YouTube, being the second most popular website, after Google, is an ideal setting for showcasing your artistic abilities. What you may not realize is that it can also help you increase your affiliate revenues.
Affiliate marketing on YouTube is a clever approach to deliver more value to your audience while also earning money.
While YouTube has several built-in options to monetize your content, affiliate marketing allows you to have greater control over the products you promote and get a larger share of the earnings.
Affiliate marketing Youtube style is a bit different from your usual PPC (pay per click) marketing efforts.
Making Youtube videos is free, but it needs a lot more effort than a TikTok or a Facebook ad. Let’s discuss how Youtube affiliate marketing works and how you can make the most of it.
Youtube affiliate marketing basics
YouTube Affiliate Marketing is a sort of affiliate marketing in which the primary channel for content development and delivery is YouTube. Affiliates who use YouTube marketing create videos for their affiliate channel, which are mainly physical product reviews or unboxing videos.
They then proceed to include links to the products in the video’s description. They gain affiliate revenue through their affiliate purchase links if the affiliate marketing technique is successful in bringing in affiliate traffic that buys the product being sold.
Keep in mind that this only works if the product is purchased through the affiliate YouTube channel’s link. A brand’s affiliates can create video ideas or content pieces that positively promote their products as part of an affiliate program.
If the affiliate marketing campaign is successful, the video’s viewers will be eager to buy the goods. Each affiliate is given its affiliate links, and any sales made through it will earn them an affiliate commission, which is normally a tiny fraction of the product price.
Because of the nature of the affiliate game, the majority of affiliate link clicks will come from an affiliate marketing blog or YouTube channel with the most viewers and thus the ability to bring the most traffic to the brand’s product page.
Most firms are more than eager to create an affiliate program and actively look to provide a channel for affiliate marketers because affiliate sales through video marketing are only rewarded when actual purchases are made via affiliate links.
What types of Youtube videos should you use in your affiliate program?
Youtube videos are a major element when it comes to marketing on the platform. They can greatly vary in length, format, content, etc. Creating videos that are engaging is the most important thing you can do, as all other tips are made with that presumption.
Affiliate marketing videos are usually a specific type on each channel, and while this varies from one to the next, you can always start with a format you’re comfortable with and either continue with it or broaden out as your channel grows.
There are a lot of Youtube affiliate marketing operations that use the unpacking video format for several reasons. It’s an easy type of video to make, especially if you have a spare product lying around. This allows you to quickly pump out content that will feed the Youtube algorithm.
Also, if you offer a high-quality product, you will be able to better convince your audience that what you get in the package has more value than they potentially pay for.
Once people get interested in a certain product, they love to see it being unpacked, as it emulates the experience of purchasing one. Whether that results in a sale or conversion on your behalf depends of course on the quality of the video, the product itself, and many more factors.
You should always put your affiliate links in your unpacking video descriptions and point to them somewhere in the video. Data shows that even a small effort like that drastically increases engagement and clicks.
Step-by-step tutorial videos
This is one of the Youtube affiliate marketing staples. Otherwise known as how-to videos, these are usually a bit lengthier than their unboxing video counterparts. However, this type of Youtube video keeps the viewer’s attention for longer, which is great for ad revenue as well as for selling your product.
The customer will feel like he/she already knows how to use the product, and is more likely to click your affiliate link. Keep in mind though that the part of the target audience will already own the product.
These how-to videos also have a small drawback, in the sense that the Youtube video itself must be of very high quality, as no one wants to listen to a boring, 30-minute long tutorial.
Daily routine videos
For certain niches, daily routine videos are a gold mine. Not too long ago there was a flood of daily routine videos featuring thousands of wellness, mental health, make-up, and other beauty products.
They perform well when it comes to convincing your target audience that they need the product to look good. It’s also a good opportunity to promote supplements, foods and beverages (typically for breakfast as a part of the morning routine), and even some fitness products.
Unlike tutorial videos, daily routine videos should be as natural as possible to make them more believable. A lot of editing and touching up might have a detrimental effect on your video content in these niches, so try to put your links, for example, Amazon affiliate links in your video description.
One way to expand an affiliate marketing program and reach a wide audience is to make comparison videos. In a similar fashion to the review videos, you will have to go into great detail about a service or an offer. But, now they are other Youtube affiliate marketers’ products, not only yours.
If you want to compare your product with the competitor’s products in your video content, you’ll have the opportunity to pull some traffic towards your Youtube affiliate marketing operation. This is always a good thing in the affiliate marketing business.
Your goal should be to convince the general public that your service/product is the better one, and point them to your online store or affiliate links.
Product review videos
In many ways, these might look like unboxing videos, but there are a few differences. In contrast to the more natural pacing and look of the unboxing videos, product review videos need to be more dynamic.
The fast and straight-to-the-point approach works best, as your goal should be to captivate the audience before they lose interest. It’s also better for the Youtube algorithm, as it currently prefers shorter videos, according to some testing (what happens is a well-kept secret).
However, product review videos require skill and experience to pull off. Also, your public image and reputation play a huge role so if you’re starting from scratch, it might be better to consider other types of Youtube videos.
Another way to get a ton of conversions is to sponsor popular Youtubers and Youtube celebrities. This is an especially good option if you don’t have a popular Youtube channel or can’t pump out a ton of quality content.
All you have to do is approach a Youtuber that makes Youtube videos related to your offer and pay them to create a video for you, that they will post on their Youtube channel. That way, you get their subscriber base and their traffic, as well as a quality ad.
This way of marketing is still relatively fresh. It first spawned during the era of the “Youtube Adpocalypse” when Youtube was forced to change its advertising rules and demonetized a large chunk of Youtube channels. Many then predicted Youtube’s death as a marketing platform, however, it’s still here and profitable as ever.
The best places for your affiliate links
One of the most important things for any affiliate marketer is the humble affiliate link. Once someone clicks on it (or buys the product, depending on your deal) you earn money. Of what use is your youtube channel if it doesn’t make conversions?
The placement of said links can make a difference between a profitable and a bad Youtube affiliate marketing campaign. Therefore, learning where to display them is essential.
Along with tags that help your videos be visible in the second largest search engine, affiliate links are what you find in all descriptions. It’s hard to think of a successful Youtube affiliate that doesn’t put the link into the description as there’s hardly a more natural place for an affiliate link.
Just make sure to shorten your links to make them more appealing and less scary. You can also use the video description for SEO purposes, to give more context, and add a call to action.
Links in the “About Us” section of your channel
If you have a web page, landing page, or any other type of page, you can put it in this tab. Otherwise known as channel links, those become visible only when a person dives deeper into your Youtube channel.
Make sure that everything looks good and professional, on par with other big YouTubers. In your affiliate videos, make sure to remind people to visit your channel, subscribe, check out other engaging video content, and more.
These affiliate links can bring you a lot of organic traffic over time, boosting your passive income. They do wonders for most affiliate networks.
The platform gives you the power to pin and highlight comments, and you can use this to your advantage. Top comment is a great place for affiliate links, as those who like to comment and engage with other users are guaranteed to see it once they scroll down.
If your videos have a ton of views, there are going to be a lot of comments, even if 1 in 100 viewers leave one. It costs you nothing, and it can result in more conversions overall.
The major goal of the community tab is to assist Youtubers (and affiliates) in interacting with their audience and building relationships with their fans. You can add your links to the community, and with the right context, it can even seem relatively natural.
However, this isn’t a place to spam, so try avoiding it if possible.
Use Google Analytics to track your progress
One of the main, natural needs of every affiliate marketer is to track progress. Information is everything in this business, and if you want a big and successful affiliate network you will have to base every single decision on data.
One way to see all the important metrics like clicks, subscriptions, engagement, performance, and millions of other important metrics is to utilize Google Analytics too. Knowing your target audience and their habits can help you adapt your videos, expand your reach, and transform your channel into a huge one.
Google Analytics is also free, at least up to a point. If you’re a small or medium-sized business, you can make use of the free version of Google Analytics. However large enterprises may have little use of it and want a paid version that has much more features.
A good thumbnail is worth the effort
A thumbnail, the graphic displayed before a video begins to play, plays a significant part in making your video attract views. Consider YouTube thumbnails to be the front cover of a book.
If the cover isn’t appealing, no one will read the content inside, no matter how good it is. However, if you can create a cover that stands out on a crowded bookshelf, you’ll be one step closer to being a bestseller.
Investigate your competition to determine which thumbnails are vying for your audience’s attention. If your niche is evergreen, make sure you update your YouTube thumbnails regularly. To demonstrate that your material is still relevant include the current year in your image.
SEO is important too
Because affiliate marketing is based on the number of sales you can earn, it’s in your best interest to get as many people to watch your YouTube video as possible. This entails tweaking your video for SEO so that it appears higher in search results.
This is something that keyword research tools can aid you with. A higher-ranking video will inevitably attract more views and, as a result, more purchases for the relevant keywords.
Be transparent with your audience
To make sure you avoid any legal trouble coming your way, bans, and demonetizations, make a disclaimer at the beginning of your video or during an ad. Youtube is here for a while so it’s fairly well regulated, making subtle ads harder to pull off sustainably.
Furthermore, local laws may compel content creators to provide an affiliate link disclaimer in the description of their Youtube videos.
Combine multiple platforms
A beautiful thing about a social media platform like Youtube is the way it can work in combination with other platforms. If you have a blog or a website, including your Youtube videos in written content can make it more interactive, fun, and much more attractive for readers.
By combining multiple platforms with youtube you are maximizing your chances of increasing your views on Youtube, your clicks on your blog, traffic on your Facebook, etc.
Post as often as possible
I’ve mentioned the Youtube algorithm a couple of times already, and for a reason. It’s a thing that makes some affiliates millions, while others struggle to break even. Playing into the algorithm is so important, that your channel can be invisible to others if you don’t.
In addition to avoiding curse words, triggering content, and creating shorter and straight-to-the-point videos, you should also try to post as often as possible.
Youtube also has the Youtube Shorts section, similar to the format of TikTok videos, that can be exploited to further promote your channel. If you follow the guidelines your channel can explode overnight, bringing hundreds and thousands of viewers and clicks.
Those were the basics and some advanced tips on how to make your Youtube affiliate marketing program more effective and get more traffic. As an experienced affiliate marketer, I used Youtube several times in my campaigns, or even combined with other platforms.
If you follow the winning formula you can easily earn money and expand your affiliate marketing network. For more Youtube affiliate marketing strategy tips and similar content, check out my blog iAmAttila and my premium affiliate marketing forum iAmAffiliate.
There, you’ll find affiliate marketing guides, reviews, news, industry trends, and more!