Troy Paul: micro-influencers are the future for sports betting marketing

In a chat with SBC Leaders, we sat down with Troy Paul, SGG Media President and Co-Founder, to discuss how his up-and-coming company has disrupted the traditional affiliate marketing space by harnessing the power of social media.

Utilising a network of over a thousand “micro-influencers”, SGG Media is able to deliver relevant content and advertising to fans of individual sports, leagues and teams, allowing them to provide highly-focused posts that are far more likely to generate user engagement. 

With Troy believing this to be the most targeted and cost-effective form of marketing currently available to companies, we picked his brains on the do’s and don’ts of using social media effectively and how the idea behind SGG Media first came about.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! For those that might not know you yet, can you give us your elevator pitch on SGG Media – who are you and what do you do? 

To give you some background on SGG Media – we’re all about social media! We’re the top social media-based marketing company in the sports gambling space. Our brand has partnerships with 1,176 sports content creators with a combined social media following of 24,756,430 followers. 

We’ve been in the space for three years and conduct branding and player acquisition campaigns for our clients. Our vastly experienced team of 17 creates custom graphics, implements campaign design, and distributes to our network of 25 million followers. We have partnerships with FanDuel, DraftKings, Fanatics, BetMGM, Prizepicks, Fliff and a number of others. When it comes to social media marketing, SGG Media has created a turnkey marketing/media team that runs between 20 and 30 campaigns a day. 

At 24 years old, you’ve already made a name for yourself as President of your own company! Can you tell us more about your roots and the journey to creating SGG Media? 

My journey to SGG Media all began during my university years at NYU. As an avid sports fan, I saw how synonymous social media had become with the act of watching my favourite teams. I noticed during NFL RedZone Sundays that my friends were no longer just watching the games – they also all had their phones out and were logged into Twitter and Instagram the entire time. 

Things like injury news, line changes, and score updates were all being viewed instantaneously through social media – which led me to the idea that the future of cost-effective sports marketing was going to come from social media platforms. Once I discovered the magnitude of “micro-influencers” in the sports space, I knew there was a business to be formed connecting B2C companies with sports social media fans. 

What would you say are the biggest mistakes that other companies make when it comes to harnessing the power of social media as a marketing tool?

There’s a lot that goes into utilising social media marketing effectively, but there are definitely two major mistakes that I see other businesses make virtually every week. The first is companies not focusing on the specific niche within their content. The market is already saturated with talented accounts that are regularly posting picks and general sports news, so in my opinion, every company needs to find their own audience and focus the majority of their content around catering for their specific tastes and preferences.

The second is investing too much of their advertising spend on the big-name influencers. The majority of celebrities and ex-athletes charge a significant premium for postings made on their social accounts purely based on the strength of their brand name. Many companies buy into this logic because of the reputation of the influencer they’re advertising with, but in doing so, they overlook the amount of engagement the posts themselves actually receive. As such, they often end up paying 5x-10x the cost of what using a ‘micro influencer’ network would be just to have a name attached to their brand, regardless of its actual impact.

What tips would you offer to those looking to explore the world of social media? Are there any platforms you’d recommend or is it more important to have a range of channels working for you?

I think one of the most important things is to keep an eye on the competition to see what they’re doing and then find ways that you can improve on them. As a first step, I’d recommend doing research into the other successful social media accounts in your field, because discovering things like posting schedules, content ideas and platform distribution is extremely important when you launch your own social media. 

Beyond that, you need to remember that the social media landscape is constantly changing – perhaps more so than in any other medium – and that keeping up with where its heading is really important to long-term success. What worked for you one month may no longer be viable the next month as things like technology and social media habits evolve, so you have to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.

Are micro-influencers the future when it comes to sports and betting marketing or do traditional channels such as affiliation, billboards, TV advertising and so on still have an important role to play?  

In my opinion, micro-influencers are 100% the future when it comes to smart sports and betting marketing. The amount of targeted engagement that a micro-influencer network can generate for the costs associated with it is truly game-changing. It goes back to one of my previous answers – would you rather spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on posts that generate little to no engagement from a big-name influencer’s account or use a targeted network of micro-influencers who can post laser-focused league or team-specific content for a fraction of the cost?

I really think that with the sports gambling industry trending towards profitability becoming a priority, the answer is a total no-brainer. There’s simply no more cost-effective way to advertise currently – and on top of that, I also believe social media will continue to dominate screen time with sports fans for years to come. This gives it the longevity that sports and betting companies are looking for, as finding the marketing platform of tomorrow is even more key than looking for short-term marketing methods today.

You recently received a $2 million cash injection from Astralis Capital and other experienced investors in your previous round of funding – how will this help SGG Media further expand its reach within the sports marketing world?  

Astralis Capital was one of our most significant contributors in our last fundraising round. This capital, along with the expertise they bring in the gaming space, will help SGG Media continue to expand our partnerships with over 1,000 sports content creators and counting – enabling us to provide an even further-reaching network that can supply highly focused sports and betting content to many more fans.

We’re also planning to make a push into podcasting and short form social media video content in the coming months, and now having over $3 million in total funding – this will be important for the continued growth of SGG Media. It’s certainly an exciting period for us and we’re very much looking forward to helping businesses connect with countless more sports fans in the future.