Eve Luneborg is a casino affiliate consultant and content writer with a considerable experience in various markets, including Norway. Luneborg has shared with our readers her personal thoughts on AI implementation and the particular development of the Norwegian marketing industry. Find a full interview below.
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Since you have an experience in iGaming content writing, how would you describe the tone of the modern market these days? What are the writing trends in online gambling?
I would say that during the last couple of years, more and more affiliates have started to invest more in content. As in not in the quantity but rather the quality of the content they publish.
Before, a lot of affiliates would just pump their sites full of low-quality articles month after month. Nowadays, most affiliates are much more careful with selecting which topics they want to cover.
For their writers, this means that it is not so common anymore to get a task like “write 1 000 words about mobile casinos,” and that being the end of the instructions.
Most serious affiliates nowadays give detailed content briefs about topics, headings, article length, and more. So, there is less content, but more work goes into the articles that get published. Also, most articles, at least the ones I get assigned from my clients, are in-depth, long-form articles.
How do you engage the online casino audience through writing content? Can it be as effective as visual ads, for example?
Frankly, I do not think anyone reads most of the articles I write. Let’s face it, most of it is just so that Google finds the page and thinks it is a good match for what someone is searching for. Very few people actually read all the text on a page.
However, I would say that what all writers have to aim for is to make people read for as long as possible, and that can be done in many different ways.
First thing first, I strongly believe in getting straight to the point and not beating around the bush paragraph after paragraph with all kinds of fluff and irrelevant stuff.
Another thing is to use everyday simple words that most people understand. Too much casino terminology, and you lose readers reasonably quickly. It’s not like most casino affiliates are targeting industry veterans. We’re writing for people that are not subject matter experts. Many writers fall into a trap because they are more concerned about selling themselves as an expert rather than actually writing for their audience. Writing with authority does not mean we must use the most complex words in our vocabulary.
Then again, page images, videos, and other elements are also a must. No one will stay engaged on a page with nothing but a wall of text, no matter how well-written and factually correct it is.
One of the top trends in the content writing market is definitely AI-generated tools such as ChatGPT. Has it changed your work process? How do you think it may change the whole industry?
No, it has not changed how I work at all, and honestly, I do not see it coming. Affiliate sites that are first and foremost interested in quantity will surely start using AI-generated content (and many of them did this before ChatGPT as well), but then again, those are not the clients that tend to hire me.
Find more about ChatGPT in the review at the link.
I believe that AI will replace some of the lower-end writers, but I highly doubt that it can replace subject-matter experts.
There is so much casino content out there already that is just plain factually incorrect, so I do not really understand how an AI is supposed to get it right. After all, some writers that have been writing exclusively for this industry for years still get things wrong, so how can something else be expected from AI? Where is it supposed to fetch its information from?
So, I doubt I will be out soon due to ChatGPT or any other AI content creator. If anything, I will probably see more clients wanting to hire me for proofreading and editing AI content.
Considering the writing content in affiliate marketing, how important can the content be for an affiliate campaign? What is the outcome for the affiliate program if the content is not so perfect?
Well, if you are doing an affiliate campaign of some sort, then it is a copy you need, not content. So that is the first thing to keep in mind. But of course, any text or CTAs will have to be highly engaging, inviting, and well-written for any campaign to succeed.
As the outcome of a campaign that’s not successful, that is, of course, that it’s a waste of money. Money spent on a campaign that does not convert players is simply a failure. Nothing more or less than that. Hopefully, though, one would learn from that and do it better next time. For example, ensure you work with a copywriter, not a content writer.
Looking at your experience in the Norwegian iGaming market, how would you describe the current state of the industry? What main tendencies will online gambling marketing in Norway face in 2023?
The Norwegian market is tricky, as they keep developing new ways to make it inconvenient for both casinos and affiliates. One thing is the lack of payment methods, but I think cryptocurrency will eventually solve that as more Norwegians get more comfortable with this kind of “new” money.
But what worries me more is that I’d almost just expect Norway to do what Finland did last year. Basically, outlawing affiliate sites in Finnish. So, if that also happens in Norway, that would be a problem. However, it remains to be seen if they do this, and if so, when that will be.
I have also noticed that some casinos are removing the Norwegian language and currency from their sites, and some have stopped accepting Norwegian affiliate traffic. So, for Norwegian writers and affiliates, that will be a problem.
For Norwegian players, I don’t think this will be an issue, though. We Norwegians are well-versed in English, and we’re familiar with the euro currency as well.
Personally, this will not impact me at all, though. Most of my work is for the English-speaking markets, so I hardly write in Norwegian anymore. I do not expect Norwegian to be a very flourishing market for casino writers, as it was when I started way back when. That is unless Norway finally decides to regulate offshore online casinos, like most European countries.
What is your personal top-rated affiliate strategy as a casino affiliate consultant?
Quality over quantity. That is pretty much rule number one. Do the things that need doing, and don’t waste time and money on things that are not profitable. If you want to do things that have a very low ROI expectancy, then you can do that once other more profitable verticals are performing as expected. Once one of my clients makes good money from their sites, I don’t care what they choose to waste their profits on.
Another thing is not to try to be all over the place. Find a niche, perfect it, and once that’s done, expand on it. I can’t stand it when a dozen half-finished projects are just abandoned because some new idea pops up in someone's head. Although, this is not a problem when I am consulting for affiliate companies. This is more of an issue when I manage sites and projects.
Finally, hire the right people to do the job. Thinking that it is possible to figure everything out yourself is not a good idea. With the strict regulations for many markets now, you need to know what to do and what not to do before you start. Getting off on the wrong foot can get costly long-term. Besides, we all need someone to brainstorm with, and that will call us out on it when we do something that is a bit less than optimal. A great team is always the key to success.
What do you think are the main risks and challenges a casino brand can face while promoting its website through an affiliate campaign?
Compliance will be the biggest challenge, depending on which market you target, of course. In some markets, like the UK, I almost don’t even understand how casinos dare to take the risk of promoting their brands through some of the affiliate sites that are out there.
Then again, I guess it is a bigger problem at the “international” affiliate sites. If a site only targets one market, the staff should know the regulations for that country. But if a site has traffic from all over the world, it very quickly gets overwhelming to try to keep up with all the constantly changing rules. It makes it almost impossible to stay compliant in all markets, which again is a problem for the casinos.
Then, wrong and outdated information is always an issue for an operator. I used to work as a support agent (half a lifetime ago, at least, that is how it feels). I remember how annoying it was to be contacted by players claiming they’d gotten an offer for something on some affiliate website. I’ve also worked with many affiliate sites; on that end, it’s almost impossible to keep the information updated. It takes time to edit the content, but a more significant issue is that most casinos don’t even inform their affiliates when they change their offers.
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