It’s commonly said that the Internet is the new wild frontier. Like wagon trains of the 19th century headed into the American West, the web consists of unstaked ground and provides limitless room for innovation. It’s no wonder that online casinos have become such popular hot spots.
With all the glitz, glamor and gaming fun of their land-locked counterparts, online casinos are a great way to play a few hands of blackjack without leaving your couch or home office. And considering global online gambling is an over-$30-billion-dollar-a-year industry, according to the Wall Street Journal, there’s never been such a good time to establish your brand and grow your company.
But online casino marketing can be a tricky business. There’s always the route that PokerStars went, enlisting the help of world-renowned Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal as a spokesperson. But PokerStars also makes up a full eighth of the world’s online gambling revenue, according to the Wall Street Journal – so Nadal might be a bit out of the price range of most online casinos.
Still, PokerStars is on the right track. The trick to a good online casino marketing plan, just like at physical casino locations, is to appear both friendly and sophisticated at the same time. Let players know this isn’t a back-room game. They’re actually playing at the digital Montenegro. Consider these five golden rules of online casino marketing.
1. Use stealth marketing
In the case of PokerStars, The Wall Street Journal highlighted the success the site has found with stealth marketing. This includes everything from making an appearance on a Russian detective show to taking a lot of the back-alley seediness out of the game. Sure, poker tables covered by clouds of cigarette smoke once had their allure – but in today’s world, legitimizing the game is more important. Doing so with subtlety will take your brand far.
2. Get viral
The Internet is one of the best places to employ viral marketing – you can draw in interested parties with a tease of information or the promise of a mystery. Get a unique brand to spread and it’ll go like wildfire.
But even though your community is based online, don’t stick to digital viral marketing alone. You’d be surprised how impactful some real world promotion can be. Invest in custom pens for your casino and hand them out at the next trade show you attend. These will spread far and wide, netting you more attention than ever.
3. Offer perks
So you may not have an enormous suite at the top of your building to put up big winners for the night, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer perks and other kinds of loyalty recognition. And don’t reward the winners alone! Has a player had a bad day at the poker table? Offer them promotional T-shirts with your casino name and a popular card game witticism on them, like “It’s good to be lucky, and I’m lucky to be good!”
4. Turn on the charm
Of course, what good do promotional products like pens and custom tees do if your casino isn’t welcoming enough. Don’t stop with these products alone. Load up your visitors with the goods, from promotional poker sets to personalized card decks.
And don’t avoid the variety of customized items that aren’t gaming-related. How about tote bags with your casino logo printed in full color on both sides? Or promotional beverage glasses and water bottles, so your players can enjoy either that traditional cocktail or a refreshing sip of H2O while they play!
5. Whatever you do, get involved
As old as games and bets may be, online casinos are still relatively young. Of course, this means that the industry is still finding its feet, and once it does you can expect it to explode – and you can bet advertising is going to be a key component. In fact, getting in on the ground floor might be as lucrative as winning the jackpot!
Advertising Age, the well-known industry magazine, reported that over the next five years as much as $4 billion could be spent on marketing by the internet gaming industry. To put it in perspective, that’s more than General Motors spent on advertising in the U.S. in a given year recently, according to the source.
The online casino marketing world is an exciting and dynamic place to be. Don’t miss out on what it has to offer your gaming network! Remember – with these golden rules in mind, you’re sure to come home a big winner.