Defining a market strategy is key to helping any business grow. For most brands, affiliate marketing can be a hidden gem when it comes to customer outreach.
As a creator, you know the power of affiliate marketing both for your own content and for the brands your partner with — influencer marketing is worth billions. And with affiliate marketing, content can be tailored to be an even more specific outreach method: targeting a niche.
Affiliate marketing niches allow you to concentrate on one segment of your audience to connect them to specific brands. This more precise approach can make for excellent engagement opportunities by appealing to specific interests and the best niches can quickly prove that smaller is better when it comes to marketing.
What are affiliate marketing niches?
A marketing niche, just like any niche, is a specific segment of your audience that you have chosen to market to. The demands of each industry can change drastically depending on the niche.
A niche can be defined by demographic, price range and answering the specific needs of a precise audience, while most marketing niches will look closer at specific demand. For example, while ‘travel’ itself is a suitable niche, you may find looking closer at a particular segment of this audience will lead to more profitable niches and valuable engagement. For example, by age or type (travel for over 50s, backpacking/van life) or by needs ex. flights or travel credit cards. The age demographic holds particular weight with the rise of the millennial consumer, making for a key metric within any chosen brand marketing campaign.
How to choose a niche for affiliate marketing
Finding the best niches comes with its own sort of admin, but carrying out the correct preparation is key to creating a successful affiliate marketing campaign and joining the ranks of the most successful affiliate marketing publishers.
1. Find an interest
The best place to start with affiliate marketing is to look at what skills and knowledge you already have and can confidently share. Targeting an audience niche allows for precise marketing to a carefully selected group, but bear in mind that the more specific the audience, the higher expectations they have for the relevancy of content.
For example, visiting the website of a daily newspaper could come with affiliate marketing opportunities for anything from car insurance to perfume, and given the size of the audience, there is a strong chance both these products will find engagement with a sizable portion of visitors.
Niche affiliate marketing is something of the opposite to that. Rather than appealing to a broad audience with an equally broad selection of products, you can choose an audience segment. Therefore, the marketing links must match the interests of this segment in a way that offers real value both to visitors and to the credibility of the page itself. Advertising car insurance on a beauty site will likely miss the mark, but perfume would have a much better chance of capitalizing on their interests. As a creator new to niche marketing, it’s always best to stick to what you know so you can better understand the audience you’re trying to connect with.
If you have an interest in art, for example, that could be an excellent place to start. While the obvious choice is to advertise art materials, as someone really knowledgeable you’ll likely find you’re able to create other avenues of engagement as well. This could include ads for travel to a city with a major exhibition you know of, or clothing brands with a recent artist collaboration that you know the community is engaged with.
2. Make sure the numbers support every decision
Research is key to deciding if a niche is worth pursuing. A niche’s topic should be checked not just for its potential to profit but for its ability to get that initial engagement. This is where checking trending lists on social media and other online communities can give a better idea of what audiences are interested in and what sort of products they may be looking for. Of course, if you are engaged in a community yourself (see above) you’ll probably have a good idea of what’s trending already.
Finding a suitable partner is also important. This is where ShareASale’s Merchant Directory is vital, allowing you to explore the possibilities for your niche and the brands you can partner with. It’s also a great way to shape your marketing plan, with ideal partners in mind long before you start generating content. Combining your own interests with ShareASale’s useful resources, as well as smart research is a great formula for success.
3. Check the keywords
Once everything is ready and production can begin, it’s crucial to create content that can a) be found and b) be useful. Keyword research is essential for this and will also serve as an important check into a niche’s actual profitability. For example, if when searching for a topic you find it returns only high competition keywords, there is a good chance any new content will just be lost in the noise. By scanning through the keywords list, new opportunities for lower-competition but well-paying advertising topics may reveal themselves.
For example, perhaps “travel to Venice” had suggested keywords that would be particularly hard to compete with, but the search has revealed that “package tours” is a less competitive term that still offers a great opportunity. This stage of your preparation should give you a good idea of how successful your content will be, so keep flexible because you may need to adapt your content to suit keyword profitability.
Once armed with keywords, content can be fully optimized to a niche audience. Again, this is where your own insight can prove extremely useful, allowing you to use high-value keywords within content that may not be obvious to others. For example, packages to Japan might not mean much to the general sports audience, but it will mean a great deal to badminton fans who know the next championships are being held there.
4. Get creating and keep it updated
Remember to keep your content updated. It often proves effective to create something that is relevant to a specific time period (best travel packages for spring 2022) but make sure to keep it up to date. This way, people who land on your page are always seeing relevant content and will be more likely to stick around and follow your affiliate links.
The trends of your chosen niche will likely also be changing all the time, so your content will need to adapt. This is another reason that working with an affiliate platform like ShareASale is a great way to find new partners and new ways to create content that your audience segment can genuinely value.
Once you have more experience in marketing to a niche, you can start branching out beyond your own interests and let the numbers guide you.
What is the best niche for affiliate marketing?
The best niche for affiliate marketing is, as the above suggests, the one that perfectly align with your own knowledge, as well as keyword value and profitability. Some general areas that are always good to consider for a profitable niche include:
Health and fitness: Health is a multi-trillion dollar industry and content creators have been pivotal to its growth, making this one of the most profitable niches. There is endless opportunity in this field, with new trends arising all the time.
Health and fitness can include exercise, nutrition, vegan lifestyle, healthy cooking, supplements, activewear and more. Essentially, the health and fitness niche will include anything that encourages people to live a healthier life, be that through nutrition, exercise or lifestyle changes and that makes it a prime choice for a wide range of content types. Even within this niche you can further specialize, looking at audiences per sport or by those interested in supplements vs. casual exercisers who might want affordable but stylish activewear.
Family and pet: Including pet grooming, children’s toys, child nutrition and pregnancy. As a more emotive niche, this can prove a useful area for heartfelt content that engages your audience, such as fun owner stories or taking advantage of the growing popularity of pet Instagram accounts.
There is huge potential for content and affiliate opportunities depending on if you deliver light-hearted content or more serious insights to parents/pet owners looking for particular information. This area can also branch out into other niches, like family travel or suitable technology for kids.
Green and eco-friendly living: This is centered around products and services that are ethically/sustainably sourced and/or made. As more people become concerned with the origins and, ultimately, the fate of their products there has become increased demand for traceable origins, reusable items and made-from-recycled options. This may naturally overlap with fitness or beauty so you may need to refine your content to really tap into the eco side of things to champion the offerings of your chosen affiliate brands.
Personal finance: This is an ever-relevant area with constantly changing trends. Whether it’s partnering with brands who can help people in their crypto journey or option for more traditional finance options like insurance and credit cards, this is a great niche for all sorts of content. As with gaming, this may be the best niche for reaching all age ranges. This area is also excellent for content that includes listicles or hacks as people are always looking for financial advice and any products that can help them be better with their money.
Gaming: Across console, PC and smartphones, gaming can appeal to just about every age range, making it a great choice of affiliate marketing niche with a huge variety of marketing opportunities. The gaming niche can cover equipment for streaming, playing or e-sports, as well as other opportunities for mobile-based advertising. You may also find the prevalence of gamification helps you appeal to this niche even if your primary focus is elsewhere.
How can an affiliate network help you find your niche?
Affiliate networks are useful tools which connect creators and publishers with a wealth of brands looking for affiliate partners. Networks have numerous benefits, not just serving as a central place to easily find brands, they also offer a sense of reliability for the brands themselves so they know you’re a serious affiliate armed with the best tools.
ShareASale also lets you track your performance and stay up to date with the best offers so it’s easy to edit and adapt your content to remain successful for you, your audience, and your brand partners.
What are some of the industries and niches available on ShareASale?
ShareASale works with over 21,000 brands across a wide range of industries including:
- Finance & Insurance
- Retail & Shopping
- Telecommunications & Services
- Sports and Fitness
- Accessories and Clothing
- Food and Drink
Connecting with great brands in any niche is made easy with our network. From finding partners, to getting paid, ShareASale helps publishers build meaningful and valuable relationships with some of the world’s leading brands.