Thanks to various restrictions and changes in policies, a lot of content creators are missing out on YouTube Payment Program (YPP). However, you can still earn a small amount of money by adding affiliate links to YouTube and hosting your channel through affiliate marketing.
In the context of videos, affiliate marketing is the act of creating content and strategically placing affiliate links in the video through annotations and vice versa.
In this post, we will share some tips and show you how to successfully use affiliate links on YouTube.
YouTube Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing through YouTube is pretty simple and nearly everyone on this platform is doing it in one way or another. In a nutshell, it is an online business model where someone creates and publishes videos on YouTube with links and some information related to the products or services that are being promoted.
Discover five effective ways you can use to add and promote affiliate links on YouTube without being too obvious and salesy.
1. Video Descriptions
Ask any YouTuber and they will tell you how important video descriptions are. Content creators use this section to summarize the content of the video, mention copyright details, integrate SEO features, and mention website links. YouTubers also use this space to place affiliate links to sponsored content.
You can follow in their footsteps; however, simply copying and pasting links into your description box is not going to work. There are certain practices that you must observe to promote affiliate links.
Search for companies that have affiliate programs. You can find the entire list on ShareASale.com, LinkShare.com, and CJ.com. Once you get approved for the listed companies’ affiliate program, you can start integrating the links within your description box.
Make sure to use link shorteners. Links in their natural state are unappealing to look at and can appear spammy. To deal with this, you can use Bitly or any other similar tool. When sharing such links, keep in mind to create a context by following the links with great CTAs.
The right kind of Call-to-Actions (CTAs) can compel individuals to take the desired course of action. So, if you follow your links with context in the form of CTAs, you will be amazed by the positive hits you get!
YouTube has introduced end cards through which the content creators can redirect their viewers to external platforms or some other YouTube video. However, using it for affiliate purposes is not as easy as it seems.
Since the internet is flooded with irrelevant and spammy content, YouTube has set a high bar for affiliate content allowing only high-quality external sources or such addresses that follow its community guidelines.
If an affiliate source fails to achieve the standard criterion set by YouTube, your video can be removed and your channel can be taken down as a disciplinary action. Furthermore, the practice of integrating affiliate links into the content through cards is not open to everybody. Unfortunately, only such creators that are a member of the YouTube Payment Program can benefit from this strategy.
A comment section is a great place to interact with your followers and build up a fan base. While occasional hate from random people always peeps up, this section will always be better for all the benefits it provides to the content creator. For one, it can be used to promote your affiliate links.
With the comment section, you have to ability to add, delete or edit comments. You can also connect with your subscribers or pin any comment to the top section. These controls provide content creators with the ability to promote affiliate links without being too obvious about them. For instance, you can mention the shortened link within the comments and urge your followers to take the necessary action, i.e. click on the link.
However, you should do so in a clear manner. Just like with the video description section, a link without any supporting content will not generate positive results. So, you need to create a general discussion that revolves around the affiliate content in a way that leaves your viewers asking for suggestions. Once this happens, you can post the affiliate link and you are good to go!
The community tab is another place for content creators to develop a healthy relationship with their followers. With the help of this control, YouTubers can share images, life updates, GIFs, and create useful polls. Since this section is followed by the comments area, content creators can use this opportunity to foster a long-term relationship that is based on a strong connection.
If you grind the right gears, you can also use this to promote affiliate links on YouTube. Simply, create context, create a sense of urgency, and mention your desired link. If you play your cards right, your followers will take the bait and click the links which will allow you to generate a small income.
As of now, YouTube has not restricted the use of affiliate links in the community tab. This means that anybody with affiliate marketing plans can benefit from this strategy.
5. Channel Links
If you did not know already you can add more than ten links under the ‘About’ tab. Use this opportunity to link to your social media profiles, websites, and other landing pages. That said, do not go crazy with the links and add only those that further your cause. Keep the links relevant and make sure that the integrated links provide some kind of benefit to your subscribers.
If you would like to up your efforts, you can use channel trailers and social media profiles. YouTube provides content creators with space to feature trailers at the top section of their homepage. These featured trailers are known to attract attention, so; you can integrate links within the video content or the description box for maximum exposure. You can do the same with your social media profiles.
If you have a small following, you may want to tease your video’s release on Facebook or Twitter. This trick not only builds anticipation but also enables you to promote affiliate links in the brief video description.
A form of digital marketing services, affiliate marketing, or integrating affiliate links is a lucrative opportunity that many YouTubers ignore in a bid to focus more on ad revenue or YPP. However, it is capable of producing impressive results but in order to benefit from this opportunity, one must be aware of all the tips and tricks.
We have mentioned all the right practices that will help you secure your bank account through an appropriately integrated affiliate link. However, just like any other YouTube policy, you should never abuse these practices or try to deceive your subscribers by promoting spammy or faulty links. If Google catches up, you will be in for a massive surprise in the form of account suspension.