It is hard to imagine that an online casino can live without advertising. It plays no less than a crucial role, allowing a gambling venue to stand out from the crowd, competing in an overcrowded sea. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, online casinos heavily rely on their digital presence to reach a global audience. Advertising allows them to create brand awareness and build credibility, have global reach and target segmented clients, run promo campaigns across multiple channels, and measure results through analytics. All these signify the importance of online advertising.
Two of the tools for iGambling promotion are Facebook and Google, each giving online casino advertising advantages because of the large scope of data they have about their users.
Understanding Facebook Ads
Facebook has one of the strictest demands about iGambling advertising across the ad channels. Facebook advertising for casinos rules are generally outlined in this help page. It says the following:
- What online gambling in the notion of Facebook is
- How to begin iGambling advertising by creating casino ads on Facebook
- In which geos permission must be obtained
- What kind of ads advertisers can run without written permission
- Where to obtain written permission (one shall submit this form through a Business account).
There is no need to retell all the relevant information that Facebook has on this page about Facebook and AdWords casino marketing, so we suggest our readers interested in setting up the campaign and reaping the benefits of Facebook and AdWords for casinos become acquainted with it on their own.
What you do have to know, though, is that Facebook has a lot of requirements about advertising content for iGambling and other niches, which describe online casino ad restrictions concerning prohibited content, geo, targeting, age restrictions, misleading content, and ads connected to real money gaming (which must be approved to start advertising). Without written consent, one can advertise offline (brick-and-mortar) casinos, lotteries, prize promos not directly connected to gambling but to some merchandise, and free-to-play games. Also, there is a demand on Facebook that advertisers stick with regulatory requirements for casino ads in every geo they are running ads.
After an advertiser receives written approval from Facebook to run activities, one shall perform a Facebook ad campaign setup. Here are broad strokes of how to do it:
- It is necessary to create a new Business account, through which advertisements and payments will occur. It is when a new user is assigned a unique ID, which is to be used in all campaigns in the tool called Ads Manager. Here it is possible to find a step-by-step guide on how to set up a new account on Facebook. Remember that you first have to have a regular Facebook account (as a user), so in case of the absence of it, it’s necessary to create one first.
- Enter Facebook Ads Manager to set up the first one of your successful casino ad campaigns. It can have multiple advertising accounts, which can be operated by the same or different persons. There, in the Ad Center, in the Section All Ads, it is necessary to click Create Ad, after which a new advertising campaign is created.
- It is necessary to set it up, indicating all the objectives (by awareness, consideration, and conversion), goals (spending, schedule, placements, and others), and description of targeted audiences (by such casino player segmentation as their interests, spoken languages, sexes, ages, geos, income, political affiliation, education, jobs, and behaviors). Also, set up the budget and lifetime of the campaign for the best online casino ad performance. You can later on change casino ad spending options to adjust the budget.
- Facebook offers an option of choosing the automatic placement of your advertisements or one can set it up for refining casino ad campaigns in such instances as apps, sites, in-article, messages, search, reels overlay, in-stream, reels & stories, or feeds. A combination of those is possible.
- Upload or create your advertisement that was previously created with adherence to gambling ad laws and Facebook’s specs for photos, videos, carousels, and collections ads. After that, to complete the audience targeting for casinos, it is necessary to define, how the advertisement will be shown: carousel, single video/image, or collection.
- Finish the project by placing your order and it starts working immediately as the paid search for casinos campaign’s start date is reached.
- In the future, at any time when a campaign is up and running, it is possible, using the same tool, to modify any campaign’s criteria to perform ROI optimization in casino ads and start reaching potential casino players in a better way, relying on the real-life results of the campaign, which is possible to monitor 24/7.
All in all, Facebook as a means of advertising is a super broad platform with billion+ users, which allows exploiting effective Facebook ad strategies. It is possible to target the right audiences, create and change ads (text copies and visuals), connect landing pages, control ad placement time, geo, budget, and profile of users, have control over general advert budget expenses, track analytics & get results of online casino ad campaigns in real-time, and receive information about compliance with legal aspects of casino marketing.
Leveraging Google AdWords
Google AdWords (which is today called Google Ads) is another helpful tool to advertise iGambling because it has worldwide coverage, billions of active users, and a swarm of products integrated into Google’s network. It is hard to imagine a modern person in a developed country who does not use Google in their daily life.
Although that wouldn’t mean one can dive headlong into Google AdWords for online casinos immediately because Google has a set of policies concerning sensible areas of human life, where iGambling is a part of it. Most of the answers about iGambling are covered in this section of the Google help center. However, here are some key Google AdWords campaign tips:
- Receiving proper Google Ads certification prior to starting promoting online casinos is a must. Applying for this certification starts here.
- There must be adherence to support of responsible gambling and local rules of iGambling in each targeted geo.
- Not targeting minors.
- There is an extensive list of countries that represent specific restrictions and rules for casino advertising compliance in each of them, sticking with which is a must for all kinds of iGambling advertising. Key takeaways from casino ad strategies in each geo that are contained in this list are as follows: some jurisdictions do not allow advertising of iGambling, some do allow it fully, and some allow it with certain restrictions. Visit the country of one’s interest to see what is stipulated by Google on this matter. Additionally, there are also limitations to brick-and-mortar and social casino game advertising.
- The page also contains tips on actions on digital advertising for casinos when a certain ad was not approved by Google to be displayed during any advertising campaign (such as targeting certain countries and groups of users, the necessity of holding an iGambling advertising certificate by Google, URL demands, ad formats, and suspension of advertising account).
These are broad strokes of setting up an advert account on Google:
- A person has to have a Google account first. After that, it is necessary to create a Google Ads account.
- There, find the Campaigns and click the New Campaign. There, follow the prompts of the system to establish all the objectives, parameters, and goals of one’s casino PPC advertising campaign.
- While selecting a campaign type, if it requires prior certification (as above mentioned in the section of casino advertising with AdWords), Google will prompt a notice (as well as in a number of other sensitive areas of advertising). The prompts to go through include the selection of a campaign type, subtype, groups of users to target, and individual parameters (such options as Performance Max, Smart, Local, App, Discovery, Shopping, Video, Display, and Search).
- It is obligatory to create one’s budget for the campaign(s) for an effective ROI measurement in casino ads, and indicate goals, objectives, and payment details.
- After the setting of parameters is done, it is necessary to upload the advertising materials (textual, video, or image), created according to the established requirements. The formats of textual, video, and other ads specified by Google are found on these pages here, here, and here (also, click other related pages on the right part of the help center to find a desired ad format). And here are the general requirements for ads in Google, which explain everything thoroughly.
- Finally, this page explains how to profoundly set up tracking conversions in casino ads and stats monitoring.
Remember that Google is the most cost-effective casino advertising option, even though it has a lot of geo limitations and its rules are pretty strict in general about iGambling and casino ad visuals.
Targeting the Right Audience
Both Google and Facebook, as well as other tools related to social media, have excellent tools for effective audience selection. The creation of compelling ad creatives is the most valuable part of online casino audience strategies, where dedicated audiences see insurmountable advertisements fine-tuned to their wishes and desires.
Both ecosystems own impressively huge databases of users, knowing literally everything about them in terms of not only gender, hobbies, work, income, visited pages, preferences, geos, and devices used to access the Internet but also such subtler nuances as:
- Time-of-day behavior
- Language preferences
- Life events
- Social connections (specifically to people with similar interests and data profiles)
- Content preferences and purchase behavior
- Location history
- Advertisement engagement
- How impulsive the users are (in other words, if they are prone to impulsive purchases and orders, then during casino marketing on social media campaigns for such users, they can spend and play potentially more than non-impulsive users)
- Content-sharing patterns
- Event attendance
- Interests in wealth, health, correlation of one to another, and even the real state of health of those users who use respective apps that share data with Google and Facebook
- Streaming habits
- Financial and other news engagement
- Charitable contribution
- Pet ownership
- Household ownership status
- Parental status
- Travel preferences
- Culinary preferences
- Gaming habits
- Weather sensitivity and many more.
We’ve listed only some obvious large-stroke things but these companies dive into even tinier nuances of data retrieved about each user of their products. You will never know, for instance, if your smartphone’s camera and sound dynamic recorded your sneeze in a bathroom or not.
These all compose a dataset for every person on the planet who is a user of the Internet. Through that data, it is possible to establish a portrait of a target audience to the very tiniest details, as far as the interface of the ad campaigns allows going into the details to get the most results from the online casino advertising strategies.
Hence, targeting the right audience comprises:
- Market research to identify who are your casino’s potential or real gamesters.
- Create the portraits of gamesters across all segments you want to assign to them, based on the customer data.
- Select proper keywords for geotargeting and behavioral targeting (where Google Ads are of extreme helpfulness).
- Creation of content: text copies, visuals (video, still pictures, gif pictures), audio, and dynamic content. All the steps up to this point make it possible to identify effective casino ad designs for every client segment, select and apply persuasive casino marketing techniques, and give information on writing casino ad content that will be liked the most by every audience. Modern tools allow the creation of so highly individualized content in the blink of an eye (even faster) that it is possible to create unique ads for every individual person. The question is just a matter of budget and used technology.
- Go live, run, test, change, and reiterate until the desired results are received.
Ad Creatives and Copywriting
When one’s done with client segmentation, to set up an effectively working advertising campaign, it is necessary to perform persuasive copywriting for casinos. Copywriting is made for textual materials, videos & pictures with a text. Since copywriting is a separate science on its own, explaining which takes a long time, we’ll briefly introduce our readers in this section only to the high-level best practices in copywriting for ads:
- Understanding the audience and writing a compelling text copy based on the interests and pains of that audience
- Exploiting unique selling points and other techniques and approaches to creating an irresistible text
- Use engaging headlines, words, and expressions
- Creating a sense of urgency, which always works well
- Focusing on benefits for users and covering their pains instead of storytelling or fact-telling (sometimes, though, storytelling is also an appealing format whenever there is a need to get in emotional touch with audiences)
- Tailoring a piece of text for a specific format, size, and platform
- Emphasizing trustworthiness, security, and social proof
- Adhering to KISS principle wherever possible (Keep It Straight and Simple)
- Complying with regulations, limits, and restrictions of platforms and devices
- Incorporating calls-to-action
- SEO optimization
- Monitoring metrics and provision of A/B testing to find out what audiences like the most. Repeat until the desired result.
Budgeting and Bid Strategies
Effective bid strategies for casinos are an inherent part of the success of any iGambling advertising campaign. Online casino advertising budgets are oftentimes tight and need to be spent wisely to outrun the competitors in this very saturated market. Eventually, clever budgeting is a path to a bigger ROI of marketing dollars. Here is how to set up effective budgeting:
- Set clear financial goals.
- Pick an advertising platform to leverage automated bidding strategies.
- Based on segmented audience, allocate budgets for each segment and type of advertising activity.
- Optimize landing pages and other points of contact with the audience.
- Implement conversion tracking, dynamic budget adjustments, geotargeting, dayparting, and monitoring of activity of one’s casino (not forgetting about monitoring competitors).
- Focus on high-value keywords and channels (especially for specifically tight budgets).
- Explore diversification of ad formats and retargeting strategies.
- Invest in really good analytic tools.
- Define the LTV (lifetime value) of the casino’s gamesters for better campaign adjustment in the future.
- Try, review, adjust, and retry.
Conversion Tracking and Analytics
Analytics for online casino marketing is an inherent part of the entire process, without which, you’re basically blind. A tool selected for iGambling advertising campaigns must provide real-time analytics for a better understanding of the success of campaigns. Using data, a campaign analyst will understand:
- Player behavior
- Correctness of gamester segmentation
- Budget allocation optimization
- User experience based on feedback and behavioral patterns.
It makes it possible to:
- Customize ad content
- Identify high-value players
- Perform attribution modeling
- Adapt to ever-changing market trends
- Find out about errors and mistakes
- Prevent ad fatigue
- Enhance and test enhancements.
There are various tracking tools on the market that provide results of the efficacy of iGambling advertising. In addition to the built-in tools of Google and Facebook, which only tell advertisement effectiveness, there also must be analytical tools of gambling venues, which are designed as CRM, back office, and reporting systems by various technological providers, including most of the large companies who make casino games. A short list of such providers would include WMS, Scientific Games, RTG, Play’n GO, Playtech, Novomatic, NetEnt, and Orion Solutions.
Compliance and Regulations
As we’ve already widely discussed in one of our blog posts here, adherence to advertising regulations in the online casino industry is super important.
Firstly, it will allow a gambling venue to operate within the legal frameworks of each particular geo, attracting gamesters and not going into contradictions with regulative authorities.
Secondly, it will fence a company off of various negative consequences, such as reputational, financial, administrative, and legal. Simply put, working within regulations will make it possible to avoid fines, suspension or revocation of license, dissatisfied customers, etc. This will contribute to long-term sustainability, ease of expansion, and better customer acquisition & retention.
Thirdly, it will create a positive image for a gambling venue, which will be called socially responsible and will gain a positive reputation, which in the world of iGambling is crucial.
Finally, the ads won’t be banned and the advertising budgets will not be spent in vain.
Let’s explore some online casino advertising success stories. We begin with Facebook.
According to the website bango.ai, their client Triwin Games used Facebook as an ad platform with a worldwide target to reach players of social casino apps, based on various sapid casino offers (of trademarks Cash Blitz and Tycoon Casino). The results of the campaign were 2x higher LTV, 5x better conversion rate, and 50% better ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) than in other platforms.
Real-world casino ad examples from Facebook are as follows:
As you can see, different formats (within Facebook’s general style) can be simple in execution.
Now, as for Google’s promotion success. The online advertising agency Blue Interactive Agency (operating in the US) has launched a Google campaign for a New Jersey-based online casino of an undisclosed name. As a result of paid in-app promotions, paid search, social advertising, personalized offers, and retargeting, they achieved a 44% increase in conversions, a 15% increase in sign-ups, and a 31% increase in CTR. Achieved CPA was below $10.00. Also, the lifetime of an average gamester was 10% longer than before.
Also, the eTraffic company (in the UK) promoted Mega Casino (also from the UK) in Google for a month, making it possible for their search phrases and name to appear in the first 1-5 places of search with a monthly search volume of 5,000 times, bringing around 0.25 million pounds in overall monthly organic traffic value increase.
All in all, what is the summary of casino marketing techniques? Both platforms offer unique advantages for online casino marketing. But they are hard to use in modern days because of too many limitations and changing landscape of requirements for iGambling advertising. So, the conclusion on digital advertising for casinos is as such: it is feasible to utilize Facebook for precise targeting in online casino marketing, as well as Google, but it’s going to be a tougher journey than with other channels. However, it is these tools that can squeeze out the most from the big data that they operate.