COVID-19 Google and Facebook marketing stimulus programs

Bogdan Chertes
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Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic we’ve seen major shifts in marketing budgets. While some companies are doing very well, even better than ever, there are unfortunately others that are in trouble.

Google and Facebook have announced programs to help SMBs in need. Both companies announced a series of ways they will support businesses, but for the purpose of this article we will be focusing on marketing related support.

We will update this page as events unfold so that the information stays fresh.

Get the latest on the announced Google ad credits and Facebook SMB grants.

Google Ad credits

Update Jun 17, 2020: Google said it would donate an additional $200 million in free advertising to nonprofit organizations working on issues like the COVID-19 response or fighting racial injustice. Nonprofits can check their eligibility and apply here.

Update Jun 16, 2020: New countries to start receiving credits this week: Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.

Update Jun 8, 2020: Google began rolling out the ad credits to companies with billing address in New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Italy and Germany. And they also published guidelines on the ad credit amount (details below)

Google has pledged $340M in ad credits for SMBs. These credits can be used with Google Ads. Here is the latest about that:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a small and medium sized business worldwide. Google has a dedicated team in charge of identifying small/medium size businesses. 
  • Must have spent with Google Ads for 10 out 12 months of 2019 and in January and/or February 2020.
  • Businesses who advertised directly with Google or through an agency (complying with Google’s advertising policies).

Amounts

Each eligible customer will receive one credit up to a maximum amount of what is equivalent to $1,000 USD depending on:

  • past Google Ads spend
  • the country and currency where the business and Google Ads account is set up. 

How to apply:

There’s no need to apply, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you will receive the ad credits in your Google Ads account.

Timelines 

Starting in late May 2020, they will begin rolling out the ad credit in phases.  If you are eligible, you will be notified and you will see the ad credit applied in your Google Ads account.

Facebook SMB grants

Update Jun 10: The application window for US businesses expired and Facebook is no longer taking new submissions. If you applied, you will be notified about the status of your application in late June.
Other countries are open or will begin to take applications.

Facebook announced $100M financial support for SMBs in the form of cash grants and ad credits. The funds can go to cover staff salaries, rent costs, advertise on Facebook and to cover operational costs.

The program would provide funding to up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries.

Eligibility Criteria:

They are accepting applications from business that:

  • 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

How to apply

From what we see so far, the application process is managed by Ureeka – a small business community.

Other notable mentions for ecommerce businesses

Shopify is offering offering $200M in small business funding, extended 90 day free trial for new stores, free gift cards on all plans. More details on their COVID response page.

Google announced that it will be offering free listings on the Google Shopping tab. The program will at the end of April 2020. Initially it will only be available in the US, but it will roll out globally by the end of the year.

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Author: Bogdan Chertes

Bogdan has helped dozens of ecommerce businesses grow sales and acquire more customers by using data driven PPC marketing strategies. At Adfix, he leads a team of top class PPC and Social Media experts that help clients maximize ROI from their campaigns.