Online casino marketing is what brings customers to your casino, is what helps to keep them returning and is what supports your mission to drive revenue. Having the right casino marketing strategies is what makes it possible for you to compete, survive and thrive in the online gambling industry. After all, you could have the most amazing games in your digital lobby, but the truth is that this won’t do your business any favours if players don’t know about them. That said, employing the most ideal marketing plan isn’t always a simple process. Here, Top Casino Solutions will provide you with the fundamental information to boost your knowledge of the basics to help start you on the right marketing path.
Best iGaming software providers with the top online casino marketing solutions
What is Online Casino Marketing?
In many ways, marketing an online casino requires similar strategies used to advertise any other business, products or services. Its purpose is to convey information to consumers about the casino, such as how good the casino’s games, promotions, payments, services, etc. are and why it is worth the consumers time and money.
Essentially the various components of an online casino marketing plan are designed to work together to:
- Let consumers know that your brand exists
- Tell them what you have to offer and why they should take a chance on your company
- Encourage them to sign up and play at your site
- Motivate them to continue returning and play again
Of course, there’s more to marketing an online casino than ranking in search engines and running social media ads, which is why it is important to build the best casino marketing strategy.
Acquisition Vs. Retention Casino Marketing
The primary goal of casino marketing is to bring in new customers and to keep as many existing customers as loyal as possible, particularly the big spenders. Therefore, both customer acquisition and retention are essential components. However, it’s important that you understand the difference between the two to help you decide which strategy should be your top priority and when.
As the name implies, the chief objective of customer acquisition is to gain (acquire) new customers. In terms of marketing strategy, this means using targeted messages to communicate with or attract new customers. Usually this type of strategy involves:
- Identifying potential customers (e.g. the players you wish to target)
- Designing and implementing marketing strategies (e.g. SEO, online and offline ads, reviews for your site, etc.)
- Following up on potential real money customers
- Measuring the success of strategies
The focus of customer retention is to keep (retain) existing customer by nurturing your relationship with them to maintain their happiness, satisfaction and loyalty so that they will continue to spend real money when they play in your casino. To make this happen, different marketing strategies need to be put in place, such as:
- Customer service (regular and VIP)
- Regular promotions
- Adding new content (e.g. games, payments, offers, etc.)
- Offers tailored to players (CRM)
- Loyalty and or VIP programs
- Friendly, transparent, and secure environment
Acquisition or retention – what matters more to online casino marketing?
Generally speaking, it costs five to seven times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. For this reason, the first rule of most businesses – online casinos included – is to retain the customers you draw in and build a loyal relationship with them.
Your retention rate also helps you to measure how well your business is performing, how effective your customer service is, and so on.
What’s more, companies also tend to find it easier to sell to their existing clientele who are familiar with their brand compared to newcomers as their spending patterns tend to differ. Also, current customers are more likely to try new products, offers, etc., while new customers are often more hesitant so it isn’t as easy to upsell to them.
Still, before you can pour your efforts into retaining customers, you need to draw them in first. This is why customer acquisition is imperative for growing your business, especially at the start.
Ultimately, for the greatest possible success, you will need to consider online casino marketing strategies for both customer acquisition and retention. At the same time, you need to remember that it is far more cost effective to your business to keep your current customers happy than to continuously pour money into acquiring new ones.
Best Online Casino Marketing Strategies
Your online casino makes money when players make real money wagers on the games that you offer. Therefore, the more players you have placing bets, the more profit you generate. Encouraging players to make these wagers, however, is easier said than done, particularly in an industry where a player’s online casino pickings aren’t exactly slim. Since this is the case, if you want to even have a chance at making yourself the popular choice among the sea of competition, you need to have an effective casino marketing strategy.
Here are some of the top strategies employed by today’s successful online casinos:
- Search Engine Optimization – Over 80% of your customers will perform online searches and read reviews prior to deciding if they want to give your casino a chance. If you can’t be found in search engines, you might as well be invisible, which is worse than failing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy designed to improve your web presence. It helps to make you finable when online users perform a search via their web or their mobile phones.
SEO improves the volume or quality of traffic to a site from search engines (e.g. Google, Safari, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) through “natural” or un-paid (“algorithmic” or “organic”) methods. Usually, the goal of SEO is to be listed among the top entries of search results as these are the first sites seen and tend to be the most clicked by a consumer. SEO can target all types of online searches including local, images, videos, etc.
- Search Engine Marketing –SEM is similar to SEO in that it involves search engines. However, instead of simply organically ranking in search results, your website is marketed or advertised via search engines (usually first-tier search engines, such as Google Ads) using what is known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. Also designed to drive traffic to your site, this type of marketing involves the advertiser paying the publisher when the ad is clicked. In essence, you’re buying visits to your site.
- Social Media Optimization – Not to be confused with social media marketing (SMM), social media optimization (SMO) is about making your site more compelling to visitors (e.g. refining the interface and usability of your site) so it is SMM ready and easy for customers to share content through various social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Therefore, the goal of SMO strategies is to draw in your audience with an optimized website that makes it simple for consumers to spread your content via social media and networking channels, without any effort on your part.
- Social Media Marketing – Once your website is search media optimized, the next step is to take your social marketing activities off your site and market/advertise your brand on various social media channels (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc). SMM is a fantastic and cost-effective way to spread the word about your casino, its games, current promotions you’re running, etc. to other social media users, especially your followers and players. Depending on the social media or networking platform, SMM can include ads, images, videos, blogs, etc. It provides you with a way to interact directly with customers.
- On-site marketing – This one’s a no brainer. Running banner ads and promotion campaigns on your site (e.g. welcome bonus, free spins, refer a friend, VIP program, loyalty program, etc.) not only keeps visitor of your site engaged and existing players interested, it is the perfect complement to your SMO and SMM strategies as these promotions make for easy-to-share content.
- Loyalty Programs – Once you draw in new players, you want them to become existing players. Offering loyalty and/or VIP programs is a great way to retain the interests of players, especially high rollers who love the idea of being compensated with exclusive offers and perks the more they play. These types of programs help to build relationships with players by providing them with quality service and the best experience.
- Consumer Relationship Management – More frequently shortened to CRM, this is a multi-level structure system. CRM software provides your casino with a myriad of information about your customers to help you understand customer behavior and better manage their individual preferences to increase customer satisfaction level and cross-sell with great efficiency. When used effectively, CRM helps you to streamline your operations so that you can get the most out of your customers’ lifetime value.
- Affiliate marketing – The vast majority of casinos online have an affiliate program. This type of online casino marketing is highly effective when done right as it creates a win-win situation for both you and your affiliates. Basically, an affiliate is a person or company who markets your brand on your behalf (e.g. writing honest reviews, blogs, etc.) for the purpose of drawing in new players to your casino. The affiliate receives a commission for every real money player (a player who signs up at your casino and makes a deposit) they refer to your site.
- Email/SMS Marketing – Give players the option to opt-in and opt-out of a mailing list that sends them the latest news about your casino, various marketing materials, exclusive offers, etc. Remember that a responsible gambling establishment gives players the control to opt-in and opt-out of receiving advertisements at any time.
- Newsfeed/Blogs – Running a newsfeed on your site makes it easy for players to see all your latest announcements (e.g. latest winners, current events, running tournaments, upcoming promotions, etc.). Likewise, a blog provides you with the chance to build on your SEO strategies while also providing useful/interesting information and engaging content to your players (e.g. game guides, payment guides, responsible gaming guides, industry news, fun facts, playing tips, quizzes etc.).
- Offline advertising – Depending on the size of your budget (as well as the jurisdiction where you wish to advertise) you can consider certain forms of offline advertising, such as TV and/or radio commercials, billboards, magazine ads, printed brochures, newspapers, etc.
As you can see, there is a lot more to online casino marketing than having banners on your site, running a few ads and having a social media account. Success requires you to not only know the different strategies involved, but also how to best use them to your advantage.
How to Develop an Online Casino Marketing Plan that Works
The bottom line is that if you want to develop a marketing plan that works, you must have the professional skills to make this happen. Unless you are a marketing expert – more specifically a marketing expert in the iGaming industry – the best course of action is to hire an experienced professional and/or company to, at the very least, get the ball rolling.
The ideal jumping off point is to investigate the marketing solutions that are offered by iGaming software developers, such as those reviewed by TCS. These companies usually provide both white label and turnkey casino solutions and offer different marketing methods to help in both the launch and ongoing operation of your casino.
For instance, some of the marketing services that may be included are:
- Email marketing
- Loyalty program
- Social networks
- Content marketing
- Affiliate marketing
Companies that have experience in the iGaming industry and that have found success in launching online gambling sites, can provide you with the expertise you need to help make your online casino operation a profitable one.
Costs Associated with Online Casino Marketing
Marketing is an ongoing component of any successful online casino site. Therefore, you can expect this to be an ongoing cost, no matter what road you choose to make the necssary marketing happen. In fact, you can also expect marketing to be one of the highest expenses of running an internet casino operation.
To put this into greater perspective, on average, it is estimated that pre-launch marketing makes up about 20 – 40% of your total expenses, while marketing expenses after launch make up half (50%) of your total operation expenses.
The actual fees associated with online casino marketing varies depending on a variety of factors, such as the type of advertisements you invest in and what a full marketing solution of the company providing their products/services to you may include.
Tips for Successful Online Casino Marketing
Now that you know the basic marketing strategies that are used, here are some additional tips for online casino marketing to keep in mind:
- Professional casino marketing is a must – It’s not enough to simply read guides on how to best market your online casino. Knowing what to do in theory is not the same as knowing how to effectively use these strategies in practice. Consult with and hire iGaming marketing professionals.
- Customer service matters – Quality customer support is a key component of customer retention marketing. You could have all the best games, payments and promotions in the world, but if your customer service doesn’t meet player expectations, you’ll have a higher customer churn rate than you can handle. Keeping players happy and feeling valued is imperative if you want them to stick around.
- A personalized customer experience is important – The more personalized you can make a customer’s experience, the more they are likely to enjoy their experience at your casino and return. An effective CRM system can help you achieve this goal.
- Establishing loyalty is your primary marketing objective – Beyond awesome customer service, if you want to attract high rollers and retain customers, you need to have a loyalty and/or VIP program that rewards players for their loyalty (how much they play). It needs to be obvious to customers that when they spend more they get more.
- Be transparent – Make sure all your marketing and advertising is 100% concise, clear and transparent. As important as it is to draw in players with an enticing sales pitch, be honest about what they get and how they can get it. Don’t be mysterious. Transparent and easy-to-understand terms and conditions builds integrity and trust and shows your dedication to being a responsible operator.
- Be responsible – If you offer email/SMS marketing, this must be an opt-in and opt-out program. Not only is this required by most responsible gambling guidelines laid out by gambling regulators, but it is important to be ethical and take the necessary precautions not to market to those who have opted-out as they may be problem gamblers.
- Not all gambling jurisdictions are created equal – Keep in mind that different jurisdictions have laws in regard to marketing and require you to follow these rules if you don’t want to be fined or blacklisted in these regions. For instance, many online gambling jurisdictions permit the use of the term “Free Spins” for promotions (either requiring or not requiring a deposit) involving spins given on a select slot game or group of games.
However, in certain jurisdictions, like Denmark for example, the term “free” cannot be used with the word “spins” for these same promotions. Instead, only the term “Spins” is used. The reason is that these promotional spins are not actually free. The player either has to make a deposit to claim them and/or they are required to meet certain wagering requirements to withdraw any winnings they may have received from these spins promotions.
These complex legal stipulations are another reason why obtaining the marketing help of an experienced iGaming software company is a good idea.
Online Casino Marketing – Final Thoughts
Online gambling is one of the most competitive industries. Every year numerous online casinos launch and many of these new brands will fail. To compete in a saturated market and rise above the competition, a key component for success is to have the best casino marketing plan in place.
TCS reviews can help you find the iGaming software provider that can support your efforts in finding and establishing optimal online casino marketing strategies that can drive revenue success. Start discovering your options today.