Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Sports Gaming Monitor

Landing and Expanding in LATAM

Engaging New Players while Maximizing Marketing ROI

In the sports betting industry in Latin America (LATAM), legislation is loosening, markets are expanding, and players are active. While these factors create huge opportunities for operators, they also make the industry extremely attractive to fraudsters. For fast-expanding betting regions like LATAM, putting a stop to fraud must be a priority if they wish to make the most of the market’s growth.

According to a GBG survey, 70% of surveyed iGaming operators reported to be expanding into online gaming markets in Central and South America in the next three years. Regulation has relaxed across the continent, and this presents operators with an enticing opportunity to expand into LATAM betting territory. Whilst this gives sportsbooks a chance to experience new growth, it has inevitably created fierce competition when trying to establish business in the region.

To win big against competitors, sportsbooks must ensure they are getting the most from their digital advertising campaigns. The challenge is that the digital market doesn’t always deliver the return on investment (ROI) that sportsbooks seek, potentially limiting their chances in new markets. Without control over performance or accurate campaign data, they are unable to take full advantage of the market opportunity in LATAM. 

Driving Engagement and Maximising Marketing ROI

More and more countries across LATAM are legalising sports betting. Brazil has recently approved and sent a bill to the Senate that aims to regulate sports betting and boost its 2024 budget by over $335 million. Due to the diverse landscape across both the continent and within each country, personalisation is key for operators to ensure they’re targeting the widest audience segments.

Not only is there the challenge of personalisation, but operators are having to try to maintain a competitive edge, with many using Google Ads as a form of promotion. This form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a magnet to invalid activity – any activity that is not from a real user or someone without genuine interest. This diminishes campaign performance and holds sportsbooks back from making the most out of their advertising efforts.

The most common way this occurs is from repeat clickers and returning customers using ads as a front door to the site rather than organic search. This drives up Customer Acquisition Costs (CACs) as although these are engaged users with positive intent, the excessive clicking on Google Ads is wasting campaign spend on engagement that will never convert. To get a foothold in emerging LATAM markets, safeguarding both performance marketing budgets and bettors should be the top priority and that starts with tackling invalid traffic.

Innovation in Verification

The need to protect and maximise the value of campaigns across the LATAM region is growing ever more prevalent. A Vixio Regulatory Intelligence report predicts revenue in LATAM’s regulated online gambling market to quadruple in size and reach $6.75 billion by 2027. The growth trajectory presents huge potential for the industry. To make the most of new territories and beat the competition, sportsbooks must address all areas of revenue leakage.

One way of doing this is with custom verification rules where operators can limit the number of times a user clicks on an ad. Once the threshold for clicks is met, the user is prevented from seeing the campaign, effectively reducing high cost-per-click (CPC) rates. Not only does this exclude users who are unintentionally driving up costs, but it also holds back hyper-engaged customers, ensuring sports betting companies are adhering to safer gambling policies.

Shadow campaigns can also be used in combination. These are a duplicate of the operator’s current campaign in Google Ads, but the CPC is reduced which helps to lower CACs. This means that any users who are excessively clicking on your current campaign can be targeted at lower CPCs within the shadow campaign.

Shadow campaigns enable a form of targeting to ensure sportsbooks retain audiences and maintain a level of personalisation without increasing CACs. With Google, it is harder to segment audiences given sportsbooks can’t remarket to users and so these tactics allow them to take back control and expand across new regions.

Winning in LATAM to Succeed Across the Globe

LATAM is presenting exciting opportunities for gaming operators. However, without tackling the challenges the region presents and overcoming the presence of invalid traffic, these companies will fall behind competitors and won’t be ready to excel in new markets. By employing a proactive solution to fighting invalid traffic, operators will remain one step ahead of the competition and give themselves the best chance at success across global markets. It’s time to take back campaign control, unlock the full potential of budgets and thrive in new and emerging markets.

Richard Metcalf is the Global VP, Sports Betting & Online Gaming, at TrafficGuard, an international platform provider for detecting, mitigating and reporting on digital ad fraud. With over twenty years of experience in Sales and Business Development in the digital industry, Richard strives to achieve the highest level of results for the team. He has represented brands as their public face, managed entire sales cycle processes and delivered solutions to stakeholders to ensure business growth and develop the teams around him.

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