With Callum Broxton, Head of US Operations, Checkd Group
Those who remember wired house phones and floppy disks might be left cold by the term “influencer,” which may evoke perceptions of young digital natives clambering for their 15 minutes of fame by any means.
However, in the world of igaming, influencer marketing, via professional sports betting tipsters, or “Cappers,” has become a critical driver when it comes to retention and reactivation of customers, and is fast becoming a cornerstone of growth for the nascent North American industry.
Social media influencers, with their large and engaged followings, provide an ideal medium for operators to promote their platforms, and for affiliates to keep discerning bettors informed and entertained. As new states open up, and tier-one operators battle for market share, we are seeing the ways in which influencer marketing is becoming a true value proposition in the strategy to reach a wider audience.
Why should operators and affiliate brands dedicate a significant part of their respective marketing budget to sports betting influencers? In short, our tried-and-tested experience shows that they boost retention rates and they encourage acquisition by leveraging their existing audiences. They also effectively promote your brand from a position of authority while humanizing a brand, offering a tangible relationship and a welcoming gateway to your sign-up page.
The best Cappers are highly informed communicators. They keep detailed empirical statistical models, they study the signals and external factors affecting any given sporting event, and they even factor the intangibles of human psychology into their tips.
They are, in essence, a trusted source of information — regarded as more trustworthy and independent than in-house talent — to whom customers will often turn before placing a bet. Recent studies suggest two thirds of bettors wagering between $51–100 per month will spend between 15 minutes and an hour researching their picks. An endorsement from a reliable influencer takes much of the legwork out of this research, while positively reinforcing the decision-making process.
The FlashPicks app places Cappers front and center in the user journey, in order to offer the customer informed opinion, while leveraging the significant built-in audiences with whom they already resonate. The app spotlights a team of influencers, many of whom boast six-figure follower numbers across Twitter, TikTok and Twitch: social forums where a diverse cross section of online bettors are seeking information.
By proxy of an influencer’s trusted followers, operators and affiliates can drive conversions from key growth demographics, and retain their custom by positioning the influencers within the user journey.
Influencer marketing also provides brand promotion outside of the brand’s own ecosystem, and within the context of creative and engaging content. By the nature of their trade, Cappers understand the kinds of content their audience is interested in, the bet types that will appeal to them, and the kind of offers that will see them bring their business to a new operator. At once, they are a brand promotion tool, creative editorial content provider, a hotbed for backlinks and a market research tool.
The cost of influencer marketing may vary, depending on their level of notoriety and followership, but it typically provides superior added value and utility in comparison to traditional paid marketing options.
The sports betting industry is, and will continue to, embrace significant technological shifts in the coming years, with artificial intelligence already being used for SEO, content creation and the next generation of user interfaces. As the industry, and the world at large, shifts towards a reliance on faceless-but-functional technology, there will inevitably be a desire for the human touch. At its core, influencer marketing is about building relationships. This is exactly what an operator or affiliate brand wants to achieve with its customer base, and this is exactly the kind of interface that an influencer provides.
The rise of the influencer in the United States is tracking harmoniously with the rise of its sports betting handle. They will continue to develop in harmony, as more brands open up to the virtues of using Cappers as an ambassadorial marketing function.