If you are in any way involved in the online content creation game, then you will likely know about long-form content already. It is defined as a piece of content (a blog post or an article) that is 1,200 words or longer. Long-form content can take many forms. It may be a case study and report on the demographics of a specific sector or industry, an interview of an authoritative figure, or even a deep-dive investigation or exposé for a journalistic publication.
For a long time, we’ve seen long-form content being used in industries such as medicine and healthcare where people need things explained to them, technology as technical terms can be confusing, and marketing perhaps because marketers like to use their long-form content to prove a point!
However, lately, we’ve seen an increase in online poker sites using long-form content to boost their brands. But is it a case of just following tried and tested advertising and marketing methods, or does the use of long-form articles go beyond the surface level?
The History of Online Poker
It’s amazing to believe that online poker has only been available for the last 20 years. Although the World Wide Web (the public form of the internet) was launched all the way back in 1991, it took until the late 1990s for online poker to become a reality and then until 1998 for real money poker games to be made available.
Between 1998 and 2012, there were fairly simplistic methods for advertising your online poker site. One popular way of getting the word out was to use endorsements from real-life professional poker players and celebrities. In 1999, author and professional poker player Mike Caro became the face of one online poker site. Professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, actor James Woods, actress Traci Bingham and athlete Shaquille O’Neal have all lent their celebrity to online poker sites too. Television ads (sometimes featuring those famous faces) were also influential, as were promotions that gave away no-deposit bonuses, free bonuses and more chips to play with. While these promotional methods are still prevalent today, they’ve become less effective as the competition in the online poker industry has heated up.
How Much Does the Online Poker Industry Make?
While it’s unclear how much money online poker makes specifically, a Statista report reveals that by 2020, the online gambling market as a whole is expected to make $59.79 billion in revenue. Comparatively, a report put together by the University of Las Vegas found that in 2013, the 23 casinos in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world, raked in just $5 billion for the year (all gambling, not just poker). Although we cannot be certain exactly how the online and land-based poker sectors matchup, it would suggest that the online poker space is giving real-life poker a run for its money.
With this in mind, it also makes a considerable amount of sense that more online poker sites are cropping up. They all want to cut themselves a hefty slice of that very lucrative pie. With all of these poker sites trying to get celebrity endorsements and offering various promotions, freebies and bonuses, it’s understandable why each piece of marketing would have less of an effect on an audience that has seen it all before. Online poker sites would need to come up with something more original.
Why Online Poker Sites Are Using Long-Form Content
And that brings us to the world of long-form content. Celebrity endorsements and flash television ads may no longer rule the roost; search engines do. Well, specifically Google. An estimated 1.2 trillion Google searches are processed every single year with many of these being for online poker sites or online poker related terms. The search intent (otherwise known as the reason why people are searching for this information) is because they want to play online poker or at least learn more about it. Long-form content which is informative and useful is heavily favored by Google and so, if you want to get to the top of the rankings and therefore stand more of a chance of getting in front of your audience, long-form is the way to go.
However, long-form content helps online poker sites to compete not just with each other but with other online and mobile games that are winning over customers. Long-form content helps to provide more to the customer. For example, 888poker hosts regular content on all aspects of poker, including articles on mental game poker tactics and the basics of poker. While many online and mobile games are simple, match-three affairs, by displaying the strategies and different ways you can play poker through long-form content, prospective players can see that there’s more to the game than what they may have thought.
How Else Do Poker Sites Appeal to Customers?
The world of online content marketing is more than just long-form content, though, and many poker sites use it as just one pillar in their overall strategies. Another useful form of promotion involves live video streams. These streams can be educational and can show people how best to play – something that is traditionally missing from those catchy, celebrity-focused ads. The engagement can help to win over loyal fans who will be more likely to stick with that site than to be swayed by any other poker promotions.
Many online poker sites are also making use of social media marketing, sharing and showing off endorsements from happy players and answering queries to highlight the personality of the brand, not just the colder, business side. As young poker players are more likely to play online (compared to the older generation which prefers land-based casinos), this is again a useful marketing tool.
Online poker is a prime example of an industry that has acted quickly to adapt to new online marketing methods. While the most effective methods of online marketing may change in the future, expect online poker sites to adopt whatever new methods come forward.