Affiliate Marketing with Online Video – By Jake Ludington

by Colleen on October 26, 2012


According to the latest comScore Video Metrix report, U.S. Internet users watched 37.7 billion videos in August 2012. This affinity for video is an amazing opportunity to generate sales and leads from affiliate programs.

As an affiliate, I see less competition with video, in part because creating video is hard. Extra effort has rewards, including less competition in search results and an opportunity for an additional listing on a results page. Video is also shared frequently on social networks.

For my own videos, I focus on affiliate promotions using YouTube as the platform. YouTube is the second largest search engine, with integrated infrastructure for buying PPC ads. YouTube also makes linking offsite easy.

Choosing Your Video Style

After testing several styles, I found the most successful marketing videos have one thing in common – they demonstrate the usefulness of a product in some way. Here are what I find to be the best affiliate video styles.

Product Feature Review – While review implies some sort of impartial evaluation of a product or service, the type of review I have in mind is more of a rundown of features. By highlighting major features and benefits of a product, your video helps viewers make a purchase decision.

How-to Demonstration – People want solutions to problems. The formula for a how-to is pretty simple: Outline the problem; talk about the requirements to achieve the solution; then show the user how to solve the problem.

Shopping Hauls – Haul videos show someone talking about recent purchases, like clothes, household decorations, or groceries. A haul works as an affiliate video because people like seeing things before they buy them.

Creating a Call to Action

Viewing the video is the first step to an affiliate conversion. The next step is getting viewers to click. I strongly recommend reminding viewers to click as part of the video.

The first line of the video description is one place where you should include a link. A significant percentage of viewers will click a link, particularly if you tell them to during the video.

A video overlay ad is the second place to create a call to action (CTA). An overlay ad looks similar to an AdWords ad, with an optional 55×55 image included as well. In my own tests an overlay with an image gets more clicks than one without by at least 2x.

In both cases, make sure the landing page is your own site. Some affiliate programs prohibit direct linking from YouTube. In my own tests a landing page outperforms sending the viewer to an advertiser site.

Buying Video Traffic

To use a call to action overlay on YouTube, you need an active video campaign in AdWords. The campaign doesn’t need to generate impressions or have a specific bid price, but it must be active. Using the minimum video campaign settings in AdWords enables your video CTA.

Now that you have the basics, get out there and start creating your own affiliate videos. Just be sure to test!

Jake Ludington blogs for HasOffers and is the author of Marketing with Online Video.

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