Who's talking about your sports book brand today? iGaming Business Super Show Amsterdam 2014


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With the rise of social media, marketing is no longer only in the hands of your marketing department, but increasingly in the hands of your players, affiliates and prospects. Follow an intriguing set of data about the most talked about sports books in the industry where we're going beyond brand’s Facebook fans and look at where, when and how sports books are really being talked about online.

iGaming Business Super Show Amsterdam 2014 keynote: http://www.igamingsupershow.com/speakers/joakim-nilsson

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  • I’m on my 5th year now working with Social media, and even though user adoption of social media has massively gone up, both by brands, consumers, and technology is better than ever….
    There’s one thing that hasn’t changed all that much: The #1 problem brands have with social media is “What do we post on facebook, how often do we tweet, and what should we blog about” or my number one favorite “How can we use Snapchat?”.
    Of course these are all good a justified questions, but they are all focused around what content brands should produce for their own channels and does not take into account the Social Buzz…
    The giant world of customers, prospects and other stakeholders using their own social media channels to speak about your brand, competitors and industry.
  • I’ve spent the last 5 months monitoring & and analyze social media buzz in the iGaming industry…
    With our Social Monitor product we’ve collected over 3,5M unique brand mentions in English language…
  • - …from just over 1,4M unique authors…
  • - … split across more than 50 sports book brands.
  • As a sports book, you can improve your marketing, communication and customer service by listening what’s being said about your brand and its competition
  • The first insight I want to share with you is about reach and eye-balls
    Who has the biggest impact on your brand’s total reach?
    My guess is that you think it’s the brand’s own social media channels, and that the way to increase such reach is to acquire more fans, followers and likes.
    My data suggests that it’s Your Audience that probably have a larger reach than what your own social media brand channels have.
    The combined reach of everyone talking about a specific sports book brand is often much larger than the reach of the sports book’s own social media channels.
    An example of this is when we looked at data for a brand like 188bet.
    The combined number of followers of everyone that has tweeted about 188bet was 12 more than the 7,000 followers of 188bet’s own twitter account.
  • “Your audience probably have a larger combined reach, than what your own brand channels have”
  • And if we look at this audience, and who they are…
    I’ve found out that there are 4 distinct categories of personas in the iGaming industry talking about sports books.
    The first are your customer using your services and sharing their experiences online. They may tweet about it, share a screen shot on facebook or post comments in a forum.
    Second, there are the Prospective customers that are considering your services, they mostly search for insights, ask questions and generally just trying to inform themselves about which sports book to sign up with.
  • On the B2B side we have your affiliates that will use social media channels to promote your brand directly to prospective customers.
    And for brands that have activated their sponsorships, they may have partners endorsing your services on their social media channels.
  • - These four distinct groups of personas, sharing experiences, asking questions, publishing promotions and endorsements, makes up the totality of what is the AUDIENCE in the sports book industry.
  • If we then look at what these 4 groups are talking about… we find another 5 distinct groups.
    The first one is the most obvious one; Sports & Odds…
    Such as this Bet365 betslip Instagrammed by Ashley!
  • The second group is “Bonus & Promotions”…
    Such as “Will” who tweeted about Willlam Hills’s odds enhancing promo.
  • Third up is the “Affiliates & Partners” group.
    Paul Silver is tweeting about Paddy Power’s blog and affiliate program,…
    …Finally it turned out that Paul’s accusation of TheBigSam using affiliate links on Paddy’s blog were false…
  • The fourth group is about “Account & Payments”, meaning everything that concerns a players account such as login, registration, withdrawals and deposits.
    Typical such examples are players such in this Tweet where “Gaffers03” who has a problem with the age verification.
  • The fifth and last group is about “Poker, Casino & other products” not related to sports betting.
    Even if we in our current data set monitor data for
  • The data confirms that we very well are in the sports book industry 
    Although a mention can fall into multiple categories, 84% of the mentions collected & analyzed were directly related to a sport such as football, tennis, rugby etc.
    The 1% of mentions related to Account & Payments may look irrelevant, but in fact that is 35,000 unique mentions split across the brands we monitor that where talking about making a deposit, withdrawal or anything else account related that often requires the attention of customer service.
  • Whilst I don’t think that brands should be overly obsessed with only their own social media channels, brand content still matters and can’t be ignored.
    It matters for Brands that can extend their story telling beyond “what sponsorship deal they just signed” or “their latest €50 welcome bonus”.
    What matters is what a brand does, the stories they can get their audience to tell. Not only what it says.
  • When we understand that our customers, prospects and partners all have their own online voices that we can infiltrate and use…
    …we as sports book brands need to understand what we can do to get them talking about us.
    There’s one brand that stands out from the rest and have story telling in their DNA.
    …Placing a replica of Sir Alex Ferguson inside an emergence box outside the Old Trafford clearly sparked a some online Social Media Buzz…
  • - … it’s the same brand that paid tribute to David Moyes’s services to Liverpool by placing a replica outside the Anfield.
  • - …that offered 100% clean urine samples to riders during the giro d’Italia  (Even though I think this is photoshopped)
  • Ladies & Gentlemen, You probably already figured out that the brand I’m talking about is Paddy Power!
    Paddy Power is the most talked about sports book brand of them all, infact they have a 5x larger brand buzz volume than 2nd placed Bet365…
    That’s HUGE!!
    Over the 5 months period we’ve monitored sports book brands Paddy Power have accumulated almost 1,3M mentions alone, compared to Bet365’s 0,3M mentions.
    People are clearly keen to talk about sports books as long as we give them great brand content, there’s an enormous opportunity for the big mass of brands that today are not leveraging enough on engaging their audience.
  • To further exemplify why brand content and story telling matters, I’ve pulled out data on all Tweets from February this year mentioning Paddy Power in any way, either as replies, mentions or Retweets.
    The white bar shows spontaneous Paddy power brand mentions, whilst the green bar shows all mention that are direct reactions to what paddy power are tweeting.
    Without the stunts and the things paddy are doing, we could assume that the green bar would be gone and the social buzz volume would be more inline with the rest of the competition.
  • Talking about Twitter.
    When it comes to brand mention volume, Twitter is by far the largest channel in sports book industry.
    Over 80%, or 2,7M sport book brand mentions, are tweets!
  • “Today, over 80% of the sports book industry’s #IGAMINGBUZZ are Tweets”
  • Whilst 95% of Paddy Power’s online brand mentions are tweets, the percentage varies per brand.
    A brand like 188bet that doesn’t generate so much brand buzz has 24% of their online mentions in forums
    And Skybet is the only sports book in the industry that has over 1% of there mentions from video sites.
  • Apart from Twitter, there’s one more channel to keep you eyes on
    …and that’s Instagram…
  • Rapidly growing since it’s inception, Instagram is just like Twitter a mobile first platform that has huge potential for user engagement given it’s simplicity with snapping and posting photos.
    In April alone there were almost 4,000 photos uploaded to Instagram tagged with any of the sports books that we monitor.
  • And, of the 50 sports books that we gather data for, we found 36 of them having at least 1 mention on Instagram.
    In the top of mentions on Instagram are Bovada, WilliamHill and Bet365
    One of the few channels that Paddy Power’s audience still doesn’t rule.
  • And to wrap this session up I’ve been digging even deeper into the data, I was keen to understand that ratio between sports book mentions including a “Thank you” or the F-word” as we know betting can be very emotional.
    Such “Thank you”- mentions varies from happy customers boasting and bragging about their winnings such as Brendan in this tweet.
  • - Or such as Mitch that happily tells the world that he got 70 quid richer thanks to Paddy Power…
  • - …and on the other side with the F-words such as this one from Dan who’s clearly not happy with Ladbrokes 
  • - …or Alan who thinks Skybet are f*** mad giving England 25/1 to win the world cup.
  • - …And Alec who did not stop at using the F-word but went meme-style in a reply to Skybet’s announcement about a suspended bet.
  • So I wrote a rule searching through the 3,5M mentions collected and sorting out everything that contained a “thank you” or a F-word across all brands.
    In fact, over 75% of sports book brand mentions are sending out a “thanks” in someway…
  • - But surely, some brands attract more F-word mentions than others. Not surprisingly Paddy Power is in the top even here.
  • - The day when the F-word was used the most across our industry over the last 6-months was on the 27th April
  • - The success of the F-word on the 27th April was directly related to Paddy Power’s stunt of putting up the Moyes statue outside Anfield Football Stadium.
  • - On the 4th of May the “thank you” mentions are spread across quite a few brands, the trending topics around such mentions are around Free bets that a few bookmakers where offering.
  • - Sports books should invest in empowering their own bookmakers and energizing their customers to engage in social conversations….
  • Amsterdam Q&A

    Q: Can you monitor anything that is published on social media?

    A: The short answer is: ALMOST. The long answer is that the technology we use monitors over 500M sources such as blogs, forums and just about any news site. Its also directly plugged into Twitter’s firehose meaning that unlike cheaper technologies we can see exactly EVERYTHING that has been publicly tweeted. 

    Another frequent question is on Facebook; can everything be monitored? The reality is that many people share their updates with their friends only i.e. it’s sent within a closed group just like send a group email or text message. These updates are not available on our data. That’s both unethical and illegal… we leave that to the guys at the NSA. 

    Q: We’ve seen in your pres that Paddy Power is huge in terms of social media buzz, why do you think they get so much more buzz than any other brand?

    A: To be talked about on social media your brand needs to create stories. Your latest Welcome Bonus isn’t a story people will talk about, maybe your affiliates will tweet about it but that’s about it. However pretending that you gave the Amazon forrest a “Brazilian wax”, that’s a story to talk about.

    Story telling is in the DNA of Paddy Power, and without knowing much about how they are organised internally I dare to be bold and say that it’s a culture within the organisation. It’s a team play and definitely not something a social media guy in the corner of the office put together. 

    Q: What’s the one thing that sports books should to to increase their social buzz?

    A: You need to start with identifying existing behaviors. What do people say about you today, are they sharing bets or winnings? When you’ve identified such behavior, let’s say sharing winnings, then incentivize your existing customers to share these stories online. Either but facilitating it with technology, or by financial incentives or a combination. 

  • Who's talking about your sports book brand today? iGaming Business Super Show Amsterdam 2014

    1. 1. #iGamingBuzz #IGAMINGBUZZ
    2. 2. #iGamingBuzz
    3. 3. #iGamingBuzz Over 3,5Msports book brand mentions analyzed this year…
    4. 4. #iGamingBuzz …From 1,4Munique authors…
    5. 5. #iGamingBuzz …across 50+ sports books.
    6. 6. #iGamingBuzz Ready-to-tweet-quote “Improve your own communication by listening to what’s being said about your brand and its competition #iGamingBuzz”
    7. 7. #iGamingBuzz Insights into iGaming Social Buzz
    8. 8. #iGamingBuzz Brand reach Vs. Audience reach
    9. 9. #iGamingBuzz “Your audience probably have a larger combined reach, than what your own brand channels have #IGAMINGBUZZ” Ready-to-tweet-quote
    13. 13. #iGamingBuzz 5 mentions types; Sports & Odds
    14. 14. #iGamingBuzz 5 mentions types; Bonus & Promotions
    15. 15. #iGamingBuzz 5 mentions types; Affiliates & Partners
    16. 16. #iGamingBuzz 5 mentions types; Accounts & Payments
    17. 17. #iGamingBuzz 5 mentions types; Poker, Casino & Other products
    18. 18. #iGamingBuzz 84% of mentions are sports related
    19. 19. #iGamingBuzz “Although, if you can tell a great story, good brand content will get your brand buzzing #IGAMINGBUZZ” Ready-to-tweet-quote
    20. 20. #iGamingBuzz
    21. 21. #iGamingBuzz
    22. 22. #iGamingBuzz
    23. 23. #iGamingBuzz Mention volume per Sports book brand
    24. 24. #iGamingBuzz Most of PP’s mentions are reactions to Tweets Spontaneous Reactions
    25. 25. #iGamingBuzz 83% of the Sports book mentions are Tweets Based on sports book brand mentions Jan-May ‘14
    26. 26. #iGamingBuzz “Today, over 80% of the sports book industry’s #IGAMINGBUZZ are Tweets” Ready-to-tweet-quote
    27. 27. #iGamingBuzz Twitter is the largest channel across all brands
    28. 28. #iGamingBuzz Instagram, a growing channel
    29. 29. #iGamingBuzz Sports book Instagram mention volume
    30. 30. #iGamingBuzz 36 brands have mentions on Instagram
    31. 31. #iGamingBuzz Thank you or f*** you?
    32. 32. #iGamingBuzz Paddy Power’s audience loves the F-word
    33. 33. #iGamingBuzz Trending days for “Thank You” and F***-mentions 4th May 27th Apr
    34. 34. 4th May
    35. 35. #iGamingBuzz “Sports punters are more likely to say “thank you” rather than asking you to f*** off… #IGAMINGBUZZ” Ready-to-tweet-quote
    36. 36. #iGamingBuzz “Sports books should invest in empowering their own bookmakers and energizing their customers to engage in social conversations”
    37. 37. #iGamingBuzz Q&A Post session chat: #IGAMINGBUZZ Follow me @JoakimNilsson Slides will be available on slideshare.com/JoakimNilsson