Posts

Frank Ravanelli

Italian citizen and native speaker, Canadian PR, EU passport holder, Frank Ravanelli specialized in Affiliate Marketing Management, Affiliate Marketing, eGaming, Forex, Fantasy Sports, US eCommerce Affiliate Marketing, Affiliate Marketing Programs Launch, Affiliate Marketing Consulting, Casino Affiliate Marketing, Email marketing, Performance Marketing.

Frank has been a growth-driven online marketeer since 1995, and in eGaming since 2002. He worked as Casino Director, Head of Casino Operations, Casino Marketing Manager, Affiliate Manager and studied casino marketing and management at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.

ba080e1a-e717-11e2-9c16-22000aa5108a-large

Article by Frank Ravanelli which appeared on iGB Affiliate Magazine

His successful track-record in start-ups and mature companies include:
– Expanding an eGaming affiliate program into new markets
– Re-launching and re-branding an online Casino company, with its brands and partners network
– Increasing casino revenues by over 1797%, while working for a public-listed Company
– Contributing to the growth of an Internet start-up, from $ 0 to over $ 108 Million in value in less than 2 years
– Building, from the ground up, and re-launching successful US eCommerce, SaaS and B2B affiliate programs on ShareASale, LinkShare, and CJ
– Launching and growing affiliate programs in the Fantasy Sports and Trading Tournaments verticals.

Frank Ravanelli has been speaking at industry events since 2004. The first one was in Vegas where he gave several presentations and workshops. His most recent public speaking engagement was in Barcelona with iGB Affiliates.

EEG summer treats for affiliates

EEG (eegaming.org), a leading source for igaming in Eastern and Central Europe, which offers several exposure services for affiliate programs, affiliate lead generation via a dedicated team of affiliate managers, news, legal updates by region, licensing and PR services has recently launched a giveaway in which one lucky affiliate will win a powerful Huawei P8lite smartphone equipped with Android Lollipop, 13 MP BSI camera+5 MP camera, 4G ready and lots of new features.

The participation is easy, you just have to fill out a survey related to affiliate programs and you can be the lucky winner at the draw which will be organized on the 31st of July.

Should affiliates consider social media marketing?

SiGMA15 will feature four distinct seminars, one of which is entitled Affiliates and SEO. One of the lectures at this seminar will focus exclusively on the benefits of social media, the opportunities and pitfalls that affiliates should be aware of.

We asked Lukasz Zelezny a few questions, which he answered in short below. He will be one of the main speakers at the ‘Affiliates and SEO’ conference, due this November.

 

  1. Can affiliates on Facebook get their accounts blocked when they promote gambling material?

Before any ads show up on Facebook, they have to meet the website’s guidelines.  Among the things that are outlawed by Facebook are adult content, violent content, and anything that could be deemed to be shocking or offensive.  In addition to the topics that are completely outlawed by Facebook, there are some topics that are questionable – gambling being one of them.

According to Facebook: ads that promote or facilitate online real money gambling, real money games of skill or real money lotteries, including online real money casino, sports books, bingo, or poker, are only allowed with prior authorisation from Facebook.  So, unless you have received authorisation from Facebook, it is fair to say that you could find your account blocked.

 

  1. Relating to point 1, how can you go around getting your main account blocked by using fake profiles / business accounts WITHOUT having those also blocked?

To abide by Facebook’s guidelines, you need to get authorisation in order to promote gambling related material.  And according to some sources, in order to do this you’ll need an account manager, and be willing to spend at least £10,000 per month.  This is true just in order to have a Facebook fan page related to gambling, let alone share advertisements.

Some affiliates have however found ways around this.  One option that seems to have worked is to create a fan page that offers a service – such as helping others to decide which football teams to bet on.  The posts that the fan page publishes can contain affiliate links, and at present they are not being penalised by Facebook.  It’s unsure how long this will last though.

Others have opted to create numerous accounts and place affiliate comments on all manner of Facebook pages.  However, once these messages and comments are flagged (and they likely will be), you could end up losing access to your account.  So, it’s wise not to do this with your main Facebook account.

 

  1. Is there a way to get free credit on Facebook?

There are a few ways to get ‘free’ credit for advertising on Facebook, but most of these will require some form of effort on your part.  You used to be able to get a free ad coupon just from liking the Facebook business page, but this has since been continued.

There are other options though.  GoDaddy.com, for example, is currently giving away a $50 coupon to anyone who takes out a three month hosting service with them.  There are a few other companies that are giving away coupons in a similar way to GoDaddy.  But they’re not technically free as they require you to sign up for a service, or purchase something else, to receive your reward.

 

  1. Would you consider other social media? Or is Facebook the better alternative?

It’s never a good idea to place all of your eggs in one basket.  So I always recommend people use a number of social media networks.  The ones that I predominantly use are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, however these may not be the best option for everyone.  If you run a food blog, or an e-commerce store, for example, you may prefer to make use of sites like Instagram and Pinterest.  It’s best to research the different networks and see which will be best for your advertising campaign.

However, even with that said, Facebook is by far the biggest social media website, and I recommend everyone has some sort of presence on there.

 

  1. How often must an advert be changed to maximise profitability by keeping CPC as low as possible?

When you first deploy an advert, you will be tasked with coming up with a keyword to rank for, as well as a price that you are willing to pay.  It is very rare that you will come up with the perfect match on your first advert.  I recommend letting an advert run for a month and seeing whether it is working for you.  Is it achieving what you set out to achieve?  If it is, and it is within your budget you can keep it as it is.  If not, you may want to utilise the Google Keyword Planner tool to find other keywords in your niche.  You should see what the CPC is for each one.  You can then try altering your advert to see if it makes a difference.  You can do these as often as you need to, but make sure to check your campaigns on a regular basis.

 

6.What are some of the best performing campaigns for social media? Would you be able to recommend affiliate networks that allow social media advertising?

There have been tons of effective social media campaigns over the last year.  Two that I still remember are the Virgin puppies advert which was launched on Facebook, and General Electric’s #emojiscience ads.  Both of these engaged the audience, and managed to pull in lots of new likes and followers for the companies involved.

Pretty much anyone can share blog posts on social media that contain affiliate links.  Many others such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter also allow affiliate links, though it’s recommended that you at least offer something useful to your readers as opposed to just spamming them with links.

 

7.Do certain languages or countries perform better than English? Say, Scandinavian markets, or eastern markets?

If your product or service appeals to people in a different country, it’s always worth planning your advertising campaigns to incorporate them.  Whilst English is the most common language for ads, places such as China can offer huge opportunities.  Other markets may also be easier to advertise to, as there is less competition.

If you are going to go down this route, though, you need to ensure that your ads are written correctly.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen ads translated that turn out to be something funny, or downright rude in another country.

 

8.Broad Market vs Niche Markets for promoting affiliate products on social networks like Facebook. What should you choose? And why?

Although it’s best to focus your website or blog on a niche market, I think where Facebook is concerned it’s better to be broad.  If you are too niche, you won’t gain many followers.  Whereas if you are broad, you have a chance of getting a lot more likes, and of your followers sharing your posts.  Engagement is key on Facebook, so pick a topic that you are interested in, and will have fun finding interesting things to share.  No-one cares about the top blenders, but if you create a page related to smoothies, you’ll find you gain a lot more followers, and have more fun running the page.

 

  1. From your experience, how does social media marketing compare to email marketing performance?

I think that when done correctly, email marketing can be a lot more effective than social media marketing.  The problem is that most people don’t know how to use email marketing effectively, and so their emails just end up going straight into people’s junk folders.

If you think in numbers as well, you’ll see that email is more beneficial.  Almost everyone with web access has an email account, whereas the percentage of those on social media is a lot smaller – especially when you consider the different sites.

I do however think that a strategy should combine both social media and email marketing to be as successful as possible.

Vin Narayanan: Casino City Malta

Eventually, every industry matures. It’s the natural order of things. And online industries are no exception. The tech industry is much different now than it was in the high-flying ‘90s. Downloading music digitally used to be revolutionary. Now it’s the norm.

In 2007, the iPhone captured the world’s imagination. Now, it’s a maturing market with winners and losers. Android phones are more popular globally, while iPhones are luxury items. Smartphone operating systems are stable. Battery life is improving, and owning a smartphone is a completely normal part of everyday life for many people. The online gaming industry has also undergone a maturation process. When the first online gaming operations opened for business, it was the wild, wild west. Yes, it’s a bit cliche. But it’s absolutely true.

There were no rules, just entrepreneurs trying to make money. Some went about it ethically. Others didn’t. Too many didn’t. So the need for rules, regulations and order grew. Malta was a critical part of the maturation process of the online gaming industry. In 2004, it became the first EU jurisdiction to license and regulate online gaming. Malta’s regulatory standards were tough but fair, and it quickly became a coveted license. According to Malta’s Gaming Authority (MGA), Malta has received more than 450 remote gaming applications since 2004.

casino city

The industry has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. It experienced a significant boom period as online gaming grew rapidly globally. And over the past few years, it’s gone through a limited growth and consolidation period, seeing some mergers and acquisitions. The consolidation period has been marked by a significant shift in both the economic and regulatory landscape in Europe, Struggling economies have resulted in less discretionary spending available for online gaming.

And a general European movement to eschew a one-market philosophy for online gaming in favor of country-by-country regulations has increased operating and compliance costs. To understand how the industry has changed over the last five years, it’s useful to look at Casino City’s data on the online gaming industry. Casino City collects data on all aspects of the online gaming industry.

From operators to suppliers, vendors, jurisdictions and everything in between, Casino City’s publications and websites provide quality data about the industry and very good snapshots over time. In 2009, there were 2189 online gaming sites in Casino City’s comprehensive database of online gaming sites (online. casinocity.com). By 2014, that number was 2852.

In 2009, there 180 software suppliers in Casino City’s database. By 2014, that number was 381. And as of press time, there were more than 2,900 companies in Casino City’s iGamingSuppliers database (iGamingSuppliers.com). The iGamingSuppliers database lists industry suppliers, vendors and manufacturers by product and service category. Among the product and service categories are advertising, business administration, finance and accounting, games software, MIS, IT and Communications, payment solutions, security and fraud, and turnkey solution providers. Currently 7.6 percent of the companies in Casino City’s iGamingSuppliers database lists a Malta address. So with these numbers as a backdrop, where does Mata’s iGaming industry go from here? Clearly, the licensing and regulating of online gaming companies will continue to be a central pillar of Malta’s iGaming industry. Malta has a well respected regulatory scheme that will continue to attract operators.

But with more European nations looking at individually licensing online gaming, it’s a challenging environment. The supplier sector, on the other hand, is an opportunity for real growth. With a healthy supply of operators in Malta, everyone from Know Your Customer (KYC) vendors to payment processors and game developers has a good incentive to set up shop in Malta.

Silicon Valley is the living, breathing heart of innovation in computers and the Internet. Malta can be online gaming’s Silicon Valley. Every technological advancement should be a result of work done in Malta. Every paradigm shift in the industry should be driven by work done in Malta. Malta can be an incubator for new and established companies looking to make their mark. That’s a lofty mark to hit. But with Malta’s history and place in the online gaming industry, it is certainly one that can be reached.

Casino City’s gaming directories and publications are available for purchase at Casino City/GPWA booths at various gaming shows and online at CasinoCityPress.com.

Anthony Telesca

Anthony Telesca is the Executive Director of the APCW (Association of Players, Casinos & Webmasters) and the Program Director at the GPWA (Gambling Portal Webmasters Association). Anthony has a long history with iGaming affiliates and has worked in the industry as an affiliate and player advocate for over 10 years.
Anthony’s affiliate program audits with the APCW are highly respected for their accuracy and thoroughness. The audits promote integrity and transparency in the industry and are a great benefit to affiliates and online gaming sites alike.
In his work with the GPWA, Anthony Telesca administers the most active forum of iGaming affiliates in the world. He knows the iGaming affiliate industry inside and out and understands the issues and challenges facing affiliates and affiliate programs through direct experience.

Lukasz Zelezny

Lukasz Zelezny is the head of organic acquisition at uSwitch.com, a UK based price comparison website with offices in London. Leading his team, he is responsible for the uSwitch.com brand’s organic visibility, conversion rate, traffic and engagement. Lukasz is a hands-on person, he spends lots of his time keeping up to date with the changes in the technology of online marketing.

Lukasz started his career in 2005 and has since been responsible for the organic performance of a number of companies including HomeAway, Thomson Reuters, The Digital Property Group and Fleetway Travel.

He is a graduate from the Silesian University of Technology with a BA in Marketing.

Twitter: @LukaszZelezny