YouTube has come a long way from cat videos and “epic fails” compilations – not that those pillars don’t still stand. Further, the point is that Youtube for affiliate marketers is the medium offering a very personal and appealing approach to their content that transcends blog copy and native ads.
Moreover, if you can position your content wisely and build a community around it, YouTube affiliate marketing can become a seriously lucrative revenue.
Affiliate monetization has already been shown to trump Adsense and sponsored video revenue – both of which require tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of views to start making a little money.
What’s more, YouTube is cracking down on monetization guidelines. They’ve raised the barrier to entry: you need a thousand subscribers and four thousand hours of watch time in the past year to even start.
YouTube affiliate marketing, however, does not apply. You can start on day one, for free.
Great, grand, wonderful, you might be saying – but how? Here we go!
Research The Market And Prep Your Content
It’s tempting to dive right in with your first video at the very beginning, especially if you’re passionate about the product/subject area, but without research and planning ahead of time, you’re going in blind. At the very least, you should:
Find Out What Works
Don’t be insecure about checking your competition – In fact, many YouTube affiliate marketing pros will openly agree to the importance of this method. So you don’t have to copy them exactly; there’s no set formula for success on YouTube because every creator has different strengths.
Further, find some influential creators in your niche, take note of how they engage with their audiences and adapt those methods to your own strengths. If your product isn’t popular on YouTube, make it popular by relating it to something that is.
Scope Out Your Audience
The best video in the world is useless without an audience. So just don’t spam comments on irrelevant videos to gain views and subscribers. Take your time.
You want to create your own culture. Answer thoughtfully, drive traffic from other social media channels or ads and always be respectful.
Most importantly, while interacting with your audience, pay close attention to what they like specifically within your niche. This will give you a sense of what to post.
Prepare A Rough Posting Schedule & Topic Map
If you make your YouTube affiliate marketing videos too general, you may quickly run out of ideas for what to post in the future.
Moreover, if you make them too niche, you’ll alienate your audience. Before you record a second, it’s important to divide your content into subtopics, each subtopic can relate to one or more videos.
Where can you get ideas for additional subtopics to map out and post? In fact, I just said it! Interact with your audience and researching what works. With a posting schedule, you won’t have to double back, re-edit, add or take away from content nearly as much because everything is planned and ready to go.
Integrate Your Links Naturally
Alright, that’s all good and fine for brainstorming content and getting started, but what now? How do I get from total newbie to likable and successful YouTube personality? For affiliates, this means seamlessly integrating your links.
Your affiliate link will go into the product description. You want your viewers to see the product description and say “yeah, that makes sense” whether it is before, during, or after their viewing. My point is that the title and content of your video must relate to the link.
If your video is about scooter tricks, and you’re trying to get people to buy hand warmers your YouTube affiliate marketing strategy is creating an awkward disconnect between content and link.
On the other end of the spectrum, though, you don’t want to blast people with generic and aggressively promotional content. A great way to indirectly promote a product is to review it in a fun, lighthearted, yet helpful way.
Likewise, you’ve probably seen “unboxings,” which is great for cool gadgets, tech stuff, and memorabilia, or product comparison videos.
If you’re still focusing on building your community, you can (and probably should) be even more indirect. You can simply offer photography tips, for example, without mentioning your camera more than a quick blurb, and then throw the link to the camera up in the description.
Casual, fun, and helpful. That’s how you get the link to gel.
Help YouTube Help You
Finally, I want you to understand the relationship between you, YouTube, and your affiliate links. YouTube affiliate marketing may be free (sort of), but if you don’t show them, love, their algorithm will toss some shade right back at you.
What I mean by that is, if you sell so hard that everyone clicks off of YouTube at the first sight of your video, you will not be YouTube’s favorite creator.
They want people to stay on YouTube, which is why you need to find a balance of informational and promotional. You shouldn’t be slapping up links under absolutely every video.
Create the culture, engage with your audience, and offer them free information. The more you create, track progress sends adjust, the better business sense you will have. Good luck out there – make me laugh!
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