Best of YouTube Affiliate Marketing

YouTube Affiliate marketing on this platform is a popular commodity. But is it worth investing in? Let's find out

It should come as a no surprise that more than 90% of adults in the United States watch YouTube at least once a month. Keep in mind that YouTube also has 2 billion users worldwide. The more interesting part is that they watch 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day. No, it’s not a typo, one billion hours!  Marketers see this as a huge potential audience for them to tap into and a significant opportunity to get more YouTube subscribers. So, of course, affiliate marketing on the video-based platform has been gaining traction since last year.

What is YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

Simply put, YouTube affiliate marketing is an online venture where business owners can generate revenue by adding affiliate links for both products and services on the videos that are uploaded. These links are located beneath the video, commonly in the ‘Description’ area or placed within annotations. On a comparison scale, this is very similar to traditional affiliate marketing in terms of how to make money. The only big change is the platform. But even with that, you can still put together product reviews, tutorials. They can link out to a provided affiliate marketing program. Rather than doing it with a campaign, this time you do it with videos. The monetization process is ditto to the original. Uploaders earn commission if a viewer makes a purchase through the given referral link. 

Why Use YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

This is a question on the mind of every marketer nowadays. Why use affiliate marketing for any channel, let alone YouTube? The reality is that today the media is the most effective way to make money and understand the audience. It helps where the target audience spends most of their time. If a big chunk of the target audience spends their hours on YouTube, then it can become a viable channel for affiliate promotions. 

Today, the world is different. Virtually everyone owns a smartphone. So uploading videos is a piece of cake. Even beginners in the field can operate these devices, so we are past the point of needing a specialist or high tech equipment to make YouTube content. Achieving success with any affiliate marketing requires looking for a certain audience and pitching them products to be used on a regular basis. But be careful at the same time, as you do not want your videos to look like mundane versions of TV advertisements. Add value to your video so viewers will watch them without any added incentive. 

How to Make Money With YouTube Affiliate Market?

Successful YouTube marketing is about creating and sharing videos that people wish to see. You can break this down into four steps:

  1. Find a target audience for your channel, there is always a specific audience interested in videos on a particular topic. Meaning the primary goal should be to find a consistent niche where your YouTube channel can operate.
  2. Always add entertainment and opt for making informative videos. This is especially useful when uploading videos for that target audience about that niche.
  3. Look for affiliate products that would interest that target audience
  4. Upload relevant videos relating to your thoughtfully selected affiliate products.

Ensure that you don’t want to fall into a trap that crumbles most affiliate marketers, i.e. trying to promote as many products as possible, regardless of their suitability for your channel’s audience. There is zero sense and benefit in crafting videos that nobody wants to watch. This is not conventional television, you don’t really have to sensationalize an audience on YouTube. Here, each viewer is earned because they can quickly drop your channel move onto somebody else’s video with a click of a mouse.

When analyzing successful YouTube channels, you will always notice a common trend. The videos they share often relate to some topic. More often than not, it’s about specializing in the subject matter of niche videos. All successful YouTubers follow an unwritten rule: make videos about one theme. Of course, you can always diversify the types of videos you upload. For example, educational videos, brand storytelling, and entertainment videos. Ultimately, they should all relate to the same overall theme.

In case you’re wondering, this is not only found on YouTube. The same rule applies to blogs, podcasts, and social posts when targeting an audience wider than just locals and family. You will rarely find social influencers creating content for a general audience. Everyone successful on the platform makes their name and fame targeting a specialist niche.

Types of Videos That Generate Affiliate Revenue

There are endless types, styles, and formats to use for your affiliate videos. There are a number of formats that prove to be successful. Most of these don’t relate themselves perfectly to affiliate marketing, but still there are a number that present the opportunity to promote products and services via an affiliate link. 

Product Review Videos

It’s no secret that single product reviews are an amazing way for a YouTube affiliate to create content: It helps if you actually own the products under review instead of just making a video about them. These types of “product” keywords make for the perfect ton of commercial intent, meaning you can generate revenue from them. This also explains why more than half of YouTube consumers reportedly watch reviews online every single time they make a purchase. Whereas, a similar number of customers are more likely to buy a product that featured in a YouTube product review video. 

Unboxing videos

Unboxing videos have found their popularity soaring in recent years. The content involves creators opening up a package as part of the “review” process. Following that, they share the experience of unraveling a product before the customer’s eyes. This gives off a very personal feel to the video. But many people might be wondering, wouldn’t you need to spend money buying the product to review it? The answer is no, not if you ask nicely. Several companies are willing to give out review copies of a product in return for a “positive” and engaging review. Who in their right minds would refuse a chance to free marketing and being exposed to thousands/millions of viewers. 

Best of Videos

The money maker, the golden egg of YouTube videos. Best of videos are basically visual versions of roundup review blog posts. They work well for almost anyone. The actual value comes from building yourself as an expert on a subject matter so the audience values your opinion. The videos can be monetized with product links in the description bar. That is not all, you can easily do round-up videos on popular niches like best lawn mowers, best sneakers, best keyword research tool and so on, the list never ends. Every one of them has the potential to generate a large amount of affiliate revenue. It all comes down to working with the right affiliate program. Our advice is to make sure everything is set up perfectly in advance. 

Tactics to Improve Your YouTube Affiliate Marketing

YouTube has the second largest search engine on the internet. Until now, it’s only bettered by that of Google. To truly succeed with YouTube affiliate marketing, it becomes a compulsion to ensure that your videos rank in YouTube searches. 

Identify the Best Keywords

Keyword research is essentially the crux of YouTube affiliate marketing. It’s all about identifying the best terms to help viewers find your videos on the video based platform. You can find various tools on the internet that aid in this predicament. Some are totally free, others might be paid. The best ones in our list are Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer, and Google Trends.

When making full use of these tools, ensure that the keywords for your video topics are reasonably popular without being over competitive. They would obviously have to be keywords relevant to the target audience where a suitable video could be created

The best choice here is to use targeted keywords in a video’s title and file name. Further improvement can see you include it in your video description. But hold your horses, remember that both YouTube and Google rebuke keyword stuffing. An instance where you use a keyword too many times, making your description read unnaturally.

Make Videos Not Ads

It’s best to keep in mind that YouTube users do not like ads. So it becomes important to steer away from that direction. People hop on to YouTube for entertainment or to learn. Now, premium users are the only ones exempted of ads, but normal viewers also skip them in a heartbeat. Therefore, it becomes necessary to not make your original content look like a longer version of pre-roll advertisements. All videos shared on YouTube should provide value to your viewers, even those promoting your affiliate products.

By now, it should be clear that YouTube is a platform receptive to adding links around your videos. Particularly in the video descriptions. In this sense, YouTube is easier to work with other applications like Instagram or TikTok. It should be the ultimate goal to take advantage of this and add affiliate links in the right places when required

Eye-Catching Thumbnails

Click-through rates have a critical impact on YouTube search rankings. But users are far more likely to select a post that will truly interest them. The more attractive a video thumbnail and intriguing video title is, the higher your click-thru rate is likely to be. 

Pros and Cons of YouTube Affiliate Marketing


  • Large Audience: YouTube’s traffic is never ending. There are billions of people across the world who are watching millions of videos on every topic under the sun. 
  • Immense Growth: YouTube’s revenue has increased from an estimated $1 billion in 2012 to $15 billion in 2020. Prominent YouTubers tend to get more views-per-day than mainstream TV channels.
  • Lower competition: Unlike the huge world of web, there’s not a lot of competition outside of a few niches, namely gaming, tech and beauty. There is still an abundance of space for people to operate in most niches and build a massive following.


  • Video Creation: Do not give into the freelancing trap and think you can just hire a $10 writer and build a bunch of pages. You actually have to generate interest, create compelling videos to get any viewers. It doesn’t help that most people are camera shy.
  • You Don’t Own the Platform: Be careful of a ban. It can result in your channel being deleted, along with everything you uploaded. You only ever ‘rent’ your channel from YouTube. This isn’t an issue you experience with “independent” sites.
  • Niche-specific challenges: Nowadays, it’s quite easy to create content for the “tech how-to” niche, like the popular “how to install Windows” You just need a screencasting software and a microphone. For niches like DIY plumbing, you would need to invest a lot more time and effort.

So, there you have it, all the important elements of YouTube affiliate marketing and how it impacts the world of visuals. Feel free to reach out and comment in case of any query, we will be sure to respond. 

Featured Image: Sellfy Blog

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