Google is dedicating a week to celebrate and help small businesses by introducing a variety of tools and offerings that make it easier for them to find and connect with customers across Search, Maps, Ads and YouTube. The news was announced Monday.
Small businesses -- the backbone of most economies -- typically employ less than 250 people. Micro-, small, and medium-sized companies make up more than 90% of all firms worldwide and account for about 70% of total employment and 50% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the International Council for Small Business (ICSB).
For consumers supporting small businesses, Google will provide a $10 cashback bonus when people pay with Google Pay on their Pixel phones through July 4.
For small businesses, after adding ways to edit details on the company's Business Profile directly from Search and Maps, Google added more features on the two platforms that enable retailers, and food and local services businesses -- like companies focused on personal care -- to add specific services like beard trimming, or the ability to share menus and accept food orders.
Google also created a new Digital Essentials Guide focused on the basics of being found and transacting with customers on Google and across the web.
Google Searches for “who has” and “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year-over-year, making it more important to keep inventory listings up to date online.
Tools to support small businesses with limited resources include Pointy from Google, which creates a connection between the physical store and the Business Profile on Search and Maps so companies can drive more traffic to their store.
As barcodes on items are scanned, Pointy automatically adds the product to the company’s profile so customers can see what’s in stock. Eligible retailers can access Pointy for free through September 30, 2021.
Search, Maps, and Ads are not the only ways for small businesses to connect with consumers. Some 72% of small businesses in the U.S. believe YouTube helps them boost their online presence and to spotlight their products and services. So YouTube will offer some of the same tools on its first YouTube Small Biz Day.
The goal is to offer an easier way to create video ad campaigns in minutes by adding a video ad, audiences that marketers want to reach, and the budget to launch a campaign. The new mobile experience also helps small businesses measure campaign performance.
Barton Springs Mill, an organic heritage grain and corn distributor, made a living selling stone-milled flours to a small community of restaurants and bakeries. Then COVID-19 set in, and Barton Spring Mills Founder James Brown uploaded a video to YouTube to let the community know “We’re still here!” The move pivoted the company from a wholesale model to selling online direct to customers.
The company began posting bread-baking tutorials, teaching bakers in the area how best to use their grains. People baking at home became curious about sourdough starter, which flour to buy and how to use specialty grains. Tutorials soon gained views worldwide.
Blogilates founder Cassey Ho will host YouTube Small Biz Day. Ho built and expanded her business on YouTube for more than 11 years. The channel has about 5 million subscribers and 800 million views.
Along with Ho, Small Biz Day will feature YouTube creators and business owners Molly Burke, Erin on Demand, and TheDomesticGeek. These creators, along with several small business owners, will share their experiences and advice via insightful panel conversations, an instructive how-to workshop, and helpful resources.
YouTube also will host a live streaming event on June 24, that will let consumers shop on YouTube from a select group of small businesses with one-of-a-kind fashion and beauty products, delectable foods, unique lifestyle items, and more.
Those who tune in also can expect panels and workshops.