Digital Marketing Trends You Cant Ignore in 2021 - read the full article about digital marketing 2021, Digital Marketing and All digital inbound channels from Neil Patel on Qualified.One
- CPCs, and you know, cost for impressions decreasing drastically right now.
I dont know if you guys see that, but we see that.
We also see conversion rates decreasing.
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- The man, the myth, the legend.
Thanks for your time, man.
- [Neil] Yeah, no problems.
Lets do this.
- Ive only done a few of them so far, but what Id love to start off with is exploring into the hero stories.
But with you Neil, its a little bit different because I dont know how many podcasts, interviews, stages youve been on where you kind of explained your early beginnings of, you werent poor.
You werent rich.
You knew you wanted to make a lot of money.
So you hit the, I think you hit the job boards.
You realized that, wait a second, this job where its making millions of dollars.
Why not try to duplicate it? And from there, - Yes - You kind of thought about how to drive traffic.
So I imagine youve explained that a bunch.
What I wanted to start off with is where did the hustle mentality come from? What was it like living in the Patel household? How did you first even think of making money on your own? - I grew up in Orange County, which is the neighboring county.
And you have some nice parts of Orange County right on the beach, like Laguna and Newport.
Its super expensive.
You have people driving Ferraris and stuff like that.
I grew up in Northern Orange County, right? So, away from the water.
And where I grew up, the homes are really old.
And as you know, it gets hot in California.
We had no air conditioning in our house.
See, the hustle mentality just came from I just wanted a better life.
And I knew my parents couldnt provide it because I was, at that time I was in high school.
Im like, "Man, Ive been with them for so long.
"They raised me. Theyd done a good job," but they just dont know how to make money.
So Im like, "I got to go figure this shit out on my own." And thats where the mentality came from now.
Now, my mom was a good entrepreneur.
She never made a lot, but she was good.
She didnt speak the best English, but she did fine.
My mom was like, "All right. So you guys know all "about affiliate marketing.
"You guys have the Affiliate World Conference.
"Just think of this.
"If you want someone to promote you, "you pay them money." My mom had a home daycare.
Shed be like, "You know what? "Theres a lot of other home daycares "around here where theyre full "because legally, you can only have so many kids." My moms like, "Let me go to all of them and give them my flyer and tell them, Hey, if you have any overage overflow, send them my way." She didnt pay them no affiliate commission.
She just said, "Hook me up." - Yeah.
- And thats how she grew her business.
- Its probably a crazy thing to do like who dare go to their competition and be like, "Hey, any business you have that you dont want to take? "Just give them to me.
"Yeah, Im not going to compensate you.
"Im not going to give you anything.
"Just hook it up." - So I guess she was sharing these kinds of methods as she went.
And you were kind of just eavesdropping in on how that hustling mentality goes.
- Yeah, she didnt share the methods, but yeah, it was more eavesdropping.
I would see her do it.
My mom had no clue what advertising is.
She was like, "Im going to put it out in the PennySaver." I dont even know if the PennySaver still exists.
- Well, so I mean, fast forward, and youre getting these big checks in the mail.
And I remember you on stage giving the best impression or impersonation of your dad, I think.
- Its not perfect.
Oh son, today youre going to get a beating.
- Give me your best impersonation of your family realizing you were making bank online.
- So it was funny.
So when I was starting to get the checks, my dads like, "Oh, where did this come from?" And, you know, at the end of the day, Im not the best at impersonations.
But my dad at first, before I started getting the checks he would be like, "Whatever you save, Ill match it." Now, my parents never made a lot, but they saved a lot.
And then as the check started getting bigger and bigger, he withdrew his matching statement, you know? because hes got to match it.
But I started getting checks like at some point of people paying 10, 20 grand a month.
And when youre in high school, even right now, thats a lot of money.
And keep in mind, my dad wasnt making 10 grand a month.
So hes like, "Oh, what is this?" Right? - Yeah.
- But they were just shocked.
Theyre like, "Oh, what did our kid do?" At first, I was the idiot.
And then theyre like, "Maybe this idiot has something going for him." - What point were you making-- - And-- - Go on.
- And they didnt feel like I was really an idiot.
I just wasnt as smart as my sister.
- Oh, of course.
What point were you making 10K a month as; it was a teenager? - Yeah, like 16ish, my guess.
- And this was off of the job site, or? - No, so the job site failed.
- And it was funny because when you started the interview, I thought you were giving me a background and not starting the interview.
Thats when I was like, "Okay, sounds good." - Yeah.
- [Neil] With the job site.
See, I created the job site, and I put that out there, and no one came to it.
You know, a lot of people know this story.
So I had to learn marketing on my own.
But as the job site got traffic, I still wasnt making money.
I was like, "Screw this." Even though I wasnt that smart, I did decently well in school still.
Just not compared to my sister.
I think my sister was like one of the top four girls in the state of California.
- Oh, wow. Pressure.
- So something like that, right? So what I ended up doing was, I started taking nighttime college classes while I was in high school to finish.
So that way, when I would go to college, I can be done in two years.
- Amazing, yeah.
- And my first class was Speech 101, and I gave a speech on how Google works and SEO works.
And someone in there hired me for five grand a month.
- Youre kidding me.
- Yeah, hes like, "Im a sales rep at "this company called Elpac.
"We could do power supplies "for heart resuscitators, Boeing planes.
"You know, were a big B2B industrial conglomerate," or not really an industrial conglomerate.
But, "Were a big B2B company.
"We deal with industrial conglomerates." And theyre like, "We do roughly 20 million a year.
"And we want someone to help us generate more leads online." And I helped them generate an additional 20 through leads online.
And it wasnt all me, because theyre shuttered up, so it had to close.
But the guy in there, hes like, "Yeah, can I introduce you?" Because at that time, there really wasnt, people didnt know what SEO was or how to run Google ads and that was harder.
- Shit, so your first big bank check was your first speaking gig.
- It came from that.
- Yeah, it came from that.
- because it was five grand a month.
And then from there, the owner of the company I started making money, hed be like, "Whos this guy whos making us money?" He found out I was a kid.
Hes an old gentleman.
His son owned an ad agency and was dealing with like Blue Cross, Countrywide, which is now owned by Bank of America, gave 100 during the last recession in 2008.
So his son was selling my services for me, and just taking some-- - So white label agency? - I would just do the work they do at white label.
- Thats hilarious.
So this was teenager, or this was going in towards college.
But even when I was doing some digging, I came across a story of yours where you said that you got caught hacking into AOL at age 12.
- I was impersonating an AOL member, and then I was getting free movies and stuff.
- What? You did it for free movies? That was the premise? - Yeah, so I didnt have to pay to a movie theater.
Money was tight back then.
- I love it.
I do know that once you did kind of step into affiliate marketing, you also said that, I think this mightve been on stage with us that you were ranking number one for casino offers, auto insurance.
I cant remember. - Web hosting.
- Yeah, web hosting.
You said you were ranking at number one for all of those.
Now, ranking number one for just one of those is impressive.
What were you doing at that time, that you probably cant even do right now, to be able to rank like that? - I was doing things like having WordPress themes, releasing them, and just putting in rich links.
So anyone who download my WordPress theme were linked back to me.
I was doing stuff thats not above the board when it comes to SEO, and I wouldnt recommend it.
I was looking to kind of make a quick buck.
And if I took the longer route, I wouldve stayed there, and I would have made money much longer and still have that extra income today.
So that was my big faux pas.
- Yeah, I mean, everyones got many of them or otherwise, theyre not doing it right unless theyre tripping over things.
I mean, with affiliate marketing, how far did you go on the offer side or did you normally just gravitate towards your own services and your agency? - Own services and agency.
Ive never been big on affiliate marketing.
I just dont like the non-steady income.
- The ups-and-downs, yeah.
- Correct, I like being on the other side where youre offering affiliate offer, and youre recruiting affiliates versus youre being the affiliate.
- Much more control.
- Because I look at time, so whatever youre doing, most of us want income.
Dont get me wrong. I want income.
Im not rich at all, but I want the opportunity to sell a bit, creating a affiliate, you know, business and just making some money.
Its hard to flip that business versus doing something more sustainable and recruiting affiliates and then making money that way.
To your point though, of you saying youre not rich at all.
One of the funnier stories Ive heard is that you are homeless.
I dont know if thats true still, but there came to be a point in your life where you-- - It is.
- It is still? - Well, not homeless.
I live in my wifes house, but yes.
- Yeah, but it was the materialistic items that, once you get a lot of money, spending them.
The happiness never lasts.
And so, the story was, you kind of just gave up all of that and didnt you, did you donate a bunch of it or? - Donated a lot of it.
Some of it, I kept.
Some of it, I dumped into more businesses.
But yeah, I live in a home.
I have a kid, so you kind of need a home when you have a kid and a wife.
- Yeah, of course. - Definitely.
But I live in my wifes house.
- Nice, nice.
I want to ask you.
Obviously, you have a lot of data on your end that you get insights into a lot of people.
You were super generous with all of it on your blog as well.
You had referenced to how it was during the last recession in regards to ad buying and prices.
And, you know, not seeing so much of a blip in the last recession, but with COVID right now.
Yeah, lets hear about that.
- You guys probably have some data as well because you guys know more affiliates than I do.
But were seeing CPCs and cost for impressions decreasing drastically right now.
I dont know if you guys see that, but we see that.
We also see conversion rates decreasing, but for most things.
But the CPCs have dropped down so much that youre still making more money, even though with the conversion dips.
Does that make sense? - Yeah. No, of course. Yeah.
- Because its like, if the conversions dip.
Im making a number up just to keep the numbers simple for everyone.
But if your conversions dip by 20%, but your CPCs dip by 40 or not by 40, but by four X, so 400%, you still make more money.
- Were you seeing that across the board though? Or is it vertical-based? - Vertical-based, yeah.
- Yeah, because I mean, you shared recently-- - Stealing toilet paper, your CPCs arent going down.
- Your CPCs may not be going down, but your CPAs are going down because everyones buying.
- Yeah, of course.
- Youre selling travel, your CPCs are really plummeted, but your CPA is even worse than your CPC, so it doesnt even matter, right? - To that point too, you shared your graph recently of how food verticals exploding.
Obviously, whether the people are looking for new recipes, off of say, like a download bar or something or food delivery apps that are absolutely smashing it right now.
But everything else is majority down.
Most verticals outside of that, besides health, which I saw it on your graph, had a little bit of it or has an increase.
Almost everything-- - But a lot of them are up through word-on-mouth.
Does that make sense? Like the ones that are up.
People arent necessarily being like, "Huh, I need a disinfectant for my house." Theyre just like, "I need bleach," and they just go and buy bleach.
Does that make sense? A lot of the people who are crushing it right now are the brand names.
- Yes and no.
I mean, a lot of the brands are the ones who are having a slashed budget, so were seeing a lot of offers go down too.
- Of course.
But Im saying for the industries that are hot, theyre hot enough where people dont do Google searches to buy those products.
Theyre just buying them and going directly to the brand.
- So with that being said, more than not this time in particular, brands are what people should be focusing on building over anything else.
It should be brand-focused first because they can be that takeover, that bleach over, hand sanitizer, a keyword, or whether its a Facebook like, you know, avoiding FTC, looking for brands that they can rely on.
Brands now are more important than ever, wouldnt you say, especially during this time? - Yes.
And this is a great time to focus on building a brand, but its just a terrible time in general.
It doesnt mean you cant start a business or come out fine.
Its just that times are tough right now.
- What would be your advice for small agencies, five to 10 size with clients that are in a broad range of verticals? What would be your advice for them? Would it be buckle down, help them on the back end as much as possible? - Cut fat.
I know that sounds bad, but sometimes you have to cut to stay in business or furlough.
Try to avoid that.
But you can apply for the government loans and grants in different countries, so that way you can retain people.
The second thing would be offer additional services to make up any revenue loss.
The third thing would be is get creative and start thinking out of the box.
People cant pay you.
Maybe they even pay you on a performance basis.
So start trying different things just to get your income going.
- And focusing a lot on the back end for your clients as much as possible as well, right? If theres less money coming in.
- Correct, yes.
- Yeah, yeah.
And so, what are some of the clients that youve seen yourself being a little bit more worried about on your end? - Brick and mortar.
We have some clients that have a ton of stores throughout the US.
Theyre like, "Yeah, we have 400 locations." Its just like, "All right.
"I cant really run the ads "for their offline locations anymore." - Yeah. Of course, of course.
- It is what it is.
You know, more importantly, if I lose a little bit of money, its not bad.
I just helped less people lose their jobs.
And we all come out of this stronger and, hopefully, the least amount of people pass away from COVID.
- Yeah. Yeah.
Its an unprecedented times for sure.
And every day, were learning things new.
And we dont have to go into it too much, but, you know, returning the economy back to normal is one thing.
Is the cure worth it? Its this ongoing conversation.
No easy decision.
- Yeah, lifes not going to be the same for awhile.
- Well, yeah, to that point too.
On consumer habits after this, where do you see consumer habits shifting towards in cautious spending? - Sure.
Youre going to still see people retain their Disney+ and Netflix subscriptions.
because they know many kids, theyve been booming.
Youre going to start seeing older.
See, you and I already use things like Amazon.
Im assuming you use Amazon all the time.
Your parents are less likely to use Amazon though.
People like my parents barely use Amazon.
Now though, theyre using it for everything, including grocery delivery.
And theyre like, "Huh, this is convenient.
"Huh, this is the same price I would have paid at the store.
"Huh, theres this thing called a prime membership "where I get free TV and free music and everything." Theyre like, "This is super convenient." Youre going to have a lot of people come online.
They were online anyway, but now theyre making more purchases online.
Theyre realizing how convenient it is.
because they didnt just have to do it for a week.
Its been so far a month, and then itll take roughly another month or two.
So theyre getting used to it.
Youre going to see a lot of these people continue with that trend.
Does that makes sense? - I know. It makes perfect sense.
You could almost say we accelerated five years or something down the road where this was going to happen.
Its just; everyone was forced to get more used to it.
And to the point of your brick and mortar clients, this is the scariest point ever is that once we get through this, will it ever be the same for them again? Or is it still going to be on the decline? Just sooner, right? - Yeah.
Some of them, even if theyre on the decline, theyll adapt.
Target will do more deliveries or Walmart will or whatever it may be.
You know, youre totally right.
Its like this wasnt going to happen eventually.
It just had sped things up.
I think thats a great way to put it.
- And so now, realizing that if youre an agency, its about focusing as much time as you can on getting them ready for a full online experience, really.
And being transparent with what the reality is going to look like for them down the road, yeah? - Yeah.
I know your time is probably super precious, and I dont want to get these things to last too long.
Are there any other leftover comments that you want to leave with the audience? You know, any other other insights youve had? I know on your blog, youve talked about how for e-commerce, theres spreading payments out.
What are things that our marketers, our audiences, can consider when adapting to this change? - Big thing that your audience would probably love is selling informational base educational products are crushing it right now.
- Anyone listening, if havent started, you should consider selling it.
You can get up and running through click funnels.
Just run some ads through Facebook, and you can crush it.
Create good courses and products.
But you can do really well, especially right now, with CPCs being so low.
- Yeah, I mean, to that point, make good products everyone.
Theres so much noise out there.
Everyones selling a course.
Do something that actually provides value.
I think the industry can get a bit of a bad rep with all these courses out there, but provide that unique advantage.
Something that you can only share is much appreciated for everyone in this industry and those clients that are purchasing it as well.
But youre right, Neil. This is the time.
People are shifting online to learn.
People are looking for additional income revenues generated for themselves.
So this is the time.
If you have something to share, if its unique, definitely go online and do it.
Neil, thank you for the time.
I know that was quick, but appreciate it.
And well definitely chat soon, okay? - Take care. - See you.
Neil Patel: Digital Marketing Trends You Cant Ignore in 2021 - Digital Marketing