Click Through Reads #4: Helping Local Businesses

Johanna Gumbrill
May 14, 2020

Signs of Spring are everywhere (unless you live in the North East) and as the flowers are blooming, shops and businesses are slowly starting to open up. I can’t wait to go pick up my favorite foods from some of the restaurants in my town that were completely closed during the shutdown. While it might not be the same as being served in a cute restaurant, I appreciate all the meals I don’t have to cook a million times more after months of preparing every meal. 

Before we get into the news I wanted to share a quick note about a whitepaper the JDM team put together to help businesses restart their Google and Facebook marketing campaigns after being paused or having reduced spend for several weeks. There are helpful insights for ads, automated bidding, and proactive marketing strategies that will help reduce budget waste and hopefully lead to a successful relaunch for your product or service. Check it out here!

As businesses open up, marketing budgets will be turned back on and people will begin to search for good and services available again. To adapt to this new flow of customer activity, Google and Facebook are releasing new features to help brick-and-mortar businesses drive local foot traffic. Let’s get into the news, starting with a Facebook update for local businesses.  

Top News

Facebook Updates for Local Business: Facebook has been releasing new features to better help local businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. Last month they released a tool to easily display temporary services changes on business pages. More recently they released a “support small business” sticker on Instagram and a hashtag of Facebook so customers can help promote their favorite businesses. A new Businesses Nearby feature lets people see the latest updates from businesses in their area. The Business Inbox in Messenger will be getting an upgrade soon so it’s easier to connect with customers directly in the Messenger App.

Getting Back to Business: First Steps for Marketing: As businesses around the world slowly begin to open up, there are steps to be taken for businesses to ensure they are successful during this time. Looking at marketing specifically, the author provides a list of questions for business owners including asking if vendors survived the shutdown, if customer segments have disappeared or emerged, and asking what your current marketing capabilities are given any layoffs or furloughs. Brands should also consider their customers' needs at this time and how to use marketing to build a relationship rather than badgering them with unhelpful messages.

Extra Note: If you are ready to turn on your digital marketing again, we suggest checking out our white paper to make sure your campaigns are setup for success after being paused due to COVID-19.  

Paid Search is Bouncing Back: For the past couple of months, the pandemic has hit all industries in various ways. However, beginning mid-April, advertisers are seeing spend on paid search come back. While many companies paused spend due to a decrease in demand and shifting internal finances, many paused to rethink their strategies moving forward. After all, “sales are going to come online — obviously not 100%, but you know that’s going to happen.”

One question companies need to ask themselves now is, “How can we make the best of this new normal, and what strategy do we need to implement in order to get there?” Being prepared for different situations is key so companies can pivot and shift with the changing times.

Google Local Shopping Ads: Google Tests Curbside Pickup Badge on Local Shopping Ads in response to COVID-19 restrictions. Google has been giving local businesses more messaging options such as special store hours, and pickup/delivery options over the last few months. Now, it’s rolling out “Curbside pickup” badges for Local Inventory Ads (LIA). 

The badges appear at the top of eligible ads on both mobile and desktop results. To get “Curbside pickup” enabled in your LIAs, you’ll need to meet the criteria for Store Pickup and offer same-day or next-day pickup from the time the order is placed. This is still in beta, so you’ll need to be whitelisted by your Google rep.