Google To Support SMB with Ad Credits

On Friday, Google announced it will pledge $340 million to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with Google Ads credits. This represents just a portion of an overall $800+ million plus effort to support SMBs, health organizations and governments, healthcare workers, academia, and other organizations worldwide during this difficult time.

Google is committed to helping SMBs weather this difficult time. Providing support in the form of Google Ads credits allows many businesses to continue advertising even as they may be seeing a need to cut back on expenses. 

Continuing with a digital advertising program helps businesses to ensure their funnel of potential sales does not dry up during this difficult time, thereby putting them in a positive position for the future. Ongoing advertising also helps to ensure there is little to no “ramp up” period on the other side of this crisis.

Google will be communicating with advertisers who have had active accounts over the past year via their Google Ads account. Credit notifications will appear there and can be used throughout 2020 on any Google advertising platform.

More information on the ad credits for SMBs can be found here.

Google’s full commitment is made up of the following additional components:

  • Support for Health-Related Organizations. Google will support a wide variety of healthcare organizations including the WHO, NGS, community financial institutions, and government agencies through $270 million in ad grants.
  • Providing Access to Capital. An additional $200 million investment is being made to fund NGOs and other financial institutions that will provide support for small businesses around the world by providing access to capital.
  • Support for Academia and Research. A $20 million pool has been set aside to provide Google Cloud credits for researches and academic institutions pursuing potential therapies, vaccines, and other research related to COVID-19.

Funding for PPEs and Medical Devices. Google will be offering “financial support and expertise to help increase the production capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) and life saving medical devices.”

Support for Business Affected by COVID-19

Both the US Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Association have released information for small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Applications

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that small businesses owners across the U.S. are now eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

This program is designed to provide businesses with working capital to help them overcome temporary losses to revenue due to COVID-19. Funds can be made available within 3 days and the loan advance does not have to be repaid.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program can also provide working capital loans for up to $2 million.

More information and links to apply for loans and loan advances can be found here.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Emergency Loans

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to support small businesses during this time. Designed to help keep workers employed, the Paycheck Protection Program provides 100% federally guaranteed loans.

Businesses who accept these loans and who maintain their payroll during the crisis or restore their payroll after this has passed will have their loans forgiven.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has provided this document with detailed information about eligibility, what information will need to be provided to qualify, how much can be borrowed, and more details on the forgiveness program.

How Successful Brands Use Digital Marketing to Target Millennials

Marketing to Millennials Qiigo BlogThere is no market segment more attractive — or more perplexing — to modern brands than millennials. Consumers aged 18 to 34 are now the largest consumer demographic in the United States and are spending upwards of $600 billion each year on products and services. But unlike their parents and grandparents, millennials are highly resistant to traditional marketing avenues.

So how do successful brands reach millennial consumers? They harness the power of digital marketing.

Brands with digital savvy are dominating the millennial market. By coordinating their online, mobile, and social strategies, smart brands are generating loyal, avid customers among millennial consumers.

If your brand sees room for growth among millennials, your brand’s digital marketing game plan will be critical to growing your business. Here’s how your brand can harness the power of digital marketing to target millennials in 2017.

Triangulate Your Digital Marketing Game Plan

Millennials’ online habits are fractured, scattered across a range of devices and networks. More than any other demographic, millennials are comfortable switching back and forth between devices, sites, and apps. For brands, this means that a successful digital marketing strategy for millennials must be a coordinated effort. When marketing to millennials online, a triangulated strategy across desktop, mobile, and social platforms is essential.

Successful brands create a cohesive, multi-platform experience for millennial users. This means a seamless experience as millennials research brands on mobile browsers, track their reviews on social networks, and move to desktop computers to make a final transaction.

With Millennials, Give More to Get More

Unlike millennials, baby boomers and generation Xers were raised on one-way media. Old media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, movies, and television, lacked interactivity. But for generation Y, the interactive nature of the internet has shaped the purchasing behaviors of younger consumers.

This means that when millennials interact with brands, they expect a more give-and-take experience than their parents and grandparents did. To attract and retain millennial consumers, brands need to build an appealing, personable identity and find ways to offer value through their online content. Whether that’s by maintaining a slick social media presence or operating an information-packed blog, you can get more by giving more through your digital marketing channels.

Micro-Target with Social Segments

Millennials have a habit of baffling brands for one simple reason — brands tend to approach Millennials the way they approached past generations: as a monolith. But millennials are a more socially diverse and fragmented generation than any other. As a result, taking a broad approach to the Millennial market is counterproductive more often than not.

But in the internet age, a fragmented market is a benefit for smart brands, not a stumbling block. That’s because it’s now easier than ever to micro-target your brand’s top prospects. Millennials define themselves by their social circles, and by micro-targeting Millennials through social segmentation, you’ll be able to match your brand’s digital marketing efforts to the users who are most in tune with who your brand is and what your brand does.

Capture the attention of millennial consumers with help from the digital marketing experts at Qiigo. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 to get started.

Create Ads for Nearby Customers with Facebook’s New Tools

fb local ads

Facebook recently improved its advertising tools for local businesses, a decision stemming off the company’s 45 percent increase in advertising sales over the past year. Now they have plans to gain an even larger share of local business marketing budgets.

The social networking leader has released two new ad products that are tailor-made for local business marketing. These tools are designed to give businesses a detailed understanding of local foot traffic as well as help multi-location organizations target ads to specific store areas.

The first of the new tools is a tab in the Page Insights section allowing local businesses to identify the groups of people nearby. The data gained from Facebook mobile user demographics can show local business marketers when their neighborhood is most active.

The company revealed that retailers can also view the number of anonymous users within various distances: 150 feet, 450 feet and 1,500 feet. This tool will also give you important demographics, such as age and gender, of residents and visitors in the vicinity.

A recent blog post from Facebook said advertisers can see the percentage of people who have seen the ad in their location, showing businesses how their ads are reaching potential customers. This unique tool helps businesses achieve their local marketing goals by reaching a greater number of people near them.

The second local advertising tool helps businesses target local traffic by creating location-specific ads. This will allow multi-site businesses to target their ads to specific store locations.

If potential customers are near any of your business locations, they will see the branch name, address and phone number, as well as a button that allows them to receive directions. This feature is great because it takes away the necessity of opening a mobile map app.

Matt Idema, VP of Facebook product marketing, said these products will help businesses track foot traffic near their stores and understand how ad campaigns affect those groups. Taking advantage of these two new tools will give local businesses an edge by giving them a better picture of the people who are within walking distance of their stores.

For more information on the new local advertising options with Facebook, or about incorporating social advertising into your marketing mix, please call Qiigo at (404) 496-6841.

Google Offers Gmail Native Ads to Advertisers

Gmail ads1

Google is offering an updated Gmail native ad product for advertisers. The previous format allowed advertisers to place their ads at the top of users’ inboxes, but now AdWords users can display ads in a more appealing fashion.

Gmail Ads

This reinvented native format was released to help make it easier for advertisers to buy Gmail ads. Users will be able to view these ads in more appealing ways than those previously available.

The nature of these native ads encourage user clicks due to their placement on the page; they are now collapsed by default on the page and will only expand when users click on them. Ads will also feature a variety of extensions, including forms, images, and call-to-actions buttons.

Google claims that this new ad format will create greater informational and visual quality of landing pages. They will only charge advertisers when these collapsed boxes are expanded, keeping with the style of traditional AdWords pricing.

One of the most popular features of the native ads is their forwarding function; each ad contains a “Forward” link, allowing users to send the information to others. There is also a “Save to Inbox” link that lets them save ads just as one would save an email.

Google has made the purpose of these ads clear: The native advertising in Gmail shows higher quality ads that mesh well with the inbox layout. Gmail advertisers can use standard AdWords targeting options to develop their own personalized native ads.

Higher quality, customized ads will lead to a better user experience. Users will still be able to control which types of ads they see in their inboxes, retaining the customization aspect of Gmail. And these won’t appear in the inboxes of those using Google apps for Work.

Advertisers will be happy to reach audiences in a less intrusive way through this native ad format. As the update continues to draw in more advertisers, we’ll no doubt see more local advertising options become available.

Learn more about the updated Native Gmail ads in AdWords here.

Want to find out how your brand can incorporate Gmail native ads in your marketing mix? Call Qiigo today at (404) 496-6841.

Internet Ad Revenues Up 19%

internet ad revenue2014-2015

According to a recent report, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) states that internet ad revenues in the U.S. grew to $27.5 billion over the first six months of 2015. This represents a 19% jump compared to the $23.1 billion in the same period in 2014.

The IAB’s “Internet Advertising Revenue Report” revealed that internet ad revenues grew by 22.5% in 2015’s second quarter compared to the same period in 2014. This year’s number was $14.3 billion, compared to $11.7 billion in Q2 2014, representing an 8.5% advancement in 2015’s first quarter.

Representatives of the IAB stated that consumers have been adjusting their media and purchasing habits. The use of digital and mobile devices have helped to influence these changes.

The report went on to state that mobile revenues are up to $8.2 billion at the half year mark in 2015, which is up 54% compared to the $5.3 billion in the first six months of 2014. Mobile ad revenue now covers 30% of internet advertising revenues, a 23% increase from the half year mark in 2014.

Digital video revenue, at $2 billion, is up 35% from 2014 to 2015. While social media revenues are up to $4.4 billion in the first half of 2015, 51% greater than in the same six months of 2014.

The remaining half of advertising revenues consist of the same three categories as previous years, including retail at 22% and both automotive and financial services at 13%.

Display ad revenue is up 5% in the first six months of 2015 compared to 2014, at $6.8 billion, compared to $6.5 billion over the same period in 2014. Display ad revenue accounts for 25% of all digital ad revenue.

Yahoo & Google Sign Non-Exclusive Ad Agreement


Yahoo and Google recently signed a deal in which Google will provide ads for results on Yahoo’s search engine. Many of the details remain undisclosed, but the basic agreement is that Google will provide ads on Yahoo search results pages and pay Yahoo a percentage of gross revenues from AdSense for Search ads displayed on Yahoo Properties. In turn, Yahoo will pay Google fees for image search results or web algorithmic search results.

The deal is similar to a previous one between Yahoo and Microsoft Bing, which was updated in March. That update left a gap for Yahoo to partner with other search ad providers. Yahoo took advantage of this opportunity to partner with the largest search engine behemoth in the industry.

The agreement began on October 1st and expires late in 2018. Yahoo disclosed the general nature of the contract in its quarterly earnings results.

Both companies have also come to an agreement with the US Department of Justice regarding antitrust issues. The DOJ previously shut down a similar agreement between Yahoo and Google in 2008.

Google disclosed that the agreement would come to an end if “certain events” were to take place, but neither Google nor Yahoo has stated what events this clause refers to.

The contract is non-exclusive, meaning Yahoo remains free to continue its relationship with Microsoft and to provide its own search ads as well. Yahoo has previously been reported to be building technology for its own search results via mobile technology. This agreement simply gives Yahoo the opportunity to use the Google name and power for search results and ads while pursuing its own path.

This is an excerpt from Yahoo recently released statement in regards to the agreement:

    “…Google will provide Yahoo with search advertisements through Google’s AdSense for Search service…web algorithmic search services through Google’s Web search Service, and image search services. The results provided by Google for these services will be available to Yahoo for display on both desktop and mobile platforms…”

New CEO to Lead Google


Earlier this month, Google announced it’s restructuring into a company called Alphabet. Alphabet has been positioned as a “collection of companies” to be run by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. This collection of companies will include Google as well as those other companies which are a bit more “far afield” of Google’s
main internet products.


Sundar Pichai, new CEO at Google, 2016

With the restructuring came the need to appoint a new CEO at Google. Page and Brin have named Sundar Pichai, 43, to this position. Pichai has risen quickly through the ranks at Google since his start with the company in 2004. He has worked on such products as the Google search toolbar, the Chrome operating system, Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Maps. Pichai is credited with the idea that Google should create its own browser. Initial objections that browser development would a distraction were pushed aside and today Chrome has an estimated worldwide market share of 45%.

In 2014, Pichai was promoted to head of products at Google. This put him in the number 2 position behind Page. He has since been in charge of oversight for key projects including maps, search and advertising, as well as development of Google Photos and Google Now.

Pichai is well regarded internally. His management style is reported to be empathetic, supportive, communicative, and self-deprecating. Prior to this promotion, rumors were circulating that he was being considered for key positions throughout the tech world including as the new CEO at Twitter.

It will be interesting to see where Pichai leads Google and how the new Alphabet company impacts the digital marketplace.

Franchise Marketing Playbook Now Available

fran marketing playbook

Google has recently released its first Franchise Marketing Playbook. Qiigo is proud to have been a partner in the creation of the Franchise Marketing Playbook.

The Playbook is designed to provide strategies for addressing common local advertising challenges faced by franchisees. This step by step guide can help franchisees optimize their digital presence while increasing their return on investment for key digital marketing strategies. Strategies and best practices have been gathered from experts working within the franchise community, including Qiigo.

“We are thrilled to have played a part in creating the new Franchise Marketing Playbook,” remarked Rick Batchelor, Qiigo CEO. “Our work with franchisors and franchisees across a wide range of industries has made Qiigo the trusted choice for digital marketing solutions.” Qiigo provides strategies for managing online directory listings on pages 40 through 43 of the Marketing Playbook.

With tips for franchise development, search, display and mobile marketing, franchisor and franchisee specific strategies, and more, the Franchise Marketing Playbook is filled with a wealth of information to help your business grow.

View the Franchise Marketing Playbook here.

New Google Search Algorithm Places Emphasis on Mobile Friendly Websites


Starting April 21, 2015, the mobile search ranking algorithm Google uses will include mobile-friendly factors.

What does this mean for you? Ensuring your website is responsive and mobile-friendly is essential.

Google explains that this change to the algorithm will make it easier for users to find “relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” With this change Google will begin labeling sites as mobile-friendly. The changes to the algorithm will also determine if a site should rank higher in the search results.

According to Google, “…We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” You can find more information on this announcement here and test to see if your website is mobile friendly here.

Is your site mobile-friendly? Google has provided a quick start guide for ensuring a mobile-friendly website. Use this resource to gather information on offering a full mobile experience as well as testing your current site to see if it’s mobile-friendly.

Google’s given notice. To rank, your site must be mobile friendly by April 21, 2015.