Joonas Karhu, Chief Business Officer at Bojoko, says that affiliates are having to invest heavily in technology to compete with their rivals and deliver added value
Gambling affiliates are often seen as publishers and marketers that use content to drive players from the search engine results pages and push them towards the online casino brands they partner with. In the past, this was enough but over the last two to three years, the game has changed.
Today, affiliates must become brands powered by bespoke technologies and platforms in order to deliver a superior user experience across desktop and mobile. This means undertaking comprehensive marketing and PR campaigns, and also invested in tech development.
Most professional affiliates now have technology teams and developers – here at Bojoko we even have a dedicated Chief Technology Officer. What’s more, due to the competitive nature of the sector, affiliates can’t just rely on content and SEO to generate site visitors and members.
Branding is key here, but so too is providing added value to those that do visit your site so that they can be retained moving forwards. Just like for operators, affiliates need to consider user churn and ensure they maximise the ROI of generating site traffic.
Here at Bojoko we have come up with several concepts for doing this, from our membership scheme that allows players to rate and review casinos based on the experience received, to the additional perks they can unlock such as exclusive bonuses.
In addition to this, we have developed tools to help players find the best casinos for them. This includes powerful filters that can sort casinos based on specific criteria so that players can easily select brands matched to their preferences.
All of this requires development and investment in technology. But recently we have taken this to the next level with our blackjack training app. This was developed in-house over a 12-month period by a dedicated team of four specialists.
The idea behind the blackjack training app is for players to familiarise themselves with the game and to practice their skills before playing at one of the online casinos listed on Bojoko. We also saw it as a branding exercise and a way to gain a presence in the Apple App store and Google Play store.
But developing an application from scratch proved tougher than expected and pushed our technical and development teams to the limit. This is a good thing, of course, as it meant levelling up and learning new skills that will allow us to better develop Bojoko moving forwards.
I asked our CTO, Teemu Grönqvist, to talk through some of these challenges and how they were overcome:
“Perhaps the greatest challenge we faced came late into the process; we didn’t realise that the web version of the game had to be able to resize the screen automatically depending on the starting screen size and the user making changes to it.
We wanted the web version of the game to offer the exact same experience as when played via the downloadable app but support for full screen gameplay was especially hard to sort out. This was because the way the full screen functioned was different between various operating systems.
What was especially challenging was that this was the case between different devices running on the same operating system. Essentially it would function differently across iPad, iPhone and MacBook Air, for example. On some devices, full screen was not even supported.
To overcome this, we had to develop a clever “fake” full screen implementation. But that wasn’t the only challenge we had to overcome when it came to full screen. During testing, we realised that some people don’t have their phones set to automatically enter full screen.
This made full screen mode unintuitive on mobile as our game was designed only to be played in landscape. Again, we found a clever hack where we essentially flipped the pixels of the gaming screen 90 degrees to always provide a landscape mode from the get-go.
That we had the development skill and talent to do this shows just how technical online casino affiliate sites have to be. The app was developed by the same team that built Bojoko and the powerful tools and features we offer our members.
We believe our app helps us to stand out from our rivals but also showcases our technical prowess, a key factor in what gives us an edge over our rivals.”
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