Affiliate Grand Slam by SiGMA
Emre Goktas, Co-Founder at Revpanda, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Being highly flexible, creative, and highly knowledgeable about the products, Emre Goktas' and his team's approach at Revpanda is that of creating a brand rather than a classical website - follow his story below.
How did your affiliate business take off? And, is iGaming your only vertical?
I first got into the affiliate space back in 2016 as a content manager and then SEO manager in a company running a vast number of affiliate websites. Later on, in 2018, I started to work as a CRM manager for an operator. The affiliate business started back in August 2019, and iGaming has been our only vertical so far. However, we are planning to launch some projects that are related to the finance and health industries in 2021.
How is your company structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
We operate as two companies. Revpanda, a digital marketing agency, mainly focuses on content creation, translation, and marketing. The second company, a lead generation, operates websites such as Casino Bee & Gambler Guy. I am mostly involved with all departments, but mainly with a focus on SEO and business development overall.
What can operators do to increase support with affiliates?
Fixing all the payment systems issues, it is frustrating to see failed deposits by the leads we sent.
How can affiliates be more unique in their approach?
Innovation. I think rather than copy-pasting other affiliates' work, coming up with an approach that has not been applied by other affiliates, can create more significant success. It can be done through automation, applying new trends, or creating software that can help users. If the affiliate project is a website, it would be the right approach to create a "brand" rather than a classic affiliate website.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
We focus on the US, UK, Scandinavia, Asia, and LatAm. I think the Asian, LatAm, and US markets look promising.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique?
We mostly focus on SEO traffic. For the US market, we are trying PPC campaigns as well.
Are you contemplating bringing in investors to scale or grow your business? Or, with such a big M&A market, have you ever contemplated selling the business?
At the moment, we are not contemplating bringing in investors. We sold one of our websites in March 2020. Selling the whole business has never been something that we thought of. However, we are always open to offers.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
Creativity, flexibility, and understanding of the products and the markets which the business targets.
What sets you apart from other affiliates?
We are trying to create a brand that would generate direct traffic. We develop features and tools for our users.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
Technology plays a massive part as all the business is digital. I try to be online with my computer as much as possible, and if not, trying to follow up with all the trends and changes in the industry through my mobile phone.
Which emerging technologies like AI and big data will impact the affiliate industry in 2020 and beyond?
I think content creation by AI would make a significant impact on marketers. Only time will show whether positive or negative, but I am already wondering how content written by AI would perform on SERPs.
Is the grass greener on the other side - have you considered going down the operator route?
We consider it but not in the nearest future.
Which markets are you eyeing up as a priority in 2020, and why?
We are always looking for ways to reach out to more people and eventually acquire more traffic, and that goes through getting into the new markets. The US market is one of the markets we recently launched a website Njpunter.
How has the fragmentation of regulated markets affected your business? UKGC, Swedish regulator and now also the German regulator is mulling regulating this space.
We have not seen the German regulation effects yet, but we decreased the time and resources we spend on the German projects. Regulation in Sweden is one reason we do not run any operations in the Swedish market. I think after the regulations, the Swedish market is not as charming as it used to be.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
It is hard to produce content due to the language, but easier to generate traffic once you apply a proper localisation. It will, for sure, become one of the most important markets for the affiliates.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
Nothing surprised us as since we had a background related to the affiliate business as well; we knew some people we could ask for advice when needed it. We started the business quite prepared and with experienced people on board.
What are your predictions for the future of the sector?
More and more countries are going to regulate iGaming on their own markets, like Sweden and Germany did. I expect to have regulations and rules to be also set up for the Affiliates soon.
How do you manage relationships with multiple operators?
We use Skype and emails as the main communication channels. Communication is easy and productive, as all affiliate managers we work with are professionals, responsive, and willing to cooperate.
We are looking for the moment when the restrictions due to Corona will be over, and we could participate in conferences and meet our partners in person.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
I have not been to SiGMA yet, but yes, once the situation with COVID-19 gets better, we will be attending SiGMA Manila and SiGMA Malta with our team.
My special thanks to Alex Windsor from Gamble Indiana for introducing me to SiGMA's Affiliate Grand Slam club.
Tell us a bit about yourself - after all, business is done with people, not just companies!
- What's on your must-read list right now? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
- Which quote do you live your life by? No risk, no champagne.