How to do Affiliate Marketing With YouTube Ads Step by Step.

YouTube Ads is one of the 3 pay per click networks I’ve had some or great success in when it comes to affiliate marketing and today I’m going to be showing you a step by step guide that mimics the way that I set up my ads on YouTube.

how to do affiliate marketing with youtube ads


I’ve been experimenting with this PPC network for a number of months now and have been able to figure out a great way to advertise on it in a way that is both:

  • Financially safe for your wallet.
  • And great for doing affiliate marketing on.

And for anyone who has experience with YouTube ads, there is a 99% chance that you already know about how risky it is to use this network and how stressful it can be on your wallet.

My goal with this guide is to help prevent that and help you make money as an affiliate (or even a product owner).

8 things you’ll my YouTube Ads, affiliate marketing guide:

  1. What YouTube Ads is.
  2. How to use affiliate marketing with YouTube ads correctly.
  3. The pros and cons of using YouTube Ads for affiliate marketing (The major financial risks and how to avoid them).
  4. Case studies on my own personal ads that made and continue to make money (So far, it’s in the $1,000’s and growing).
  5. How to properly select an affiliate promotion to advertise on YouTube Ads.
  6. The 5 things your video needs to have before you even make your first ad.
  7. How to create your first YouTube ad (So it gets views, clicks, makes money and has you spending little on costs).
  8. Plan B: What happens if your ad makes money, doesn’t make money and what to do next.

Here is a preview of how I use YouTube Ads to do affiliate marketing with:

  1. I’ll find an affiliate offer that is either high ticket or recurring.
  2. I’ll create a high quality YouTube video reviewing whatever offer I chose and put the affiliate link in the description.
  3. The video will usually be under 5 minutes (shorter videos in my experience help increase affiliate sale).
  4. I’ll create the ad for the video on YouTube ads and set it up properly with a nice ad text.
  5. I’ll optimize the ad to only show for highly relevant keywords people type into YouTube, so only they see my video ad.
  6. I’ll keep my budget low and CPV (cost per view) low, at under $0.05 so I spend very little on my YouTube Ad.
  7. I’ll make sure my ad appears only for people on desktop computers and exclude mobile, tablets and TV screens (they don’t convert).
  8. I’ll then apply the same standards for the next YouTube ad I do and monitor which one makes a profit.

Before we get started with this YouTube Ads guide, know these 3 things:

I know people are going to have the tenancy and temptation to skip things, so before you even get a chance at making that mistake:

1) Take the time to read, watch and absorb this guide fully.

Believe me, you’re going to want to read all of these sections of the guide (and watch the video I make for this subject) because using YouTube ads will involve you having to risk your own money and the more of this guide you adsorb, the safer your wallet will be. So if you feel like reading this guide drags on, pause your reading/watching, take a break, then come back.

Any pay per click network and using it comes with financial risk, YouTube Ads included and I wrote this guide to help you minimize that risk and get success, so…

If I could take the time to write and make of all this, do me a favor and take the time to read and watch it. It really is for your betterment! 

2) This guide is explained very clearly and simply. 

There are many ways to create ads and set up promotions, but I wrote this guide in a way which is very simple to follow and recreate when you’re ready to make your first ad. I’m going to keep it very simple and this will help you get started with YouTube ads on your own and with the experience you’ll get, it’ll help you rise higher in the PPC world of affiliate marketing in the process.

3) I am not labeling myself a YouTube ad guru but I know a lot about it.

I’ve taken months to learn about this network, spent a lot of my own money and experimented with this place to write this guide for you.

I failed a lot in the process to learn about how to properly succeed with affiliate marketing in it, and while my profit margin is in the $1,000’s so far and slowly climbing, I will never call myself a guru or master at it. 

I have a lot of other success in affiliate marketing, and especially with things like blogging and Bing Ads, but even with those areas of affiliate marketing, I will still never claim guru-ship or anything of that sort.

So while I do encourage you to see this guide as an authority on the subject of YouTube ads, it’s still not a guarantee of success, so ask me questions and seek out other sources of info on this subject too.

So I hope you read all of this because now it’s time to get started:

Video on doing affiliate marketing with YouTube Ads:

Now after you watch this video, I encourage you to continue reading this full guide. When we get to the part about setting up your first YouTube Ad, you should ideally use the steps I give you and this video’s steps on the process to help you make your own.

1) What is YouTube Ads?

It’s an ad network that is part of the YouTube program itself. It allows you to create ads for your offers (including affiliate ones) and market it on YouTube itself to the billion plus users it has. 

YouTube ads has a lot of monetary potential if used right and it is also part of the Google Ads network, but where Google Ads allows you to create ads that show up on the Google search engine, ads you make on YouTube will only show up on the YouTube website.

2) How to use affiliate marketing with YouTube ads correctly:

There’s actually more than one way, and here are a number of viable options you have before you start (I’ll only focus on one which I think is the easiest for beginners):

Email marketing (advanced):

  • You’ll need to have an opt in form and a landing page set up beforehand. 
  • Then you’ll drive traffic to that landing page by making a YouTube video, and then making an ad for that video.
  • The ad will drive views (traffic) to your video and the video will drive traffic to your landing page, which will have people sign up.
  • Once people are signed up, you’ll run them through a list of emails, some of which will contain your affiliate promotion within it.

Out of all the options available, I find this one most difficult and complex, so I will not be talking about it because it will require I also give you a tutorial on email marketing, but know it’s an option.

Landing page offers (intermediate):

  • You will set up a landing page reviewing and promoting an affiliate offer.
  • You’ll make a YouTube video advertising this landing page and then make an ad for that video.
  • The ad will again drive views to the video and the video will drive clicks and visits to your landing page. 
  • The idea is that the more visitors you get to your landing page from the YouTube ad, the more affiliate commissions you’ll make.

This may be a more doable option for beginners, but it will involve being able to write great affiliate reviews that sell. Otherwise the whole promotion may be a waste of money.

Promoting affiliate offers in the YouTube video description (beginner).

  • You will create a YouTube video reviewing what you are promoting an as affiliate.
  • In the description of the video is where you’ll add your affiliate link/s.
  • You’ll then make an ad for this video and drive traffic straight to the video itself.
  • People who click on the affiliate link in your YouTube video and buy from it will make you affiliate commissions.

Of the 3 main options available, this is the easiest and the best one for beginners because the online sales funnel you set up using this involves the least amount of work for yourself and the people who view your video. 

Note: Of the 3 main options, THIS is the one I’ll be focusing this guide on, but you can also use this reference for the other methods above.

Here you’re just directly making YouTube videos and driving ad traffic to it from the YouTube network and all people have to do is buy from the affiliate offer you include in your video’s description, that’s it.

Now to make this really work involves more than one thing, but this is the one I’ve made my profits from in the YouTube Ad, affiliate marketing world and it is the one I’ll be teaching you to do in this step by step guide.

And if done right, this approach can make you money as an affiliate without needing a website or invest additional costs in a website or autoresponder.

3) The pros and cons of using YouTube Ads for affiliate marketing:

If you read my article on doing affiliate marketing through pay per click, you’ll find that just about every PPC network out there has the same pros and cons. With YouTube ads specifically:

Here are the pros:

  • It really is easy to get a lot of extra traffic QUICKLY to your YouTube videos via YouTube ads.
  • This means there is a lot of potential to make affiliate sales.
  • Setting up a YouTube ad is pretty easy (this guide will show you this). Making the YouTube video though is another story.
  • A single successful ad campaign on YouTube ads can basically yield “free money” as long as it keeps making a profit.

But here are the cons:

  • You are more than likely going to see MOST of your YouTube ads NOT make money and fail (even if you’re an expert).
  • It is VERY easy to overspend on the ads you make on YouTube ads. In fact, their own system encourages it.
  • MOST people, including the best advertisers will rarely see successful ads.
  • To make a successful ad requires experience, practice and persistence. The few ads that make money is what you’re chasing. Don’t expect every ad to succeed.

4) My personal case studies with YouTube Ads (How I made $1,000’s in profit):

I started with YouTube ads last year.

As I said earlier, I have a lot of experience with making ads on Google and especially Bing Ads, but YouTube was a whole new world for me and thanks to an affiliate coach I do lessons with, he was able to help me get started properly with this.

Anyway, it took a number of campaigns and testing to really get the kind of correct experience I needed to write this guide for you, but here are a few stats:

  • I set up 18 YouTube ad campaigns over the course of a few months.
  • ALL of them were using the beginner friendly option from above (promoting affiliate stuff in the description of my video).
  • All of those 18 ad campaigns were promoting a program called Wealthy Affiliate.
  • Of those 18 campaigns, I had to pause and even DELETE most of them because they weren’t working.
  • To this day, only 1-2 campaigns are working and profiting little by little.
  • Those 2 campaigns are the ones which brought in the majority of my $1,000’s in profits.

Proof that I made $1,000’s with affiliate sales through YouTube Ads:

If you wanted proof that what I teach you works, this is where I’ll be doing that (and more affiliate income reports of mine can be found here).

One of my most “successful” YouTube ad campaigns involves promoting a video reviewing Wealthy Affiliate. Here is the actual video screenshot with details:

youtube ads campaign promoting wealthy affiliate

In the description of this video, I am sending people directly to Wealthy Affiliate and that affiliate link is coded to let me know that if I make sales from it, I’ll know it’s from this video, and here’s how:

coded affiliate link example

In that screenshot above, notice the red rectangle I outlined and the underlining area which says “YTAd” and obviously it means YouTube ad. This affiliate link ONLY exists for this video I made, and since I have a specific YouTube ad funneling views to it, if a sale is made through this video, they will all be labeled as “YTAd”.

Here is how this YouTube ad campaign earned me: 

youtube ad affiliate marketing case study

$2,210 isn’t bad! But that video honestly sucks and it was one of my first experiments in the world of YouTube ads, so I will be making changes to it soon. 

But wait, what about the ad spending? 

Yes there’s that story too. That $2,210 wasn’t all profit. A chunk of it went into the actual ad spend itself. Here is how much I spent on it:

youtube ads campaign report

So the more accurate story is that I made $2,210 in REVENUE and spent $469.81 on the YouTube ad itself.

So my profit from this affiliate marketing campaign on YouTube ads is: $1,740.19.

Now here’s something that is of extra benefit here:

Because Wealthy Affiliate’s commission structure is RECURRING, that profit number slowly grows every month because every sale I make on this ad, means the person who stays at the program, continues paying, which adds to the profit. So while this report is for several months, the profit margin for this ad can rise well above $2,000 in a span of a few months, easily.

But this is the MAIN successful ad I have to share with you (so far).

What about the other ads you made Vitaliy?

There were a few others who made me sales, but not in the double digit range like the one above, but they basically equated to several $100 extra (and growing since they also promote Wealthy Affiliate and it’s recurring commission structure). 

And once again, while my affiliate profits for YouTube ads specifically are still small, at least in how they compare to my blogging and Bing Ads income reports, I am still growing my income via YouTube Ads, YouTube itself (organically) and via other pay per click networks.

5) What affiliate promotion to advertise on YouTube Ads:

When you’re dealing with affiliate marketing in a way that doesn’t involve using pay per click, you have a lot of leeway to promote pretty much anything.

But once you start diving into the PPC world and start spending, suddenly promoting stuff that pays you very little makes no sense, since you’ll be spending all that extra money on getting traffic, so the choices for what to promote as an affiliate narrows down a lot. 

And you basically have 2 options: High ticket and recurring affiliate offers.

These 2 options are pretty much your only viable choices when it comes to YouTube ads and PPC as a whole.

1) High ticket affiliate offers: 

Promoting stuff that pays you a lot for every commissions makes a lot of sense when you start using YouTube ads, because the more you’ll be paid per sale, means the more you can afford to lose on the ads on you make on YouTube.

For example:

If I promote an item on my YouTube video that pays me $500, and set up an ad on YouTube that costs $0.10 a click, I would have to get a sale once every 5,000 views to break even and that’s A LOT leeway. And considering that you’ll always have a minority of people buy your offers from the videos you make, this is a pretty good set up.

Before you get involved with high ticket affiliate marketing, read this article first, as I show you what you can start promoting and what to avoid promoting, like high ticket schemes.

And if you want ideas on what type of high ticket stuff to promote, here are 10 niches.

2) Recurring affiliate offers:

The Wealthy Affiliate one above is a perfect example. I am counting on the fact that the value of each sale I make equals $170 or more, but that isn’t one time.

It takes months to reach that goal, but that doesn’t change the fact that when I pay for my ad and make a little sale for Wealthy Affiliate at first, at face value, it seems like it’s a bad deal, but down the line, that same sale ADDS up and that is what gives it the profit.

Recurring affiliate offers are everywhere, not just with Wealthy Affiliate and overall, a recurring commission model is VERY healthy not just for YouTube Ads and PPC overall, but for a stable affiliate income.

And this is one of the reasons I engage in this particular promotion when it comes to PPC.

6) 5 things your video needs (before you make a YouTube ad):

Setting up a good YouTube ad is actually pretty easy, but if that were the ONLY factor in making affiliate sales, this tutorial would be much shorter. But as you probably already guessed (or experimented with), it’s not.

The ad is only 1 part of a bigger picture to making money with affiliate marketing via YouTube Ads, but the more important thing is the actual video you are going to be promoting. It is essentially what will convince people to buy your promotion, so THAT needs to your top priority before you even enter into the YouTube ad world. 

So to make sure you get this part right, here are 5 summarized things your YouTube video needs to have before you make the ad for it:

  1. Review a product that you actually love and have experience with (this is going to be your affiliate offer). 
  2. Try to make sure that review promotes a high ticket and/or recurring affiliate offer.
  3. Make a comprehensive and personal review of that product (Show your face!).
  4. Make sure you use call to action phrases like “Link in the description to get the product”.
  5. Offer bonuses for people who get the product to incentivize sales.

As for the length of the video, shorter is better (under 5 minutes if possible, but if necessary, go over). But make sure you have these 5 components in place and they matter A LOT, especially when it comes to YouTube ads, because all the 5 things I told you will increase the odds a sale is made, and considering that you will be spending money on the ad to bring traffic to your YouTube video, the more sales you make, and the less you spend will mean the more profit it makes.

Now if you are a beginner to making YouTube videos, finish this tutorial, but don’t make an ad just yet. Read these following tutorials first beforehand:

Each of these tutorials will offer you extremely detailed and guided information you’re going to need to make this all work, and the other benefit is that even if your ad campaigns don’t work out, you can STILL make money as an affiliate on YouTube, without using their ad system through the tutorials I am including above.

Very important: Before I show you how to make your first YouTube Ad:

Considering you insured yourself by making a good YouTube video of the product you are reviewing and promoting (if you followed part 6 above), in just a short moment, I’ll be showing you how to make your first YouTube Ad. 

The goal with YouTube Ads is to have your ad do the following things:

  1. Be set up to attract TARGETED audiences ONLY (be prepared to get less views, but they will be targeted, so it’s perfect).
  2. To get a high click through (in YouTube Ads case, they are called views, so each view can be considered a click).
  3. To have people click on the affiliate link in your video profile and buy it.
  4. To spend as little as possible for every view (known as cost per via, aka CPV and you should keep it under $0.05).
  5. To have the overall video make more (a lot more hopefully) than you spend. The less CPV you have and the more you make, the more profit there is and the more successful you YouTube ad and affiliate marketing campaign is on it.

In this guide, what I will show you is almost certainly going to ensure you have the first 4 things down properly. But the 5th thing is uncertain, especially in the pay per click world. 

Like I said earlier, EXPECT to not have all your YouTube ads that you set up, make a profit.

They may work well. They make get views and even sales, but to make a profit, let a lone a good one, is RARE and in addition to my own experience with this, every advanced internet marketer I personally know, who also uses YouTube Ads and per click networks for their affiliate marketing projects will tell you the same thing.

  • If any marketer out there tells you they have winning ads, they’re not telling you the whole picture.
  • If any marketer out there tells you their product is easy to sell in the PPC world, it’s a lie.

And I’m going to repeat myself again: 

Most of your YouTube Ads will NOT make a profit.

This is the COLD REALITY of the pay per click world and you have to understand this before you move forward. If you don’t, forget PPC and forget YouTube Ads. It’s not for you.

Furthermore, you WILL be encouraged by YouTube ads to SPEND MORE. Do NOT make this mistake because you will bankrupt yourself. My guide is designed to help you make the right ads, make the right promotional videos and increase the odds of sales, but since there’s no guarantee, you will at least spend VERY little on your ads, and by practicing more and more, you will be able to reach a point where 1 or more video campaigns you set up on YouTube ads will make you money.

It’s a filtering type process with PPC and through my approach, you are protected against over spending, which is the killer of all affiliates practicing PPC.

A personal admission of that cold reality:

Out of the 18 ads I made, only 2 were OK and 1 is making profits little by little as I showed above.

To get to that point, I had to keep testing new videos, running different YouTube ads until I got to a WINNING ONE and now that I have it, I’ll keep it handy, but I’ll keep testing more of them and if I don’t succeed, I’ll go back to the one that was making me something.

That is how PPC really works. And I spent a lot of money realizing this so the lessons I’m giving here will likely not take away from the same lessons you’ll have to learn, BUT you’ll likely spend less than I had to go figure them out, so I’m saving you money here, a lot possibly.

A positive outlook on the cold reality:

I know all these warnings and messages I’m sending a bit grim about YouTube ads, but too often I run into people who naively think that PPC is easy and that they’ll make winning ad after winning ad effortlessly, especially as a beginner.

I’m just trying to save you from learning a harsh lesson (and these other common affiliate marketing mistakes).

YouTube Ads can be AMAZING for affiliate profits and internet marketing, but very often, the most profitable things you can achieve in this world come from hard work and taking your time with it. This network, PPC in general and affiliate marketing IS worth it, but if you go in expecting it to be an easy ride, you’re not going to make it and I want you to succeed.

And even more importantly, this guide has a great plan B which is if your ad doesn’t make a good profit, it can still make you money with organic visits (which is totally fine!).

7) How to create a YouTube ad (correctly for affiliate marketing):

Now it’s time to make your first YouTube ad. I included the video above on this, BUT I also made a much shorter one that dives into ONLY the details of making the ad itself. I highly recommend watching this video, the one above and reading this entire tutorial.

I know it’s long, but believe me, YouTube ads can be either an amazing platform to make money from as an affiliate or your worst nightmare on your wallet, so like I said before, take your time with this tutorial folks and absorb it fully!

Follow this short video for the step by step process to making profitable YouTube Ads:

Remember, I can only help you make a good ad that gets targeted views and costs little.

But the type of video you make and how well it does in accordance with the ad you make is totally out of my control and I cannot guarantee success

Here are the key points in the way I create my YouTube Ads:

These are basically the spark notes of my YouTube ads tutorial:

1) Always start with a good YouTube video.

I always start by creating a high quality YouTube video review of a product I own or know a lot about. If you need help with doing this, start with this YouTube, affiliate marketing tutorial before getting into making ads.

2) Ensure your ad link is correct.

Since there’s more than 1 way to set up an ad on YouTube, make sure the video you wish to advertise on the network is correct before moving forward. People can get this wrong more often than you think.

3) For the initial set up of the ad, I select an easy to remember campaign name.

You will likely be making more than 1 ad, so give them titles you can easily remember for when you need to know which is which.

youtube ads set up part 1

3) Important: Make sure to have your ad show up where it doesn’t interrupt people’s YouTube browsing! 

Right underneath the area where you provide the URL of your video, will be 2 choices:

youtube ad preview

  • The first choice is to have your video show up as an ad before people see the video they wish.
  • The second choice (which I selected above) is to have your video ad show up in the related searches or regular search results in YouTube.

I always select the SECOND choice because it is the one which doesn’t interrupt people’s browsing. With this option selected, I basically only have people who see my ad and want to click it, click it and that ensures I get people willingly seeing my video (which is what I want!).

4) How to make your YouTube Ad get more views:

View counts on YouTube Ads aren’t everything. In fact, too often, you can get irrelevant views from people who will never buy your affiliate offer, which will be a waste of money for you.

We don’t want that.

What is more important is that your ad ONLY gets the targeted viewers to see it, which in this case are the people who know about the program I am reviewing.

Since they are the most relevant, I want them to see my ad and actually click it. So this is how I make my ad look to have this happen:

how to get more views on your youtube ad

Firstly, the thumbnail is a big deal.

The one I used above is pretty simple and will work, but if you can use free programs like Canva to make alluring thumbnails for your YouTube videos, do it! 

Here is my personal tutorial on making good looking YouTube thumbnails (for free).

Secondly, the ad itself has to be relevant. 

In my case, I used a combination of writing the name of the program I am reviewing AND using key phrases like “Rocks, review and proof” which will typically get who are already interested in the program itself to see my ad and click it.

See my ad preview above for reference. Ad set ups like these usually get me good view counts. 

Once you make an ad, click continue.

5) You will be asked about locations and languages. This is easy.

Most of the time, you’ll be promoting affiliate offers to English speaking nations, so in this area, select any country you believe will find your ad important and that they speak English ONLY.

In my case, I selected the United States. You can also probably do Canada and the United Kingdom in this case. But the thing here is when you become more advanced with YouTube ads and start promoting more specific offers, you will want to be careful with locations.

For example, if I will ever advertise a local business that is say in New York City, I will ONLY want the location part of YouTube ads to be set to New York City, not the state, not the country and certainly not international places (makes sense right?).

But in this case, I’m keeping it simple because it makes sense.

Click continue again.

6) For the next section (audience), it’s an easy selection: Leave everything as is.

For this part of YouTube Ads, I literally DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. I leave it all as it is and click continue.


Because the way I do YouTube Ads involves setting them up in a way where the ONLY people who find my ad are those who type in the keywords I will manually put in.

So with the ad I made above, I compiled a number of VERY targeted keywords and told YouTube Ads: Hey, I only want my ad to show up for these keywords, and NOTHING else.

This means the only people who will see that ad are the most relevant ones and that is EXACTLY what I want (and it’s what you’ll want as well!).

Click continue.

7) The last part of the set up process is setting the budget (keep it very low).

The usual default budget is set to be at $20.00 a day. I advise starting at $10 or even $5 because the thing about YouTube Ads is that it can become very tricky if you raise the budget in that the higher it is, the faster your ad will be run on the YouTube network and the faster your budget will be depleted. 

You don’t want that happening especially if you don’t yet know if the ad will be profitable or not, so leave it at $10 (or whatever low budget you can afford to lose). And don’t worry about your ad not performing as well. You’ll get messages from YouTube ads saying your budget is too low or your ad isn’t going to show up much. Ignore that.

Trust me, if you want to save money with YouTube ads, this is how you make this happen (because it’s very easy to lose money here) and the strategy I’m giving you here will ensure you spend very little on YouTube ads.

Afterwards, click “Create Campaign”.

Note: We’re not done yet!

8) The next steps are critical to get right:

Once you create your campaign, the next thing you’re going to WANT to are the following:

  1. Name your adgroup the exact same thing you named your campaign. This helps curb ad costs.
  2. And the next thing you’re going to want to do is set the CPV bids to be very low.

CPV means cost per view and you can tell YouTube Ads how high or low you want to bid on ads you make. 

Because my ads (and yours) will be very optimized, you can go really low on how much you wish to bid for every view you get, which I set at $0.05.

Here is how you can do both of these things:

1) Once your campaign is made (after step 7), click Video Campaigns. 

2) Find your campaign that you just made. This will take you to the overview of it.

For reference, my campaign in the screenshot is called Affiliate Marketing Training.

3) Click Ads.

Change the name of the Adgroup to the name of the campaign (so if my campaign was Affiliate Marketing Training, I’ll change where it says Adgroup 1 to be called Affiliate Marketing Training as well).

This is a pro tip one of my affiliate coaches once gave me, as it allows you to have a higher quality score on your ad and thus pay LESS for it.

4) Part 4 shows my add and adgroup. As you can see, it also says “Affiliate Marketing Training” which is exactly what I want it to say.

5) Last but not least, in the top middle of the window, you’ll see a message that says “Max. CPV”. Mine says $0.06 by default. Yours may say different. Either way, you can leave it at $0.06 or change it to $0.05 if you want (a penny could add up quickly when views add up).

Here is an illustration of how these 5 steps can be done:

how to get low cpv on youtube ads

This part is now done. And I’ve used a screenshot with each part of the 5 steps outlined to give you reference so you can do this too. And if you have issues understanding these instructions, please re-watch the short YouTube Ads set up video above for reference.

9) Last part: Keywords. This is also critical to get right.

In the window you just had open where you changed the Adgroup name and the max CPV, you will see a menu item called “Keywords”. Click that. 

When you do, you should see a blue button with a white + sign. This is the sign to add keywords to your YouTube Ad. Click it. 

Once you do, you will have the option to select which adgroup you’ll want to add the keywords to and since you just made your ad, the only adgroup that will show up is the regular one. Click it. 

Now you will add the keywords that BEST represent your ad and the audience you are seeking to see that ad. Here a tutorial on researching keywords for your YouTube videos (and subsequently the ads you make).

My best advice with adding keywords in YouTube Ads is to:

1) Only use keywords of the product you are reviewing and variations of it (see image below or the video above for reference).

Don’t go too crazy here. A few keywords are fine to get traffic for this step. You can also go on YouTube, type in the product name itself and see what ideas YouTube gives you and use those as your keywords too (see video above on how I did it).

2) Make sure to always use “quotes” around the keywords.

This tells YouTube ads to only show for those specific keywords when people type in the name of the product on YouTube. This makes your ad very targeted and you can bet you’ll get very quality views from this:

youtube ads how to add keywords

In the following screenshot I am using the keyword “product name” as the reference, but in your case, whatever product you choose to promote as your promotion, will be name you use here, as well as the variations I used in in place of “product name”.

So if you are creating an ad which leads to a YouTube video where you are promoting a product called “epic flashlight”, the keywords you’d use here are:

“epic flashlight” 
“epic flashlight review”

And so on with the other keywords and for goodness sake’s, do not forget to put quotes around the keywords (all of them!).

Click save when you added the keywords and again, don’t go too crazy here. Just 1 keyword, the main one for the product name will be enough to get you 95% of all the traffic and views. 

Your optimized YouTube ad has now been created!

Update: YouTube Ads has changed it’s look and now in order to add keywords to your ad, you need to do it in a different way. Here is an updated tutorial on adding keywords to your YouTube Ad.

So now that our YouTube Ad is set up, what’s next?

So at this point of the tutorial, we’re pretty much done and I want to say thank you for reading this far and I promise you that if you had issues making the ad because you were worried about getting it wrong, don’t worry. As long as you follow my video instructions, you’ll do fine and making new ads from this point will get much easier.

But remember, not every ad you make will be a profit generator, which is where the 10th part of this tutorial is something I also recommend you read and study:

10) Monitor the ad and test it’s performance (sales, views, costs, ect…).

This is where the YouTube Ad waiting game begins. When you set up an ad, you’ll likely need to wait a day or even a few before it’s approved.

Once it is, you’ll then want to see how it performs, meaning:

  • How many views will it get everyday?
  • How much will you spend each day the ad runs?
  • What is the cost per view? It is the same one you set or is it lower? 
  • How many sales did the ad make in comparison to the views it got? Did it make a profit or did you lose money?

These things are going to become a very important part of your YouTube Ads journey.

If the ad makes sales and a profit, congratulations, you set up a good one and can use that to make your next ads for other affiliate promotions.

If the ad didn’t make money, you will want to likely look at the video you are using to promote the product itself and see how it’s doing, which requires another tutorial about analytics that I won’t go into this day.

More questions on YouTube ads and affiliate marketing:

Can you use YouTube ads for affiliate marketing?

Yes, you can create YouTube ads that funnel to your videos that have affiliate links in their description.

How do I use YouTube for affiliate marketing?

Absolutely. I use YouTube for affiliate marketing myself and have successfully promoted many different products directly through this site.

Can I post affiliate links on YouTube?

Yes you can post affiliate links within the YouTube video description and also in a pinned comment on your videos only.

Can I do Amazon affiliate with YouTube?

Yes! I’ve promoted many Amazon affiliate products directly through making YouTube videos promoting them.

Why affiliate marketing through YouTube Ads works:

It works because with all the crazy amount of ways people get this stuff wrong, I showed you a way to set up YouTube ads in a way that is safe on your wallet and designed to only get you targeted traffic, which for marketers is the best thing imaginable when it comes to pay per click.

Like I said, I am not guaranteeing success here, but this approach is very close to getting to that point. The real test will be on your end to make sure you make good YouTube videos promoting good products that you can convince people to buy.

To get the right traffic from YouTube ads to your promotion is actually pretty simple and I promise you the ad making process will be the easiest part of your journey in the pay per click world. It’s the promotion and how you promote it that will be difficult and necessary to change if your ads aren’t profitable. 

But in any case, I sincerely hope this guide to YouTube ads via affiliate marketing was VERY helpful to you!

12 thoughts on “How to do Affiliate Marketing With YouTube Ads Step by Step.”

  1. Wow, that is a really great and detailed post. I was actually thinking about youtube ads. With your warnings, I think I’ll get my site up and working (getting the traffic numbers up and earning money via my website).

    But I still want to try out youtube ads. I have a email marketing campaign as well. In your experience, which one is the most successful? Moreover, what is the threshold for you to determine a “loser ad”?

    • Email marketing has more layers than YouTube ads so I’d say the latter is better for beginners (with money to spend of course). As for a loser ad, the typical formula is if you’re promoting a $100 paying product and you pay $100 for ads and don’t make a single sale, then you’re at a loss from every view forward, so I’d pause that ad and reshape the sales funnel.

  2. Hey Vitaliy, I have been thinking about YouTube ads after launching on YouTube last year and always been curious about how it all works so am glad to find your great how to guide in search.  

    To see your three methods was an eye opener – sending people from your ads to email marketing, a landing page or to our own YouTube video. I hadn’t thought about it from a marketers perspective before only as a ‘consumer’ of YouTube ads, so this really helps me shift perspective.

    In terms of promoting your main affiliate offer you mentioned, which has been the most successful for YouTube ads? From the three you listed – sending people from your ads to email marketing, landing page or to our own YouTube video?

    Either way, when I start this, I will probably focus on creating an ad to send people to my own YouTube video as your guide encourages.

    Can I aslo ask, this guide seems to be in 2020?  Have you increased or decreased your YouTube ad spending promoting your same program and have your profits increased or decreased?  Just wondering if its becoming more profitable or more competitive.

    Thanks so much

    • Hi John, so here are my answers:

      1) First (to your last question), I have actually INCREASED my spending/exposure on YouTube Ads and have expanded into other realms within it like placement ads (that has a lot of potential).

      2) Even though the guide was in 2020, the same rules work in 2022 (so far) and if that changes, so too will this tutorial.

      3) For your main question on how I promote affiliate offers, I generally send people from my ad to the YouTube video and right to the affiliate page where they can signup/buy the product. I don’t really do email marketing off YouTube ads because my strategy involves putting an in feed video that people can click on. 

      Email marketing and/or sending people a landing page would work better if the YouTube ad was shown over the video people watch (the one where they can click skip), but that costs WAY more and I just don’t want to risk any more money than I already do on ads.

    • Hi Duke, yes. If that is the default option when making ads, then it is what I leave as is. The only thing I do on the back end after the ad is made is set up the keywords (exact), but I do select the ads to not show on certain devices like TVs. You can see more details on my tutorial on lowering YouTube Ad costs here. Basically by making your ads appear to people who can actually buy and opt in, you get a more targeted reach.

  3. Hi Vitaliy,

    Nice case study!

    I like your minimal spend approach. Trying to get a feel for how you optimized the campaign.

    1) How much did you typically spend on a loser ad before determining it was a loser?

    2) And what metrics did you use to determine it was a loser?

    3) Then moving on to test a new ad, you made a new video with a new angle or hook? Thanks!

    • 1) Depends on the affiliate promotion’s payout. So if it’s $50 and I am spending $0.10 a view, I will consider it a loser if I don’t make any sales within 500 views ($0.10 x 500 views = $50).

      2) The metrics are already set when the campaign, adgroup and keywords are chosen. I am targeting specific traffic so aside from that, if all of that is done correctly and I don’t make a profit from the ad, I will consider it a loser and make some major changes.

      3) I’ll make a new video if I determine that it is the issue in the sales funnel. I’ll look at the video’s analytical stats and see what the view rate is, as well as other factors, to basically determine if it fits in with the sales funnel or doesn’t and if I can make a better video to replace it and improve the sales funnel.

  4. Though I use to see quite a lot of ads on YouTube but I never thought the process could be this engaging and interesting. This post is great and I learnt quite a lot from it. Since YouTube is getting he right level of significance and audience, it is only normal to target it for advertisement and surely, this is great to see out here. The step by step guide is easy to follow and I will try it out myself even though I have never launched a YouTube ads before. Thanks


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