Free advertising opportunities for small businesses during COVID-19

By Annija Erdmane / Ppc / May 25, 2020

In March, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet and Google’s parent company announced that the corporation has set up a fund to support small businesses, governments, and health organisations during the challenging times of a global pandemic.

Google has pledged more than $800 million towards small and medium businesses in need as well as healthcare industry workers.

$250 million of this generous aid will be given in Google ads credit to the World Health Organization and governmental agencies across the globe in ad grants to spread the message about COVID-19 measures.

Another $200 million are going into investment funds towards non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and financial institutions that distribute the capital to small businesses in need. Besides, academic institutions and researchers will be granted $20 million in Google Cloud credits to manage research and track data surrounding the quest for a COVID-19 vaccine.

To support communities and employment worldwide, Google is helping small and medium-sized businesses, as they constitute the majority of all companies worldwide.

Google has announced its Coronavirus (COVID-19) response and disclosed support options available for small and medium-sized businesses looking to advertise their businesses at these uncertain socioeconomic times.

To help small and medium enterprises (SMBs) to keep their businesses going during the current pandemic, Google has launched a worldwide Google Ads credit scheme to its SMB customers.

The $340 million funding will be delegated to help eligible businesses advertise their products and services during 2020. The ad credit can be used across all the Google Ads platforms and can be budgeted for current, or future ad spends until the end of the calendar year.

What are companies eligible for free Google ad credit during Coronavirus?

To be eligible for the free ad credit, a business must:

  • Be small or medium-sized
  • Have an existing Google Ads account
  • Have been advertising with Google Ads for at least 10 -12 months in 2019 and in January and/or February in 2020
  • Have been advertising directly with Google or through a Google partner
  • Adhere to the Google advertising policies

A Google consultant team will work to identify small and medium-sized companies that are eligible for the support. If eligible accounts are managed by one manager account, each account can still receive individual ad credit.

How much ad credit can SMBs get and how they use it?

\ The amount of ad credit granted to each business varies. It is dependent on Google Ads spend in the above-listed timeframe, as well as the currency and market that the account is registered.

\ Once the account has been granted ad credit, it will be applied to future Google Ads spend. It is important to note that the ad credit does not work retroactively and cannot be applied to past billed ad spend.

Each customer is eligible for one Google ad credit. The ad credit-granting process will be delivered in several phases, starting from the end of May. Eligible accounts will receive a notification and be able to see the applied ad credit in their Google Ads account.

Once received, the ad credit is valid till 31st of December 2020. Any remaining credit after this date will be removed from the account.

List product ads on Google Shopping for free

A separate announcement that may be very beneficial to small businesses selling products online is the decision by Google to enable any online business owner list their products for free with the Google Shopping platform. For the time being, it will only be available in the US.

To get started, advertisers need to create a Google Merchant Centre account that will store their product feed and also opt in to using ‘Surface Across Google’. You can learn more about the free product listings update here.

Similarly, to Google’s search ads, there will be paid Shopping ads on the top and the bottom of the results.

Free listings will only be on the Shopping tab of Google’s search engine, and the organic Shopping listings will be in the middle of the paid Shopping listings. To earn the top placement position businesses operating online stores and marketplaces will still have to pay

The new change has been in plans for a while; however, the sudden arrival of Coronavirus has accelerated it. The free advertising opportunity could become a lifeline for small business owners.

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Facebook launches the Small Business Grants Program

Google is not the only platform offering support to small companies looking for help advertising their products and services during the current worldwide pandemic.

Facebook has set up the Small Business Grants programme to aid small businesses that are undergoing tough times now.

The company has pledged $100 million in cash grants and Facebook Ads credits to small companies in need.

What can the Facebook Small Business Grants be used for?

The programme aims to enable small businesses to cover their rent and operational expenses during the economic crisis, as well as to keep connected with their customers and maintain a healthy workforce.

Who is eligible for the Facebook Small Business Grants program?

To be eligible for the program, a business must:

  • Operate in one of the 30 countries that Facebook works
  • Be a small business with between 2 and 50 employees
  • Have suffered disruptions due to COVID-19
  • Have been running for at least one year

How to manage your Google Ads or Facebook Ads grant?

If you are eligible for the Google Ads or Facebook Ads grant, once the grant has landed in your account, the next step is to come up with a strategic plan for how to use the newfound advertising resources.

At Pepper PPC Agency, we strive to help businesses of all sizes to leverage their advertising funding to reach the highest return on investment and achieve business growth, which is especially crucial at times like these.

Our account managers create and structure your Google Ads and Facebook Ads accounts, as well as optimise your ad groups and ads to achieve optimal advertising results.

Through a strategic and data-driven approach, we work to generate new leads, spread brand awareness, and most importantly, create a return on investment.

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