Affiliate marketers: how to research your audience like a pro

A niche approach and a deep understanding of your buyer help you offer the right products with the right messages.

It’s a simple fact: Affiliate marketers that don’t take a keen interest in market research will get outflanked by those that do.

With so many e-commerce providers competing for attention, it’s crucial you grab onto every competitive advantage possible. To optimize your revenue and profitability, take research as seriously as you do other aspects of your business.

The following is a look at several key strategies and tips to assist you in researching your audience like a pro.

Evaluate Keyword Opportunities

Customers that make purchases online typically begin their journey through a search engine; Google in particular. Thus, your starting point for research is determining the specific keywords that your primary audience is entering in their searches.

Before you build landing pages for your products, you should know the keywords you believe people will enter to arrive on each page. The Google Keyword Planner Tool is a great place to begin your keyword research. Enter terms that you want to assess and get results on estimated monthly searches and potential competition for traffic. Moz recently discussed how to succeed in using the Keyword Planner by understanding the results provided.

Niche Makes Sense

The more specific you get in creating landing pages the more attention you will attract from audiences. Rather than having a page that offers products in a broad category, for instance, a more niche approach is to create a page for each individual product or line. This approach allows you to tailor your content and message to individual buyers.

There are a lot of resources to gain insights on prospects interested in particular products. Profiles provided by clients of third-party affiliate programs often include a lot of audience descriptions. These brands have a lot of data on who buys their goods across their affiliate network.

Read industry and marketing publications that discuss particular market segments. These segments often describe micro-segments, or buyer types. Identify a niche that your products benefit the most and that you feel the most comfortable serving. Read more about your buyer type to understand their traits, lifestyle interest, activities, passions and usage patterns.

Explore Product Availability and Competition

Successful affiliate marketing involves more than identifying an audience, though, you also need to research products and competition. Most third-party affiliate programs offer data that speaks to the popularity of particular products and the number of affiliates selling it.

ClickBank, for instance, has a “Gravity Score” that shows you a product’s popularity based on the volume of recent commissions earned by vendors for a given product. If a lot of vendors consistently sell a product and earn commissions, your odds are better than if a product has low volume.

Focus Pays Off

It takes affiliate marketers a lot of time, effort and resources to set up high-quality landing pages that convert in affiliate marketing. To optimize the return on investment, spend time up front evaluating the keywords that drive traffic for products you want to sell. The more focused your audience, the more focused your message and call-to-action.