Facebook vs YouTube Ads: Which Is Best for Affiliate Marketing?

An affiliate marketing media buyer is a marketing professional who promotes affiliate products using paid digital media campaigns.

Generally, media buyers don’t rely on their own platform – such as an email list, website, or social media presence – but they’re skilled at buying placements and running campaigns on different online ad platforms to promote products and make commissions.

A media buyer uses the ad platforms of popular sites like Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. But far and away, the most popular ad platforms for affiliates in the last several years are Facebook and YouTube.

If you’re a media affiliate buyer trying to choose between Facebook vs YouTube ads for your affiliate marketing campaigns, this guide to both platforms will help you decide which one is right for you!

Facebook vs YouTube Ads Today

In today’s hyper-connected world, you can achieve better results than ever with paid advertising, even if you only have a small advertising budget. ClickBank has hundreds of Platinum clients who earn more than $250,000 in sales as a media buyer (and that’s only counting what they’re doing on our platform).

A quick survey of our top clients shows that Facebook Ads and YouTube Ads are the clear winners for media buyers right now. To decide between the two, you have to consider the niche, offers, and ad creatives you’ll be working with. That’ll change which platform is the better fit!

As an example, YouTube has a huge leg up in the video department, because YouTube is the most widely used platform for videos. On the other hand, if you prefer to do more written or image-based ad creative, you’ll find Facebook a better fit.

Let’s take a closer look at doing affiliate marketing with both options!

Affiliate Marketing With Facebook

Facebook Ads are usually placed in the middle of videos or directly in people’s main feeds.

Within videos, the user will have to see the ad if they want to continue watching the video. In the user timeline, your ad is visible to a user scrolling by – and if they see something interesting that sparks their curiosity, they’re more likely to engage with your ad.

You can target potential clients who fit your ideal client base. You can create engaging content and target relevant users. Not only that, but you can also optimize your ads.

Setting Up a Facebook Campaign

If you’re ready to start promoting products as an affiliate using a marketplace like ClickBank, the first step is to create your own Facebook ads manager account.

You should take some time to get familiar with this tool before you begin creating your first ad. There are several different aspects of a typical Facebook campaign, but for a typical media buyer affiliate, we recommend you optimize for conversions. The only exception would be if you want to build a leads list for email – in that case, you’d optimize for leads.

You can choose to create an ad in video or image format, accompanied by engaging copy for your target audience. In terms of targeting, we recommend doing broader audience and selecting automatic placements.

Before you run your ads on Facebook, go through the community standards and advertising policies to ensure compliance with your ads. Facebook is notorious for being a stickler on the content of your ads, as well as what’s on your landing page. And it won’t accept affiliate links, so you’ll definitely need what’s called a prelander, presale, or bridge page.

In the call to action (destination) for your ads, you’ll direct traffic over to an affiliate bridge page, and then use that page to point visitors to the sales page for your chosen affiliate product. If you’ve chosen a high-converting offer, the offer owner’s text or video sales letter will do the job from there and close the sale!

Remember, your goal here isn’t to sell the affiliate product itself – it’s simply to sell the click.

Facebook Affiliate Ad Examples

Many companies have mastered how to use Facebook Ads to reach their target audience and boost conversions. Here are two Facebook Ads you can get your inspiration for your next ad.


LIVELY is a lingerie brand that provides women with high-quality products at affordable prices. The company used Facebook Ads to promote its new product using video ads. The Facebook ad was targeted at previous customers.

LIVELY used the dynamic ads option, combining images and copies to find audiences likely to convert. Through this Facebook Ad campaign, the company increased purchases by 42% and website traffic by 62%.

Partake Foods

Partake Foods is an online snack company that uses stop-motion videos for its Facebook ads. The ad featured images of various cookies.

If you want more inspiration on ads that work for affiliate marketing, our official Spark by ClickBank features multiple Facebook Ads courses.

Quick Affiliate Facebook Ad Tips

Here are a few tips on how to achieve success with Facebook Ads as an affiliate.

  • Broad targeting tends to work best. Unless you intend to promote a very niche product, it’s often best not to worry too much about targeting. Let the Facebook algorithm do its thing.
  • Keep ad copy concise. Use simple language (aim for a 6th grade reading level) and don’t ramble on. Even a text-based ad should only include as much copy as is needed to get the user to click.
  • Add visuals that match your copy and spark curiosity. On Facebook, the best way to engage users is by catching their eye and causing them to stop scrolling.
  • Include just one call to action. The only goal of your Facebook ad is to encourage a user to click that “Learn More” button and head over to your landing page. Keep that in mind when you’re writing your copy and coming up with your creative.

As you run your ads, monitor and analyze them daily to improve their performance. Be willing to kill any ad sets or ads that aren’t profitable – it’s important to be data-centric in all of your decisions to maximize your chance of success!

Facebook Ad Pros

  • Cheaper cost per view: Facebook video ads are inexpensive. You can start from a small budget and work your way up, depending on your needs.
  • Opportunity for organic reach: Video ads can be shared on Facebook, which increases their reach. Most people won’t share ads with their friends and family, but in some cases, I’ve seen trendy ecommerce products or high-impact brand messaging get shared from an ad to an organic audience. Bottom line: if you’re clever enough with your ad creative, you can get more impressions for your campaigns without having to pay for them.
  • Ability to use different media: Facebook allows you to use text, image, and video ads in different formats and placements on their site. This gives you more opportunities to find what will resonate with your audience – or test some hook ideas at a lower cost before you produce expensive videos.

Facebook Ad Cons

  • More bans and less support: Even though there are account shutdowns or bans on both platforms, Google is friendlier to marketers than Facebook is. Facebook is more likely to shut you down, and there isn’t great support when you encounter issues with your ad or account.
  • Not as good contextual targeting: When you create an ad on Facebook, you can target based on interest. However, the content only appears in-feed as someone is scrolling. The user may not be an ideal target since they’ll only see the ad while scrolling on Facebook.
  • Compromises post-iOS 14. There’s a whole host of changes that Facebook had to make following Apple’s iOS 14 update, which was focused on improving user privacy. That means Facebook isn’t what it used to be when it comes to targeting, counting conversions, and so on.

Affiliate Marketing With YouTube

YouTube has an expansive reach, with over 2.5 billion monthly active users. And because it uses data from Google, it can be very effective. Unlike Facebook, YouTube ads are almost always in video format (and YouTube is also less strict when it comes to the content of your ads compared to Facebook).

Here are the formats you can consider for your YouTube affiliate marketing campaign:

  • Skippable ads
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads (bumper ads)
  • Video discovery ads (which show up along YouTube search results)
  • Display ads
  • Overlay ads

The only option you have for non-video ads is banner ads, but they don’t perform as well as videos – most media buyer affiliates using YouTube will create video ads.

Keep in mind, your audience is more likely to watch a YouTube video with sound than a Facebook video, making it a better option for you if your videos have an auditory component.

Setting Up a YouTube Campaign

When creating an ad for affiliate marketing on YouTube, you’ll be using video, but the setup is similar to Facebook’s. Your goal is still to create engaging and useful content to capture users’ attention. For congruity, video is usually a good choice if you’re promoting a product with a video sales letter.

YouTube campaign without guidance
YouTube campaign without guidance

It’s relatively easy to go through the process of creating a YouTube campaign, but as a brief primer, we recommend creating a campaign without a goal’s guidance – and then, choose video as your ad type.

For the video ads themselves, it can be effective to speak to the camera, but if you don’t want to record yourself doing the video, you can always do a “faceless video.” This category includes animated videos, stock footage, slides, or screen captures. In terms of audio, a lot of affiliates will use an AI text to speech tool like ElevenLabs.io to narrate their script for them.

Whatever you choose to do for ad creative, it’s important that your video match the messaging and tone of the offer you’re sending people to. Usually, if you’re sending people to a sales page with a video sales letter, you’ll want a prelander that looks something like the following:

Lastly, if you’re just starting out, you likely have a limited budget. YouTube Ads tend to be pricier than Facebook, so you’ll have to spend the money wisely. You can move on to high-budget ads once you gain traction, but it’s important to scale gradually to keep your campaign optimized.

YouTube Affiliate Ad Examples

If you want inspiration for your YouTube ads, it’s actually pretty easy to search YouTube for topics in your niche. This is a good option for figuring out things like ideal ad length, hook ideas, and rough concepts for scripts. Just be sure you’re creating your own ad if you go find inspiration – don’t steal other people’s work!

For general YouTube ad ideas, here are some examples to check out.

Nolan Cheddar

The Nolan cheddar cheese YouTube ad has been beautifully crafted. The ad is humorous and keeps the audience engaged to the end. When creating your ads, sprinkle some humor. It may not always be the best strategy, but it will stick in the user’s memory. Advertising that creates a delightful atmosphere is an excellent way to add color to a person’s day.

Sun Bum

Sun Bum is a company that deals with sun care products for people who love spending their time under the sun. They deal with products such as lip balm, sunscreen, and hair care. The company used YouTube ads to create engaging content to increase its fan base. It posts multiple videos a week on a variety of topics, from fabric dyeing training to office culture spotlights.

Quick YouTube Ad Tips

Here are a few helpful tips for YouTube ads.

  • Use YouTube targeting options: Pay attention to the audience that is resonating with your messaging. You should not waste money on users who aren’t interested in your ad. Micro target specific audiences where it makes sense.
  • Create compelling content: There are countless videos on the internet, and users often have the option to skip ads on YouTube. Create high-quality video content that will draw the audience’s attention, with particular emphasis on the first few seconds (the “hook”) of your video ad.
  • Use demographics from Google Analytics. You can learn more about your target audience if you’ve enabled tracking with Google Analytics.
  • Create different campaigns to test ad formats. It’s not a given that one specific type of ad will always perform best. Don’t be afraid to experiment and keep testing to find what works.

As your YouTube ads run, use analytics to monitor them to improve performance continuously. When it’s time to scale, boost your budget between 10-30% per day.

YouTube Ad Pros

  • More contextual targeting: With YouTube ads, you can target people looking for something as they research a topic.
  • Pay-per-view: You will pay only if users watch an ad for at least 5 seconds without skipping it.
  • Users are more likely to consume long-form videos: If a user is on YouTube, they are already in the mindset of being ready to spend time watching content.

YouTube Ads Cons

  • Higher level of relevancy: People click on YouTube videos because they want to watch that specific video. If you want a user to leave the video and watch yours, you have to be very relevant. Given the high level of competition, it may be hard to stand out.
  • Tends to be a bit more expensive: If you want to get the best result from YouTube video ads, you’ll need a big budget.
  • Requires more production work: To make the most of YouTube Ads, you’ll need to create videos, which takes more time and effort than just creating images and text on Facebook.

Affiliate marketers use many different channels to promote products, including social media, paid advertising, email marketing, and blogging. The main outlets’ marketers use are YouTube and Facebook. But which one is the best for affiliate marketing?

The Verdict: Facebook vs YouTube Ads

So, which should you use for media buying campaigns: Facebook or YouTube?

I’ve talked to several top media buyer affiliates on ClickBank, and a LOT of the pros who got their start on Facebook Ads have since moved over to YouTube in the last few years.

I think there are a few big reasons why:

  1. Compliance headaches like account shutdowns are less common on YouTube – and some say the platform is simply easier to use.
  2. High-converting affiliate offers on networks like ClickBank will usually feature a video sales letter, so it makes sense to create video ads to point users to them.
  3. For many interests and pain points, it’s easier to target engaged viewers on YouTube. Facebook is primarily for socializing, while users go to YouTube to get informed or find a solution to a specific problem.

In addition, you can get a viewer’s undivided attention during a YouTube ad – on Facebook, people have to stop scrolling and tap for sound before they’ll even watch your video.

So, anecdotally, YouTube may be a better place to go if you’re looking to become a successful media buyer affiliate. But you’ll need to come with a higher budget, and you’ll have to be prepared to create videos, which is a more labor-intensive process than running image and text-based ads on Facebook.

Of course, it could be worth working with both platforms, either with video ads on both or videos on YouTube and other ad formats on Facebook. Lastly, you should consider whether your target audience is primarily on one platform and not the other. That makes it an easy choice, as you should always run ads on the platform where your target audience lives online!

Wrapping Up

It’s hard to go wrong here, because YouTube and Facebook are both terrific advertising platforms. They have a broad reach, several microtargeting options, a variety of ad formats, and are much cheaper than other paid traffic sources like Google Ads.

Whether you go Facebook, YouTube, or both, just know that media buying is a valuable skill that can translate to any new paid media platforms, from TikTok to native to whatever comes next.

Ultimately, I hope this guide has helped you make the important decision on where to run your paid ads online. For more information on Facebook, YouTube, and other paid platforms, be sure to check out our definitive guide to paid traffic for affiliate marketing.

And if you want to learn even more about running paid campaigns? ClickBank’s own Sr. Performance Marketing Manager and paid ads expert, Jake Newby, teaches you Facebook Ads inside of Spark by ClickBank. This is the official affiliate education platform from ClickBank, with the courses, community, and tools you need to speed up your success as an affiliate.

You’ll also find two other Facebook Ads courses – the $100/day Formula and Facebook Ads Mastery – that dive into running Facebook Ads as an affiliate inside of Spark. Give it a try today to learn more about using paid media for your business!