Affiliate Links Best Practices For YouTube

Welcome to Optimize Your Account, where we’re breaking down what you need to know about social media platforms and MagicLinks to increase your online visibility, maintain authentic communication with brands and your subscribers, and maximize your MagicLinks experience and commissions. Got a topic you want us to cover? Email us!

When YouTube first started in 2005, it was primarily a spot to share silly videos (like my personal fave, Ron Livingston as Keyboard Cat). Soon, though, advertisers, brands, celebrities, and regular people realized they could make SERIOUS bank. Online affiliate programs have existed since 1989, but were popularized by Amazon in 1996. Since then, it’s grown into a multibillion dollar industry, with individual content creators and websites getting paid to recommend products and stores.

When you start trying to make money off of your social media channels, it gets confusing, FAST. Below, we’re breaking down what you need to know to post links, from legal details to getting maximum exposure.

Disclose EVERYTHING

Wherever you post a MagicLinks affiliate link, you MUST disclose the fact that it is an affiliate link. A note posted in a clear, conspicuous place with your links that says something like, “FTC disclosure: This post or video contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through my links” usually suffices as a disclaimer. The full FTC disclosure rules can be found here.

When you upload videos, make sure you check the box marked “Product Placements” in the Monetization tab.

Get Your Channel Verified and Monetized
You’ve probably already done this, but if not, get your channel verified at Youtube.com/verify. Then, fill out your complete profile page and enable both the Monetization and Paid Content options.

Awesome Content and Links ONLY

Viewers know when you’re phoning it in – when you’re just parroting the advertising for a product and not doing an honest, in-depth review. Folks want to know your honest opinions and see detailed reviews that include you using the products you’re linking to, because they don’t want to spend their money on something that’s not worthwhile. Even if you love a product, there’s bound to be something you don’t like about it – so, say so!

Keep your video descriptions succinct and your product links neat ‘n’ tidy. MagicLinks always provides you with a full-length MagicLink and a pre-shortened MagicLink, which is best for posting on social media.

Cross Post Your Links

Did you know you can post MagicLinks on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, blogs, and even Pinterest? Instagram only allows one link in your bio at a time, so change it regularly with your posts and make sure it’s to a product you really love. To add a link on Pinterest, click on “edit” mode for a Pin to add your MagicLink. Again, only one link per pin, so make it count.

Posting your links across all of your channels is the best way to reach as many people as possible – someone might follow you on Instagram, but not YouTube, and vice versa. The content you post with a link should be unique, though, so get creative!

Where In the World Are Your Viewers?

You might be based in Los Angeles, but your viewers could hail from as far away as Zimbabwe. Adding affiliate links to international retailers where you have a lot of followers is always good business sense.

You can access YouTube’s Analytics for your page by logging into YouTube, clicking on Creator Studio, and clicking on Analytics. MagicLinks also offers a Click Maps tab in your Performance Reports page.

Add MagicLinks Right Away

It’s definitely beneficial to go through old videos and add MagicLinks to the descriptions. But, you’ll see the most benefit from adding your MagicLinks at the time you upload a video, to maximize exposure and prolong the life of your affiliate link.

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4 Comments

  • LeAndra June 30, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Thanks!! Great article! Do you have to disclose that it’s an affiliate link on Instagram too?

    Reply
    • Janet Cowan June 30, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Hi LeAndra,

      Yes, you do need to disclose. Instagram allows one link in your bio at a time, and you should always mark it as an affiliate link.

      Best,
      Janet

      Reply
  • Mollye June 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks for the article! If we were sent products to try and review but were not paid for the review, would the paid product placement still apply?

    Reply
    • Janet Cowan July 5, 2017 at 5:33 am

      Hi Mollye!

      You will still need to disclose that you received a free sample, i.e. “I received a free sample of this product.”

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Janet

      Reply

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