back and watch the players roll in. As the space has become saturated, leaving everyone searching for new ways to find players and to get them to return, it has lead to operators and affiliates alike looking for new traffic generation opportunities. Further adding to this difficult new landscape is an unrelenting Google Spam policy and the transition of players from standard desktop play to mobile. It is an understatement to say that the online marketing landscape has evolved in the gaming space.
However it simply isn’t as tough as it seems to find new places to drive traffic and turn them into actual players. Smart marketers know this, and are making the transitions I will discuss in this article.
Let’s take a look at a recipe to turn seemingly meaningless mobile social traffic into high-end players.
- Facebook Fan Page
- Optim.al Account
- A strong piece of content to offer (Infographics, Odds sheets etc.)
- PAR Program
- An iPad
- Step 1 – You want to build up a high quality Facebook fan page that has high quality content, polls, and other usable content. Simply filling up the page with offers is about as useful as a one-legged chair.
- Step 2 – To help you build your audience, employ the help of Optim.al. They allow you to drive likes on the cheap, and specialize in mobile users. They help you target the likes as well. You are already likely saying, “How valuable are likes you fat bastard?” Patience.
- Step 3 – Build out a really great content offering off of your Facebook Page, and incorporate a newsletter signup. Let me reiterate, GREAT CONTENT. Your standard “10 Tips to Higher Payouts” isn’t going to cut it, and don’t tell me this strategy didn’t work if that is what you are pushing.
- Step 4 – Now begin to share that offline content on your page, and utilize the Facebook promotion ads to maximize the visibility of this content to your growing fan base. The importance in the promotion is a difference of about 80%.
- Step 5 – As the traffic begins to trickle in Facebook make sure to hit the traffic with an exit pop asking them to sign up for your newsletter to receive awesome tips, tricks, and register to win a free iPad.
- Step 6 – You are going to take this growing list of people and manage them in PAR. PAR is a company started by my good friend, Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker. It allows you to take your boring old email list and extract really vital information about your members. This includes all of their social profiles registered to that email, age demographics, sex, location, occupation and other information.
From here you can do a couple of things with PAR. First, you can create acquisition sequences created by the information. For example, I can send one offer to women 35 – 50 who live in London that use Facebook, and then I can send another offer and mailer to men 18-35 that reside in Germany. The sequence(s) will run until those demographics become players. Once they are attained, you can then initiate retention sequences for your groups.
Once this system is set-up, the only thing you need to add is quality content and new incentives for signups.
How to Cook This Into The Multi-Media Mix
This setup is perfect to target the ever-expanding mobile user base. However, you do need to follow some basic best practices, because the reality is that not all content renders the same on desktop as mobile.
350 million users login to Facebook using mobile devices. In addition nearly 21% of the email opens in the entertainment market will come via mobile email. This means a nice portion of your traffic using this method will be mobile-users.
Make sure the content you create is mobile-friendly. If you are offering PDFs, make sure they are housed somewhere that a user can navigate to [easily], and not just download. PDFs should be optimized for downloading, and for being read via mobile devices.
Content, such as infographics, need to be optimized for mobile users. We have found that using a mobile-friendly jQuery lightbox does the trick.
The key is to make sure that your newsletter landing page has a very good mobile version, and that your strategy for optimizing for this conversion is mobile-friendly. One route you could also go is adding a form field for phone numbers on this form so you can build an SMS list as well.
Expand Your Flavor Pallet
You can easily expand outside of this structure to drive even more traffic.
A great place to start is StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon allows for a very targeted demographic content delivery at a nominal cost. It is a very clean and straightforward route towards viral marketing. Also they allow you to target only people with a gambling interest, and hone in from there to target specific gambling interests, like poker and specific sports.
Another great way to maximize your effectiveness with this traffic is to incorporate a retargeting pixel onto your site. The main issue with social traffic is that the user is not in the mindset to convert immediately. By utilizing PAR and retargeting you can maximize the effectiveness of your mobile and social traffic. Retargeter.com manages mobile retargeting well. This will work especially well with StumbleUpon since the users are likely “stumbling” across your content as they look for other content.
The Icing on the Cake
The acquisition and retention emails are really the icing on the cake in this process. If you don’t have solid acquisition collateral, then none of this is going to work. One suggestion I would make is not beating your list over the head with constant sales pitches. Instead you should mix in usable content to retain your list, and then move them closer to a sale. Info product affiliates have made an art form of this, and there are a plethora of amazing resources online to help you create this campaign.
Don’t Get Lazy
The key to this entire process is that you can’t do any one portion of it only half way. Great content with a terrible use of demographic targeting in your acquisition sequences isn’t going to yield strong results. However, once this process is set-up you can iterate to increase conversions, so don’t get insanely caught up in the details to the point that you never get this functioning.
This process turns the traffic that most gaming marketers see as low value. Low value traffic is where other people aren’t looking, and the lack of saturation can yield an advantage. Furthermore, the traffic and social signals from this strategy can have profound benefits on your SEO strategies and thus increases the ROI.