Affiliate Grand Slam by SiGMA
Alex Lysak, CEO at Scanteam.pro, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Aiming to create projects that will be of value to players, focusing greatly on content, Alex Lysak and his team at Scanteam.pro do not only address traffic attention, but also at its quality - follow his story below.
How did your affiliate marketing business take off? And, is iGaming your only vertical?
My first attempts to create projects started back in 2014. At that time, I had also owned Mirai Net agency specialising in SEO projects promotion, where I focused mainly on client projects. As from the end of 2019, I have switched focus to the development and promotion of exclusively own projects and closed the agency down. Currently, my project heads only to iGaming.
How did you first get into the affiliate space? And, were you always focused on the Gaming space?
My journey to affiliate marketing started from the payday loans niche. During 10+ years in SEO, I had a chance to participate in the promotion of many interesting and complex projects targeted mainly at the CIS and English-speaking market (US, CA, European countries). Some of the projects were associated with software development, payday loans, essays, and others.
However, when I began to work in the gambling niche, this attracted me more than any other market. iGaming is a perfect place for showing what you, together with your team, are capable of achieving. In addition, this is one of the most competitive and interesting niches worldwide so, for me, achieving success therein was a challenge. I’ve accepted one, and our team aims to become No. 1 in iGaming affiliate marketing.
How is your company structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
The structure of our company is no different from the most classic IT companies. Currently, the operation of the company is arranged in teams: project management, marketing, social media, PR, HR, and development. Each department has 3 to 7 employees, but we’re actively developing and are open to new talents.
Our business development now is focused on two stages: projects in active promotion, and projects in the launch. Moreover, we constantly research and analyse new markets.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
At present, we operate in the following markets: Canada, UK, Portugal, and Sweden. Norway, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, and other regions are on the active launch stage. As soon as we launch these, our team will review other regions, including emerging markets.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique?
Our greatest advantage is that we try to create truly useful projects that would help players. We aim not only at traffic attraction but also at its quality. The content is among our most important focuses, with a large team staying behind the content creation. We perform thorough research, gather maximum information available, write detailed casino reviews, and publish feedback by real players, and many more.
Our main goal is to create great projects that will be of value to players.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
Gathering a strong team of experts is crucial for any business. We’re not an exception here, so we constantly work in this direction. You must have the best specialists and experts in the business. Plus, it’s important to have a clear notion of how to create a product, attract traffic, and communicate with the audience.
What sets you apart from other affiliates?
When analysing our projects, we see that there’s a number of things that can be improved in many aspects. Our team tries to bring a product of the best quality.
Another thing that sets us apart from other affiliates is that we always think about how we can bring new and innovative solutions into the iGaming niche. For example, our team has recently launched a new project Slots Judge that has no equivalent on the market. This project is designed to review the newest slots by all providers and create a community for players where they can share their experience. For this purpose, a unique referral system and YouTube channel were created.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
My team and I work hard on business processes within the company and their optimisation. We constantly improve the ecosystem at our workspace. For example, our team is now shifting to a new CRM system. Moreover, we regularly experiment with the introduction of new applications and services that would assist in our business.
Which emerging technologies like AI and big data will impact the affiliate industry in 2021 and beyond?
In my opinion, nothing significant will happen in 2021; Big Data and Al will continue being developed. The bigger impact then will be on the casino products, operation of affiliate systems, and quicker and more correct processing of a large data amount.
Which markets are you eyeing up as a priority in 2021, and why?
The Asian market is with one’s attention. There are a lot of people with an interest in gambling. However, they need a specific approach due to their mentality aspects, the way sites are developed, marketing operation, and other details.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
For the moment, we are just monitoring this market. Some of our main competitors have launched their projects there; we can see the traffic attracted but still there are some issues I’ve mentioned in my previous answer.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
Build up your strength: you’ll have a challenging path with a lot of competition.
Be ready to learn fast and adjust your strategies in marketing. The faster you move, the more chances you have for a great result.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
Cannot remember any seriously bad situations. Yet, Google can sometimes bring bad news that you have an incorrect approach in your project's promotion. I had one in December 2019, but our team has already solved the issue. I think many other teams also experienced the same issue with Google that time.
What are the main challenges for the sector in 2021?
I think the main challenge is our big brother, Google, as I’ve already mentioned. Currently, we depend very much on organic traffic, but we are working on diversification.
What are your predictions for the future of the sector?
iGaming vertical is growing, which is a little associated with the COVID-19. Many offline spheres had difficult times due to pandemic; some companies even ceased operations. As a result, part of the traffic switched to online where we operate.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
It’s good to visit all major profile conferences, as this is a great opportunity to communicate with colleagues in your niche, share your experience, and simply have a good time with great guys.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
I have not yet got a chance to participate in a SiGMA conference, but I have planned to visit some in the nearest future. However, there are some difficulties with that as all events are cancelled. As soon as these are back, I’ll be among the first visitors of the SiGMA.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done with people, not just companies!
I don’t gamble as I simply have bad luck in that. I can play poker with friends from time to time, and that’s my maximum. Most of all I love travelling with my family by car and getting a new experience.
Globally, my objective is to create big history in iGaming affiliate marketing and build a great and happy team.
What’s on your must-read list right now?
I always try to find time for reading as projects in the iGaming niche relate closely to hiring a big team. As a result, my main responsibility is to improve managerial skills, i.e. be able to gather people, motivate them, set up business processes, and make a good environment for operations.
What is you your most favorite book ever read?
The book I’m currently finishing reading is ‘Principles’ by Ray Dalio. This is one of the most interesting works worth studying. Highly recommended!