Eventus International reached out to Robert Koning to gain his thoughts on the following matters leading up to the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow which will be held at Emperors Palace from 25-26 March 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The responses below are entirely his own.
Interview with Robert Koning, Managing Director Best Sports Betting Media by Jordan Crossley, Conference Producer at Eventus International.
Robert started Best Sports Betting in 2016, with the intention of building a South African sports bettors portal that would provide value for not only sports bettors but also as an acquisition and retention space for bookmakers. With several years of experience in SEO, Content marketing and web development he has helped the business grow significantly in the online space over the last 2 years. The business now has a primary focus of establishing a strong foothold in online search throughout not only South Africa, but also greater Africa, an area that most bookmakers are not utilising to its full potential.
Jordan: Best Sports Betting is an affiliate for nearly all of the biggest sports betting operators in South Africa, how do you go about ensuring that each operator is happy with your services?
Robert: That’s a difficult question to answer Jordan. South Africa is at least 10 years behind on Sports Betting affiliate programs. Some of the affiliate programs that are there don’t give the affiliate access to the backend so you can only gauge estimated click to depositer ratio. It’s something that hopefully change moving forward.
Going back to working with the operators I try to keep in weekly contact with one’s that require a more a more hands on strategy while others I’ll chat to once a month if there is a set strategy in place. Some operators understand the digital space more than others and those are the ones that I won’t need to chat to often, unless there are changes etc.
With pure affiliate operators they take on no financial risk so they generally aren’t bothered with how well a campaign is working.
Jordan: In your bio, you mention that many bookmakers in Africa are not utilizing SEO to its full potential, how can they improve on this?
Robert: There’s a lot that they can do to improve their Footprint. As an example Blogs are a great place to start, but they need to be done with a goal and we aren’t really seeing that at the moment. Lots of bookmakers are also taking a traditional digital marketing broadbased outlook, when they should be targeting players in a much more focused manner.
Jordan: I’ve seen how you get many operators and the community involved on social media, is social media crucial to your customer acquisition strategy?
Robert: Social media is a very difficult area to operate any sort of acquisition marketing on. Facebook has become very strict, and pages get shut down all the time (ours included!) However a social media presence is a must in any strategy as you get a real feel for the community and how they react to certain things. It’s completely necessary for a bookmaker to utilize as an acquisition tool but as affiliates it’s not the priority. Until say online casinos become legal then social media would become very lucrative.
Jordan: What social media platforms are punters most vocal on, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
Robert: Twitter will always be the place where serious conversations and issues will be aired. I feel the interactions are a lot more personal on Twitter than say Facebook. Facebook numbers wise would have the most vocal punters, but most of them would be lost among the 100s of pages and comment threads. The problem with Facebook in this regard is you get a lot of noise. If you posted something about a soccer match you’d get a better response on Facebook than on Twitter, but I’d wager a good chunk of the commenters aren’t even sports bettors.
Instagram is practically empty of interaction at the moment. I’ve not seen any operators with more than a handful of likes on a post. It’s the one social media platform that I personally don’t think is valuable to sports betting but I’d be happy to be proven wrong.
Jordan: Would it be worth it for operators to start opening whatsapp lines to take in-play bets or handle customer service issues?
Robert: There are several that currently do have a whatsapp customer service lines and they are a disaster for the most part. I feel for the call center agents as it must be a nightmare to deal with. Why go on live chat, send and email or make a call when you can whatsapp for next to no cost? You can imagine the chaos!
As for live inplay betting via whatsapp I think we’re nowhere near to that happening. Inplay betting is hard enough to do oneself, it would take at least a minute or 2 to get the bet on via whatsapp and by that time the line could have moved or closed. It works for Vip punters but it’ll take some doing to have a version available to the general public. I’d love to see it done though and prematch would be achievable.
Jordan: What do you look forward to by being a part of the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow?
Robert: It’s always good to get in touch with the larger community and BiG Africa gives you these opportunities. It’s these organised events that really show there is big interest and innovation coming out of African companies, giving them a great platform to reach out to a bigger audience.
Robert Koning looks forward to meeting you all in person at the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow. See more information on the BiG Africa Supershow and how you can register below.