Joseph Arthur
Apr 28, 2024

‘A significant shift in the platform's monetisation approach’: YouTube launches Affiliate Hub

YouTube’s latest array of affiliate marketing tools stand to put authenticity at the forefront of creators' relationships with brands to create more engaged audiences in return.

‘A significant shift in the platform's monetisation approach’: YouTube launches Affiliate Hub

YouTube recently expanded its affiliate marketing offerings, aiming to streamline brands’ and creators’ ability to partner in advertising and reach consumers in a timely, relevant, and personalised fashion.

Among the new tools is YouTube’s Affiliate Hub, which has been launched directly within the platform’s app “so creators can find the latest list of shopping partners, competitive commission rates, promo codes, and even request samples from top brands”.

It is intended to make it easier for shopping creators to find the information to start planning their next shoppable video.

Shopping Collections, “a new way for creators to curate products from their favourite brands,” was also recently released.

Creators can add a selection of products from any theme to a Shopping Collection, allowing them to create a curated virtual store across their YouTube channels. Collections will appear in a creator’s product list, store tab and video description. The feature is currently only via the Studio mobile app, with plans to expand onto desktop soon.

Finally, last year saw YouTube launch the ability for affiliate shopping creators to tag products across their videos in bulk based on products creators have added to a particular video’s description.

YouTube has expanded this feature to allow all shopping creators to tag their own products and merchandise across their video library. This stands to help creators earn more revenue from older content that still gets high traffic.

Fourthwall has also been added to YouTube’s list of integrated platforms “to make it easier for creators to create and manage their stories directly in YouTube Studio”.

‘Maintaining transparency and authenticity will be crucial to preserving trust.’

On the broader impact of YouTube’s affiliate marketing revamp for brands, advertisers and creators, Immy Hussain, Head of Affiliates at Summit, said it “signals a significant shift in the platform's monetisation approach”.

He added: “By allowing creators to tag products in their videos quickly and earn commissions through affiliate links, YouTube is enhancing both the user experience and creators' revenue streams.

“However, maintaining transparency and authenticity in affiliate marketing partnerships will be crucial to preserving trust, brand protection and ensuring the effectiveness of promotional content.”

Ceres Cueva, SVP of Publisher Partnerships at Rakuten Advertising, a YouTube partner since 2023, said: “It’s great to see how YouTube continues to embrace affiliates and understand how important affiliate links are to creators’ ability to monetise content.

“Investing in these creator tools will help attract more creators to the platform and bring more opportunities for brands to connect with influencer audiences.”

‘Help them [creators] to create a more engaged audience.’

The most significant element of these changes is the autonomy YouTube now offers influencers and creators to monetise their content in a way that should feel authentic to their respective audiences.

Valeria Mukhina, Senior Affiliate Manager at Alpha Affiliates, said: “They [influencers and creators] can continue to create content they enjoy making and provide relevant recommendations that help them to create a more engaged audience. And they get paid to do so. It’s a win-win scenario: businesses gain new customers, while affiliates monetise their influence.”

For organisations looking to dip their toes in the affiliate marketing game, Mukhina added: “Remember that affiliate marketing success comes with an equal partnership that works for everyone involved. The key to a successful affiliate marketing programme is to treat your affiliates as an extension of your sales and marketing team. Reward them as such.”

Performance Marketing World

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