Davids vs Goliaths: can smaller affiliates compete with the big guys?

Helmet Guy of PlayAttack Affiliates discusses how smaller affiliate teams can compete for public attention with the industry's 'Goliaths'.

As the online casino industry keeps proliferating, operators are always looking for affiliates for a much-needed boost and leverage against competitors. In turn, affiliates have realised their power (and the earning potential), thus creating a highly competitive environment where only the 'fittest' survive. 

As we all know, affiliates come in different shapes and sizes. On the one hand, you have large companies with the financial capability to employ hundreds of people as affiliate managers, content writers, translators, SEO specialists, and more under the same roof. On the other hand, you also have plenty of smaller affiliate teams, and sometimes, even one-person teams, which do not have the luxury of unlimited resources at their disposal. Yet, sometimes, these smaller affiliate companies manage to remain competitive despite what would seemingly be considered a disadvantage.

Whilst the former are the 'Goliaths' in the world of casino affiliate marketing, the latter can be considered the 'Davids.' So what exactly makes them stand out as compared to the ‘big dogs’? And how do the smaller guys still manage to remain competitive?

The Goliaths

As we already mentioned, the 'Goliaths' are the most prominent affiliate companies that operate in the industry. Like in any other industry, the bigger you are, the more powerful you are, and the bigger your presence within the industry tends to be.

It's much easier for the 'Goliaths' to expand their business by reaching out to newer and bigger audiences. This is mainly because these companies can employ large teams of talented individuals to drive player traffic and bring in experienced marketers who can help them target these new audiences by providing them with highly engaging and valuable content.

They have the time to ensure a steady content production flow and cover news on gambling, casino, sports betting, and write reviews and educational content for beginners and more experienced players. Therefore, the major casino affiliate websites can churn out regular content on all these verticals because they have the manpower to do so.

Moreover,  having more manpower makes it easier to revisit and edit existing content to maintain accuracy.  In such a dynamic environment, with things like welcome offers, available games, and payment methods changing so fast, it can be challenging for the smaller affiliates to keep every single detail up-to-date at all times.

Having said that, how do those who operate on a smaller scale still manage to keep up with the prominent market players?

The Davids

Otherwise known as smaller casino affiliates, the 'Davids' are a force to be reckoned with. Despite having significantly fewer resources at their disposal, and even though the industry is highly competitive, some of the smaller affiliates still manage to become (or remain) successful against all odds. 

This is primarily the case with the affiliates who pick a specific niche and build their business plan around it instead of covering all the possible verticals and delivering low-quality content that falls short against competitors. 

Even though larger affiliates can also focus on a particular niche, they sometimes lose their focus due to the abundance of resources that they have at their disposal. Therefore, as a rule, bigger affiliates tend to cater for a wider audience leaving the door open for the smaller teams who want to gain ground in a specific vertical in the casino realm.

A smaller affiliate can decide to focus on live casino games such as 'roulette,' for instance. By doing so, it becomes much easier for them to provide in-depth, specialised content that can resonate with their target audience. This affiliate can offer valuable content on everything related to this casino game; how-to guides or blog posts covering the best roulette games, a list of casinos that offer the broadest range of roulette games, and information on strategies, terminology and everything else in between.

But why exactly is picking a niche the best choice?

By focusing on a niche, the 'Davids' are in a great position to cultivate a sense of belonging with their community of players. Those who are experts in certain areas, as well as the beginners who are interested in a specific game type, will always look for more 'specialised' websites to find answers to their questions and will gradually develop increased trust levels. This sense of belonging is not to be underestimated, as without trust, parameters like 'quality of content' can quickly become irrelevant. 

Furthermore, smaller affiliate teams, whether they are already established or are just entering the market, will find it challenging to rank for generic in-demand keywords like 'online gambling' or 'online casinos'. Once they realise this, it becomes even more apparent why going for a specific niche is the ideal strategy in their case. As opposed to the keywords that come with high competition levels, smaller affiliates could see themselves rank high for keywords like 'roulette'. 

So, what are some of the things small affiliates who are just starting in this business need to keep in mind?

Must-do’s for Small Casino Affiliate Companies

Casino affiliates should keep the following things in mind when trying to stamp their authority on their chosen niche:

Firstly, they should make sure that all the information they provide to the audience is always accurate and up-to-date. This is an absolute must for smaller affiliates to remain competitive, as this is how you build trust, which, as mentioned above, should be the highest priority. 

Secondly, whilst we can acknowledge that publishing high-quality content regularly urges people to revisit the website and increases conversions, it is also clearly very difficult to keep up with the desired pace when you have a small team. Therefore, regularly optimising your existing content to keep it up-to-date would be a good possible alternative.

Moreover, going back to cultivating a sense of belonging, affiliates should consider implementing a comment section in their blog posts. This is a great way to let your audience have their say on your content, and you can also engage with them to create meaningful discussions. Small things like this can go a long way and are likely to be met by appreciation. 

Our next piece of advice is always to keep yourself in the loop regarding the latest industry trends. It’s always likely that there will be new information out there related to your specific niche. Being on top of these changes and applying this knowledge to your daily work will increase the relevance of your blogs, videos, and other materials. Consequently, your presence amongst the gambling community will continue to grow.

Lastly, but not least, affiliates should always critically reflect on and evaluate the partnership opportunities that arise if they want to provide an overall excellent experience to their audience based on trust and transparency. Combining expert-level content with reputable casino products is the perfect recipe for success in this industry.

Be Yourself

To compete with the big guys, don’t compete with them! Learn to work your way around them instead.

It would be best if you did not try to replicate what most affiliate companies are doing. Instead, develop your unique strategies concerning a specific niche in gambling. This way, you will fill in those missing gaps that players are searching for.

Disclaimer: This article was originally published in Trafficology Magazine.