How Does Affiliate Marketing on YouTube Work?

Affiliate marketing on TikTok works much as it does on other social platforms. TikTok is merely a selling venue of choice for the affiliate marketer.

There are three (sometimes four) parties to any affiliate transaction:

  1. The Product Creator (or Merchant) – the firm that provides the product for sale and decides to use the affiliate marketing sales model. This could either be the manufacturer of a product or a retailer that chooses to use affiliate marketing to sell their inventory
  2. The Affiliate Network (optional) – rather than deal with affiliate marketers directly, some product creators choose to work through an affiliate network that acts as an intermediary. The network collates a catalog of goods from multiple creators and, in turn, carries out the daily interactions with affiliate marketers
  3. The Affiliate Marketer – someone who signs directly with a product creator or an affiliate network to market their products to their online readers, viewers, or contacts. In the case of TikTok affiliate marketing, the affiliate marketer will promote the affiliate products in their TikTok videos
  4. The Consumer – is somebody who ultimately buys the affiliate product. In the case of TikTok affiliate marketing, the consumer is likely to be a viewer of the affiliate marketer’s videos.

The product creator or affiliate network (if there is one) will provide a unique code for each affiliate marketer. The affiliate marketers then reference their code somewhere in their TikTok videos (or leave a link containing it on their TikTok profile page).

1. Include a Link in Your Bio

Unfortunately, you can’t usually just place a link in your TikTok videos or captions, although TikTok has experimented with this at times. Instead, you need to learn a lesson from Instagram and include a link in your TikTok bio. This is generally the best (organic) way to drive traffic outside of TikTok, so it is the ideal place for you to include the custom link that the affiliate company or network gave you. Then, once you have a link in your TikTok bio, you can reference it in your videos.

TikTok hasn’t given everybody this capability yet. If you don’t, you may be able to access it by joining the TikTok tester program. You will also need to change to a TikTok Business account if you currently only have a personal one.

If you find you can add a clickable link to your TikTok bio, do it by:

  1. Tap the Me icon at the bottom right corner of your screen
  2. Tap the Edit Profile button
  3. If your bio can include a link, you will see a section asking you to add a URL. Insert the affiliate link that your affiliate company or network has given you or a link to your website or a custom landing page. If you have separate links for multiple products, you will need to select the most important one for your current affiliate marketing promotion and repeat this process each time you want to promote a different product. It might be worthwhile putting your link through a URL shortening tool first to make it look more streamlined
  4. Tap the Submit button
  5. Check your bio and make sure that it shows your link (and that it is clickable – use your mobile phone to double-check this)

Using a link to a landing page or your website gives you more opportunities to promote affiliate products, and it works better if you are promoting multiple products. You will, of course, first have to create an informative website or landing page to send potential leads to from your TikTok account.

Once you have a clickable link in your bio, you can promote it in your TikTok videos. However, you need to be careful to avoid anything that looks like hard selling. Generation Z, in particular, is resistant to videos that look like traditional ads. But the people who follow your videos, and the TikTok algorithm that decides who would enjoy them in people’s For You feeds, won’t object to you promoting affiliate products if your videos are sufficiently informative and entertaining.

2. Use to Create a Bridge Page for Multiple Affiliate Links

You can use the website to link to multiple places. As the app’s name suggests, you make a Linktree as many links as you need. even includes free link-in-bio templates to help you sell on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. Although has a forever-free plan offering unlimited links and a customizable Linktree to connect your community, you can purchase a monthly plan to give you more customization and control.

Linktree Templates Free OfferInfluencerMarketingHub

When somebody taps the Linktree on your bio, it takes them to a landing page where you have placed your selected links, and affiliate links if you are using it for affiliate marketing. So, remember to promote the existence of your Linktree on your bio in your videos and their descriptions.

You can include much more than just affiliate links in your Linktree. For example, you may find it more beneficial to have links to blog posts or longer videos on YouTube where you can better explain the benefits and features of the products you’re promoting. You would then insert your affiliate links on those pages.

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