Hello team, hope you are all safe and well at home. We have been keeping a close eye on all the developments and initiatives that are being rolled out by companies in a bid to support small businesses. If you’re not doing so already, please follow us on instagram where I have been sharing stories around these updates and easy tips that anyone can implement to strengthen their website if they are experiencing a lull.

Facebook and Instagram Ad Credits for Small Businesses

If you experience business disruption, the first thing to do is to cut costs. Naturally marketing falls into this category and ad spend is pulled BUT if possible, it’s more important than ever to stay visible and qualifying for free advertising media budget enables businesses to do just that. Fortunately, Facebook recently announced it has committed $100m of media spend for small business ad grants.

  • Who is eligible? Still TBC but you can sign up for more information so make sure you’re on that list. What we know so far is that 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where Facebook operates will be supported.
  • How can you apply? Right now, you can’t apply. Presumably they need to set up a system to facilitate this new programme but to quote Facebook, they will start taking applications in the “next few weeks”. If you are signed up to our emails we’ll let you know as soon as we have the info.
  • What format will the relief take? According to their website, it will be cash grants and ad credit.

Instagram has been very proactive in asking it’s users how it can support them during this time and the clear message from comments were to give smaller channels more exposure in the algorithm so expect positive changes if you’re under 10k followers – we’ll let you know if we hear anything else.

Google Ad Credits for Small Businesses

Google Ad grants screenshot

Google have a history of supporting young businesses and already offer Google ad grants for charities, so we presume that their support during the Corona virus will be rolled out in a similar way.

  • Who is eligible? Small and medium businesses (organisations with under 250 employees) who already advertise directly with Google and have accounts that have been “active since the beginning of 2019” – we assume accounts with regular monthly spend will be prioritised.
  • How can you apply? Again, you cannot apply for the credits and need to hold tight until you receive a notification within your Google Ads account “in the coming months” rather than the weeks promised by Facebook.
  • What format will the credits take? The Google credits will be valid for Google Ads platform including Search, Display, and YouTube and they will be valid until the end of 2020. We’ll keep all our clients the loop as and when we find out more.

Shopify Covid-19 Update

Shopify reacted very quickly and rolled out a series of Shopify product updates in response to Covid-19 as well as $200m in Shopify Capital to help small businesses get through the day-to-day but unlike with Facebook, these will not be grants but positioned as a loan.

This could be useful for businesses new to ecommerce and wanting to pivot their business online while lockdown is enforced in the UK. You will also benefit from an extended 90-day trial (rather than the standard 14-day) free trial if you want to use this time to develop your ecommerce offering. For more information on Shopify and how it compares to other ecommerce platforms, checkout our shopify vs woocomerce review.

If you’re an existing Shopify customer you can now get physical and digital Gift Cards added to your site to help support independent restaurants and retailers. Plus, Shopify have rolled out local delivery or pavement pickup features to help businesses do what they can to keep selling.

Hubspot Covid-19 Updates

Hubspot is one of our recommended CRM systems and they have rolled out a series of discounts as well as freebies to help small businesses move operations online.These include their paid Meetings functionality, Quotes, E-Sign and 1:1 video creation tools completely free for 90 days.

  • Meetings: Share a link with prospects or customers that lets them see when you’re free and book virtual meetings with you. When live, all users will have access to paid meeting functionality – that’s 1,000 personal & team meetings links per portal.
  • Quotes & E-sign: Create and share proposals online in just a few clicks. Then get digital signatures for quotes and other documents. All users will have access to unlimited quotes and 10 signatures per user per month.
  • 1:1 Video Creation: Create and share personalized videos with prospects directly from the HubSpot CRM, and track their performance. Videos can be up to one hour in length.

I think that is it for our roundup today but we will keep updating and adding to this list – if you have any other questions then please let us know and ensure you’re signed up to our emails or following us on Instagram @tribedigitaluk if you want more updates.