The Riverstar Casino Grand Opening
The Riverstar Casino is an entity of the Chickasaw Nation that opened in March 2018. It is located south of Terral, Oklahoma and just north of the Red River at the Oklahoma-Texas border. The Riverstar offers more than 600 electronic games, a selection of table games, a restaurant, a bar and a small boutique.
Koch Comm was tasked with developing a digital-first marketing approach for the property and utilizing available data and channels to engage audiences digitally, rather than focusing on traditional marketing efforts. Koch Comm’s challenge was to launch a website and digital media efforts while the property was in the midst of construction. Much of the necessary information about the property – including the type of games and promotions – was not available. As a new casino, lead generation was crucial to identify new audiences, recruit patrons to join the loyalty program and distribute information to the public and media. Efforts during the grand opening period included website creation, email automation, social media, paid digital advertising, public relations and overall management of the digital marketing ecosystem. This allowed Koch Comm to leverage multiple channels of information to educate the public, reach target audiences and generate leads before and during the grand opening festivities.
After meeting with the client to gather information and define goals, Koch Comm held several internal brainstorming sessions, relying on team members with different strengths who could identify as many angles, ideas and strategies as possible. A comprehensive digital media launch strategy was developed and, relying on graphic designers and content specialists to research, visualize and cast a creative vision, the Koch Comm team began to design and build the website.
To achieve the client’s goals and establish a unique user experience, several non-competing industry leaders’ websites were considered for inspiration. Everything from the selection of the content management system and mobile responsiveness to the colors used on the site were considered through the lens of a digital-first marketing perspective. Landing pages, calls to action, website content and navigation were all optimized to create a cohesive experience as users would navigate the site entering from social media, paid digital advertising, email and other channels.
Simultaneously, Koch Comm established social media pages for the casino and began to create content focused on reaching known casino gamers in the area, creating brand awareness and distributing timely information about the progress of construction and grand opening details. The social channels were used as both a public relations tool and an opportunity to grow a community of support for the new casino. Through targeted social content to known gamers and the creation of lookalike audiences, Koch Comm was able to drive traffic to the new website when it launched and generate leads for the property before it opened. Koch Comm’s search engine marketing (SEM) efforts were aligned with these same goals and assisted in recruiting employees as well.
About two weeks prior to the grand opening, Koch Comm began an integrated digital campaign which targeted individuals in the area with social ads indicating they had a free play offer available to them. Then, they were directed to provide their information in a mobile-optimized landing page and, upon the casino’s opening, a personalized offer was deployed via email. The incentives sent via email drove potential customers to the property during the grand opening festivities and required recipients to join the loyalty card program to redeem. To measure the success of the campaign, at the grand opening, all offer redemptions were tracked by the casino and reported upon by Koch Comm. The email addresses collected from this campaign, social media lead-generation ads and SEM efforts were all then included as the initial audience in the casino’s ongoing email automation program following the grand opening.
The partnership between Koch Comm and The Riverstar Casino resulted in a successful launch of the website, social channels, paid digital advertising and email automation. Specific successes from the grand opening period included developing a beautiful, mobile-first website that launched on time, creation of multi-channel and replicable lead generation processes, successful dissemination of the casino’s grand opening information, and increased brand awareness and engagement with target audiences in a new market.
Because of Koch Comm’s years of experience in the gaming industry, the full scope of the team members’ knowledge of casino clients was utilized to create a comprehensive digital ecosystem. By establishing goals, benchmarks and expectations in the beginning, Koch Comm was able to show a return on investment and/or ad spend for many efforts and build a website that aligned with the digital strategy. After the grand opening period, digital efforts were realigned with the property’s ongoing and long-term goals, and Koch Comm continues to drive strategy and execution for all of The Riverstar Casino’s digital marketing efforts.
Additional campaign results included:
- Number of impressions attributed to grand opening campaign: 1,866,419
- Number of web visits attributed to grand opening campaign: 44,604
- Number of loyalty card registrations: 6,649