2021 was a record year for iGaming, one of the most popular forms of gambling right now, especially in the United States. Numerous states posted all-time-high revenues, leading to total industry-wide revenue of $53 billion, and these numbers only seem to be going up in 2022 as well.
With more and more states legalising online gambling, it’s becoming one of the hottest commodities to market in the PR world. And as it continues to grow and develop in line with numerous regulations, traditional marketing and marketing strategies need to evolve to deliver a killer Digital PR approach that can have an incredible effect on visibility, trustworthiness, and traffic.
So where do you begin with running a digital PR campaign for iGaming brands?
In this guide, we’re going to take you through how to complete a top-tier digital PR campaign – from conception to delivery to outreach, and cover all the bases you need to drop the best international PR campaign for your clients.
1. Research and competitor analysis
Before you start, it’s important to understand the current landscape by running some competitor analysis to find out:
- What your competitors are doing? What stories are doing well and how are they illustrating assets on site?
- Why are they doing it? Does the campaign fit in with the current news agenda?
- Is their content working for them? Are they seeing good results – are backlinks strong and is visibility increasing?
To do this, you can use sites like BuzzSumo to see which content is currently trending and popular and is getting people talking. You can use some of the keywords that you find to run keyword research to find out not only which keywords are trending, but associated keywords that your competitors might not be jumping onto.
You can also scan the backlinks of your competitor’s campaigns using tools such as AHRefs, to see which campaigns are most successful and which publications and journalists you can pitch to during outreach. Once you have these findings you can call for ideation sessions based on the keywords and concepts you’ve found.
2. Ideation and brainstorming
Content ideation and brainstorming with your team is one of the most effective ways to come up with new and exciting ideas for your clients, especially when it comes to iGaming. iGaming clients are fantastic for Digital PR as you can create campaigns which focus on three major sectors:
- Sports: Sports betting is one of the biggest areas you can cash ideas on, as it’s one of the most popular forms of betting. This gives you the freedom to explore different sports from around the world and allows the targeting of big sports publications, such as Sports Illustrated and individual team fan sites.
- Gaming: Gaming and casino betting is another key area to target with iGaming brands – you can explore lots of different gaming keywords and niches, which allows you to target more niche publications and sites, such as GameRant and NintendoLife.
- Lifestyle: An area that can be targeted with most brands, lifestyle is another great area to generate ideas for, as you can angle a lot of lifestyle campaigns to have a gaming, sports, or competitive element in keeping with your client’s brand – for example: “In which US state are you most likely to win the lottery?”.
All three sectors are massive and have specialised journalists who talk about each topic individually, which increases your outreach opportunities. Consider all three segments of the iGaming pie as they’re a fantastic way to diversify the client’s link portfolio while sticking with the theme of gambling.
3. Create a calendar to ensure campaigns are newsworthy
Campaigns have to be newsworthy for journalists to have any incentive to cover them – this means ensuring that your campaigns are up to date, in keeping with current events and trends, and likely to get your clients a big boost in visibility. Here are some examples of things to keep in mind when it comes to newsworthy angles you can take:
- What big events are coming up? Is it the Super Bowl, World Cup, or even the Olympics?
- Are there any gaming competitions coming up or any big game releases on the horizon?
- Are certain things going on in the media which can be jumped on? Are there some awareness days coming up which would make for a strong news angle? You can check out our content calendar to keep an eye out for any awareness days your clients could benefit from or use to their advantage.
Knowing what’s coming up is essential to ensure that you stay on top of the game, keeping your client’s name and branding at the forefront of the public’s awareness.
4. Using an ‘always on’ approach
IGaming clients need to maintain consistency when it comes to their PR activity. Here at c3, we use a three-pronged ‘always on’ approach to ensure we stay on the ball at all times:
- Planned – These are your planned Digital PR campaigns with design and content assets, which sit on your client’s site to gain backlinks. These are created and developed ahead of big newsworthy events, such as the Super Bowl/March Madness.
- Proactive – This is the reangling of a relevant post onsite which would fit with the current news agenda and can be pushed out quickly.
- Reactive – This is when we look at newsjacking and jumping on stories that are hitting the headlines. There is always something new trending on Twitter or being talked about in gaming and gambling communities and being the first one on it can give you strong results. For example, some sports areas that always give good results:
- Players retiring/changing teams.
- Performances of teams, players, referees etc.
- Overall results from a season/year.
From our experience, iGaming clients are great for signing ideas off quickly – which is why this approach of combining planned, proactive, and reactive PR is so important.
5. Creation of quality content and design assets
Now that you have your incredible ideas signed off, it’s time to create the content and assets for your campaign. Your PR campaign is not going to take off if you don’t have engaging content and eye-catching design assets to showcase all your hard work.
A campaign about the hiring of a new wonder kid in the NBA is not going to take off if your tone of voice is boring or lacklustre – your content needs to be exciting, attention-grabbing and most of all, entertaining, to even make it past the inbox of the journalists you reach out to.
One of the best ways to capture your reader’s attention is with design assets that ‘pop’ and stand out. Keeping your assets on brand is important, so you can ensure that your brand can be easily identified wherever your assets end up online.#]
Ensuring the quality of your content and assets is as sleek and professional as possible also gives your readers the impression that your client is trustworthy and an expert in the field.
6. Outreach and media relationships
Once you have your content and assets perfected and live on the client’s site, it’s time to find relevant journalists and publications to reach out to boost your content for you. Finding relevant journalists and publications is essential – especially those who are happy to cover content from gambling brands.
Looking at the three leading sectors – sports, gaming, and lifestyle – it’s important to create killer media lists you can keep going back to them and adding new contacts as you go.
With sports journalists, you must ensure all your contacts are tagged appropriately with their favoured sectors/teams, as these journalists rarely just talk about general sports. With gaming journalists, make sure to reach out to those talking about topics related to gaming as well as just specific gaming journalists.
Using media databases, like Vuelio, are great, but they often only just scratch the surface of people you could, and should, be reaching out to. Scour the web to find more journalists – use Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Reddit, to find those talking about your chosen topic and reach out to them on those platforms to make new connections.
However – it’s important to note with the nature of iGaming, that you will usually find out quickly who is (and isn’t) happy to receive pitches. It’s important to make a note of these people for your company’s database and avoid those who aren’t open to it.
Remember that not all states in America have legalised sports gambling, so think twice before outreaching to them.
You now have the structure to take all your great gaming and sports gambling ideas and turn them into incredible international PR campaigns that will get people talking about your clients! For more support with international clients and work, check out our international section for more blogs, updates, and insights from our international PR team.