iMarket Solutions Blog : Posts Tagged ‘coronavirus’

WEBINAR: Navigating the Current Economic Climate for Contractors

Monday, March 30th, 2020

Free Webinar for Contractors

Navigating the Current Economic Climate for Contractors

Tuesday, March 31 at 12PM EDT

Join iMarket CEO, Gary Elekes, as he discusses the impact and opportunities of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (HR 748) for home service contractors. Gary will also be digging into the recent announcement from Google to offer $340 million in Google Ads credits to small businesses, and a similar grant announced by Facebook.

Register Now

 

Visit our COVID-19 resource page for updates and resources impacting contractors and their businesses. Contact us today to learn more about the current digital solutions that are most vital to educating your customers about the essential services that you offer.

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What You Need to Know about Google Ads and COVID-19

Friday, March 27th, 2020

Summary of Google Changes

In an effort to curb the spread of misinformation, Google is suppressing ads across multiple platforms such as Google Ads and YouTube, that contain any term relating to COVID-19 or coronavirus, regardless of whether they are “approved” in the interface. This applies to keywords, ad copy, and creative. Further details can be found below. 

What Does This Mean? 

It means that even if you put keywords or ads targeted for the COVID-19 pandemic, you would see zero search volume on those pieces because Google is actively blocking them.

Why Is Google Doing This? 

Google is working to protect users from being capitalized on by companies trying to cash in on the virus, and to also ensure that information provided related to the virus is accurate and timely to help searchers in the best way possible. You can read more here about Google’s efforts to protect users.

Are We Using Those Terms in Our Ads? 

iMarket’s paid search team has reviewed all client ad copy to ensure there are no references to coronavirus or COVID-19 related keywords that would impact the visibility of your ads. 

We have been adding sitelink extensions to some ads that direct your customers to your blog post(s) regarding your business operations and safety precautions to help educate and reassure your customers during uncertain times. 

What Does This Mean for Other Digital Mediums?

Local Service Ads by Google 

The Local Service Ads by Google (LSAG) platform does not allow contractors to add language related to COVID-19. The biggest impact COVID-19 is having on LSAG is actual strategy adjustments where a contractor may change their business strategy, for example, to focus less on maintenance and instead focus primarily on replacement/installation. 

YouTube

Google is actively working on removing any content that spreads false information about COVID-19 or makes claims about preventing the virus instead of seeking medical treatment. If you are creating content about Indoor Air Quality, use caution about what you claim these solutions can actually do to mitigate the transmission of the virus. 

Facebook

Facebook has updated its advertising policy to protect users from individuals and companies trying to exploit the pandemic for financial gain. This means Facebook is prohibiting ads for products that refer to the coronavirus and COVID-19 in ways intended to create a panic or imply that their products guarantee a cure or prevent people from contracting it. For example, ads for face masks that imply they are the only ones still available, or claim that they are guaranteed to prevent the virus from spreading will not be allowed to run on Facebook, Instagram, or Facebook Display network.

Google Pledges Google Ads Credits

Google announced March 27 that they are pledging $340 million in Google Ads credits for small and medium-sized businesses in an effort to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Details have not yet been shared regarding how much a typical business will receive or how far the credits will stretch, but they will be notifying eligible advertisers about available credits in the coming months. You can read ongoing updates from Google here

We Will Keep You Informed

The team at iMarket is evaluating other platforms and digital marketing mediums, and will continue to provide updates and adapt strategies as other changes come to light. Please contact your Marketing Coordinator with any questions, or contact us at 800-727-3920 to learn how iMarket can support your business. 

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Limited Functionality for Google My Business

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Due to the impact that COVID-19 is having on local businesses, Google recently enforced several global limitations to their Google My Business platform. 

The official statement from Google can be found here, but we also wanted to highlight some of the key limitations that will be temporarily impacting businesses globally: 

  • Businesses will be unable to receive new customer reviews
  • Businesses will be unable to respond to any existing reviews
  • No new Q & A will be published to Google My Business
  • Google is prioritizing reviews for edits critical to health-related businesses 
  • Google’s support team will manually review new listings, claims, and verifications for critical health-related businesses. If you have a new profile, you may experience delays in the verification process. 
  • There will be delays in general Google My Business support as they prioritize critical services

iMarket is closely monitoring the situation with Google My Business and will keep our clients apprised of updates and any impact to their businesses.

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A Note to Our Contractor Partners about COVID-19

Friday, March 13th, 2020

At iMarket, the health and well-being of our team members and our clients is our top priority. Like all businesses, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, and wanted to share several steps we are taking to ensure the continued health and success of your business. 

iMarket has instituted an optional “work from home” policy for all team members. You may experience Marketing Coordinators and specialists working from different locations over the next few weeks, but rest assured all operations, client meetings and product strategies will continue as usual. 

There is an overwhelming amount of information online, and we wanted to share a resource we find useful and fact-based in understanding the impact of COVID-19. This article from Harvard Medical School provides valuable links and continuous updates from the CDC and WHO regarding transmission and prevention measures. 

Keeping Employees & Customers Healthy

We understand the impact this is having on many of your businesses, and that many contractors are experiencing service cancellations from customers. Here are several recommended precautions to help keep your employees and customers healthy: 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and warm water.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Wash uniforms every day to ensure cleanliness and reduce the spread of germs.
  • Do not send technicians or installers to customers’ homes if they are feeling ill.
  • Avoid shaking customers’ hands – offer a smile and warm greeting instead.
  • Ask technicians to wipe down any surfaces or equipment touched in a customer’s home with disinfectant wipes.
  • Have each technician or installer carry hand sanitizer.
  • Ask each technician or crew to wipe down door handles, steering wheel, gear shift lever, tools, etc in their truck with disinfectant wipes every day.
  • Wipe down pens, clipboards, tablets, cell phones, or anything else that may be passed back and forth between techs and customers.

Understanding IAQ Solutions

Lastly, many of our HVAC clients have asked about promoting Indoor Air Quality products and systems as a way to help homeowners combat the spread of germs and viruses. It is imperative that your business share only the facts with customers and not make false claims about the extent to which these products can help with virus transmission. We highly recommend training your team on making accurate claims about what the products can and cannot do. Here is a recommended disclaimer to follow when communicating with customers:

  • There is much to consider regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) and its possible transmission in your home. While there are various and effective indoor air quality measures available to help protect your safety, including duct sanitization, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light treatment, and HEPA air filters, they alone cannot protect from all forms of COVID-19 transmission. It is important to follow all official guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus.

iMarket clients are encouraged to connect with their Marketing Coordinators with any questions or concerns. We have developed a website alert system to communicate information and updates to your customers about the precautions and care your business is taking to ensure their health and comfort. We are also monitoring any changes or recommendations from Google that may impact your business or Google My Business page should COVID-19 be impacting your business operations. 

As always, you can count on iMarket as a partner to support your business and continued success as we weather this storm together. 

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