Warren Ashurst, Head of Broadcast at Independent Content Services, emphasised to Affiliate Industry Review that sports betting affiliates must broaden content strategies to include audio and video.
Online sports betting affiliates are used to hearing the phrase “content is king”.
They are aware that the content they publish not only has to compete with other sportsbook comparison sites, but also with major media brands and bookmakers’ own efforts.
Of course, this content must be of the highest quality and deliver genuine value and insight to the reader. Publishing content solely for ranking purposes simply doesn’t fly any more.
This has resulted in some genuinely innovative ideas when it comes to written content; from stats and data tables to long-read features and big-name interviews.
Those that have prioritised content above most other things are reaping the rewards; they are attracting large numbers of new readers and are enjoying unprecedented loyalty.
But consumer habits are constantly changing, and while written content is still the foundation of any sportsbook affiliate site, now is the time to expand into audio and video content.
Take a quick glance at some of the largest – and, indeed, smallest – sports news sites and you will see that video content is starting to dominate homepages.
This content is easy to access – particularly on mobile – and can provide the same information in a 30 second clip as a 1,000-word feature that would take ten minutes to read.
Meanwhile, audio content, particularly in the form of podcasts, is more popular now than ever before and provides an additional channel for consumers to access the information they seek.
In contrast, take a quick look at most online sports betting comparison sites and there is little offered in the way of audio and video content.
This means affiliates are missing a trick, and are losing ground to sports news brands and online bookmakers, who have already bet big on such content.
It is likely the case that affiliates simply don’t understand the different audio and video products available to them, and how easy it is to integrate these into their sites.
When it comes to broadcast content, several content creation agencies can now produce audio streams and videos focusing upon match previews, quick-fire reactions to events and live stream betting analysis.
At ICS, for example, we offer a Gillette Soccer Saturday set-up where our presenters report on all Premier League matches taking place that day, analysing the action from a betting perspective.
But it also offers more than most radio shows, with updates on all the major leagues and teams across Europe, too.
Content like this drives engagement and keeps people on your site for longer. And bespoke audio and video content can also be used to drive players to your partners.
For example, with quick fire video reactions it is possible for the presenter to say:
“Chelsea have just scored their second goal to draw level with Manchester City. For the latest in-play markets, sign up with Operator A now.”
Of course, it’s not just about driving conversions. Bettors are super savvy and have come to expect added value from the media sites they frequent, as well as the brands they bet with.
This is why affiliates should also look to produce audio content in the form of live radio broadcasts and podcasts.
The former is particularly effective at keeping people on your site for longer. Indeed, loyalty is an area where most affiliates can improve and this is one way of achieving it.
Live radio broadcasts mean that people can keep up-to-date with scores and key match events as and when they happen, while also doing other activities.
This may be cutting the grass, taking the dog for a walk or riding the bus home from work. Regardless, they remain connected to your site and can be funnelled towards conversion.
The ease at which audio and video content can be integrated and published means affiliates should act now and start publishing across these formats without delay.
Even basic WordPress sites can publish YouTube videos, while most audio broadcasts are offered as a pop-up radio player, accessed via a URL on the affiliate site.
Audio and video content is already being used by sports news sites and online bookmakers to engage players and keep them connected to their brands for longer.
Smart affiliates will recognise this, and quickly build out their content strategies to include audio and visual.
Content certainly is king, but today it covers a lot more than just the written word.