May 19, 2020 | Article | by REQ Marketing | Advertising
What Marketing Partners are Doing to Help Businesses during COVID-19
In the time of COVID-19, we have seen digital and technology platforms step up to help brands and businesses navigate the uncertainty. From Facebook to Google, big industry players are offering new resources for brands and businesses. As a digital marketing agency leveraging most of these advertising tools on behalf of our clients' marketing programs, we have compiled a list of digital resources for brands. We will refresh our list as new resources come online. If you have or know of a digital advertising resource you would like to see added to this list, don’t hesitate to send your recommendations to marketing [at] req.co (marketing[at]req[dot]co). These are unprecedented times, and we welcome and encourage your collaboration to help make this the best list of top digital advertising resources for businesses during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Google Ad credits
In an attempt to support businesses, Google Ads is giving qualifying small and medium businesses an ad credit that can be used in 2020. In order to qualify for this credit, companies must have used Google ads for 10 to 12 months in 2019, in addition to using this service in January and February of 2020. The credit will start rolling out in late May, and qualifying customers will be able to use this credit for search, display, or YouTube initiatives. Only one credit per customer will be available and customers will be notified that their credit is available via their Google Ads account. There is not much information on the credit amount other than that it will depend on the country, previous ad spend, and currency of the business.
Amazon has provided grants to neighboring small businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The initial relief fund was $5.5 million as Amazon helped more than 400 small businesses near their Seattle headquarters.
Facebook & Instagram
Although not directly related to advertising, Facebook is also helping businesses through their $100,000 small business grant program. This program has received an overwhelming amount of applications, and although not all businesses will be able to receive grant money, the program remains open to new applicants in the United States. The grant money is meant to help businesses with any type of costs, from operational costs to advertising spend. To be eligible, small businesses must meet the following requirements:
- Have between 2 and 50 employees
- Have been in business for over a year
- Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
- Be in or near a location where Facebook operates
For more information and to apply to this program, visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants
Facebook is also helping businesses move forward during this time by enabling them to offer gift cards on Facebook. Once set up, customers will be able to discover gift cards directly on Facebook and businesses will be able to share the information on their Instagram profile. Customers will be able to purchase online immediately through one of Facebook’s partners, including Square, Toast, and more.
Another way to keep businesses, specifically restaurants, moving forward during COVID-19 is to utilize food stickers for Instagram stories. The interactive sticker can help restaurant owners encourage their viewers to re-share content in a fun and engaging way. Food order partners in the United States include DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats, and more.
Pinterest is another social media platform offering to support businesses through their Verified Merchant Program. For select advertisers, this program makes it easy for Pinners to find and purchase products on Pinterest from trusted merchants. The program is free to join and gives businesses exclusive badges that help them appear in shopping experiences, enable a shopping tab, and measure what matters. Once successfully onboarded, businesses could potentially receive a $500 ad credit.
Pinterest is also offering a $500 bonus media credit for any new advertiser that can spend $1,000 on the platform by the end of Q2 (first-come, first serve basis). In order to qualify for either ad credit, you must be working with a managed agency. REQ’s social advertising team is proudly represented by an Agency Partner Manager at Pinterest and can assist your business with strategizing paid social campaigns and receiving ad credits.
Display and OTT Partners
Some REQ media partners are helping advertisers by offering added value impressions for the same investment, creative builds, and lower minimums. Brands can leverage this extra exposure especially as consumers are following stay-at-home orders and are more online, whether through mobile phones or smart TVs . Other partners are offering ongoing webinars concentrating on consumer and industry research during this pandemic. With our strategic partnerships, REQ has access to these added value benefits and consumer research, which we continue to leverage with our clients.