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How to Use YouTube for Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy

Jessica on August 2, 2019

How to Use YouTube for Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth even more.

Video marketing now dominates consumer internet traffic, and YouTube is one of the most effective channels for connecting your business with future customers.

Marketers have found success with YouTube for a few reasons.

First, video is a compelling way to reach audiences and easily share your product. 90% of people say that product videos are helpful in the buying process and 64% are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.

With that being said, YouTube is a great place to share videos because it has a really, really big audience. With 1.8 billion users every month, Youtube is the second most visited website following Google. Like we said…there’s really, really big audience.

The audience is not only big, it is also actively engaged.

Successful YouTubers have been able to connect and foster relationships with fans to the point they become an ever-present fixture like friends and family. These relationships materialize because video articulates a message in ways text cannot. By hearing a tone of voice and seeing expressions, viewers form a genuine connection with YouTubers and 60% of viewers say they would follow their advice for what to buy.

How Does It Work?

You can start incorporating YouTube into your affiliate marketing strategy by partnering with video creators to make content around your product. Then these video creators, affectionately referred to as YouTubers, can share tracking links to your store.

Most tracking links will be shared in the video’s description. If the affiliate is part of the YouTube Partner Program, they will be able to place link directly in the video. Additionally, videos are a great way to share coupon codes with viewers.

Finding YouTube Affiliates

As we said before, YouTube is a powerful channel. But with great power comes great responsibility. In comparison to finding affiliates that use other marketing channels, finding skilled YouTube affiliates requires more research and outreach. You’ll need to seek out affiliates that specialize in video production and are comfortable on camera so that videos come off as both professional and intriguing.

To find the right YouTubers, begin with your mentions. Mentions are a good place to start because you’ll find people who are already talking about your brand and will likely be very receptive to partnering with you. There’s a few tools that can help you track your brand’s mentions; Google Alerts and Awario have been useful for us (Awario even has a filter specifically for YouTube mentions).

You’ll also want to find established YouTubers in your niche market. Even if they are not familiar with your brand specifically, they’ll have expertise and a built-in audience.

One way to find established YouTubers is through organic searches, but it’s important to make your searches specific and narrow. Searching general terms like ‘Top YouTubers’ results in a list of costly influencers who aren’t necessarily experts in this realm.

Instead try using market-specific keywords in your search inquires, and begin compiling a list of YouTubers whose videos frequently appear in the results. This list should be a combination of nano, micro and mid-tier YouTubers that are well-informed and reputable in your market. Hashtags are a useful way for seeking out low-cost, emerging influencers who are not yet at the top of the search results but are producing excellent content.

Take advantage of databases that can connect you with different levels of influencers in a variety of categories. Most of these databases have information about a YouTuber’s subscriber count, views and overall rating so you can calculate the cost of your investment. You can start your search with YouTube’s Creator Services Directory, which features over 200 companies.

Keep in mind where your affiliates and customers are located. For licensing and legal reasons, YouTube’s services vary country to country and it is possible that viewers could be met with a “not available in your country” message when trying to watch an affiliate’s video. The best advice is to evaluate where your customers are and partner with affiliates in that geographical area to ensure your product can be viewed without barriers.

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Creating Content

A lot of variables factor into creating successful content on YouTube, and you’ll want to work closely with affiliates to ensure your business gets the most out of the platform.

To start, you’ll want to be clear with your business’s objectives and goals. Give some background about your company and the details of this specific campaign. Also, be sure to give the affiliate any necessary branding materials - including logos, fonts, colors, keywords, taglines, etc. - to keep the consistency of your brand.

Then, it’s time to focus on the video. As you can imagine, there’s a wide variety of videos on YouTube. These are the types of videos that fit best with the goals of affiliate marketing:

Product Reviews: Affiliates share why they love your product and give an in-depth analysis

How To Tutorials: Customers see firsthand the functionality of the product and how it can work for them

Best Of: The product is displayed alongside competitors, drawing in consumers for being considered one of the best options

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Next, you’ll want to complement the content with a compelling video description. Affiliate tracking links are placed here so it’s crucial that the description drawers viewers in and encourages them to click through to your site.

The affiliate tracking link or coupon code should always be included in the first three lines above the “Show More” button. A good description starts with a brief introduction about the video’s content and features the affiliate tracking link; then continues on with a more in-depth video description that is strategically filled with keywords for SEO.

Start Marketing

Finally, it’s time to let them work! While it’s important to have a strong partnership, you’ll want to give your affiliate room to do their job so they can make content that comes across as natural and genuine instead of manufactured.

Using YouTube for your affiliate program requires a bit of effort - but with a massive, engaged audience, this platform gives your business the means to reach tons of potential customers.