We sat down with Nemanja Lazarevic, the Founder and CEO of Teamwork, a leading marketing agency that specializes in driving traffic, and had a heart-to-heart interview about various engaging topics including their way of work, challenges, the use of artificial intelligence in the industry, and much more! Dive deep with us as we explore the intricate way of work of a traffic giant such as Teamwork.
Nemanja, you are the CEO of Teamwork, one of the biggest and most popular marketing agencies in the iGaming industry. What inspired you to launch Teamwork, and is this your first experience in the iGaming realm?
I have been in the iGaming industry since 2008, starting off as a content writer and later on working as a Content Manager and Head of Content for a casino and sports betting affiliate. Before being offered a full-time role by said affiliate, I had quite a few freelance writing gigs and rather than simply abandoning them, I decided to try and find reliable people to take them over.
Those were the beginnings of Teamwork and once I realized there is a huge demand for high-quality iGaming content, I started to recruit more writers and think of ways to grow slowly but steadily. When I realized my own company had a great deal of potential, I quit the full-time job and focused solely on Teamwork.
As an international marketing agency that specializes in driving traffic, you collaborate with companies from all over the world. How do you manage to optimize the content for different countries while simultaneously complying with local rules and regulations, being that each jurisdiction comes with different laws?
We only work with native writers that not only have extensive iGaming experience but also know the local gaming laws inside out, which makes it easier to deliver localized content that fully complies with each jurisdiction our client’s target with their websites.
Our Content Editors also work diligently to ensure the writers follow all client guidelines to the letter including those that concern local gaming laws. For example, when working with one of the leading UK operators, we were given a lengthy list of terms to avoid as per UKGC guidelines.
Teamwork specializes in providing services in 30+ languages, which consequently means that you employ native speakers from all corners of the globe. Aside from English, which languages are mostly requested by your clients, and how do you coordinate such a vast network of international employees?
Some of the popular languages include German, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish and Italian.
It takes a lot of time and effort to find the right people, and managing around 100 freelancers from 30+ markets is no easy task. We have a dedicated team of Content Managers and Content Editors, who communicate with both the clients and writers, ensuring the guidelines and deadlines are met, as well as making sure the quality is always at the highest possible level.
I myself oversee everything to ensure the process runs smoothly, handle the invoices and step in to help whenever needed. We also use the Monday.com work management platform to handle all the tasks and easily keep track of every single client order.
Nemanja, your company’s niche is iGaming, and as such, it covers all types of content related to this industry, including reviews, guides news, etc. In your experience, what content is most popular, i.e. has the most requests at Teamwork? And is there any type of content that is particularly challenging to optimize?
Yes, we have so far covered all sorts of articles. Casino reviews remain the most popular as all affiliate sites need them regardless of the site’s main topic. I guess it also depends on the current industry trends.
A couple of years back, there were a lot of reviews of crypto casinos and games requested, then we had live dealer titles and game shows, followed by NFT articles, and now it’s back to the basics with slot, software and banking reviews.
Fairly recently we helped one of our biggest clients break into the legal US market and besides the usual stuff, we were also commissioned to compile reviews of social casinos and sweepstake casinos. Those were quite challenging to produce and optimize.
Teamwork relies on several proven ways to drive traffic. What are some of the most effective ways you use to drive traffic? Are these tactics universal for each company regardless of where they come from, or do they vary from one geo to another?
Besides helping our clients drive traffic to their sites, we also develop affiliate sites of our own, and those have proved quite successful. We obviously rely on high-quality educational content to build site authority, but also place a lot of emphasis on custom-coded themes, good user experience, endless fact-checks and frequent content updates. The site’s main topic and content strategy are also very important, and we can say these tactics are fairly universal.
If we are creating sites for a single geo or helping a client improve their position in one particular market, then we’ll conduct extensive research into the said market, to ensure we get all the specifics right, such as lingo, player favourites with regards to games, providers, banking methods, and so on. Basically, anything that can help us or our clients gain an extra advantage over the competition.
We are currently in the process of developing the PokieMachines.com site for New Zealand, so this is a topic close to our hearts.
In light of the previous question, in addition to driving traffic, Teamwork also specializes in conducting full-blown site audits free of charge. How important is it for a website to be optimized prior to driving traffic?
As cheesy as it may sound, we do treat our clients’ websites as if they were our own. This means that if we spot something out of the ordinary, whether it is a bonus that has expired, an image with the wrong size or any bug on their site, we’ll make sure to let them know so that they can quickly sort it out.
The free audit basically includes a couple of our experts going through their entire site, covering the website structure, SEO, and content, to name just a few, with the purpose of finding the areas that can be improved and affect the rankings in a positive way.
Google places a lot of emphasis on user experience, and we, too, believe that the website needs to be quick, clean, and perfectly optimized to ensure the visitors keep coming back.
Teamwork collaborates with a diverse selection of iGaming companies, including affiliates, casinos, etc. What type of iGaming companies are your most frequent clients? And is there any difference in the way you conduct your tactics from one vertical to another?
We work with tier-one operators and big and small affiliates, but I’d say mid-level affiliates are probably our most frequent clients. The clients targeting different markets especially appreciate our range of localization services.
Most clients and their websites are different, and we do our best to offer a bespoke service to every single client. We evaluate their websites together, find areas that can be improved and work on a common goal.
Of course, casino and sports betting for example are two completely different verticals, and it wouldn’t make sense to employ the same strategy to both.
It is undeniable that AI is becoming more popular by the day, and as such, is a subject of use for a plethora of companies from various industries, especially in iGaming. Do you feel that AI has a place in your line of work? More importantly, what does employing AI in the long run mean for content writers?
I am not a big fan of AI, but I understand its use where it can help automate some repetitive tasks or decrease the time required to perform certain operations. However, we, as a company, are against using AI to create iGaming articles and pride ourselves on producing 100% human content.
Yes, AI can produce decent articles on some general topics such as Blackjack card counting or Strongest poker hands, but there is no way in hell it is going to do better than our writers with years of experience when we talk about slot reviews or casino reviews, where one needs good research skills and some digging for hard-to-find information.
As more affiliates start using AI content, well-researched human content coming from first-hand experience is going to do even better in SERPs, so I don’t really fear that AI is going to take our jobs in the future.
What is more, not a single one of our clients has so far asked us to produce AI content, which goes to say that they feel the same way we do.
Speaking of the future, what expansion plans does Teamwork have for the future? Where do you see Teamwork in 5-10 years from now? Perhaps in another industry, or is iGaming the sole focus of your brand?
We are only interested in sustainable growth and we never wanted to compromise the quality of our service by growing too quickly. We are quite agile and try to adapt to industry trends and new developments, but iGaming is likely to remain our sole focus in years to come.
We’d rather excel in what we are good at than break into other industries and not be able to provide the quality our clients are used to.
We do plan to maybe open a couple of physical offices having been 100% remote from the start, further expand our pool of talented writers and place greater focus on our own affiliate sites.
Lastly, a question on a more personal note. Tell us a bit about yourself Nemanja. What do you do when you are not running your company? Do you have any particular hobbies or interests?
I spend most of my free time with my family. My boy recently turned 2 and I love playing with him and watching him grow. As I do travel fairly frequently, I try to be with him as much as possible when I’m home.
I also enjoy having a beer or occasional BBQ with my friends and a pretty intense 5-a-side football game each Monday.
Running my own company and having a small child, I don’t really have time for any hobbies, but I do enjoy travelling. I prefer to stay clear of the popular tourist attractions and instead explore the city on my own.