by Mark Kempton, PointsPrizes Founder
Published in Affiliates on 8th May, 2017
With 1 billion users, and 300 hours of video uploaded every minute YouTube is one of the best places for affiliates to promote their referral links.
However, most people don't know how to promote affiliate programs on YouTube. There are a number of things you need to know in order to be effective with your YouTube videos.
Once you get the hang of it you can earn thousands of referral points very easily.
While it is tempting to rush immediately into affiliate videos, doing so is generally a bad idea.
Instead the first series of videos on your channel should define which niches your channel is about. For example, if you want to promote the Playstation niche, then you should make a series of Playstation gameplay or discussion videos.
These videos will give your channel a foundation of keyword relevancy for the niche you ultimately intend to promote:
One additional benefit of this approach is that it also bypasses YouTube's "new channel" penalty. Essentially they know that spammers usually upload just a few videos onto channels. Therefore new, unproven channels receive little or no free promotion from YouTube. Videos sit there orphaned forever and usually receive less than one hundred views in their lifetime.
Also, if you upload an advertising video as your first video, then you can expect it to be deleted very quickly by YouTube's algorithms and moderators. Follow our advice and first prove to YouTube that you're a real channel, with real content.
The next thing to think about is the title, tags and description you use for your videos. These are hugely important since the millions of hours of videos uploaded to YouTube make it impossible for the actual human beings working for YouTube to identify what your videos are about. Therefore they rely very strongly on the keywords you use.
A lot of people get confused about what keywords are. The first thing to know is that, at least in most cases, keywords aren't usually individual words. Instead they tend to be short, descriptive phrases that people search for.
You should use simple two to five letter keywords that are known to be frequently searched. We provide some expertly crafted keyword lists to you whenever you create a custom referral link. For example here are some keywords that we might give you for the Playstation niche - you should list as many as you can:
If you're serious about your channel we also recommend you use a professional keyword research and analytics tool like VidIQ, as that can give a huge boost to your channel.
Generally speaking you should pick a primary keyword that you want to target and use it in the title, tags and description. Then use as many related keywords as you can in the tags list as well.
Thumbnails are incredibly important on YouTube. Often they will determine if your video gets hundreds of thousands views, or gets thrown on the scrap heap with millions of other videos.
We think the best thumbnails are colorful, clear and tantalizing. It definitely pays to use clickbait thumbnails, provided you remain relevant to your video topic.
As well as being keyword rich, your video title should also be similarly appealing. Here's some examples where you can try to inspire curiousity:
When promoting affiliate programs on YouTube you want your referral link to be prominent, so that as many people as possible will click on it. Place it at the very top of your video's description, alongside a short call to action like "Sign up here for free PSN codes":
Also remember that YouTube will only show the first three lines of your video's description. Lines below that are only revealed to the user if they press the "show more" button. This is something that catches out a lot of our affiates. They produce very high quality referral videos and then place the referral links where noone can click on them.
Once you've found the right link placement you should think about targeting. Our referral link generator tool allows you to customize your referral links, so that traffic arrives on a targeted landing page. Visitors that are interested in Playstation codes are much more likely to sign up if they land on a page that is about that specific niche.
Our referral link generator also allows you to use an alias, so that your referral link is more attractive to click on. When users see links with lots of numbers in them they find it more intimidating to click on.
If you're promoting affiliate programs on YouTube you should definitely disclose it since it is required by YouTube.
YouTube have a box you can tick under your video's settings that will allow you to make this disclosure. It's up to you whether you do this or not, but we strongly recommend doing so. We don't believe ticking this box has any substantial effect on your traffic.
YouTube's algorithms look for channels that upload regularly. You should upload at least once per week, without fail, if you want to enjoy masses of free traffic and promotion from YouTube. Like a snowball rolling down a mountainside, the longer you stay consitent, the bigger your traffic will get.
Here's Boogie2988's dog video, which he uploaded while having surgery. As you can see, quality is not that important when it comes to YouTube's consistency algorithm. Just get something - mobile footage of your dog, anything - uploaded each week.
It's not enough just to upload your videos. A page with nothing linking to it is known as an "orphaned" page. Usually these pages get ignored by search engines and bypassed by YouTube's recommended video algorithm.
Therefore you should do some link building for every video you produce. This doesn't have to be a huge amount of work. For example, you could share your video on a few Subreddits, forums and other websites that you find will accept your links. Spend an extra hour to promote every video you upload.
Even a small amount of promotion will do wonders for your video, and ultimately your channel, in the long term - it certainly won't go unnoticed by YouTube!