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Affiliate Spotlight: iBet Directory
In this edition of Affiliate Spotlight, we speak to Lloyd Richman. Lloyd is the CEO & Founder of iBet Directory, a fast-growing directory site.
Since launching in September 2019, iBet has already been nominated for ‘Best Affiliate Product Innovation’ at last year’s SBC Awards. Adding on from this, it was shortlisted for ‘Best Newcomer: Affiliate’ at February’s iGB Affiliate Awards.
Lloyd discusses both of these in the below interview, plus what he thinks sets iBet apart from other iGaming affiliates.
And without further ado, let’s get started.
AffiliateINSIDER: Tell us a bit about your nominations at the iGB Affiliate and SBC Awards. What do you think was the most important thing to help you stand out above your competitors?
Lloyd Richman: “To be honest, both shortlists were a little bit of surprise. We were up against some very well established competitors.
“How did we get there? I think that we have a product which is refreshing. It’s not your typical affiliate website or suppliers directory. We strive to be different and set ourselves apart from everybody else.
“iGaming is a fun industry to work in, so I wanted to reflect that in the brand, layout and general attitude of the website. We try not to be too corporate. What we do try to do is evolve and bend with industry trends – as well as with what visitors are doing on the site.
“We’ve also listened to industry insiders. Their views and suggestions and taken those into account when adding new features. We’re very much of the attitude of: “tell us what you want to see on the website and we’ll build it”. I don’t see many online publications doing that.”
AI: Tell us more about the idea behind iBet Directory?
LR: “I’ve only been in iGaming for the last two-and-a-half years. But before that, I had spent about 10 years in B2B marketing. During that time, I ran similar websites for airports, airlines, military and defence, security and many other industries. I got into gaming thinking that I should probably learn more about the industry, before I even attempt to produce something like that.
“I’ve seen publishing companies try to break markets they know little about. Usually, it doesn’t end well. In fact, I used to work for a publishing company that decided to release a site for gaming – mainly land-based. It died within two years. It was important for me to work on both the B2B and B2C sides and soak up as much knowledge and experience, plus acquiring as many contacts, as I could.
“I noticed a real gap in the market for something like this. However, I really had to think about the niches I could crack. There are many websites that offer certain aspects that are similar to ours. Some do it well, others don’t. I wanted iBet Directory to be slightly different and a one-stop-shop for all iGaming specialists. A digital supermarket for information, if you like.”
AI: Since launching iBet Directory, what are the biggest lessons that you’ve learned?
LR: “I’ve quickly learned who the early adopters are and who the industry followers are.
“I have also learnt that there are companies that spends tons, maybe even hundreds of thousands of pounds to have a stand at exhibitions. But they don’t see the value in spending a small fraction of that to be on our website.
“Meanwhile, there are other companies that don’t spend thousands at exhibitions. However, they can see the benefit of working or advertising with us. It’s bizarre – I’m still trying to learn the mentality behind that.
“I’ve also discovered that affiliate marketing is much harder than it looks. These guys play a huge part in generating revenue for the industry. I think some people totally underestimate how much work actually goes into building and maintaining the brand, credibility and traffic. It’s tough and can take a long time and a lot of persistence to get it right.
“The last thing I’ve learned is just how huge the industry is. We often think of it as tight-knit. But when you stand on the outside and look at the broader picture, it just seems to keep getting bigger. There are still many opportunities, but it’s competitive as hell. That’s why we need to stay on top of our game and make sure that we keep evolving with the industry.”
AI: Has the speed of your growth surprised you? What do you do to remain grounded?
LR: “Yes, it certainly has. we’ve been live for barely six months and to achieve what we have can take some publications years to do. I expected it to be well-received, but the huge growth in such a short timescale has shown me how much the industry needed a platform like ours.
“I remain grounded because I know that no matter how good you think your product is, it’s never the finished article. When you have that mentality in business of: “we’re the best and have the perfect product, so we don’t need to change or do anything differently”, that’s the biggest flaw a company have.
“Someone is always ready to take your place. So, we have to keep thinking outside the box. What’s next? What other pain points can we solve? And how can we strengthen our USP?”