Are you using video content as part of your affiliate marketing campaigns? If not, you should be. Video has already changed the face of digital marketing forever and the trend seems to only be going one way. Let’s take a look at some statistics about the use of video in marketing.
- Including a video on a landing page can increase conversions on that page by up to 80%
- 50% of all mobile traffic is down to video. So that means there’s an untapped well of traffic waiting for you if you’re not already using video content
- 77% of people claim that a video has convinced them to buy a product or service at least once
- Video consumption on YouTube increases 100% every year
- The chances of someone taking action on your website increases 46% after viewing video content
These stats already sound like good reasons to include video as part of your affiliate marketing strategy. But wait, there’s more. There’s been a huge shift towards video in social media as well, not only can it further increase your visibility across multiple platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter – quite soon it will be absolutely essential to be involved in video marketing when it comes to social media strategies. Facebook’s vice president in Europe Nicola Mendelsohn recently said she sees the platform moving away from text based interaction to solely video content within the next five years. We’re not sure it will be quite that extreme, but it’s certainly a warning shot fired by the biggest players in the social media game.
Facebook aren’t the only ones who are pushing the video trend. Instagram has also seen a huge boost to video views since launching Stories and Boomerang, while YouTube remains an industry standard giant of the vlogging, hosting and advertising world. With them recently coming under fire for not paying content creators enough advert and steaming revenue, the possibilities for making some extra cash are endless.
How can you use video in your affiliate marketing strategies?
There are many ways you can do this. You could:
- Create a video sales letter to convince consumers with detailed product information in a digestible visual format
- Create a video portal, offering exclusive video content to subscribers to your mailing list
- Create product reviews for products and services to show product quality, usability and value for money
- Create unboxing videos, again showcasing product quality, variety and your opinion on the product
- Use YouTube videos to retarget your website visitors
- Create an FAQ video to breakdown barriers between the customer and the conversion
So now we’ve taken a look at how videos can be utilised to add value to your marketing efforts, how do you make them and what do you need? Well let’s split this down into beginners and intermediate kit lists. I’m going to assume you’ve already got access to the internet and a computer or phone, as you’re reading this article.
Beginners video kit list:
- A mobile phone or camera – The camera on a relatively modern iPhone, Samsung or equivalent is more than enough to get you started in making your own video content. Your creativity really is the only limit. And since the advent of live video streaming on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, editing isn’t necessarily required!
- A goal – Make sure you know what the goal of the video is. Setting off on a filming spree without a goal in mind will just fill your phone with unusable footage, and we don’t want that. You need to be able to segment your initial idea so you can make sure all the footage you’ll need will be there when you’re done (with nothing missing!).
- An idea – It goes without saying that an idea for a video is just as important as a goal, but they are definitely not the same. An idea can come from a customer pain point you’re trying to play on, or a question regarding a product’s usability for example. Try to set yourself apart when it comes to the idea that the video will be based around, but make sure it will still be easily digestible to your subscribers or potential customers.
- A place to share your videos – Maybe you’ve got several social channels to share your content on. There’s not really a bad platform to be sharing video on. This is a great place to test the waters and even get feedback on your content (make sure you’ve got tough skin when first starting out if you enable YouTube comments). Or maybe you’ve built a subscriber email list. I’ve got good news for you too. Video content in email increases click through rates by up to 300%
- That’s all you need!
The amazing thing about trying out video is that you don’t really need an awful lot of kit to get started. What will really set you apart from the crowd is much the same as in any form of content marketing, and that is the content itself. Pretty much anyone can write an article, but as you know, it’s a fine art to sell through the content you create. Well the same goes for video. And it does take practice. Just make sure you do your research as you would with any piece of content and you won’t go that far wrong. And don’t be afraid to copy and borrow ideas, that’s how all the greats started.
Intermediate video kit list:
If you’ve made a few videos before, but never really stuck with it, it could be time to take the leap and channel your inner Spielberg. Here’s a list of suggested pieces of kit and software which can help you set yourself apart from content creators and competitors in your niche.
- A DSLR camera (& lens) capable of capturing video footage – Capturing footage with a DSLR camera (that you know how to use) can really set you apart when it comes to the appearance, quality and feel of your videos. Older, second hand but advanced models can be snapped up on online auction sites for as little as $200, and as a marketing expense it could be the best purchase you make. It will also unlock a whole world of opportunities when it comes to adding unique pictures to your website that other affiliates might not have. All you need is some product samples and some time!
- A microphone or audio capture device – Good quality audio often goes unnoticed when it comes to video content, but bad audio definitely doesn’t. Most DSLR camera’s will have the ability to accept audio from external sources such as microphones. You can get good quality audio from a range of sources, but often the simplest is something like the Zoom H1 which records high quality audio without the use of extra external microphones. If you need to edit your audio for any reason (and you likely will) there are programs such as GarageBand, Audacity and Adobe Soundbooth to help you sort that out. These platforms will allow you to touch up any mistakes and even capture audio if you’re in a pinch.
- 3: Editing software – If you use a Mac you will already have access to iMovie and it’s a great piece of software that will help you ease into the world of editing, it’s simple to use and will allow you to really customise your footage with a variety of built in transitions and quick fixes for mistakes. If you are a Windows user you may have access to Windows Movie Maker. However if you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, movie maker no longer comes as standard. But there are still a number of options available to you.
- If you have used platforms like this before, you may know they have come up against limitations as you progress and your technical ability improves. If you’re one of these people you should take a look at Adobe Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro X where you can start experimenting with much more advanced editing, customisation and audio options.
- 4: Time – Good quality video content takes time to plan, organise, film and edit. Have patience and you will begin to create visually pleasing and informative content for your site.
- 5: Practice – Like with anything in life, your first video will never be your best video. That’s why it’s important to practice. They say practice makes perfect and video is no different. Experimenting with different video goals, ideas, editing and platforms to share on will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t. You’ll eventually find a combination that works best for you.
- 6: A place to share your videos (again) – A YouTube channel is a great way to get exposure for your videos, and teamed up with paid advertising or retargeting it can be a powerful advertising tool. Facebook also has a number of advertising options for video, but make sure you read their Advertising Policies to ensure your video remains in-line with the rules and regulations.
Okay that’s great, but what if I’m camera shy?
Well the good news is that you don’t have to feature in all your videos, if any at all! There are services available that will allow you to customise video content for your affiliate marketing campaigns without ever having to step foot in front of a camera or microphone. Through the use of customisable animation, you can create unique and digestible video content that makes a real difference to your affiliate marketing website. You can even hire voice over artists for as little as $5. These options mean you don’t even have to leave your house to make videos!
If even that sounds like too much work, why not get someone else to do the work for you? With influencer marketing services like Famebit you can hire someone to make the video and distribute it for you through their online and social presence. You can hire content creators on platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
Can I have some examples of people using video content well?
Sure you can! Let’s take a look at some of the more relevant subjects and niches surrounding the MoreNiche Affiliate network.
The BodyBuilding Niche
BroScience has been uploading to YouTube since 2012 so they are fairly well established, mostly thanks to the meme culture surrounding weightlifting and the fitness scene. They produce videos that are often observational about the gym and fitness in general.
Why is it good?
It’s good because it’s funny, engaging, relatable and entertaining to the target audience. And it’s important to put your tastes aside here. Just because you don’t find something funny, engaging, relatable or entertaining doesn’t mean your target audience won’t. This is amazing content to share on social media and often ends up going viral.
Okay, as a MoreNiche affiliate, I probably don’t need to explain to you who bodybuiling.com are or what they do. You can take a look at their site here. What they have got is a very good selection of video content surrounding the niche on their YouTube channel.
Why is it good?
It’s good because it’s educational, informative and inspirational. The content provides tips, recipes and motivation for the people who buy a lot of supplementation. I know you’re thinking “but i’m not a pro fitness fanatic with a wealth of knowledge to share” and that may be true. But there are online and social influencers who you can hire who are exactly that. I’m not saying you can go out and compete with a huge company like Bodybuilding.com, but you can certainly take some inspiration from the things they are doing well when implementing video into your strategies, you can then take this away and use it as educational content on your affiliate website.
The Weight Loss Niche
Slimming World (UK)
For anyone who doesn’t know, Slimming World is a weight loss membership group who provide meal plans and weight loss advice, as well as weigh-in’s at weekly meetings. They are a weight loss support group just as much as they are a diet plan. This means their video content is very health and weight loss focused, and always very positive. You can see what they’re up to here, and here.
Why is it good?
It’s inspirational, simple, informative and creates a sense of community. The mix of inspirational weight loss stories and recipes provide a place where people can gather information and get a boost to their weight loss efforts at the same time. By filming your own low calorie recipes you could create a library that itself becomes a weight loss aid. It could quickly become a great way to drive traffic to a weight loss or health site.
Things to remember when creating, uploading, organising and hosting your videos
- Make sure your video file is called something useful: If you upload something to YouTube with a filename that is something like “NEWFINAL1.mp4” instead of “AGuideToAffiliateVideoMarketing.mp4”, you’re missing a huge chance to get your video ranking in search results. YouTube will actually go to your raw video file to further understand what your video is about. So make sure you are calling it something useful with relevant keywords BEFORE changing the title on the YouTube platform. Make sure you are right clicking on the raw file, and clicking ‘get info’ then rename that bad boy!
- Always add a description: People often just upload a video to YouTube or Vimeo with absolutely no description whatsoever! This is a huge mistake. Again, these platforms are looking to you to help them understand what your video is about and in turn who to show it to. So don’t miss the opportunity to help-them-help-you reach the right audience. Make sure it has a relevant and detailed description that is around 150-200 words long. Try to add in phrases that people will search for, as well as alternatives. Also make sure you aren’t using duplicate content, for obvious SEO reasons.
- Always add a link :You can add a link to your description but it’s also worth adding a CTA at the end of your video, making people aware that they can find out more or explore further options at your website.
- Always watermark your work: Even if it’s just a .jpg file you lay over the top corner of the screen, it will make it more difficult to steal! And believe me, people love to steal content, so make it as difficult as possible to do so.
- Transcribe your videos: Platforms such as YouTube will attempt to add subtitles to your video automatically. And this can help your video rank in search results. Although YouTube has made improvements to this system, it does sometimes get it wrong. It’s worth checking the accuracy of the assigned transcriptions and editing them if they are not accurate.
- Utilise annotations :YouTube will allow you to add annotations to your video content. You might have seen them on other videos, but they are basically text based pop-ups that can be utilised as CTA’s. They are primarily a way to direct traffic away from the hosting platform to your website. And you can include tracking URL’s as a way to monitor performance.
- Add custom thumbnails: Again, YouTube will attempt to assign each of your videos a thumbnail that represents the content contained in the video, but you can make something much more eye catching and pleasing to the viewer by making your own .jpg file and uploading it. Use something like Photoshop, GIMP or Canva to create a custom thumbnail. At the time of writing this article, all YouTube thumbnails should be created in 1280×720 pixels.
- Add your videos to playlists: Once you’ve built up a bank of video content, make sure you’re categorising it correctly on your channels. This allows people to find the content that matters to them more easily. And it means they don’t have to scan your content for something that interests them.
- Make your channel visually pleasing: Make sure you’re taking advantage of brand awareness opportunities by creating attractive artwork for your YouTube channel. You can also add your other social links to the top back drop box to inform people of your other social accounts.
I hope this gets you well on your way to creating your own video content. So what are you waiting for? Go out, grab your phone or camera and get making!