During the COVID-19 crisis, many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat and are uncertain about what changes to their marketing plans and budget. Google and Facebook, which are two of the biggest platforms for online advertising, have both announced they are providing ad credits and resources for small businesses.

While many businesses feel the need to cut back on their marketing budget during this uncertain time, we recommend maintaining your marketing strategy and budget if you can.

Firstly, boating is one of the activities that people can still do safely while maintaining social distancing, depending on your state’s regulations. This creates a demand for sales as well as service in the boating industry. Many boat clubs and boat rental businesses are staying open with extra sanitary measures and still booming.

Additionally, when using pay-per-click advertising, you will only pay if someone clicks on your ad. So, by pausing ads you are missing out on website traffic and revenue, but if you keep your ads running you are only paying for the clicks of those who are interested in your products or services. And with these new ad credits, you’ll get some relief if what you are paying without seeing a drop in results.

So, if you are a small business in the marine industry and want to claim these ad credits to keep your business running through these trying times, here’s some more information on what you can do.

Google’s Small and Medium-Sized Business Ad Credits

In Google’s message from the CEO published on March 27th, they pledged over $800 million to support small businesses. Included in this is $340 million in Google Ads credit available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year.

To be eligible for these credits you will need to be an existing customer and have an active Google Ads account since January 1st, 2019. There is no need to apply. In the coming months, eligible accounts will see available ad credits in their Google accounts. The credits will be usable throughout all of 2020, on ads across all of Google’s platforms – including Search, Display, and YouTube, on any campaign ad types.

It has not yet been made clear how much ad credit will be available to individual advertisers, or when they can expect to see the ad credits in their account – but we are hoping Google will provide more information soon.

Facebook’s Small Business Grant Program

In a blog post on Tuesday, March 17th, Facebook announced a $100 million program to help small businesses. This program includes ad credits but also includes cash grants, which can help businesses with rent and operational costs, maintaining workforce, and connecting with customers.

Grants will be available for up to 3,000 eligible small businesses in 30 countries. It is not clear whether these are for existing customers with ad accounts, or other businesses are eligible. They have not yet began accepting applications but will in the coming weeks. You can sign up here for updates on more information on how to access grants and when to apply.

Get Help with Your Marine Industry Business During COVID-19

All businesses are facing difficulties at this time, but businesses in the marine industry have a unique opportunity to provide products and services to help people get through these times.

With adjustments to your marketing strategy, we can help you get your business through this crisis. Our team is still working full time to serve all the needs of our clients, and we offer free consultations to help your business with web design, digital marketing, ADA compliance, and any other digital services.

Contact us today for more information!

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