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!!!
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.
AffiliateINSIDER delivers practical skills to complement ‘on the job’ training
The launch of the bespoke Affiliate Manager Coaching Academy from AffiliateINSIDER means that affiliate managers in the iGaming sector now have an opportunity to access over two decades of affiliate marketing strategies, tactics and expertise.
Founded by Lee-Ann Johnstone, the CEO of news, training and events business AffiliateINSIDER , this new academy aids skills development for affiliate managers and graduates entering the digital marketplace.
Delivered in exclusive training venues to provide bespoke and tailored classes, it is built around proven strategies for helping affiliate programmes grow. Only up to a maximum of 10 delegates are permitted to enable significant 1 on 1 time within an intense learning schedule.
The advanced one-day program is tailored according to a pre-course questionnaire designed to customise content delivery to the delegates in the room. It is then backed up with a 90-day action plan from the tactics learnt on the day and includes a 30-minute personal Skype coaching call, while a detailed workbook and course notes are available to take away.
Johnstone commented: “ The affiliate coaching academy is an extension of the strategy and skills I’ve learnt working in this industry for almost two decades. It’s about helping promoting best practice and continued skills development coupled with a practical implementation of affiliate marketing techniques.”
She continued: “Our course content gives candidates the skills they need to grow their affiliate programme reach, negotiate the right commercials and build successful affiliate relationships.
“Affiliate marketing is an exciting constantly changing digital medium, but one that has predominantly been led by on the job training, which means skills are passed down and can become dated. It’s therefore vital that we create content and course structures that promote skills development and digital learnings for affiliate managers to remain at the top of their game!”
Rasmus Sojmark is the founder and CEO of SBC , a leading news and events company for the sports betting industry that joined forces with Johnstone in November of last year to launch the AffiliateINSIDER.
Sojmark added: “The Affiliate Coaching Academy is a natural extension of the AffiliateINSIDER ethos to promote skills development and knowledge sharing in the affiliate space. For this reason, launching this exclusive academy made sense on so many levels.
“Our clients and partners can now benefit from tailor made learning opportunities and access a level of skills development not offered anywhere else. Lee-Ann has a vast amount of experience working across a wide range of industries, which is what makes this opportunity so unique.
“We are very excited to offer this service to both individuals and companies who wish to grow their affiliate business and improve their affiliate partnerships .”
For more information about the course content and booking dates, please contact AffiliateINSIDER sales team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the first four speakers of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference!
Speakers of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference: discussion of gaming affiliate programs and traffic in Russian and foreign networks
On November 15, Kyiv will host iGaming Affiliate Conference. The industry representatives will discuss the latest gambling and affiliate marketing trends as well as take an opportunity to establish new business partnership within the networking area. Meet the speakers of the event that have already confirmed attendance. They are e-business professionals and world-class experts on affiliate marketing.
The event will gather representatives of iGaming business and affiliate marketing. The platform consists of a conference, an exhibition, and a networking area. It will take place at Vsi. Svoi D12 (12 Desatinna St.), a popular center of cultural and business life in the city’s old town section.
Conference: space for expert’s presentations addressing affiliate marketing and iGaming.
Exhibition: a venue for iGaming representatives from across the globe. The companies will present software and hardware products.
Networking: business representatives will enjoy the enjoyable atmosphere with a VIP zone available to special guests.
Conference speakers and their presentations
iGaming is a highly competitive niche, which has to be taken into account while developing marketing strategies. Vladimir Luchaninov, Head of Acquisitions at Firelink Media, will tell about the pitfalls of eSports affiliate programs and provide the criteria of affiliate program choosing. He will also touch upon the challenges of risk assessment as well as advise on how to reach the highest profit from an affiliate program.
Kostiantyn Novofastovsky, Head of ClickFrog, will also cover the peculiarities of gaming websites. In his presentation titled ‘Buying traffic in gambling. How to avoid bots’, the speaker will feature the popular resources and compare CPM banners with ClickUnder.
Dmitry Petrenko, Head of SEO at Edu-cash.com Ukraine, will dwell on promotion in foreign networks. The speaker took part in website promotion to top positions in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Austria, and the CIS. He will reveal the secrets of leadership on foreign competitive websites emphasizing on grey promotion and organic traffic.
Myroslav Liaskovez, Founder at LeadMarketing and an author of the online course ‘Facebook Without the Fluff’, will shed light on traffic arbitrage techniques in social networks. The attendees will have a chance to find out about the frequent mistakes made by beginning arbitrage managers and effective advertising strategies for Facebook.
New speakers are coming soon! Visit the website Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference to follow the announcements.
Register to keep up with the trends of gambling affiliate marketing.
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