Can affiliates benefit from YouTube advertising?

Many affiliates now regard YouTube with a bit of apprehension, as they don’t really know how to use it as an effective marketing tool to convert customers. You can easily waste a lot of money on video content without seeing any return, if you don’t put a strategy in place first. In our personal lives, we use this channel predominately to learn and be entertained, but how do you get your brand out there to people that want to do the same?

About the users

If we look into the demographic of those using YouTube, it’s pretty varied. However, we are seeing more of a lean towards mobile device access on this channel. This means that your ad and your site really have to be cross platform ready if you don’t want to lose those valuable conversions. 

There’s also a massive opportunity within this platform to reach people based on their search history. YouTube is owned by Google and as such the two platforms work in sync. The ads can be targeted based on prior search terms, with a lower cost per click associated. 

It’s important to think about the user’s intention when it comes to these ads. They have to differ from the psychology of PPC advertising, as they’re not actively searching. While the results are based on their specific search history, that may not be what they want to be served up at that time. A PPC ad might assure the user that out of all the listings, your affiliate site is best, but on YouTube you have to get them interested in the product. 

Understand the headspace of your consumer on these various platforms to get the best ROI. 

Different kinds of YouTube ads

There are different kinds of ads that you can place on YouTube and they each have their own pros and cons. 

TrueView Ads are the most common types on YouTube, with some serious perks for advertisers. Generally, you only pay for these ads should the user watch the entire thing or should they interact with the video. These can be skippable or non-skippable, with the former being much shorter than the latter. Think about the message you want to get across and decide which would be most appropriate. 

Mid roll ads are ones that pop up during a video as an ad break of sorts. Many users find these irritating so they are limited in terms of length. They’re non-skippable as a rule, but must be under 20 seconds. These ads can be cheaper than non-skippable pre rolls, but you have to consider whether they will do the job taking your user away from a video and onto your site. 

Bumper videos are the shortest forms of YouTube advertisements, with just six seconds available to make your mark. These short snappy ads are generally thought of as fairly unobtrusive, so if you feel you can get your message across in that time then they’re not a bad option. 

Creating your campaign

Confusing as it may be, these ads are actually managed through the AdWords platform, not within YouTube. You want to start by uploading your video to your linked YouTube account and then going into the AdWords platform. Use the ‘+ Campaign’ button and select the video option from the drop down. 

From there, you define the video and advertisement type. Bear the time constraints above in mind when you’re setting these up, as the length of your video may prevent you from being able to select this option. 

Select your targeting options, like the location, search terms and demographic. This is a sort of hybrid between the Facebook ad platform and AdWords in terms of style. This takes some exploration and trial when you’re starting out, but it’s well worth familiarising yourself with the platform. 

The analytical data that AdWords will serve up on your ad is fantastically in depth and powerful. Start off your campaign with a smaller budget, work out what works and then ramp it up. Use your budget wisely if you want to get ahead. 

Now that you know the steps involved in YouTube advertising, why not try this out for your affiliate brand? Come to AffiliateFEST for more interesting insights into the world of digital advertising. 

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