The Best Alternative to Google Ads (My #1 Growth Hack)

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0:10 Hey everyone, I'm Neil Patel, and today I'm going to share with you the best alternative to Google Ads. What most people don't realize is, you don't have to spend money on Google Ads to create a multibillion-dollar company. Have you heard of Dropbox? Of course, you have; the chances are it's on your computer. Did you know that when Dropbox first came out they tried to grow by doing Google advertising? And what they found is, even though they had a product that costs around $5 a month, which is around $60 a year per customer, they were spending roughly $200 to $300 to acquire a customer from Google Ads.

1:30 Can you see how those numbers don't work out? Not only are they spending more to acquire a customer than what they're paying in the first year, just because someone's paying you $5 a month, but it also doesn't mean that $5 is pure profit either. So, what did Dropbox do? They leveraged growth hacking. They figured out a way to get users to come to their site and generate more customers. They did this by creating a free product or a service, and that's a better alternative to Google Ads.

2:30 If you look at Dropbox, you look at Slack, heck even look at Amazon; Amazon's not really doing free but with a Prime membership, you get free two-day air shipping. By creating something that's free or such an amazing offer, think of it as like your carrot that you're dangling, you're going to get so many people over to your website that then when you upsell them into your paid products or services, it's so much easier because they're already using your product or service, you've already built that brand loyalty, that connection, that rapport with them. It's much easier to get that upsell.

3:00 You do not have to spend money on Google Ads to create a big business; again, look at Dropbox. Leverage growth hacking, and then as you have these free tools, these free products, these free services, and it may not be the best ones out there but something that people are used to paying for, what you can do is do things like creating invite flows. Dropbox has it: you want more free space, invite more users. I can do the same thing with Ubersuggest; I don't, but I can say "Want more free usage? Invite more members." You can get creative with your marketing, leverage growth hacking.

3:30 Just don't put all your money into Google Ads, and the reason I say that, it's not because I don't like Google Ads. Ideally, you should be doing both. But the reason I say this is, the moment you stop Google Ads you don't have any more traffic. By creating something that's free, and it doesn't have to continually cost a ton of money, like HubSpot, they have this free email signature generator. It doesn't cost them much money; they only spent a few thousand dollars creating it.

4:00 They don't even spend any money maintaining it each and every single month. But they found that it can drive over seven figures worth of revenue to their business per year; not too bad from one free tool. So if you have questions on what you should be releasing for free, leave a comment below; I'll answer it. I'll give you some ideas and hopefully, that'll get you off to the races. Thank you for watching; feel free to like, subscribe, comment, and share. Thank you very much.

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    43 comments
    zsolt szakal says October 2, 2018

    Hi Neil!

    Thanks for the video. And what about, if you sell expensive products? I will start my home robotics (vacuum cleaner and lawn mover) store in november. How could I use some kind of growthhack technics?

    Reply
      Neil Patel says October 3, 2018

      You can offer discounted pricing in the beginning or smaller products at a much lower price to draw people in

      Reply
    Steven K. says October 2, 2018

    I love ubersuggest, thanks for this great Tool! Good video 👍

    Reply
      Neil Patel says October 3, 2018

      You’re very welcome, Steven!

      Reply
      24sumo says October 3, 2018

      yeah, this is a great idea for anyone with a few 100 millon dollars to do marketing

      Reply
    loveforthe90s says October 2, 2018

    So where does the traffic come from that gets directed to the free offer?

    Reply
      lubfishin says October 3, 2018

      this was my exact thought! still have to advertise to get the traffic to the site. Right?

      Reply
      Tejas parmar says October 3, 2018

      Advertise of 1st page ranking.
      For the initial output we will have to spend money

      Reply
      Neil Patel says October 3, 2018

      There are many sources of traffic out there. Organic, paid, referral, social, email marketing, etc.

      Reply
      Rastko Mekic says October 11, 2018

      Well, referral, email marketing are paid marketing and social isn’t so much free as they want you to pay to have fans on page and reach. This is one of the most unsatisfied answers I have ever read. And, the title of the video is bombastic but its just waisting time…

      Reply
      Piano Lesson with Warren says March 7, 2019

      loveforthe90s social medias via content marketing. I don’t do ads because my YouTube channel gets over 200k views a month and brings in 4,000 subscribers. This is how I sell my products and grow my email list.

      Reply
    Millionaire Journey says October 2, 2018

    You mean spend money on Google ads to give something for free and then hold him so that we can sell him later

    One more question can we run google ads directly to a landing page where we collect emails to give something for free

    Reply
      Tejas parmar says October 2, 2018

      The landing page shouldn’t be intentional for Email.
      Showcase a product or service and then a satisfying pop-up that will grab high potential Customers rather then just collecting email from everyone who most likely won’t respond to Mails

      Reply
      Anja 1111 says October 2, 2018

      You can, but the landing page needs great content and a high quality give away, something that stands out. Not a PDF book or so, people are bored of that. It must be really good, like a free course that they usually have to pay for. And of course you need to make sure that if it’s a course, it is a high quality one without any sales afterwards. Build trust first, sell later… Grow into the authority figure in your niche.

      Reply
      Neil Patel says October 3, 2018

      You can run ads like that, yes. But make sure you have strategy in place to upsell them too 😉

      Reply
      Simon WoodburyForget says March 7, 2019

      That’s the typical scam: put something on free listing, make it unusable unless the user pays.

      Reply
      James Jordan says March 10, 2019

      Yes that’s exactly what you do if you have a good enough offer ,

      Reply
    Scott Frostholm says October 2, 2018

    I don’t have $150,000 a month to spend

    Reply
      Neil Patel says October 3, 2018

      I was talking about my personal experience. You can apply my idea to any kind of budget.

      Reply
    Pawan Rajput says October 2, 2018

    Wow..
    Big Thanks sir and Love from India to you

    Reply
      Neil Patel says October 3, 2018

      You’re welcome!

      Reply
    Gary Rex says October 2, 2018

    Great content!

    I have a holiday/travel online Store. Selling the obvious swimwear, beach towels, sunglasses etc…. Would love to know what free tool I could offer my customers. 👍

    Reply
    brij bhushan says October 2, 2018

    Hey Neil ,
    Thanks for the awesome video .
    Currently we are running a digital marketing training institute, kindly suggest me a growth hack …

    Reply
      Neil Patel says October 3, 2018

      Give away part of your course for free to generate interest and then upsell the entire course.

      Reply
    NhyilawGH says October 3, 2018

    I run a beauty salon and also sell handmade wigs I created myself, Neil how do I apply this strategy to my business?

    Reply
    Paper bag Production house says October 3, 2018

    Thank you Neil, i use ubersuggest for finding new buying keyword

    Reply
    Always Bhutan Travel says October 3, 2018

    Hi Neil- We follow you closely- Can you suggest a free service for a travel agency company like us. Thank you

    Reply
    randallu says October 3, 2018

    Absolutely love ubersuggest. What do you think I should give away for free for a graphic design service?

    Reply
    boysofts says October 4, 2018

    hy neil, i am a php script developer and developed a lot of of media related scripts like image hosting or video content management sites. now i want to stop freelancing and start my own business like you.
    so any ideas about what you just told (growth hacking) or any free product etc.
    your expert opinion can change my life.
    thanks.

    Reply
    Supriya Mohandas says October 4, 2018

    Hi Neil. Great content and its definitely gonna help many. would you pls let me know what do I give as free to my clients. I’m into freelancing in Graphic Designing and web designing. Thanks much Neil.

    Reply
    Moazzam Ali says October 5, 2018

    Hi, Neil Patel
    How you can describe SEO in one line?

    Reply
    Annie Buck says October 6, 2018

    Got any ideas for a cloud backup company?

    Reply
    Pako Thiam says October 6, 2018

    Hi Neil.
    I run Shopify general store and
    I sell lot of products.
    I give free shipping, % discount.
    Do you have any recommendations?
    Thanks

    Reply
    Alek - Bike says March 6, 2019

    (brought to you by google ads)

    Reply
      Nathan Drake says March 8, 2019

      I swear I was just about to say the same thing. Lol

      Reply
    Brady Beko says March 7, 2019

    “Don’t use google ads”

    *uses google ads*

    Reply
      Brady Beko says March 10, 2019

      Kerrington herndon yes, he’s trying to stop people that are possibly going to use google ads but it doesn’t matter. It’s ironic because it’s exactly the opposite of what he’s telling you

      Reply
      Pr!nt Workz says March 10, 2019

      Sub to me if you want him to learn how to make sense

      Reply
      Wolfpack Dusk says March 11, 2019

      @Kerrington herndon you heard yourself…right?

      Reply
      Nahinh cruizer says March 11, 2019

      Hypocrisy

      Reply
      Bernardo Puppin says June 7, 2019

      it’s called click bait

      Reply
    Dennisrepetiton Miskowski says March 10, 2019

    This was great information I’m looking to grow my following any suggestions you have a new follower

    Reply
      Neil Patel says March 11, 2019

      Thanks!

      Reply
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