Casinos have been around for many decades and video games for the past few—however, the newest, technologically-driven form of gambling, Fantasy Sports Betting, is paving a new path for understanding players and drawing in revenue!
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THE WORLD OF ONLINE SPORTS BETTING
In the modern era, functional platforms for user entertainment have expanded beyond our wildest imaginations. Television, smartphones, gaming consoles, casinos, sporting events, festivals and nightclubs are just a few of life’s offerings these days. That being said, most if not all of these digitally-oriented forms of mass media and entertainment were justified to the industries they resided in.
Infrastructure, rules and regulations were deftly laid out to provide a system for growth within these platforms and generate explosive appeal in the right marketer’s hands. But what happens when two of the most lucrative and widely-used entertainment businesses fuse—and create a new playing field to disrupt the scores and odds?
Enter the world of online and sports betting! Such a game-changing industry development has taken the best of both worlds from online gaming engines, enhanced screen graphics and quick-fire, multiplayer action alongside the fantasy realm of Las Vegas casinos, gambling and slot machines to manifest the most immersive virtual casino experience to date. Now, players are looking for an extra added buzz in their gaming endeavors and are avid (yet responsible!) gamblers seeking a variety of experiences have easy access to a platform that directly caters to their needs.
They can challenge their friends in pool or football matches for keeps from their home, work or on a bus! Factors such as corporate sponsorship, celebrity endorsements, catchy or flashy deals, free play trials and ease of access have blown open the doors to the mass appeal of competitive online sports. Gone are the days of legality issues tied to physical casino venues, cultural approval of public gambling or standard, wager-less gaming. Everyone loves sports, right? (Okay, well, most people.)
And people love some good competition with high stakes! With the widespread access of smartphones, tablets and desktop screens, this cost-effective and individually-focused user experience has driven fantasy sports betting to the forefront of modern entertainment.
THE WORLD OF ONLINE BETTING
In 2019, the online gambling market soared to over $53.7 billion and is expected to compound annually at 11.5% from 2020 to 2027 (Grandviewresearch.com). Innovation has thus far helped us discover the Internet as the largest global platform and current standard for receiving and digesting data, news, media, entertainment and most all our informational input these days. It has also become the number one spot for merchants and marketers to display and peddle their products.
As such, modernized digital betting/gambling companies (like the well-known FanDuel) have founded a more acceptable reputation for online betting. More off-brand sites such as bet365.com, which in the span of a little less than a year, topped over 190 million hits to the site—far surpassing its competitors (second place barely scraped over 70 million) in this same SEMrush research study.) More analytics revealed that within the global online gambling domain, the average traffic for the top 25 domains which comprised 76% of the market share, raked in anywhere from 10-30 million visitors a month. These figures remove any doubt of the sheer quantity of traction sports betting platforms can draw in, and at normative rate.
So we’ve understood that online sports betting and fantasy leagues are the thing for individuals who seek to engage in their favorite sports activities, online, with their friends while making a few bucks—and the icing? They can do it anywhere. The immense expansion of cost-effective mobile applications and smartphone devices across the planet has unlocked the truest potential for this heavily lucrative industry; accessing an unlimited pool of potential customers.
Online gambling is global in two fundamental aspects. Technologically, it operates via the internet. But from an organizational perspective, over 80 different jurisdictions monitor and control online wager activities, and an increasing number of countries are eyeing the profit margins. Online gambling not only draws attention and business, but offers increased employment rates and generates overall revenue for the countries themselves. SEMrush reports indicate that the geo-distribution of gambling across the world accounts for ten main countries ruling over 62% of web traffic. The USA leads with a 10% share, followed by Brazil, Japan, the UK and Ukraine. Quite a diverse spread!
USER EXPERIENCE AND DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING
With such a widely accessible platform to work off of and such a diverse customer base to pull from, it can be daunting to establish comprehension of utilizing an online presence with a volatile industry such as gambling in a sequentially profitable manner. Studies showed that direct traffic accounts for 47% of all digital traffic to gambling domains, followed closely by referral. This means users are discovering these platforms of their own accord. This style of interaction inherently carries with it the nature of human behavior—erratic and sudden.
A month-by-month insight into data from the last few years reveals continuous fluctuations in user traffic, from 7 million visitors in August 2018 to 10 million in March 2019…and then dwindled come August 2019. However, there is no reason to fear the unsteadiness of the terrain! HVMA is here to break down the behind-the-scenes analytics and reasons for where modern online consumers are going to fulfill their sports betting plays and how they come across these gateways.
What was previously an apprehension to gambling and Las Vegas-style gaming has settled into a more natural way for people to enjoy themselves while simultaneously taking advantage of a new, and legal, terrain for betting. Developments thus far in the fantasy sports realm have paralleled those of actual internet casinos. As the internet grew, so has the number of websites offering poker, blackjack and other such gaming experiences.
As such, with an intense focus on the individual in a vast online space, casino companies had to focus on investing in microscopic information on a macro scale. They needed to understand whether large brand names were the trigger for players to engage, such as the infamous Caesar’s Palace or MGM Hotel in Las Vegas, or whether more subtle, quiet sites were pulling in audiences.
Of these two sources, it turns out non-branded keywords accounted for almost 72% of web traffic pulled on gambling domains. In fact, non-branded search queries yielded nearly 2.5 times as much traffic as branded ones! (SEMrush) Having this kind of information can deliver the intelligent digital marketer optimized insights and proven strategic methods to drive their gambling platform to the maximum.
Equipping oneself with information and hard data analytics that allow peeks into users’ gameplay styles, where they turn to for a gambling fix, and how they are initially inspired can establish a pathway for marketers to tread with confidence. Taking it a step further, understanding which specific keywords fire the most, the visual content that appeals the best, and the inherent outlets or traffic sources that generate the biggest turnover yields are critical utilities to consider when developing a marketing strategy in such a high-stakes field.
USING THE DATA TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER, FIND YOUR CUSTOMER—AND BEYOND!
Fun fact: “is gambling a sin” is one of the most searched gambling-related questions (SEMrush). Why then, are there such a wide variety of ways to indulge in…well…the offerings of Sin City? Segmented by type, the online gaming market has been segmented by sports betting, casinos, poker, bingo, and so on. Sports betting has been steadily dominating the market since 2019, foraging a bright future from the digital domain of the Internet.
As discussed earlier, online sports leagues with gambling features span over the entire world. Recent rises in disposable income within Asia Pacific resulted in higher consumer spending capacity, leading to a boost in the sports betting segment! The ties to the consumer were becoming abundantly evident; the notion that consumer is indeed king, and to always serve them well.
Consumers always seek a personalized interaction within their transactions—whether daily or by investment. They want to be made to feel special, and they don’t care if there’s thousands or millions of each other. Giving customers exactly what they want, how they want it, and in an easily comprehensible way is clearly the solution—so why not do it?
Companies recognized early on that one of the major key benefits of using data-driven approaches to the online gambling sphere was hidden within digitization of the user base. Advanced design within games prepare applications to track gamblers’ behaviors, and construct individual profiles for them. Most often found in harmless devices such as tablets and smartphones, they enable brands to estimate customer risk-aversion or propensity to jump into risk, and subsequently, place higher wagers. These tools store and contain information regarding playing speed, amount bet, time spent on the game or variety of games played.
In 2019, the desktop segment dominated. Large screens, detailed graphics and intricate gameplay immersion allowed players to experience the peak fantasy world within their domain of choice. Performance parameters such as picture quality, sound volume, storage capacity and hardware specs popped up as the contributors which drove overall segment growth. Online poker has garnered large attention from the college student community, and registered a large annual growth percentage to online card games.
Customers seemingly approved of these game styles due to the convenience factor (as they accept most major credit cards, online wallets and virtual cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin). Wider game ranges provided companies with higher standards of platforms for players to explore their tastes within….ultimately driving the segment as a whole.
Providing consumers with multiple offerings and an immersive, uninterrupted experience in their comfort zones is the method to the madness, it seems. Providing these features at affordable prices to tackle the immense scale of the industry is some feat—but allotting players expanded deposit options, loyalty points and player-versus-player action can prove suitable anywhere across the globe.
Delivering die-hard members or even piqued return customers with a wide variety of gameplay scenarios paired to accurate data tracking allows online gambling brands to imbue depth and precision within their marketing. The highest focus of any successful brand would be customer-centric: to build a relationship with players that encourages trust.
Your customers will feel that you genuinely care about them and come back to your brand if you can provide them with the best hand of plays on the right channel—so tune in and roll the dice!