The Complete Guide to Successful Casino Marketing
Your casino is a unique addition to your marketplace and an attractive destination for your audience. But do they know that? With the right casino marketing, your location can evolve from a middle-of-the-pack competitor to an industry-leading powerhouse. That’s where this blog post comes in.
In this post, we explore tried and true casino marketing strategies that are sure to boost your business — both now and in the long run. The best part? The majority of the following ideas are easy and inexpensive to implement.
Explore 6 proven strategies to maximize your casino marketing efforts:
1. Boost discoverability.
Because competition among casinos is so tough, discoverability is incredibly important. Discoverability refers to how easy (or hard) it is for your audience to find you online.
Imagine you are one of your potential guests in search of a great casino. How easy would it be to find yours online? Try typing some searches in various search engines, looking up reviews on travel sites, and searching social media for casinos like yours. By noting how often your casino comes up and how highly it’s ranked in search results, you can get an idea of how good your discoverability is. To best understand where things currently stand, we recommend using marketing and SEO tools such as Moz and SEMrush.
In addition to investing in tools, you can boost discoverability online for your casino in a few ways:
- Create separate landing pages for each of your most important amenities. Use keyword phrases related to those amenities, as well as high-quality images, appropriate captioning, and catchy headlines.
- Use search engine advertising appropriately. According to Google’s policies, “Gambling ads must target approved countries, have a landing page that displays information about responsible gambling, and never target minors.” Check local regulations for the areas you want to target and your offerings. Once you know the local regulations, test ads for keyword phrases relevant to your offerings.
- Create social media profiles for the channels your audience cares most about. Participate in conversations about gaming, your casino, local news, and other things happening in the community.
- Optimize your content for keywords related to your amenities, location, unique offerings, and latest events — not just your casino. Really focus on the things that make you stand out so that future visitors can find you when they search for those things.
- Consider using beacons or other proximity marketing tactics to boost guest interest if they’re in the area. This is particularly helpful when competing against other casinos within walking distance. This, and other location-based marketing strategies, help you target customers in the real world instead of online.
- Use strategic partnerships and co-marketing relationships with local businesses, entertainers, event suppliers, food vendors, and others to “boost the signal” and increase word of mouth mentions of your casino.
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2. Pursue events and group business.
There is so much more to your casino than just the gaming floor. You may have a luxurious hotel offering, cutting-edge technology, flexible event and entertainment spaces, award-winning spa and health club amenities, or delicious restaurants to offer your guests as well. So when it comes to your casino marketing, you need to be thinking about the big picture.
Casinos are often perfect venues for large events, including weddings, conferences, business retreats, group luncheons, and family reunions. Your marketing needs to include specific messaging and targeting for events and group business to attract these types of opportunities.
Cvent’s Competitive Ads™ for hotels and other destinations could be a great fit for your casino marketing as you try to attract more group business. Competitive Market Ads give your casino major exposure to planners who are searching in similar areas or sister markets, helping you earn group business that you otherwise may not be exposed to. Search Ads™ put you top of mind and give you prominent exposure when event planners are searching for solutions — the time when they have the highest intent to follow through on their searches.
3. Find the “jobs to be done.”
For a long time, marketers focused only on demographics to guide their decision-making. Casinos focused heavily on the age of their audience members, their income, and their education as indicators of future behavior.
This focus is fairly helpful — there are some differences in audience behavior based on demographics. According to Anderson Digital, “While Boomers and Gen Xers tend to spend 80% of their casino money on gaming, and 20% on food and entertainment, Millennials will be more likely to spend 30% on gaming and 70% on food, entertainment, and non-gaming services.” Strategies to reach Millennial and Gen Z customers are important, including elevated entertainment and food options, online components to floor games, and increased mobile marketing.
But while demographics are helpful, they are hardly the only useful piece of information about your audience. For example: Picture a group of women standing outside your casino. Let’s say you know their demographic information — they’re all in their late 20s or early 30s, are college-educated, and have high-paying jobs. But do you know why they’re there?
These women may be on a business trip with an hour to kill before their next meeting. They may be in town for a family reunion. Or they could just as easily be there to celebrate a bachelorette party for a friend. With only their demographic information, you’re left guessing about their motivations, their pain points, and what they’re looking for.
The “jobs to be done” framework helps marketers understand the true motivations of their audience by describing the “job” that the potential customer is “hiring” you for. In our example above, a group of women attending the casino for a bachelorette party is “hiring” the casino for a party atmosphere, a fun and relaxed time, and a great mix of entertainment, gaming, food, and drink. Conversely, if those same women are attending the casino as part of a work function, they might “hire” the casino for a flexible and stress-free work environment, smooth logistics, fast Wi-Fi, ample places to charge their devices, and maybe a quiet space to get work done in between meetings.
It’s important to understand what your audience is looking for in a space and what job they’re “hiring” you to do so you can adjust your messaging, marketing, and offerings appropriately.
4. Create positive feedback loops.
Many of the appeals of a casino are based on emotional decisions. Gaming, eating and drinking, entertainment, and other casino attractions are designed to make customers feel good. By doubling down on these feelings, you can improve your casino’s marketing results and keep customers coming back for more.
Feedback loops are defined as times when the output from an action is fed back into the beginning of the sequence as an input. So, for instance, when a child does something funny and gets laughter or applause from a parent, they are more likely to do whatever they were doing again to get the same response.
Positive feedback loops increase the likelihood of the action being repeated. Negative feedback loops, on the other hand, decrease this likelihood. An example of a negative feedback loop is parking in a loading zone and receiving an expensive ticket. You will be much less likely to park in a loading zone in the future because of the fear of getting another ticket.
You likely already use positive feedback loops throughout your casino, potentially without even knowing it. Guests who win a game feel happy and are more likely to play that game again in the future. They may even try to recreate the conditions of their winning exactly. Guests who have a negative experience are less likely to return.
You can use feedback loops in your casino marketing in a variety of ways:
- Encourage referrals and reviews right after a positive experience, such as winning a game or having a great meal.
- If a customer uses a discount or redeems an offer, offer another deal right away.
- If your casino has a hotel component, send emails encouraging future bookings at moments when guests are likely to be happiest — right after an upgrade, the day after an entertainment or restaurant booking, or after another positive experience that you can identify.
- Respond to positive feedback, social media posts, and reviews with offers for more experiences in the future.
- Reward loyal customers with generous offers, special perks, and exclusive promotions.
- Break the cycle of negative feedback loops by turning them into positive experiences. Respond to customer complaints and negative reviews with authentic, compassionate care. Offer apologies where appropriate and do whatever it takes to “make it right” for the customer.
5. Use social proof.
Consumers almost always trust each other more than they trust your brand. Whether they rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or reviews from strangers on the internet, potential guests and customers are much more likely to listen to each other than to you.
This means that, to build trust in your brand, you need the help of others. Social proof refers to the idea that people will copy the actions of others that they admire. You can use this in many ways when marketing your casino:
- Display positive reviews on your website and social media pages.
- Record video testimonials from happy guests and lucky winners.
- Encourage guests to share their experiences on social media and tag your casino.
- Monitor and respond to reviews and feedback online.
- Install a photo booth on the floor of the casino for guests to take pictures when they win.
- Post pictures and videos of recent winners on screens throughout the casino.
There are lots of ways to use social proof creatively. Consider the motivations of your audience and where they go for their information, and you should have some good ideas of where to start.
6. Stay on top of gaming trends.
Casinos are in a period of rapid evolution and change. Online gaming, entertainment preferences, virtual and hybrid events, e-sports, and virtual and augmented reality play a huge role in the changing casino landscape. Casinos must understand and take advantage of the latest trends in technology and gaming to stay competitive.
As you create your casino marketing strategy and begin testing campaigns, here are a few technologies and trends to keep in mind:
- E-sports are becoming more popular every day. With massive events dedicated to competitions and championships, there is a lot of opportunity for casinos to partner with e-sports teams or platforms and reach new audiences.
- Virtual reality and augmented reality create interesting ways for guests to interact with gaming environments. Consider how guests can be a part of the action from home, from a hotel room, or even from across the world by adding VR and AR offerings.
- Online casinos are on the rise, and the regulations restricting them are becoming more relaxed. Stay on top of the latest developments so you know where your competition stands.
- The games and entertainment options popular today are unlikely to be the most popular five or ten years from now. Try to stay ahead of the changes and understand them so that you aren’t left behind.