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Google Gives Businesses Free Ads…And Other Small Business Tech News

By June 29, 2020No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Google is giving businesses free ads in Google Maps.

Google announced this past week that—from now until the end of September— advertisers who utilize Google My Business will not need to pay for promoted pins, calls, clicks, or give up portions of any sales resulting from the ads. The tech giant recently introduced the promoted pins function allowing businesses to be highlighted in Maps depending on a specific offering, service, while detailing whether they provide things like delivery, curbside pickup, etc. The promoted pins feature is being offered for free in an effort to help small businesses who are opening back up after months of lockdown from the pandemic. (Source: Search Engine Journal)

Why this is important for your business:

Love this not just because of the free stuff but because it gives incentive to business owners to use Google My Business. The service itself is free and extremely important for small businesses to get attention on the search engine giant and take advantage of promoting their business on Maps. I recommend not only taking advantage of this offer, but investing a few hours with a social media person to get your Google My Business site setup and then monitored over the long term.

2 — Visa’s SMB hub launched with 20 partners including PayPal, Yelp, and Freshbooks.

Visa has introduced a new online hub for small businesses aimed at helping owners grow their business and solidify relationships with their customers. The resource— named Visa Small Business Hub— will center around providing business owners with resources and knowledge to start, grow, and operate a business digitally. The hub is currently offered in 20 countries is able to tailor to the needs of small businesses in each of those individual regions. Visa aims to close the gap in the appropriate tools and training that businesses and owners need. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

Every few years a big corporate brand launches something like this…and it then dies a slow death. There are exceptions though. I hope that the marketers at Visa who came up with this idea are handing it over to a content team with long term plans and resources for this very useful initiative. If done the right way, and with the right commitment, it could be an excellent resource for small businesses. Let’s check back in a year, shall we?

3 —Instagram ads can now be created without linking to a Facebook ad account.

Instagram has announced that businesses will now be able to run ads through the social media platform and not be required to be logged in using a Facebook account. The feature is only accessible to businesses in the U.S. and Turkey and to users who are first-time advertisers, since users who have previously posted had been required to have accounts between both platforms linked. Instagram created a post with help details and instructions to help businesses and users promote their posts, sharing that they can design ads, view insights, and manage their promotions singularly from the app. (Source: Ad Week)

Why this is important for your business:

Small business owners looking to build a reputation on Instagram always hit a roadblock: they must also be on Facebook. But not anymore. If you were avoiding Instagram because of this requirement, this is something to revisit. Instagram reaches more than a 100 million users and continues to grow. It’s potentially a great place to advertise and draw attention for your company.

4 — Chrome will soon be less of a memory hog in Windows 10.

Google revealed recently that an upcoming release of Chrome is going to be using an approach also used in Microsoft Edge in order to reduce how much RAM is taken up. The intention of the new release is to improve the browser’s efficiency. When Microsoft applied the approach, known as “Segment Heap” memory, memory usage was cut down by 27%. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

While the success rate of the updates and improvements will depend on the type of system, troubleshooting has shown that a lot of the systems will potentially see the greatest improvements. If you’re a Chrome shop you’ll find faster speeds and greater productivity. But keep an eye on Microsoft Edge…it’s growing too.

5— Comcast is extending free Xfinity wi-fi hotspot access through the end of 2020.

Comcast announced that they are going to extend their offer to provide free, public accessibility to their 1.5 million hotspots through the end of the year. The company will also continue to offer 60 days of internet service— free of charge— to customers who are new to their Internet Essentials sector. Internet Essentials—which is aimed to help customers who are considered to be low-income— will also run through the end of 2020. Comcast was among a group of internet companies offering connectivity and features for free to individual struggling throughout the financial hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Thank you Comcast for recognizing this need among many small businesses, freelancers and independent contractors who are already struggling to keep their costs down and navigate this economic downturn.


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