We had the opportunity to catch up with Lee-Ann Johnstone who took time from her busy schedule to answer our questions on a wide range of topics related to affiliate marketing. Lee-Ann is the co-founder of Affiliate Insider and has been in the affiliate marketing industry for over two decades.
In the interview she talks about her career, the growth of Affiliate Insider and what is in store in the upcoming affiliate conference AffiliateFEST. She advises affiliate marketers to “invest in your skills development” and describes how to go about it.
While she admits that she has “no crystal ball that can predict the future”, she is quite confident that “commercial acumen and personal touch” will remain the secret of success in this industry even amidst the advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning, smart analytics and all that.
Over to Lee-Ann now.
GAV: Let’s start with a few words about yourself. Our audience love to hear top-class professionals saying a few words about themselves.
Lee-Ann: I like long walks on the beach and sunsets? … Just kidding, I’ve been in the iGaming space for almost two decades and seen a lot of affiliates build businesses which is incredibly difficult to do alone. Having spent a lot of time building affiliate programmes and relationships I saw the gap to break out of the corporate world and make a difference helping others to grow their businesses with mentoring support, which isn’t readily available in the affiliate sector. This is why I’ve built Affiliate Insider – a company that can help support best practice, strategic growth, and skills development for affiliates and operators alike. I’m passionate about this Chanel and about what we do and I think it shows in the quality of the services we deliver to our clients, sponsors and delegates alike.
GAV: How did you choose affiliate marketing as a career? Is it deliberate or is there an interesting story behind that. About 20 years ago, it might not have been a popular choice.
Lee-Ann: It wasn’t a conscious choice back then as it was still an industry evolving. I learned everything I know today – on the job (as digital marketing was being created still, I was learning it as we went along) I just really loved it! I moved into online from a traditional offline marketing background and had a in depth online media buying background before moving over to affiliate relationship management and I guess it was the people aspect I loved the most. Finding ways to meet the end goal and revenue objective innovatively is what spurred me on to specialise in this channel and here we are almost two decades later and I’m still learning so much each day.
GAV: It’s been under 6 months since affiliateinsider.com was launched. The website offers all-round coverage of the affiliate industry. Is the growth so far in anticipated lines?
Lee-Ann: As we are still a new brand to market our growth rate has been well above expectations and this is due to the fact that our content team know this industry inside out, we live, breathe and consume everything about the affiliate marketing sector in the iGaming space each day. We manage clients affiliate programme, we create content that supports affiliate growth and we teach others the skills our team has amassed over two decades of being in the iGaming sector. Through this FREE for all knowledge share Affiliate Insider has built a solid reputation in a very short time as a thought leader and developer of best practice, strategies that impact revenue growth and events that deliver a depth of content found nowhere else. The combination of mentoring, training, content lead events and insight is what makes this business invaluable to the industry both affiliate and operator facing. Suppliers need to engage with our site too as it is here that they will engage new business leads for the products and services they deliver in this market place. We have a steady and loyal repeat readership growing on the site and in our newsletters who spend time on the site, and take time to read the content we are delivering which is offered with no paywall restrictions.
GAV: What about AffiliateFEST? What is special in this year’s event on September 19th? Who will benefit from attending the event?
Lee-Ann: All our Affiliate Bootcamps are special – but AffiliateFEST really is about helping affiliates growth hack their marketing and digital activities on site to increase their revenue. Today we just announced the Keynote for September’s event who is trailblazing influencer marketing as a new digital medium : Ben Jeffries (CEO of Influencer along with YouTube sensation Caspar Lee). This is the kind of content we focus on bringing to affiliates and operators in order to share the latest tangible insights and marketing techniques. This really is the core of what this conferences offer. Digital Marketing Insights that help affiliates get ahead of digital disruption within the iGaming industry offering them a competitive advantage to implement strategies and tactics to really row their revenue.
Each Bootcamp we run is unique and has a very specific subject or vertical focus – for example we have the Affiliate Insider America Track coming in April 2019 at Betting On sports America, and an exclusive African Business Retreat for those affiliates who want to expand their business and localise into the African Market as well as have a but of a retreat in South Africa alongside to take time out from working in their business to work ON it.
GAV: You have been in this industry for two decades. What’s your advice to people who are starting out on the affiliate industry? What does it take to become successful in the industry?
Lee-Ann: It’s a lot of hard work. You learn every day and you need to keep your knowledge base fresh. I consume an incredible amount of media around the subject of affiliate marketing, I also write a lot about it too from my own experiences which helps to upskill others. It takes determination and grit to be a good affiliate manager, as the skills set required to be a real good one is vast. My advise to anyone coming in to the industry is to invest in your skills development by finding experts you can learn from. This generally means finding people who have hands on experience for a few years longer than you in doing the job successfully.
There is no accredited School of Affiliate Marketing for the iGaming space. Therefore we have created The Affiliate Insider Training academy which offers a range of training options for both corporates and individuals to gain access to expert lead affiliate marketing strategies and for affiliates – a source of iGaming business mentoring that can help them advance their skills and work with like minded individuals to knowledge share and grow revenue in the affiliate space. Everything we do is about offering a high end in depth service with tactical content that can be implemented in any iGaming business for success.
GAV: Final question now. Could you provide your take on the evolution of affiliate marketing industry over the years? We have been hearing a lot about machine learning and all that. Will there be a time when robots take over affiliate marketing scene?
Lee-Ann: I think we are in for a big evolution in terms of how the affiliate model sits within the digital marketing mix. As one of the largest and most cost effective drivers of traffic the channel continues to evolve year on year and grow. AI is a big part of the reason why this is happening as we get smarter analytics and more regulated the opportunity for innovation continues to expand in this channel as well. The entire ecosystem will need to overhaul the value chain and how relationships interact in the affiliate model. We could see a move to differential pricing from traditional CPA and Revenue Share or Hybrid models based on tracking omni channels more accurately. There is no crystal ball that can predict the future but I can say that relationships will always require a commercial acumen and personal touch to really succeed and this is what we excel at delivering at Affiliate Insider as well.
Thanks for your time Lee-Ann, we really appreciate it, and all the best for the AffiliateFEST!!!
LeoVegas really is making dreams come true this Christmas
LeoVegas is giving away 5 nights under the Northern Lights!
It’s that festive time of year when our customers begin to dream of log fires, Christmas trees and dashing through the snow on a reindeer-drawn sleigh with mince pie crumbs in their laps. Well, good tidings are here as LeoVegas would like to spread the festive cheer by making two of these lucky customers’ dreams come true this New Year!
We will send two players and their plus ones to the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Lapland on a once in a lifetime trip where they’ll sleep under the stars in glass roofed igloos – and may even see the Northern Lights flickering above while tucked up cosy and warm in a comfy bed as the snow falls around them.
This incredible trip also includes six activities which winners can choose themselves. These include a 4-hour husky safari, Aurora hunting on a horse drawn sleigh, visiting reindeer on a snowmobile or learning how to master Nordic skiing.
To be in with a chance of winning, new customers just need to deposit and wager 50 in the Live Casino or Casino (from 10/12/18 to 01/01/19) on any game to get one ticket into the raffle. The winners will then be drawn randomly on 2nd January.
A geo-targeted landing page promoting the campaign will be available by end of this week. Please contact your account manager or AffiliateTeam@leovegas.com for the media ID or if you have any queries. This campaign will be live in all markets except Italy from 10th December.
Leo really is making dreams come true this Christmas at LeoVegas!
The LeoVegas Affiliate Team
Affiliate Interviews: Steven Hubbard, of SweGaming and BettingLounge
This is our second interview with Swegaming. We are checking how they are doing right now.
GAV: Hi Steven, first off we’ve been talking with you before, around 2 years ago to be exact, and first wanted an update on what Swegaming and BettingLounge have been up to since then.
The last two years have been hectic for Swegaming as a company, and since I joined this year we’ve been ramping up our efforts towards the UK market with our site BettingLounge.
We’ve launched a completely new look and feel to the site while adding new sections including our popular betting tips. We have also added new functionality and content to help our visitors make the right decision when choosing which betting sites to use.
GAV: Could you tell us some quick facts about you?
Name: Steven Hubbard
Living in: Gothenburg
Favourite Food: Pizza
Must read book: Running: The Autobiography
Best dart player: Phil Taylor
GAV: Tell us more about yourself, we want to know exactly who Steven is, the product owner of Bettinglounge. How was it to move to a new country? How is it to work at a big affiliate company as Swegaming?
Well, I grew up in a small town in Norfolk, England. I spent most of my working life as a Lifeguard and Swimming teacher but decided to go travelling for a change.
There I met my Swedish girlfriend and moved to Gothenburg, where I met Andreas and David (founders of SweGaming AB). Moving to Sweden was a lot harder than the travelling I had done, but I had great support from my girlfriend and her family.
Working at SweGaming has been a wonderful opportunity to learn and develop new skills. They have a lot of valuable experience in the Swedish market and exciting ideas for the UK.
GAV: What would you say is the biggest competitive advantages for Bettinglounge? What makes Bettinglounge stand out from the crowd?
We are looking to change the affiliate industry by offering an honest, transparent and personal product. All while promoting safe and responsible gambling.
We have some really exciting long-term projects that I think will add a lot of value to BettingLounge, while continuing with our personal touch instead of hiding behind a brand name.
GAV: What is the biggest challenge for you as a product owner?
The need for constant innovation is the biggest challenge facing us. There are a massive number of affiliates in the UK, and we have to offer something special to stand out.
GAV: We have done some reading at your site and found out some really interesting betting tips, how can you know so much!?
Well, I am in no way a betting tipster or expert. But, I have been following sports, mainly football and darts for most of my life. Of course, you learn a lot from that over the years.
But, the most valuable information is gained by a bit of research. All of our tips are well researched with key stats and facts for the match. It is not a foolproof way of betting, but it will help in your decision making.
See our betting tips as a guide, or if you agree, of course, you are welcome to back them. But, remember to do so in a fun and responsible way.
GAV: Steven, who is your favourite model? Is it Zlatan or David Beckham?
Ah, that’s a tough one. Of course, David Beckham is my favourite model. I mean his boxers are not great, but what a man he is!
GAV: What betting tip has been your best in ROI?
The best betting tip so far has been a 12/1 win treble with Betway. Three away wins, Lincoln City, Leicester and Doncaster.
Although, Doncaster finished 3-2 and we had a nervy 7+ minutes of extra time that was not appreciated.
GAV: What is the best with TheGamblingAffiliateVoice?
The best thing is definitely to find new gaming conferences and read comprehensive articles . You are doing a great job writing about the conference Sigma on Malta. More affiliates and operators should definitely go to Sigma which is the best conference in my opinion.
AEToken Affiliate Platform Wins Blockchain Pitch Competition for Best ICO 2018
Blockchain based affiliate platform AEToken has won the best ICO pitch competition at the Malta Blockchain Summit. Held at the InterContinental Hotel Malta on November 1 and 2, 2018, the summit is a marquee event in the ICO/Blockchain sector, playing host to over 8,000 delegates and a speaker list that includes the Who’s Who of the Crypto industry including the Winklevoss twins and John McAfee. The highlight of the summit, the ICO pitch contest saw 19 blockchain startups in a head to head battle for two cheques, each worth 25,000€.
Eventually a panel of judges, led by Investor Mark Hamade, judged AEToken (represented by CEO Vadim Fedotov) the best ICO pitch for its unique platform, which is designed to address shortcomings limiting the affiliate marketing industry.
The industry has long struggled with systemic problems including lack of enforceable contracts, fraud (traffic size verification/traffic value skimming), slow payments for services performed, and high minimum payouts. Now, for the first time, using blockchain and smart contract technology, AEToken ensures affiliate deals are secured through smart contract, payments are instant, fees are lower, and scalability is a non-issue.
Founded by Vadim Fedotov, Gene Hoffman and Jason Fernandes, AEToken has a particularly stellar team of advisors including 2017 Ycombinator partner Marcus Segal, Eman Pulis (Founder, SIGMA Conference), iGaming expert Michael Caselli, Walter Komarek (Forbesfone) and Dr. Evan Luthra of Almora Crypto Investment Group.
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