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Digital Marketing: COVID & Casinos

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

Casino marketers face digital marketing opportunities as a new report by eMarketer finds that more than 45% of agencies and brand marketers decreased their budgets for paid social media.

How have your casino advertising plans changed since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic? For many of us in the gaming industry, we pulled campaigns back early, canceled or paused new initiatives, or adjusted media types and usage. All of which are reasonable given the uncertainty of the pandemic. According to a new report by eMarketer, more than 45% of agencies and brand marketers decreased their budgets for paid social media. The same report also shows a 47% decrease in display, a 43% reduction in digital video, 41% cutback in linear TV, as well as a 24% decrease in paid search engine marketing.

What does this mean for those in the casino industry as properties begin the process of reopening? In short, it means opportunity. Casino marketers are in a unique position to purchase unsold digital inventory from nearly every digital marketing medium at substantially lower prices.

Ad prices were obliterated as demand evaporated seemingly overnight.

While advertising prices are quite subjective, a 15% CPM reduction per week in March on Facebook (including Instagram) to nearly 50% at the end of the month is a sure sign that there is prime inventory available. As previously mentioned, other digital marketing mediums witnessed a similar reduction.

Remember that digital advertising can also be seasonal (depending on the keyword, event type, medium, etc.) as many music festivals and other large entertainment events usually occur during the summer months which tend to inflate CPMs. Since the pandemic, many large events have been rescheduled, postponed, or canceled altogether, which provides further potential savings for casino operators enabling more targeted advertising. CPMs are down and are quite low compared to just a few months ago leaving you with the opportunity to reach your intended audiences at a much lower cost.

As the country begins reopening, casino marketers are in a unique position to take advantage of this opportunity. We will all strive to do more with less. But, what if, we are able to do more and get our messaging out more effectively; and dare to say, cheaper? A whopping 29.7% of adults in the U.S. are spending 1-2 hours more per day using social media and 53% of those respondents are women. The opportunity just keeps getting better. Not only can you afford to do more online because of the depressed advertising prices, but your target audience has been stuck at home and has increased their time spent online. 

Our current circumstances will continue to drive down prices as the theory of supply and demand dictates, holding all else equal, low prices when demand is low and supply is high. Expect an increase in prices as more states throughout the country begin reopening and marketers become more eager to their messages out. Take advantage of the favorable prices right now by generating new messaging and targeting them through multiple channels for reinforcement. Digital marketing is fast, efficient, and more affordable than ever - use it to your advantage!


TIP: Negotiate your digital media buy in advance even if your property does not have an opening date as many digital advertising providers are willing to hold space until you are able to advertise.

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