Twitter Targets Sector With New 'Bet Now' Options

Twitter Targets Sector With New 'Bet Now' Options

Twitter’s “Bet Now” and “Play Now” buttons have the potential to be disruptive game changers for operators and affiliates, making Twitter non-negotiable as a media outlet in the marketing mix for 2015.

Published 21st January 2015

Sometimes it's the small, seemingly innocuous, things that are disruptive game-changers. This is the state of play for the new “Bet Now” and “Play Now” buttons that have recently been released by Twitter. They’re very simple. Two words – “Bet” and “Now” or “Play” and “Now”, but they represent exceptional potential for gambling operators and affiliates who have a presence on the social network. Twitter offers myriad ways for gambling operators and affiliates to promote their products and services. There is, of course, the organic presence generated by interesting content and growing a follower base. However, at a time when Facebook has constrained the paid-for tactics by affiliates on the grounds that they don’t hold gambling licences themselves, and generally restricts the range of opportunities for gambling operators except in clearly legislated markets, Twitter continues unabated with a range of options. On both desktop and mobile, Twitter has marketing opportunities for unfettered use by the gambling industry: 

  1. Promoted Account 
  2. Promoted Tweet 
  3. Promoted Trend 

These are seamlessly fitted in with the user’s timeline and Twitter layout. Within “Promoted Account” there are a number of different “cards” that can be used, including website, image, product, app install and now even video cards are in beta test mode. On average in the UK, a Promoted Trend delivers 260% more reach on the day of the trend than the prior seven-day average. More than that, there is an 18% uplift in positive brand conversation. Multiple Promoted Trends see a sustained uplift in brand searches of: 

  • +300% on day of trend
  •  +225% in Week 1 
  • +114% in Week 2 
  • +91% in Week 3 

There is also a significant uplift in site visits: 

  • +164% on day of trend 
  • +169% in Week 1 
  • +140% in Week 2 
  • +109% in Week 3 

These figures show the importance of the network in live marketing, at the very time when live betting constitutes well over 50% of most bookmakers’ non-horseracing activity. Adverts during football matches and other sporting events are overwhelmingly dominated by bookmakers advertising live odds, and mobile websites. This has become the norm, and given that 60% of UK Twitter users are active on the network while watching TV, and more than 90% of all online conversations about TV programmes and events happens on Twitter, it’s time to treat the network as an equal to Facebook and not the distant relative. The Website Card, a common marketing tactic used by bookmakers, is a pre-expanded tweet that consists of text, image and call-to-action button. Previously, the call button was generic, but this is now where the Bet Now and Play Now buttons are going to make a real difference. It has long been known that directing a punter from a link directly to a pre-filled betting slip is exponentially more successful at conversion than directing them to a page on a site from which they, then, choose to Bet Now. With the introduction of these direct calls to action, the decision to bet or play is now taken immediately at the advert level. The advert itself has become a natural extension of the site, rather than simply a driver of traffic.

Consider text that says: “£10 on United to win returns £50. Bet Now”. This links to a betting slip where the user simply inputs their password. Eliminating steps and links will result in conversion going through the roof. At the time of writing for example, @paddypower has over 465,000 followers and @betfair over 100,000. Careful targeting followed by specific messages and this compelling call to action will lead to vastly improved results for them and any other operators that have taken the time to build a Twitter following. The massive payback has arrived. When it comes to targeting on Twitter, an operator or affiliate can break down user groups on a range of context signals, ranging from an interest they have shown, a football team they follow, a keyword they have tweeted about, device type or even a TV show that they have engaged with. Taking the TV audience example a little further, affiliates can reach particular audiences based on specific shows or matches, channels, sporting events or even programme genres. Target audiences can be tailored by four different list types – email address, mobile advertising ID, Twitter ID or mobile phone number. Think about this – you can use your email address to send a loyalty/retention message to those on Twitter, you can get a promoted card onto the specific timelines of your own Twitter followers, use the demographics of current followers to find lookalike users and send your marketing message to a wider group that also can specifically exclude your current customers, or simply remarket new products to players you have already acquired. The depth of targeting is endless, and in a hugely competitive marketplace which has so many obstacles, the premise of one-to-one, individual marketing is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Earlier this year, Twitter was instrumental in fans’ enjoyment of the World Cup and many operators took advantage of this. For example, for both Marathonbet and BetVictor, Twitter was the #1 driver of customers during the event. Using keyword targeting and finding audiences with @username level, Marathonbet had a 20% growth in followers. BetVictor used similar targeting techniques but also excluded existing users based on their mobile IDs and saw -45% CPI versus target and -30% CPA versus target.

Twitter has well over 15 million UK users and over 80% of this consumer group access the service on mobile devices. Live betting is the key to any bookmaker’s, success and furthermore mobile sports betting currently represents 70% of all mobile gambling with the entire mobile genre expected to reach $100 billion turnover by 2017, according to Juniper Research. Just these three facts combined indicate the perfect storm that the gambling industry cannot ignore. To date, there has been more buzz around Facebook as the social network for marketing spend, and Twitter is seen as better for organic branding. However clever operators and affiliates are beginning to realise that it’s time for that outlook to change as Twitter is now non-negotiable both as a media outlet in the marketing mix, and as a platform on which to connect with existing and prospective customers.

“With the introduction of these direct calls to action, the decision to bet or play is now taken immediately at the advert level. The advert itself has become a natural extension of the site, rather than simply a driver of traffic.”

“For both Marathonbet and BetVictor, Twitter was the #1 driver of customers during the World Cup.”