Roman Sit: "The one with the internet traffic is in charge, not the one with the product"

Affiliates are power.

If you want to know something about affiliate marketing do not hesitate to contact Roman Sit. The founder of Affpeople is an expert in this matter, and in the interview he will demonstrate everything: how you have to work and what you don't have to do, why content rules and how good the CIS people are at partnerships.

First the profit, then the traffic

- Roman, how are you involved in the game?

- I don't play much. The only thing that unites me to gambling is that I like to play cards for money and make bets when I watch tennis. I'm from the world of classic affiliate marketing: I entered this business as an affiliate almost seven years ago. And before I was dedicated to lead generation for IT companies.

First it was the subsidiary, then we had different teams. At some point I started doing media about affiliate marketing. It was a very successful project, but I got out of it and focused on what I can do best: media strategies, public relations in the classic sense of the word, marketing for affiliate businesses.

- But at the betting conference in Tashkent you were present.

— They called me to tell how an advertising company or an affiliate program or a network can attract more affiliates. Actually, that's my experience. There are companies in my portfolio that are engaged in gambling, but that doesn't mean that I specialize in it.

- Does your company have a very narrow specificity?

- Yes, this is a very segmented market, so much so that many companies in the world do it. The specificity of my work is that I am building bridges between the international market and the CIS market. We help international companies through marketing, content, PR strategies to achieve the desired results in the CIS.

In general, a large number of companies are in business in the CIS, these are some of the largest game providers and direct advertisers. We help such companies to open the dollar and international markets. True, there are no such companies in my portfolio, but indirectly, through affiliate networks, we help them attract affiliates from all over the world.

- How do you have to do public relations? What do you have to do and what not?

— If we are talking about business and not about affiliates and webmasters, the first thing we should do is answer the question "why?". We live in a wonderful, global time. It makes no sense for online companies to focus on certain markets. Because with the right strategy, any business can attract traffic from all over the world. There is no such dependence that affiliates from India can only bring potential customers from India. The team of referees can be in India and generate leads in Uzbekistan or Russia, this happens frequently.

Do Russian affiliates only work in Russia? Absolutely not. 80% go to other points. All of New Zealand, Asia, are processed by Russian affiliates. If you have a product, casino or betting, why not get leads from all over the world? Why not extend your affiliate program not only to the region where you work, but to all regions?

What is worth doing is to start speaking in a language that is understandable to everyone, that is, in English. It is worth paying special attention to this, despite all the obvious. Good localization and good managers will help to achieve significant results.

And it is very important to establish communication channels. We, affiliates and everyone who is engaged in this business, as a rule, understand marketing well. We are not going to perform cheap tricks. I have learned for myself through years of experience that you give benefits first, and then they come to you as an expert. That's what we do: PR and marketing through content, through profit. If the gambling operator knows something that can be useful to his affiliates, if he can give them a little more than money - experience, training, then it's worth doing it in the first place.

- What shouldn't you do?

- Do not think that the affiliates owe you something. Do not think that everyone will run to you if you are willing to give 50% of their revenue. No one is going to run to you.

Many do not understand this, and it is very important: the king is the one who has traffic, and not the one who has the product. You can have the coolest casino in the world, but if you don't have traffic, you don't have money either.

You need to understand that you are not one of those cool ones, and you should not assume that partners owe you something. Give them something good and then this will come to you again.

— Do you think that in the CIS everything is the same: music is asked by those who have traffic?

- I think so. I was contacted by a company from the CIS with a request to establish an affiliate program, which they did not have at all. I said, "Okay, let's see. How much are you willing to pay for the deposit, for registration, what CPA?"They say, "Well, we don't want to pay anything, but we can give a great RevShare." I told you what I will now explain below.

The affiliates you want to attract, are not in a vacuum, do not sit and wait to see your affiliate program. They are already working with someone, they already have traffic, they are monetizing it one way or another. The funnels are set up, the process is underway, the profits are coming in. And that's when it's your turn.

No one knows you, you guarantee a high percentage of RevShare, but no one has tested your offers, does not know what deposits, how much spending is generated internally on average, and therefore it is extremely risky for any affiliate to take the traffic that already generates money and redirect it. And then wait a while on gambling, it may be a few months if we are talking about RevShare, until the whole thing pays off. At least I don't know who is willing to do that. And, of course, I understand the skepticism of these affiliates when they are approached and offered to work with someone for RevShare, for example, or for conditions that do not meet the expectations of affiliation.

Here's something you should notice. Before you start accepting traffic, before people start trusting their money (and traffic is money), you need to create an image of yourself, build a brand. It's a very important thing, what we're doing.

Here you enter the market, and I start Googling, before I trust my money. Where can I read about you? Are there any branches of feedback about you on the industry forums? Did anyone write comments about you? Is there a case study (analysis of individual cases) where some affiliate describes their successful case of working with you? Is there a video about you on YouTube? Have you spoken at any conferences as a speaker? Can you see your stand anywhere, for example? This is the necessary preparatory work. After carrying it out, then it is already possible to direct the dialogue in the right direction. Here we are, we are famous, we pay on time, we have such an envelope, here is the case of stadiums, let's work please.

— Is that why your Affpeople website has a lot of interviews with top business representatives?

- That's right. It seems to me that we live in a content-centric era, so to speak. People, especially business people, those who earn online, expect and consume content that benefits. We believe that this is the most competent strategy on this day: first you give him profit, gain some experience in the market, and then they turn to you, because they know that you are an expert and trust more. I mean, ideologically speaking about it. In practical terms, basically, when you create content, when you have good articles, podcasts, videos, tutorials, that in itself also generates traffic.

Here let's imagine that there is an affiliate program that has nothing but common words on the website: "we give big bets", "unique conditions", etc. And there is a second affiliate program that has, for example, a training course on Facebook that is perfectly indexed. People search on Google, come to the site of this affiliate program, and there is an interesting blog where they analyze different interesting cases, and it is also indexed by itself. This content can be posted on industrial forums, broadcast through social networks, which in itself attracts people. Most people will probably be on the website that generates the most content.

- Content is king as you like to say...

- Yes, these are the words of Bill Gates. An essay he wrote in 1997 said that the future is in content, that we are entering an era where everyone has access to that content and is free to choose it. That's why I think so.

The interviews we publish are also part of the PR strategy. I think a lot of people underestimate it, because it's so easy to say what you have to say for your audience. This is direct communication, the word SEO calls it. No wonder this format is so popular in large corporations. I remember that when I worked at a large marketing company, we turned to SEO. Sometimes it seemed like a very banal thing, but in reality it is very important to be on the same wavelength, to understand what is happening in the company.

Sometimes, when we start working with a client, we first form his message outward. What do you have to say to potential customers? Sometimes the values that a supervisor can convey say much more than the template words on websites about higher payments, exclusive terms, etc. Honesty and transparency are somehow what companies lack. We still have such that the owners, the leaders try not to be visible.

It is clear that sometimes it is due to something. It's not my decision, I've never owned a casino. But in the international segment, things are different. No one is hiding what is legal, that logic. And it works well. There are Russian companies that are ready to communicate openly with the world. I think they have great potential.

The top affiliates are from the CIS

- I want to get back to affiliate models. For example, at the SBC conference in Kiev, Marcos Oliveira from Clever Advertising said that he is a big fan of the RevShare and considers it the best model. And you said the opposite, it's going to get traffic through it. In foreign markets, is RevShare really in vogue? And in the CIS?

- Yes, of course, many people like this mode of work. It's true and it's fair. Many companies and professionals in their business want to work on RevShare.

Here's the moment: Affiliates are less willing to trust us with their money when we are an unknown brand and just entering this market. They have absolutely no data: there is no way to start a flow and test traffic on the same CPA - in other words, one cannot quickly see what is happening.

So if you come out with a new product, be prepared to give competitive rates to get started. Then, if they have confidence in your product, in the players, in the user experience, your affiliates will gladly, if they like it, move to RevShare. But in my opinion, it's not worth starting with that.

- Is RevShare suitable for a small affiliate project if you have a large and well-known partner company?

— I find it difficult to answer that question. I think from the affiliation side, if it is a small company, the CPA is also preferable. This is a quick turn, quick payouts. How does it all work? It takes money every day to generate traffic. Therefore, when you have more payments, the better. If you have a small team with little financial margin, it is important to establish a flow.

At the conference in Berlin I met three Finns: they have a very large website in the Scandinavian markets with reviews of gambling programs, casinos, etc. They generate all the traffic and only work on RevShare. They are very big in money and very small in personnel, this is generally a Scandinavian business model. I'm looking for this myself, to be honest. We like to inflate the state, especially in the CIS. You often come to some association, there are 150 people working there. I have been in a large number of foreign partners, large in fact, and there often, for example, 14 people work. At the same time, they are more in money about six times than CIS companies. That happens.

— Is it related to process optimization or do people just know how to make the content that reaches the masses?

- Rather optimized. Some things that can be outsourced are outsourced. I also think that the quality of the staff decides: after all, somewhere in Amsterdam they are better than in Tashkent or St. Petersburg. There is simply more general training of specialists, and one person can do the same job that three or even five do.

— At the same time, I came across the opinion that the quality of the content we have is better than those from abroad. Are you okay with that?

- I totally agree. In addition, I think that webmasters and CIS companies dealing with the gaming vertical are the strongest companies in the world with technologies that the Bourgeois do not understand. I can say for sure from my work experience. We are far ahead in terms of developing the monetization of gambling. Sometimes it hurts me that our affiliate programs are not the most popular in the world. I don't know why. We have a lot of things that we do well.

Even in large foreign companies, I know well from the inside, the most important CIS affiliates. Our great and great partners like Alfaleads, for example, offer things that no one else does abroad. There are other projects that I know less about, but they also offer conditions and a level of support that international networks do not offer.

But for some reason, again, I know practically no successful cases of conquering international markets - few companies in the game would have it. Globally there is ClickDealer, it is really one of the largest affiliate programs in the world, and they are from the CIS. There you have it. But I personally do not know examples of these.

- Why?Language?

- Maybe. I will also note that Russian affiliate programs are not particularly interested in foreign clients. This is my consideration based on the fact that, as I said, our websites are the strongest and best. We are very aware of how we have to do it. Therefore, everything works for us, even if it is configured for the domestic market. When a person arrives from Canada who is used to doing everything completely differently, you need to explain how everything works. He also speaks another language.

At one time it was very popular to take out offers on Facebook through Webview applications. The scheme was very common, a lot of money was earned, there was a very high envelope. I was once asked by some guys from Canada to explain how it works. And I just couldn't. Although I speak English fluently. It's not a question of language here, they are very different markets and they work differently.

On the other hand, some simpler things can be done. Only for that you need to prepare the infrastructure. My idea is that if you want to develop a foreign direction, it is advisable to take under this matter a person with a local mentality. Hire a person in Amsterdam, for example. Try to go to India without your man there, it's almost impossible. The same in Russia. Imagine that a company from Australia or Canada wants to develop the Russian direction. They will not succeed if they do not find a man somewhere in Moscow who will simply build everything.

Bet against Medvedev

- Is there more money in Bourges?

- It depends on which side you consider it. If we talk about players, then, of course, in England, France or the USA they put more than in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. In that sense, more money.

And if we talk about affiliates, it's not a fact, just the total volume is more, because there are more people. In the CIS somewhere are 280 million people. And the rest of the world? A person can sit in India, China, Brazil, where there is now a huge boom of affiliate marketing, and some volume generate extra. It's nothing, but just extra money. A good and developed affiliate program, which is translated and maintained in different languages, is a great source of leads and money in itself.

— That is, the conditions for partners are not always better than in the CIS?

- We can often have better conditions. In general, affiliate marketing is organized as follows: if you have good traffic, which pays and brings money, you will be given good conditions. Maybe not from the very beginning, but sooner or later they will give them everywhere, and in Russia, and in America, and in India, if you have good traffic and know how to work with it.

— And finally, our favorite: how should we treat gambling?

- In my opinion, purely as entertainment. That's what I think. I never have the ambition to earn something, to get richer, that's why I'm in favor of legalization and clear regulation. So that people who have an addiction can somehow, through official institutions and channels, overcome it on their own. I play cards and bet on tennis exclusively for fun. With the bet, I find it more interesting to watch the match. It is even more interesting to get together with friends at the table and spend two or three hours in the company of men, talk. Hobby, entertainment, nothing more.

— What do you usually bet on: men's tennis?

- Man, of course. I'm not an expert and I'm betting wrong. I'm not analyzing anything, but betting on the players I like. Or vice versa, I often bet against strong players. I don't like Medvedev, and in certain matches I'm betting against him. It's more interesting for me to watch the match.