Making money with Affiliate marketing through YouTube is a great way to monetize your channel and bring in some extra revenue.
In this article, we will discuss the basics of Affiliate marketing through YouTube, and how you can get started!
We will also cover some tips on how to improve your results.
Keep reading to learn more!
Youtube Affiliate Marketing
- YouTube is a great platform for affiliate marketing because it is free to use and has a lot of potential leads.
- You can begin your affiliate marketing business on YouTube by creating a channel, customizing it to your needs, and creating quality videos.
- There are several places you can insert your affiliate links, such as in the video description section, comments section, or community forums.
- To create quality videos, start with what you have (e.g., phone camera), invest in some good lighting equipment, have a clear audio recording, and shoot from multiple angles.
- You can create different types of videos such as best of videos, unboxing videos, how-to-video, and product reviews to promote your affiliate products.
- YouTube affiliate marketing vs. blogging
- Why use YouTube for affiliate marketing
- How to begin an affiliate marketing business on YouTube
- Where can you put affiliate program inks?
- How to make quality YouTube videos for beginners
- What types of videos generate the most affiliate revenue?
- How do you get traffic to your videos?
- How to boost the performance of your YouTube affiliate marketing campaigns
- YouTube Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons
- Topics & Questions
YouTube affiliate marketing vs. blogging
If you ask yourself, how does YouTube affiliate marketing differ from a typical affiliate marketing blog? Then there is a little difference. I know most affiliate marketers are into blogging. However, that doesn’t mean YouTube doesn’t have a blog’s potential.
Let’s start from the basics.
What is YouTube affiliate marketing? It is a form of marketing where you create videos related to certain products you are promoting and place an affiliate link in the video description, comments, or community forums. After watching the video, the viewers can click on the link and purchase the product.
On the other hand, blogging is creating written content and regularly publishing it on your blog. The content should be valuable and optimized for search engines. You can then insert the links of the products you promote within the blog post’s body.
V-blogging is different from blogging because you create videos rather than written content. It can be related to documenting your affiliate marketing journey, travel content, or any content requiring regular updates.
Understanding the basics is important since you will need that information when deciding which channel to leverage for affiliate traffic.
Why use YouTube for affiliate marketing
The main reason I would say is that it is FREE! And you will be getting leads without having to pay for ads or invest in expensive SEO tools.
Think about it – YouTube has over 122 million users every day. That means optimizing your content for the keywords that these people are using will make you more likely to attract and lead them down your sales pipeline.
People also like video content. Convincing someone to purchase something via a video is easier than written text. Alternatively, you can employ both strategies to increase your sales.
How to begin an affiliate marketing business on YouTube
In the current digital economy, where almost everybody is shopping on the internet, online businesses have resorted to developing affiliate programs to enhance trust with their target audience, boost credibility, increase sales, and grow their businesses.
You don’t need a lot of capital to start as an affiliate. And since YouTube is free to join and upload videos, you could be on your way to making sales in no time.
So, how do you get started?
If you already know what affiliate marketing is, then you should already have affiliate products to promote. But if not, you will need to read this in-depth guide about affiliate marketing for beginners.
To get started, you will need a channel. Everyone with a Google account has a YouTube channel. You just need to access it and create videos. But since you don’t want to use a personal email, create a new Gmail account and customize it to meet your branding needs.
I will go into detail about the types of videos you can create. For now, just create a YouTube channel, customize the header, give it a cool name, and apply all the necessary settings. If you feel stuck, YouTube has a knowledgeable base with detailed blog posts on how to go about any steps.
Where can you put affiliate program inks?
With your affiliate links ready, where can you insert them to achieve the maximum traffic, leads, and sales? There are several places, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s check them out;
Video description section
If you are fond of YouTube, you must have seen that most affiliate marketers place their links in the video descriptions. They often say something like, “I will leave the product link in the description below…” when they are ready to sign out.
Don’t just leave a link here without giving a little description. Check out how Growth Tribe does it;
They describe a product before dropping a link. Make the viewer understand the product before placing your affiliate link. You can also create a sense of urgency before giving a link.
In the comments
The second place to leave your affiliate links is in the comments section. It’s great since people want to read other viewers’ comments before clicking on the links.
So, when replying to some of the comments, you can include a link to affiliate products that can answer the questions asked.
Remember, if you have a blog, the link will act as a good backlink and hence will increase the overall domain authority.
Any channel has an ‘about us’ section. That could be a good place to leave your affiliate links and tap into YouTube traffic.
Have at most two links since you don’t want to appear a salesy YouTube affiliate marketer.
This could be a good place to insert your affiliate link, but you should use it cautiously to avoid sounding salesy. Ensure the link is related to what you are talking about and adds value to fellow community members.
Other members can easily report the links if you are spamming them. But if it’s valuable, it will act as a good traffic source for you.
How to make quality YouTube videos for beginners
There are different types of videos to create for your YouTube channel. But if you want to beat your competitors and become a go-to channel for viewers in your niche, you will need to create quality videos.
Remember, YouTube favors high-quality videos and ranks them high on search results. And if your videos are on the first page of search results, people will view them and land on your landing page or blog.
So, how are you going to create these types of videos?
Start with what you already have
I have seen a lot of people putting off the idea of starting a YouTube channel because they don’t have a fancy camera, lighting equipment, and other video creation tools.
While all these can come in handy, they are not a must-have. I know a lot of affiliate marketing YouTubers who started with their phone camera and are making significant affiliate sales.
And guess what?
People still view these videos since it solves a problem they had. So, it doesn’t matter if you are using your phone camera; the most important thing is if you are solving a particular problem.
Try some FREE video editing software
Apart from shooting content using your phone camera, you can also leverage free tools on the internet to edit and improve the quality of your videos.
And the good thing is that some video editing software are free. For example, YouTube has free video editing tools on its platform. It may not be as complex as some professional tools, but it can help with light editing.
You can edit long videos and trim out the blank parts, add music tracks from thousands of its sound collections, or add images to create slideshows.
There are other video editing tools such as Inshot with both the free and premium versions. Adobe has a 30-day free trial if you are looking for something fast.
Have a clear audio
Apart from video, the quality of your sound matters. If someone can’t make out what you are saying, then it’s challenging for them to decide and click on your affiliate links.
Your phone microphone might do the work for the start, but sooner than later, since you are doing this as a business, you ought to invest in a quality microphone.
If you search on amazon or some of these online stores, you might be surprised that it doesn’t break the bank. With a few bucks, you will have a quality microphone with increased sound quality and ultimately leads and sales.
Create a small studio space
You can’t just create videos anywhere, can you? You need a small studio space to install good camera lighting and shoot video content. Don’t rely on natural light because it can vary. Invest in your lighting equipment.
You can even use your current workspace and turn it into a small video studio. Most people start with a small ring light and a phone before investing in quality lighting tools and backdrops.
You may ask yourself, “Why do I need a studio space?” Well, it is to maintain consistent video quality. YouTube likes consistency. And since you will be creating videos regularly, maintain a consistent quality to help rank.
You can’t shoot a high-quality video in the studio because of the lighting and upload another low-quality video shot in the open.
Have an outline for your video
In video production, a script comes in handy. Actually, all the movies you watch come from a written script. In fact, you will most likely find out that the movie was first published as a book – for example, the book Harry Potter.
So, you will need a compelling video script to guide what to say, how, and when to say it. It will also save time since sometimes you can forget something.
I know you have a passion for a certain affiliate product and can create a video review faster, but a script will guide you on how to make it more compelling and increase sales.
Use multiple angles
Learning to use multiple video angles can boost video quality and overall success. Maybe one angle is more compelling enough than the other.
The ideal fix in this could have been having multiple cameras, but since we are talking about small-scale video production, taking videos using multiple angles is the way to go.
Have several takes and choose the best in your final video editing. Doing that allows you to speak with your audience – not just to your camera.
Ensure you are well lit on camera
The last most essential thing is to control the lighting and ensure your videos are clear. You can agree with me that nobody loves to see a darker image – it is unprofessional. There are lots of inexpensive light bulbs specially designed for vloggers.
The light source of the most beautiful films is led lighting. It takes up less space (especially compared to softbox sizes). It also controls temperature and the strength of light.
What types of videos generate the most affiliate revenue?
You can create different types of videos to promote your affiliate products. However, some formats proved successful.
While it’s not a must that yours should fit in these types of videos, these formats have successfully generated targeted leads and sales for most affiliates.
Let’s check them out.
Best of videos
This is whereby you give viewers the best product that can solve a specific problem. It can be an online course or an Amazon product.
Check out how Hotel Review gives the best hotels to stay in Toronto on a budget. The video has over 9k views and several comments from people who might have used that video to make a travel decision.
There are links in the video redirecting to your other videos.
You can do the same. It mustn’t necessarily be hotel reviews. You can create the ‘best of video’ in almost any niche you want. Provided you test out various products and gives the best to the viewers.
Most influencers create these types of YouTube videos. They are easy to create and almost often don’t require a video script.
For example, most millennials are sneakers fans. That means they will want to check out what others say about a particular type of sneakers before purchasing them.
For example, when the Nike Air Max 97 came out, this YouTuber reviewed them and got thousands of views.
Suppose you have a huge following on YouTube and other social media channels. In that case, brands will send products and ask you to create an unboxing video and upload it to your social media channels for a fee.
That affiliate marketing strategy will give you credibility, trust, and increase sales since your subscribers already have a relationship with you.
How to videos/ tutorial videos
These types of videos are all over. They were the first few types of videos on YouTube since they involve passing a particular skill, which is most sought after.
So, if you have a particular skill, which you think might add value to a particular audience, create a how-to clip taking the viewer through the experience of doing something. Make it practical rather than giving general tips – as most YouTubers do.
It can be a Facebook ads tutorial, make-up tutorial, games guide, woodworking project, workout guide, or a DIY guide.
Check out this guide on publishing a podcast to apps such as Spotify and Apple podcasts and making money.
If you watch it, you will realize it is basically passing skills and promoting their website link in the description.
You can also create a product review. In fact, this is the easiest way to do YouTube affiliate marketing since most people are already doing it.
You just need to position yourself as an authority in a certain niche and develop a bond with your audience such that they will only purchase products you recommend.
Check out one of the product reviews I did recently;
That was basically me reviewing a product I’m already using and pointing out the problems it can solve for someone new to the product.
And guess what?
From a MarketingDive research in 2018, 85% of millennials considered to be in the consumer age have made a purchase decision after watching.
How do you get traffic to your videos?
Now that you know how to create videos, the types of videos to create, where to insert your affiliate’s links, what’s left?
You are doing all these to get traffic and sales. But how do you attract traffic to your videos on YouTube?
From research and experience in YouTube affiliate marketing, here are some of the most recommended ways to do that;
Here is some advice as you learn how to get traffic; YouTube wants users to stay on the platform long enough until they decide to opt-out.
In that case, if you search for a weight loss diet, YouTube will bring up videos about the topic. Videos will often be ranked based on the number of subscribers, views, length, and many other factors.
Check out these results:
However, after watching one, YouTube will place a related video in line for you to watch. In the end, you could have watched three or four videos and better understood the solution.
Your videos could appear in related videos if not the first in search results. It’s a great way to attract related traffic, which will most likely convert if they find your videos valuable.
YouTube organic search
I think you understand that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Users on the platform watch at least 1 billion hours of content.
That means many target customers are using the platform to search for solutions to their challenges. It can be that they want to learn a particular skill, make a decision, or catch up on the latest trends.
Since they input search queries into the YouTube search bar when browsing, your work is to optimize the written section of your channel for their search queries.
Just undertake in-depth keyword research, understand their keywords, and then use the same keywords on your video titles, descriptions, and tags.
Always ask people to subscribe to your videos. The more subscribers you have, the more video views, clicks, and sales.
When someone subscribes to your YouTube channel, that person is basically liking your videos and would want to be notified whenever you upload a new video.
Besides, anytime he searches for something related to what you have covered in one of your videos, YouTube will include the video in his search results.
So, how will you increase the number of subscribers and generate traffic?
It is all about creating valuable content that the viewers will like. You can also ask people in the introduction and towards the end of the video to subscribe to your channel.
Google organic search
Do you know that Google owns YouTube? That means YouTube has a preference over many other search engines. One of the easiest ways of driving more users to YouTube is to rank them on Google.
It is easy to appear on both Google and YouTube search results if you cover a unique topic. If you optimize for a particular set of keywords, you will rank on not only Google but also YouTube.
Learn to use tools like SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner to research specific keywords before writing video titles or descriptions.
Once you begin ranking on Google, you will get a ton of traffic to your channel and also links in the description.
The last place to attract YouTube traffic is in the recommended videos section. It’s the most desired position on YouTube.
This is when your video appears in the home section of YouTube. That’s when someone hasn’t hit the search bar.
The videos here are based on the user behavior – what he has been searching for on YouTube or Google.
How to boost the performance of your YouTube affiliate marketing campaigns
Would you want to make consistent affiliate income from your YouTube channel? There are a few general practices to consider.
Let’s check them out:
Be transparent with affiliate links
Don’t just promote any product. Remember, the most important aspect in sales is trust. If your subscribers can trust you, they will purchase what you recommend.
Building trust with a new audience is daunting – unless you understand the art of value addition through sharing problem-solving videos.
Since it can take months to build audience trust, don’t destroy it in a second by sharing products that might bring poor results to viewers.
Be wary of the affiliate links you promote on your videos. You can even take time to use the product yourself before recommending it to your viewers.
Use compelling thumbnails
A thumbnail – the image displayed before the videos are played – plays a big part in driving traffic and ranking on your videos.
The images are like the cover of a book. Do you just open the book without reading the cover first? I bet you don’t. The cover will arouse your curiosity and make you open the first few pages or read the whole book.
A compelling book cover will draw in many readers, just like a YouTube video thumbnail. Research some of the best videos related to yours and get thumbnail ideas.
Create YouTube shorts
Recently, YouTube introduced shorts. These are short videos related to a topic and filmed vertically using mobile devices.
If you are a WhatsApp or Instagram user, then you must have used the status update feature once in a while. Well, YouTube shorts are similar to that since they are quick updates on what you are working on, where you are, and the next video you will upload.
Since they are short, users like watching a ton of these. And based on the viewer’s history, your shorts could appear on his list of videos. The end result is that he might land on your channel and subscribe for more videos.
So, don’t fail to utilize the YouTube shorts feature.
Use YouTube analytics to your advantage
YouTube gives you analytics of every video you upload on your channel. These are the number of views, the location where the viewers come from, the time spent watching a video, the devices they are using, and the links they clicked.
With all this data, it becomes easier for you to understand your audience’s interest and create more videos for them. If you find out that video X performed better than video Y, you can just create more content related to what you were talking about in video X.
The hours watched will also determine the level of interest they have in your video content.
Use chapter markers
I bet you didn’t know this, but you can actually divide long videos into chapters. That will help your viewers to jump into the chapter they want.
Rather than going through the whole video and getting bored or stopping the video, the viewer can choose to jump from one chapter to another.
It is a great technique to keep your viewers glued to your videos, increase watch hours, and ultimately rankings on YouTube.
Undertake multi-channel video marketing
Don’t post to YouTube alone. There are other free channels that will allow you to upload videos and tap into some of their traffic.
Social channels are a great way to promote your YouTube channel. If you have an Instagram account, post a short video related to the main video on YouTube and ask your followers to click the link on your bio to watch the full video.
You can do the same on Facebook and TikTok (highly recommended).
Post consistently on your YouTube channel
YouTube likes fresh content to show to its users. That means it will more likely favor a channel that uploads one video per week over one that does it once per month.
The easiest way to enhance consistency in video creation and posting is to have a content plan beforehand. In that, you will know exactly which video to create, when to create it, and what to cover.
Posting consistently will also boost the relationship with your audience. They will keep watching your videos, recommend them to their friends, and purchase the affiliate products you recommend.
YouTube Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons
Ready to begin your YouTube affiliate marketing journey? Here are the pros and cons of that;
- It is free: signing up and getting traffic on YouTube is free. You just need to create a professional channel and high-quality videos.
- Huge audience: YouTube has a massive user base of people all over the world hence harbors your target audience
- Low to medium competition: If you join the platform and niche down to a specific niche, you will easily outrank the competitors by creating more quality videos.
- Easy to build an audience: As long as you offer value-packed videos, subscribers will trickle in. A subscriber will get an email notification anytime you upload a video.
- Easy to undertake SEO: Unlike blogging, you only need to optimize the video title, description, and tags.
- You don’t own the platform: YouTube can decide to shut down your account if you violate their user policy. Shutting the account will mean losing traffic and affiliate sales.
- It takes time to create videos: creating and editing a high-quality video takes time. You will need a script, several takes, and finally, edit out the best parts.
- It’s becoming competitive to rank: More and more people are uploading content to YouTube. The platform is becoming competitive as time passes.
Topics & Questions
Here are some more questions and their answers;
So, if you’re looking for a way to get into affiliate marketing and want to start with a bang, YouTube is the place to be.
With its large user base and potential leads, you could see great success by creating high-quality videos for your channel. And remember, there are many places on YouTube where you can insert your affiliate links; just be sure to do so in a way that doesn’t seem too pushy or salesy.
Are you ready to start experimenting with video content?
If so, follow me on YouTube by subscribing to my channel—I’ll be sharing more tips and advice soon!