Martin, Founder of ParisSportif, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Martin, founder of ParisSportif, says that they are a small affiliate that is growing well. Their aim is to expand their network to cover all verticals in the French-speaking world and will then expand to other GEOs. They partner with honest and trustworthy operators that own licences – follow his story below.
How did you first get into the affiliate space? Were you always focused on the Gaming space?
I started working for a group owning land based casinos in Western Europe in the early 2010s, and then transitioned to their online vertical and that’s how I got to know the affiliate marketing side of the gambling industry. I then moved to Malta and started working for an affiliate which taught me valuable lessons on how to build affiliate websites and SEO.
I started doing my own sites in the Finance vertical and then transitioned to iGaming as it’s a world I know better.
How did your affiliate business take off?
It started taking off last year after I started investing more time and effort into optimising the content of my site and trying to position ParisSportif.org as an informational hub around sports betting (with a small % of purely commercial content). Writing extensive informational content helped the site to grow, and I also saw behavior KPIs (such as Average Session Durations and Bounce Rate) improve and the revenue follow suit.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
We have a multi-market single-language approach, so we focus on all the French speaking world. In 2021, I’ve been putting more efforts into growing in emerging markets (mostly in Africa) since they are markets with a lot of potential, and a lot of bookmakers that are not always known in Europe.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
Focus on user experience on the site rather than just monetisation, and don’t compare yourself to the market leaders when doing competitor analysis. We are still a small affiliate, although we’ve been growing well this year, so it’s important to measure what our peers are doing and learn from it rather than just focusing on the major authority websites in our core markets, as those are just in another league.
What is your main focus?
Our main focus is growing ParisSportif.org as well as other sites that have been launched in 2021 but haven’t gained as much traction yet. We want to expand our network to cover all verticals in the French-speaking world and will then expand to other GEOs.
What are your plans for the future?
Expanding in more territories and verticals, the market is very dynamic at the moment, with a lot of countries regulating online gambling and we definitely want to be part of this adventure!
What incremental value do you provide?
We constantly add new content to the site (and not only reviews) to make sure users actually have a good experience and read multiple pages during their visit.
What importance do you give to responsible gaming?
Responsible gaming is key in our industry, and that’s something we keep in mind while reviewing operators and writing content. It’s important to portray gambling as it is: an entertainment which is only safe if done with moderation.
Which niches work best for you, and which are the most profitable?
So far, sports-betting has been our main niche and thus worked best; however, we see a lot of potential in the casino vertical as well (especially in Canada) which is very exciting for the future.
How important is social media activity for your affiliate business? How difficult is it with Google’s constant updates?
We haven’t done social media yet, and it’s a plan for 2022 to start an online community; however, we want to find a good angle for it and not just spamming users with bonuses and reviews. Google updates have been a challenge, but we try to not focus too much on them and rather on delivering value to the readers. I think long term this approach will pay off.
Which emerging technologies like AI and Big Bata will impact the affiliate industry in 2021 and beyond?
AI & Big Data can enable affiliates to make better commercial decisions (by optimising tables automatically, for example), although I believe only affiliates with consequent resources will be able to invest in this in the coming year.
What does it take for an affiliate business to thrive?
Dedication. It is time and resources consuming to launch and operate a profitable affiliate business, and with the ever-changing landscape of marketing, you always need to have an open mind and try new things.
In your opinion, is affiliate business still expanding?
Yes, and we now even see major newspapers starting to launch affiliate sites in many verticals including sports-betting. On top of that, most markets are expected to grow in the coming years, so there’s definitely room for growth. And whilst super affiliates tend to get a bigger share of the pie, I think there’s still room for small affiliate businesses like ours to get a decent part of the markets if we put enough effort into it.
How do you choose your operators and how do you manage relationships with multiple operators?
It’s very simple, as I’m a player myself, I first try the website and assess the overall experience. I wouldn’t recommend a website that is offering a poor experience to players. I’m also looking at the obvious points of trust, such as their license, how long they’ve been operating, and if they’re known for being rogue with players or affiliates.
What is your approach in the initial stages of a new partnership?
Once a partner ticks all our boxes and we want to work with them, we’ll do a test for a few weeks to assess the performance of the brand and understand their retention, as it’s a good signal of the quality of the user experience for players.
Have you ever been to SiGMA?
I’ve been attending SiGMA since 2017 in Malta, and looking forward to visiting SiGMA Africa as well once things settle down with Covid. I’ve attended SiGMA Europe 2021 and it was a really nice experience to meet all the partners in person again.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favourite book, favourite quote, whether you are into Gaming yourself, etc.
I work a lot, but it’s very important to unwind and relax as well. I travel as much as possible (although it’s been a bit challenging lately) and plan to travel even more next year (would love to visit Japan as soon as I get the chance). I love reading, especially personal development books. I also love spending time trying new brands (either Sports or Casino) to find some cool new features (on-site quests, rewards, etc.) and play new games!
Read more about SiGMA Affiliate Grand Slam here.
SiGMA Asia 2022
After the exciting set of conferences that was Malta Week 2021, the SiGMA Group plans to take the world by storm with the golden steeples of Kiev and the snowy city of Toronto being hubs to draw the best and brightest of the iGaming world together. Our next expo takes us to cutting-edge metropoli of the United Arab Emirates for three days of networking, panel discussions and festivities. Stay up to date with the latest and greatest through SiGMA News.