Affiliate marketing is one of the few ways to monetize and generate passive income from YouTube videos.
Being an affiliate gives you the freedom to recommend products without producing or managing anything about it. You don’t own the product or have any role in after-sales.
In this post, I’m going to share the 5 most effective affiliate marketing tactics to help you make more money from Youtube.
The Basics of YouTube Affiliate Marketing
I talk about affiliate marketing a lot, so if you don’t know what it is, read this detailed article.
In a nutshell, it means getting paid in commissions by promoting products that you don’t own. You earn a fixed commission or it could be recurring every month for every sale made using your affiliate link. It depends on the affiliate program you’re joining.
You choose a product that matches your niche and then you promote it using your affiliate link. An affiliate link is simply a tracking link that has a referral tag that registers every sale made using your link.
It tracks the clicks, leads, and sales for you. It’s highly important that you use your affiliate link whenever and wherever you promote a product so that you get paid when someone makes a purchase.
So, where exactly do we put an affiliate link in YouTube videos?
Put the links in the video description.
Just as you would do with another link, for example, your social media profile links you should add affiliate links in the video description:
Mention in the video that you’re adding links in the description. That way your viewers would know they can directly check out whatever you’re promoting by clicking on the link through the description.
Don’t forget to add FTC disclosure. It’s a friendly disclosure that says, “Hey, this is an affiliate link, and I’ll make money if you buy using it. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.”
It helps to build trust within your audience. And trust has a significant impact on your affiliate sales. The more your audience trust, the more eager they’ll be to support you.
Now that you understand the basics of affiliate marketing, its time to discover multiple tactics you can use to generate more affiliate revenue.
Let’s dive right into it.
1. Use Link Cloaking
Link cloaking is one of my favorite tactics. It allows you to protect your affiliate commissions and manage links from a single dashboard.
Cloaked links are easy to remember and read. As a Youtuber when you repurpose your videos into podcasts, you can speak cloaked affiliate links. The best part is, the listeners would be able to understand and remember it.
The link you cloak becomes much shorter and since the link is branded under your domain, people will remember your brand every time they click, hear or write it.
So what is link cloaking?
It is a practice of creating a unique link using your own domain and then creating a redirect through it pointing to an affiliate link.
For example, regular affiliate links look like this:
The link looks ugly, unmemorable, and impossible to remember.
When you cloak the link, it looks like this:
It simply becomes much easier to read and remember.
You can manage and change the affiliate links from one dashboard. It makes it easier to track the clicks and conversion rates.
If there is a change in the affiliate platform or wish to promote a different product then changing the link can be a daunting task when you have a huge channel.
Whenever you feel there is a need to change an affiliate link, you can do so from the plugin dashboard.
Instead of finding and changing links in video descriptions.
It is much more convenient and a huge time saver.
How to practice link cloaking?
If you don’t want or need a website, you can use link shortening services such as bit.ly. But you won’t be able to create branded links and access click reports though.
2. Use Geni.us
Are you an Amazon affiliate?
You’ll absolutely love Geni.us.
You’re losing on potential revenue every month if you aren’t using Geni.us, an intelligent link redirection too.
How does Geni.us work?
Amazon has a unique website for multiple countries. It covers the United States, China, UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, Brazil, India, and Germany as well as 5 other countries.
As an Amazon affiliate, you only get paid for the sales made in the currency you’ve signed up for.
That means if you’re using an affiliate link from a US-based affiliate account and someone from the UK is watching your videos and clicks through your amazon affiliate link, their purchase won’t be counted as an affiliate sale.
Geni.us is is a smart link automation tool that uses Geo-targeting to achieve web page localization. This means a user from the United Kingdom will be redirected to Amazon.co.uk.
Similarly, a user from Canada will be redirected to Amazon.ca.
So, using Geni.us links will help you generate more Amazon affiliate commission with the same effort you’re putting into right now.
Geni.us is a pay as you go service. The pricing starts at $2/month.
It also supports affiliate networks like Skimlinks and Viglink.
If you have a website then Geni.us also has an amazing auto-linking feature for iTunes affiliate, Microsoft, and Walmart affiliate programs.
The best part about Gen.us is it isn’t blocked by Adblockers. Unlike Amazon Onelink, which doesn’t work if a user has Adblocker turned on.
3. Create How-To Videos
How-To Videos are basically educating and teaching people how to do something and help them achieve a certain goal. It could be teaching how to build a new website, or it could be showing how to train a puppy.
But why are the How-to videos, what difference does it makes?
It does make a huge difference for affiliate marketers because these videos are informational, rhetoric, and outperform the regular entertainment content.
When you demonstrate something, you aren’t just informing that a particular product or service exists. Instead, you’re laying down the exact way a person who’s watching your video can get the desired outcome.
That’s highly persuasive and it gets a reaction out of “Hot-Buyers”, precisely the part of the audience we want to target. The Hot-buyers are the ones who will buy your product without a second thought given that you help them understand the exact purpose of purchasing it.
These are the people who can afford and need your affiliate product.
It could be a review video or a demo video showing how a product helped you do something better and changed your life for good. Talk about a real-life experience. That’s the key to sell more without pushing too hard.
4. Keyword Research
Doing keyword research can transform your Youtube game as a whole. It takes time to do it, and that why most YouTubers don’t bother about it.
Keyword research is basically finding topics to create videos on.
The only thing different from searching it on forums is when you use a keyword research tool, you gather analytical data about the topic.
You have access to search volume, long-tail keywords, competitor videos and country search data.
All of this data really helps you to shape how your next video should be like. Especially when you’re targeting is to generate more affiliate sales.
Your goal is to find low competition and a high-profit keyword. However, it’s a cliche and I would recommend doing something else.
What you should be doing is finding high traffic keywords on product reviews and how-to topics. Which are all high buying intent video content.
Then, you need to find an alternative product to make a counteroffer. Find what products your competitors are using and search for something better. An alternative that’s cheaper yet effective enough to solve your audience’s problems.
That’s when you can stand out and make a brand for your self. Don’t dwell on low traffic video keywords because affiliate marketing is performance-based. You have to get enough traffic to convert into sales.
Getting traffic in millions will result in making you more money even if your conversion-to-sales ratio is below 5%. Which is by the way pretty average.
Your goal is not to be average, but to be unique and prove your authority on your niche.
5. Build an Email List
Let’s get to the most profitable inbound marketing strategy – list building.
To make sure you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket, you need to build an audience on other platforms as well.
So start building an email list, right now. An email audience is the cheapest to acquire and has the highest conversion rate when it comes to both inbound and outbound marketing across every social media.
Having an email list will help you connect with your audience and increase your chances of recurring sales. An email list is an asset. It’s both highly monetizable and easily the quickest medium to reach an audience.
The main purpose of an email list is to have the ability to convert prospects into customers. It could be that some people didn’t get what the product is. Or they missed out on a promotional offer. Or they just needed more time to think.
Either way, if you get them to join your mailing list, you’ll have plenty of time to help them through emails. You can educate them and try to pitch them another offer.
People spend significant time going through their emails. This means you’ll have a better chance of selling more affiliate products to people who didn’t buy it at first.
But be careful not to push people too much. Let the viewers know you have an email list and ask them to join it, don’t push it down their throat.
Use a lead magnet to get more people to signup for your list.
According to Google’s Spam policy, if your sole goal is to drive traffic to other websites from Youtube, it will likely be considered as spam violation. Which means, your videos should add tremendous value. There are no if or buts.
How to Find An Affiliate Program To Join?
There are multiple ways to find an affiliate program.
Almost every product, service, company, merchant, or brand has an affiliate program. They might call it partner, ambassador, or referral program. Doesn’t matter, all are the same.
The incentive you receive might be different, and it depends on the program you’re joining. Some might give you free store credits, free access to their services, or free products in return.
You should always join an affiliate program that pays cash in commission. Real money beats online credits and gift cards.
And don’t be hesitant to ask for a review unit. Being a YouTube affiliate marketer, you’ll gain more authority when you start recommending what you’ve used and know about.
A) Use Google Search to Find Individual Affiliate Programs
Search any of the followings on Google:
- Product Name affiliate program
- Brand Name affiliate program
- Merchant Name partner program
- Company Name ambassador program
Make sure to change Product, Brand, Merchant, and Company Name with the real names.
B) Join An Affiliate Marketplace
There are many affiliate marketplaces you can join hundreds of affiliate programs. All in one place to track your earnings and manage the affiliate links, campaigns, ads, and payments.
Some of the most popular and highly successful affiliate market places are:
If you’re planning to join multiple affiliate programs & marketplaces, try myDash. It’s a tool that allows you to track all your affiliate earnings from one dashboard.
The best thing time to start YouTube affiliate marketing is now. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be practicing it with YouTube Ads.
Doing so will allow you to build multiple income streams. So, when for example, your Ad revenue goes down, you’ll have less to worry about.
What are your thoughts on being a YouTuber and affiliate marketing?