With live sport off the radar for the foreseeable future, a lot of our clients in the betting industry have pivoted towards casino games and virtual sports.
It was the obvious decision to make. Now of course, these markets are never going to fully make up for the loss of live sport but from what we’re hearing, there are clear signs that it’s definitely helping.
Last week, our partners at Optimove revealed a 30% increase in the number of daily virtual sports players. Our own clients have reported similar figures, some are even saying it’s significantly higher.
Interestingly, there is a lot of overlap between the typical profiles of bettors who tend to play casino games and virtual sports.
- Want quick-fire experience
- High-frequency bettors
- Lower avg. bet spend (compared to those betting on live sports)
However, rather than trying to get more wallet-share from your usual audience for these markets, the biggest thing you can do right now is try to win over some new fans who aren’t familiar with the product.
Most of you will already have a solid acquisition plan for your casino games (and if you don’t then get in touch with us!), so we won’t focus on that for now. Instead, let’s look at ways to convert the average live sports-only punter into a virtual sports aficionado!
If you’re going to promote virtual sports at all then you should lean in heavy. You can’t expect customers who have no experience of it to find it on their own. You need to proactively engage with them and make it sound exciting.
But as there’s no telling how long this drought will last, it doesn’t make sense to completely restructure your website or app around virtual sports.
So start your acquisition campaign on the pages of your website and app these customers normally visit. For example, I imagine your main football odds page is looking pretty bare right now. The Belarusian league is getting more of a push than anyone ever thought it would!
Absolutely, you want bettors to engage with the live markets available, but this is also the number one place to promote virtual games. Use onsite or in-app messages on your horse racing/football/tennis pages to promote the equivalent virtual sports market and drive players directly to it.
The real beauty of this tactic is that a) the pop-up campaigns are really easy to create and b) you can easily stop them as soon as live sports have resumed.
Promote odds at the usual matchday times
All over the world, there are soccer fans who will be feeling the pang of disappointment when Sunday rolls around and there’s no Super Sunday premiership match on.
That’s the perfect time to send a push notification promoting a virtual game. It might be just the kind of excitement and action the customer is looking for.
And the same can be done across all of the virtual sports markets. Leverage the data you have in-house on when the most bets are typically placed on each live event throughout the week and sync your new campaigns in line with it.
As we saw recently with the virtual Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, fans get used to watching their favourite sports at the same times every week. The routine and the ritual is all part of the fun, so make sure you are tapping into that!
As we’ve mentioned, this is going to be a new market for most bettors. There’s a bit of work to be done educating them about the product; how the simulation works, how winners are determined and how the odds are set etc.
I guarantee you that there will be customers who think they have to watch a computer simulation for 90 minutes!
These things might be obvious to you, but the average sports fan who only knows real sports is going to have some questions. The biggest thing is to help them see how exciting this product actually is.
It’s definitely worth making a short video to explain each product, as well as writing it all down too.
In terms of channel selection to share this educational content, the best options would be the web and app inboxes. They allow you to send permanent content to players, so they can read through it all at their own pace. You can use images as well to really help them understand everything.
One really simple idea would be to send an email campaign to players who have recently visited a virtual sports page but haven’t actually placed a bet. The email format would be perfect for outlining how it all works. Then you can encourage them to partake in the action with a free bet as your CTA at the end.
Segmentation and personalization
The key to all of this is to make it individually relevant.
You know your players and what they are interested in, so put that data to use. Go “like for like” as much as you can, promote virtual horse racing to the customers who are really missing the sport of kings, send odds on the “Merseyside Reds” (or whatever the lookalike team your virtual football system has) to Liverpool fans who are paranoid their team won’t get to lift the league trophy.
Join Us Next Wednesday!
On Wednesday 8th April, we will be hosting a webinar focused exclusively on virtual sports campaigns. Join us there to learn tips and tactics to convert more of your players to this fast-paced and exciting product.