Author: Sebastian Scheplitz
Every time a new year approaches, it’s perfectly normal to look forward to how things will change over the next 365 days – an eternity. And we’re here to help you prepare for the best possible outcomes in the iGaming industry in 2022.
Looking back at the past, 2020 has affected the business climate across all industries in a number of unpredictable and immeasurable ways.
The COVID-19 pandemic dominated most of the headlines, and the abrupt suspension of sporting events all over the world led to massive closures of physical casinos and sportsbooks. However, things took a surprising turn in the online realm of the gambling sector, and in fact, they made up 20% of the year’s gambling revenues in the US.
2021, on the other hand, was more of a recovery phase from all the downturns while maintaining the momentum online casinos gained during the stay-at-home periods.
And now as we approach 2022, a gleam of hope returns, stadium doors are filled with fans once again, and soon there will be more events to warmly welcome the crowd, just like good old times.
Many gambling veterans are probably familiar with ins and outs of gambling at online casinos by now. So, it will be foolish not to plan your 2022 iGaming content marketing strategies early for such potentially massive opportunities lying ahead.
Yes, we know that even the best-laid plans are always subject to change, but these are tasks iGaming brands, iGaming operators, as well as entire industries, must still attempt, despite some uncertainty.
So better be safe than sorry!
If the situation is sailing smooth, all you have to do is whip out your content calendar, roll out the content and campaigns as planned, and generate the most buzz among the iGaming marketers and players worldwide.
How to Create a Content Calendar: The 2022 iGaming Edition
Content creators will understand the struggle of working out of a couple of dozen browser tabs, a notebook or two, and a crapload of Post-Its adorning the computer monitor.
Now, take that, then imagine a team full of content creators, each with their own working style.
It’s utter chaos.
That’s why there is a need for structure and organization, no matter what kind of content your teams are working with or what industry you’re in. Without a mutually-agreed system for planning, crafting, and curating content every week, you will find yourself in a whirlwind of missed deadlines, haphazardly-edited blog posts, and general disorganization and tension.
That’s why there isn’t a better tool for iGaming content creators than a well-thought-out content calendar.
What Is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is a written or visual workflow that helps content production teams schedule their work daily, weekly, or monthly.
It helps determine when and where you plan to publish your fresh content and may include upcoming content pieces, status updates, promotional activities, and performing updates on existing content.
Content calendar also goes by many names: social media calendar, blog calendar, or editorial calendar.
What is the Importance of a Content Calendar in the iGaming Vertical?
The benefits of a content calendar for iGaming content marketers are immense.
On top of the usual events such as the regular season for professional sports leagues, we also have major tournaments such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League, the NBA, and Euroleague Playoffs.
That’s not to mention the massive exposure of professional eSports tournaments such as the International, the Fortnite World Cup Finals, and the League of Legends World Championship, among many others.
iGaming content marketers can use this knowledge to plan, schedule, and produce tailored, relevant content ahead of an event, say, big Manchester Derby weeks in advance.
There, you can create content for predictions and expected lineups, or add some context and color to a key positional or situational matchup, among other things – that you know will have your audience come back for more.
The same can be said for all of the global sporting events that sportsbook marketers can work with. These present them with the massive potential to get their content and brand messaging across, and at the same time, get featured in your team’s content calendar for the coming year.
And here are some of the major benefits of a content calendar for the iGaming industry:
1. Stay on Schedule
This is especially important in the iGaming vertical because from professional sporting leagues and eSports to poker tournaments, publish their schedules before the season begins. At the same time, it’s useless to publish a prediction on an outcome of a sporting event once it’s over.
A content calendar will ensure that everything is happening on time and on target as far as production is concerned. It helps reduce the likelihood of having deliverables and deadlines slipping through the cracks.
2. Collaborate More Efficiently
Sure, if you’re blogging for fun, you won’t probably need a calendar. But if you’re working with a diverse in-house or remote team, or third parties, like many iGaming brands do across continents, you’ll want something to keep them all on the same page.
That’s where a content calendar comes in – to ensure that everybody adheres to the plan and is sticking to agreed standards and practices.
3. Look at the Big Picture
It’s hard to keep track of what your team creates without a content calendar. It’s also easy to miss out if your team publishes two long-form guides to choosing the right sportsbook or publishing a series of iGaming case studies in one fell swoop.
Content calendar allows you to view your content marketing strategy for months in advance on one screen and ensure that everybody in your team sees the forest for the trees.
How to Create a Content Calendar
Content calendars come in all shapes and sizes. These include:
- Spreadsheets: One of the most popular options for individuals and smaller teams are spreadsheets like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, which makes for a straightforward, free way to keep tabs on your deliverables.
- Project Management Tools: Project management tools are used in content or editorial management since they are easy to manipulate and create a workflow no matter how many QA processes a piece goes through before it hits the home page. Asana and Trello are some good examples of a project management tool for this purpose.
- Paid Content Calendar Apps: Some apps have been developed mainly for use in content management. They combine aspects of a project management app with the conventional content calendar to support larger, more dynamic teams. For e.g., Contently and Loomly.
Regardless of what option or platform you choose to use, the principles of creating a content calendar are the same.
Sure, it may seem an insurmountable task if you haven’t done it before. However, once you sort it out the first time, the benefits of using a content calendar will be evident.
Here are the steps to creating a content calendar.
Step 1: Make a List
First things first: you need to sit down and list all your iGaming content ideas. This can be game predictions, in-depth analysis, podcasts, blogs, videos, or whatnot.
And, if your team creates content about a wide array of topics, you may find it helpful to categorize them as well.
Grab hold of the sporting events you plan to cover for the year and write them down. The important thing is to put them on paper first.
Step 2: Set Publication Frequency
Publication frequency depends on your strategy. If you are targeting social media, you might publish several posts a day. For a blog, 3-4 posts a month is acceptable.
If your blog is very sports-focused, you should aim for the different events and obviously have more posts come out, which could be shorter then. Or opt for long-form content such as articles that talk about all games of the weekend, like a “Premier League Week 16 Full Roundup and Stats” for example, which can easily be 2000 words.
Finding out how often you publish – and the type of content you are publishing – makes it easier for you to find out how your schedule looks regularly and plan for any possible adverse events.
Step 3: Plot Content Ideas on Calendar Dates
Using your list of iGaming content ideas, fill out the dates on your 2022 content calendar.
Referring to sporting event schedules is also crucial if you are covering them. And voila! There’s a simple yet effective framework you can use to create a content calendar.
There is no such thing as an absolutely perfect content calendar — it’s all dependent on your team’s needs and goals.
That said, here are some more useful questions iGaming marketers should ask themselves to determine how their content calendar will be laid out:
- How often do you publish?
- What kinds of content do you create?
- How many days do you want the deadlines to be completed in advance?
- Who will use the content calendar? How many people can access it?
- What processes does your content undergo before publication?
- What format will you use to sort out the calendar?
These are the reasons why the world’s largest publishers use content calendars to plan their strategies. iGaming content marketers stand to benefit from following their lead and do the same for the brands they create content for.
iGaming Content Marketing Trends for 2022
While the pandemic may have irreversibly changed the way entire industries work, one thing remains the same for brands and content marketers alike: implementing a solid content marketing strategy in advance helps you get the most out of your content assets and gain the market share you need to ultimately generate more prospects.
The (sometimes drastic) changes that the pandemic situation accelerated are likely here to stay. And this has resulted in emerging digital trends that, while posing a challenge for iGaming brands and content marketers, remain interesting and unique.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the most notable iGaming content marketing trends worth adding to your strategy in 2022.
1. Long-Form Content
Long-form content retained its quintessential status in content marketing because it actually provides value to readers and solves common questions a prospective client might have.
But it’s important to remember that the days of short, keyword-stuffed “articles” have long been a thing of the past. Now, the average Google first page result has approximately 1,890 words in total.
That’s because users want, no, demand quality blog content that provides value and helps them answer their questions.
An example in the iGaming industry is the proliferation of online casino and sportsbook review sites that provide comprehensive information to prospective gamblers who wants to learn how to gamble or bet online.
Come up with an interesting topic, structure your blog post coherently, and above all, aim to provide value. Tighten every section from headline to conclusion because your iGaming site’s traffic hangs in the balance of each section you write.
2. Personalized, Localized, and Interactive Content
One of the tactics that continues to deliver iGaming content marketers remarkable results is interactive content such as competitions, giveaways, quizzes, polls, and surveys that help break the ice between potential players and operators, therefore building stronger customer relationships faster.
Better yet, this tactic allows brands to hyper personalize content down to the nitty-gritty details, making it even more relevant to the audience. iGaming content personalization requires analyzing player preferences and behavior to target them with relevant content tailored to their exact needs.
For iGaming operators and marketers, content personalization may also include translation and localization of betting and casino terms, allowing users to consume content in their native language. This also breaks down linguistic and cultural barriers that would otherwise be lost in translation.
So, don’t forget to incorporate these linguistic elements into your content marketing strategy because getting the smallest details correct often leaves a remarkable first impression on potential players.
If iGaming content localization is not your forte, you can opt to hire professional iGaming translation and content writing agencies, like us, Translation Royale, to ensure the integrity of your marketing messages regardless of language.
As more and more players move online, there is no doubt that translation and localization will play a larger and larger role in most iGaming brands’ successes.
Video content consumption is exponentially increasing as a significant content marketing avenue – and this vertical is now an essential tactic for content marketing.
Cisco predicts that over 82% of all web traffic will be video by 2022. This only highlights the importance of video as a communication medium for businesses and their customers, and iGaming is no exception.
Since the global pandemic, video content has become a critical part of the “new normal.” And for a good reason – visual content engages audiences longer than any other format and offers brands an opportunity to communicate directly with their clients through a wide array of video content formats, such as the ubiquitous sportsbook and online casino advertisements in practically every corner of the internet.
4. Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging trend set to make significant strides in iGaming in the coming years. AR is basically a technology that allows users to overlay images to real objects using a camera simultaneously.
The superimposed images create an illusion that these objects exist in the real world, engaging and interacting with the user in a completely virtual manner.
There is a rising segment of iGaming fans who use augmented and virtual reality to enjoy complete and total immersive gameplay. Nowadays, players can visit a casino, play slots, blackjack, and roulette, schmooze with the players, dealers, and personalities, the whole nine yards…without ever physically having to be there.
iGaming operators have been offering VR casinos, including Live Casinos, wherein live dealers run the games in an entirely virtual setting. Other iGaming operators have begun utilizing VR headsets to further enhance the “live” feel by using special cameras.
And we’ve just barely scratched the surface of what AR can do for casinos. We can expect to see more from AR in 2022.
Statista also stated that the global AR/VR market is predicted to reach 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.
Consumers are constantly bombarded with content literally 24/7. And, given the extremely tight competition in the iGaming sector, your content needs to make an impact.
A good way forward for iGaming brands is to ensure that their content is consistently engaging and of the highest possible quality. Moreover, sacrificing quality for quantity may affect your brand’s reputation.
All in all, content marketing has been and will remain one of the most effective marketing tools to steer through both the best and toughest situations in the iGaming industry.
Only the most disciplined and dedicated iGaming marketing professionals will be able to stay in the loop with what’s new and outrank their competition over the long haul.
That’s why planning your content marketing strategy with a content calendar and developing the processes necessary to maintain and manage it is of paramount importance. It’s your team’s unabridged vision and guiding principle.
And, if something is on your content calendar, make sure your team executes it and calls it out whenever necessary.
How did you like Sebastian Scheplitz’s blog post “The 2022 Guide to iGaming Content Planning”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂