YouTube Affiliate Marketing Can Help You Make More Money

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With more than a billion viewers, YouTube has become a popular venue for people who want to earn from money from videos. While hosting ads is still the main source of income for many YouTubers, affiliate marketing is another popular means. Let’s explore how YouTube affiliate marketing works and find how to use it to increase your earnings.

How YouTube affiliate marketing works

Affiliate marketing is a method where one promotes third-party products and earns a commission from their sales. Marketers do this online by directing people to product pages using affiliate links.

With YouTube affiliate marketing, they use their videos to get people to click the links. YouTuber Marques Brownlee displays his affiliate links under his review videos.

youtube affiliate links description

This is different from regular promotions since marketers are not paid for creating the promotion. They instead earn their commission whenever users click the link and make an actual purchase.

Setting up your channel for affiliate marketing

To do affiliate marketing using YouTube, you should first join the YouTube Creator program. While you can proceed without it, signing up for the program has plenty of benefits, including video monetization. This lets you get more income through ads. Being a partner also lets you join YouTube’s Multi-Channel Networks program for marketers.

The site has certain requirements for you to be eligible. You need to first register at least 1000 subscribers and have an accumulated 4000 watch hours in the last 12 months. Once you meet these requirements, the site will review and approve your channel. If you can’t meet those numbers, we suggest at least buying enough views to get you there so that you can start earning with affiliate marketing.

Adding YouTube affiliate linksaffiliate links

When your channel is ready, you can start joining the affiliate programs you like and adding links. There are several places you can add the links:

  • Video descriptions: The most common place to include affiliate links. Viewers can quickly see it under the video and click.
  • Cards end screens: There are several types of cards you can use to include affiliate links within the video itself. They pop up at the end of a video and can include a call to action to click.
  • Comments: Posting affiliate links in the comments section lets you interact with your viewers directly and make the offer to click with them on a more personal basis.
  • About Channel section: You can add up to 14 links in your channel’s About section, giving you enough room to include general affiliate links.

By choosing which place best suits each link, you increase the likelihood that your viewers will spot them and click.

YouTube’s affiliate rules

A point of confusion for starting YouTube affiliate marketers is the site’s stance on the practice. While YouTube allows the posting of links, including affiliates, the site doesn’t have official policies that address affiliates specifically. They are still governed by its general policies about paid promotions, most notably:

  • Commercial use of videos: Section 4D of YouTube’s TOS states that you can’t use your videos to promote third-party businesses without the site’s consent. Becoming a YouTube partner works as a means of getting that consent since they allow you to monetize your content.
  • Proper declaration: According to the site’s Policy Center, you are prohibited from adding misleading links to your videos. By declaring your affiliate links as paid promotions, you inform viewers of their nature and avoid the issue.
  • Spamming: The Policy Center also prohibits the repetitive posting of links. The site’s Community Guidelines will help you determine how often to post your links to avoid them being marked as spam.

Violating the above rules can lead to different penalties. These penalties include the demonetization of all your videos. Specific videos might also be removed, making your affiliate links inaccessible.

Getting people to click on your affiliate links

Getting your viewers to click your affiliate links and make a purchase is the most challenging part of YouTube affiliate marketing. To do that, you have to convince your viewers that the linked products are worth the purchase.

Having the right kind of products to promote for your type of content and audience is a good start. Choose only the brands or companies that relate to your niche since they are the ones your own audience are more likely to engage with. In the case of companies that offer many products, such as Amazon, you can link directly to the relevant ones.

Creating the right videos

When creating affiliate videos, your goal should be to give useful information that will guide viewers in their purchase. Some of the common types of videos to employ are:

  • Unboxings: This is a great way to create initial interest in a product. Unboxings are especially useful when introducing the latest products from your partner brands.
  • Product reviews: Aside from regular product reviews, you can make comparison videos that present your linked product against similar ones available.
  • How-to videos: These videos let you demonstrate the capabilities of the product in actual usage. Choose a project that your viewers are interested in to push them more.
  • “Best products” videos: Creating these videos is a good way to push multiple products to your viewers. It also lets you present your expertise when it comes to such products.

Decide on what kind of videos to make based on what you to emphasize about your linked products. Knowing how to capture your audience’s attention helps make these videos more effective at driving clicks.

Drawing attention to your affiliate link

When adding affiliate links to your videos, think about how useful these links are going to be. Ask yourself whether your audience would want to buy the product right after watching. If it’s the case, adding the links to your video descriptions or within end cards makes them more noticeable and easier to access.

Being creative in directing viewer attention to your links also helps in getting them to notice it. Adding calls to action in your videos is always an effective method. Physically pointing from within the video to where your links are placed is another clever tactic to direct people’s eyes to them. Toy reviewer Emgo316 does both when directing viewers to the stores that offer the figures he reviews.

Spreading your affiliate videos

Promoting your affiliate videos outside of YouTube helps attract more viewers and clicks. The increased engagements also boost your videos’ search rankings, making your links even more discoverable.

Social media is one of the popular ways to spread your YouTube videos. Note that you can also directly share the associated affiliate link in the posts to get more clicks rather than relying on people to watch the whole video. Encourage your followers to share both your video and the included links to increase your reach.

Posting your YouTube videos and affiliate links on other sites related to the products you are promoting also works.  Forums are a particularly good choice since they are frequented by people looking for product information. Don’t just drop your video links in the threads. Engage in conversations with the other members to know what exactly they are looking for. This gives you a better opening to push your affiliate links and get them to click and buy.

Four best YouTube affiliate programs

A great thing about affiliate marketing is that there are a lot of options available. You can freely choose which ones to join based on personal preferences. The programs are also easy to join. Just sign up and you can start getting affiliate links to post on videos. Here are five of the best ones to sign up for.

Amazon Associates programyoutube affiiate program amazon

One of the major attractions of Amazon’s affiliate program is the large selection of products to promote. Marketers from different niches can easily join with the fast approval time. The site also has good commission rates, going up to 10%. The commission applies to all purchases made using the referral link and not just the product you linked to. This increases the income potential, which is why many YouTubers like the program.

eBay Partner Programyoutube affiliate program ebay

eBay’s Partner Program is similar to Amazon’s, you just select the products you want to promote from their catalog and post the links. The program even has link generators, making it easier to insert them in your YouTube content. You can earn as much up to 70% of the total revenue for each transaction, and there are trackers for viewing your earnings.

Shopify Affiliate Programyoutube affiliate program shopify

Shopify’s affiliate program is narrower since their target audience is those who want to build their own eCommerce sites. The program makes up for this with sizable rates. You can earn up to $58 for each successful referral. The company also has various tools to help in your affiliate campaign, including tutorials on how to better promote their products.

youtube affiliate program bluehostBluehost Affiliate Program

Bluehost’s affiliate program is another program that focuses on online businesses. It is easy to join and you can refer anyone that needs web hosting. The company offers a fixed rate of $65 for every referral, and there is no cap on how many you can refer. You also get detailed tracking of your referral traffic for analytics purposes.

Earn more money with YouTube affiliate marketing

YouTube affiliate marketing is a good option for increasing the revenue from your videos, as YouTube themselves won’t pay you enough to really get anywhere. Get the most out of it by:

  • Joining the right affiliate programs: Pick the brands and products that you personally like to make for a more convincing promotion.
  • Creating useful videos: Give your viewers all the information they need to make informed decisions about the products you are offering.
  • Pushing your affiliate links properly: Follow YouTube’s rules when posting affiliate links to ensure that they stay and will be visible to your viewers.

Follow these steps and you will soon get a steady stream of earnings coming from the brands you are affiliated with.

Date: December 13, 2018 / Categories: Explainer, YouTube, / Author: Rich Drees


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