A lot has changed since the pandemic took over the world. While the affiliate marketing industry wasn’t seriously affected, other industries have seen unexpected growth or have fallen on hard times.
E-sports and the gaming industry were some of the lucky ones. There were many causes for people staying at home. But whether it was unexpected unemployment or home office with a non-demanding job, the video game industry has been booming. And a new niche becoming more popular is always good news to affiliate marketers.
If you want to learn how to earn money with the eSports and gaming verticals, read below and learn everything you need to know to run a successful campaign!
What are the gaming and esports verticals?
The gaming vertical relates to various games and entertainment apps for both mobile and desktop devices. While you could expect selling games to be the main goal of a campaign specific to that niche, it’s not quite the case. The gaming vertical revolves around browser games. Sometimes they work on a subscription basis which makes them great RevShare offers. Other times it’s about installation (CPI) or registration (CPA).
The e-sports vertical is a part of the sports betting vertical. It also works mostly in the same way – during popular tournaments and events, fans all over the world can bet on their favorite teams. If you think ‘it must be a very niche interest’, you might be surprised by this chart of leading eSports games worldwide in 2020 sorted by the cumulative tournament prize pool.
Yes, over the years top players of CS: GO have been awarded nearly 16 million dollars. The leading player alone has won nearly 2 million dollars so far. According to Newzoo’s global eSports market research, in 2017, 588 major esports events generated an estimated $59 million in ticket revenues, up from $32 million in 2016. Later, in 2018, the eSports tournaments have been broadcast to more than 250 million people.
Gaming and eSports aren’t the most talked-about verticals in the context of affiliate marketing. But their potential has been steadily increasing as the years go by. If you’re wondering if there’s even a point in trying out this niche, let’s see what happened to the industry because of the pandemic.
The rise in popularity of eSports during the pandemic
E-sports were popular long before the pandemic. The first tournament took place in 1972 and the price was a year-long subscription to the rolling stones magazine. This small local event was an inspiration to many others and by the mid-90s (when more people had access to the internet) the tournaments had proper money prizes.
COVID-19 did cause some unexpected hiccups. Live events could no longer be held so revenue from selling tickets has dropped significantly. On the other hand, with more people sitting at home excited about eSports, Twitch (a popular streaming platform), and YouTube gaming, have seen respectively a 10% and 15% increase in viewership. According to BBC, even sportsmen who couldn’t engage in their favorite sports because of the pandemic swapped their steering wheels and footballs for game controllers.
Additionally, according to the State of Online Gaming 2020 research report:
Watching gamers play video games online is more popular than watching sports for 18-25-year-olds.
Overall, the revenue of the eSports global market rose by one million dollars from 2020 and 2021 and is predicted to reach 1617.6 million dollars by 2024. The growth was fuelled mainly by global giants such as Coca-Cola, Gucci, or IBM coming into partnerships with esports teams.
And did you know that there are now real-life (physical) eSports betting casinos?
Sports betting & e-sports tournaments
Like athletes worldwide train to take part (and win!) in competitions, esports professionals practice for tournaments. And just like fans all over the world want to best on the wins of their favorite teams, e-sports enthusiasts can bet on wins, points, goals, kills, and even the number of rounds.
And esports betting, as it turns out, has seen massive growth thanks to the pandemic. Games that previously accounted for merely 1% of bets were now nearing 20% and growing. According to a report by Prodege:
…eSports gambling revenue is set to double from $7bn (€6.5bn) in 2019 to $14bn worldwide in 2020 as gamblers seek new avenues for betting during the Covid-19 crisis.
So, as an affiliate marketer, it could be an excellent opportunity to earn on the placed bets regardless of your affinity with e-sports. Hopefully, this article will help you do just that. Take a look at the calendar of upcoming e-sport events and note down when are the best times to run your eSports betting campaigns.
What can you promote?
As for the range of products you can promote, just about anything related to the gaming industry can be sold through affiliate marketing. Gaming chairs, gaming laptops, gaming mouse pads, gaming keyboards, headphones, desks, accessories, cloud gaming services, key shops, games, and even GPUs (graphics processing units) sometimes as well. These offers only relate to gaming and mostly span across various verticals.
However, it’s very important to note, there are different types of traffic that pair well with those offers. As for social media, bloggers, YouTubers, Twitch streamers and content creators here are the best examples of products to promote:
- Games (Fortnite, World of Warships, World of Tanks)
- Key shops (Kinguin, Fanatical, Eneba, GamesDeal, CDKeys)
- Game shops (Epic Games, Ubisoft, GameStop, GeekBuying, Humble Bundle)
- Cloud Gaming (GeForce Now, Uplay+)
- Shops for streamers with designs and animations (OWN3D.TV)
- Gadgets (Razer Electronics, Steelseries, Corsair, Acer, Astro Gaming)
- E-sports betting sites (Luckbox, Parimatch)
What are the best gaming affiliate programs to promote?
The above-mentioned are some of the biggest and best affiliate programs. The list is not exhaustive, though. Just about any of them could be a good choice if you have your own audience.
If you have an affiliate blog (a gaming blog) or are frequently organizing gaming streams, you might be interested in promoting gaming accessories. The easiest way to do that is by joining affiliate programs for products that you’re actively using. You don’t have to be sponsored to earn money by using certain brand’s accessories. All you need to do is join an esports affiliate program and include a referral link in your content.
Also, reviewing and playing games in front of a public audience is the perfect way to sell your favorite game, a premium account that you’re using, a humble-bundle subscription, or even software with gaming-friendly security features.
There are many gaming affiliate programs and the key to generating affiliate earnings is matching your audience with the right offer.
Do you test many games on a daily basis? – promote Humble Bundle!
Are you a Fortnite enthusiast? – join the Epic Games affiliate program!
Do you always get the freshest pair of gaming headphones? – Razer is the affiliate program for you.
Are you a deal hunter? – Green Man Gaming is going to be perfect for your followers.
Maybe you’re a prominent name in the streaming industry? – The visual addons from OWN3D.TV should be selling like hotcakes.
In short, the best gaming affiliate programs to promote are those that fit your profile. An affiliate who sells games, in-game guides, and gaming peripherals needs to be creating content as a form of marketing activities. You need to convince your potential customers that they need the products and the best way to do so is by taking advantage of something you’re already doing.
However, not every affiliate marketer promoting gaming affiliate programs is a content creator. For those using paid traffic options, such as Zeropark, it’s best to follow recommendations.
What is the best gaming affiliate program to advertise in Zeropark?
Zeropark is an ad exchange platform, where affiliates all over the world can purchase traffic to drive to their offers. While this works differently than promoting offers via thematically established media channels, it also pairs well with a certain type of offer, namely, gambling. You don’t need to have a gaming blog or a popular social media channel to make money with gambling offers.
Affiliate marketers can simply join one of the following affiliate programs and make money by purchasing high-quality traffic for their marketing campaigns.
We hope GG.bet doesn’t need an introduction. It’s one of the biggest and most popular betting platforms, and also our partner. In GG.bet you can bet on any of the regular, real-life sports but also on countless e-sports. Counter-Strike, Dota 2, League of Legends, or Fortnite are only some of the popular events you can bet on.
GG.bet accepts any traffic source so there’s no website needed. Also, RevShare starts at 40% and there is a 10-level referral system. It’s really an easy product to advertise. And as a Zeroapark partner, there’s a special bonus waiting for you if you register through Zeropark’s Offer Wall!
PariMatch is a huge international sports betting platform with over 20 years of experience and a solid selection of eSports matches. You can bet on e-sports such as Counter-Strike, Dota 2, League of Legends, PUBG, or FIFA. PariMatch is also an affiliate sponsor of some of the well-known football and e-sports teams so you can be sure this is a serious business you’re getting into.
PariMatch affiliate program offers flexible commission mode depending on your needs. You can opt for RevShare starting at 25%, CPA up to $100, or a hybrid model. Also, all the necessary materials will be provided for you so you don’t have to worry about creating assets. Currently, PariMatch works in the following countries: RU, UA, BY, KZ, AZ, TJ, KG, IN, BR, NG, TZ, AU, CA, MY, UZ.
Luckbox is the main betting platform that treats e-sports as the main event. You can bet on CS: GO, Dota 2, LoL, Overwatch, and all major tournaments apart from sports games. The website provides plenty of stats and live data to make your guessing (or predictions) easier.
Luckbox offers various types of commission – revenue share, CPA, and a hybrid model. They provide their own creatives as well as API integrations for the best and smoothest experience.
22betglobal is a betting and gambling platform with a wide variety of events. You can bet on the results of the Olympic disciplines, popular shooter games, and the tournaments from the two most popular e-sport football games. You can also place bets on the most obscure game events. Do you remember Sonic the blue hedgehog? You can now bet on whether he wins the race. Yes, a real-money bet.
22betglobal’s affiliate program boasts over 200+ payment systems which makes it so much easier to advertise. With thousands of live events happening every day, it’s not difficult to attract new clients. Although each affiliate has to negotiate its own terms and conditions, the full support and quick payouts make this affiliate program worth checking out.
PremierBet is the perfect choice for Tier 3 GEO from African regions. Although the site focuses on all kinds of real-life sporting events, from the most popular football tournaments to water polo, it’s also got a small section dedicated to e-football.
As a member of the PremierBet affiliate program, you can earn 30% of the revenue you brought to the platform for the first three months. After that, it comes down to a 10% commission. PremierBet’s affiliate program can pair especially well with a narrow whitelist prepared by Zeropark’s account managers, so don’t be afraid to reach if you choose to try this combination.
Affiliate networks with gaming and e-sports offers
Some affiliate marketers prefer joining affiliate networks and keeping all their campaigns in one place. And that’s perfectly fine, too! You can find the above, as well as other gaming affiliate programs in any of the networks below:
- CPA Kitchen
Most of these options are available in Zeropark’s in-panel marketplace – Deals & Offers tab. Log in to your account, make a top-up if you haven’t, and join an affiliate network with the added benefit (from a longer free trial to a $2k payout bonus – check it out for yourself!).
There are many gaming affiliate programs out there. They are frequently aimed at content creators and webmasters, however, there are also many other affiliate programs that can be suitable for paid traffic. While you might not have expected PC games and the whole gaming industry to be something worth your attention, it’s much bigger than most people think.
To benefit from the rising popularity of the video game industry, you don’t need to be a professional gamer. The e-sports betting niche is perfect for ad exchange platforms and it’s proven to bring continuous profits to Zeropark’s affiliates.
Now that you know what the best gaming affiliate programs are, why not login (or sign up) and take advantage of the upcoming esports tournaments?