What You Need to Know About the Facebook, TikTok and Google Ads Credit for Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

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Google and Facebook plan to offer SMBs ad credits to support them during the coronavirus pandemic. This is what you need to know to secure your share.


What You Need to Know About the Facebook and Google Ads Credit for Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

On Friday the 27th of March, Google announced that they will be offering ad credits for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) who routinely advertise with them. Google have pledged $340 million in Google ads credit, to help companies “stay in touch with their customers during this difficult time” (Google Ads Help). This ad credit can be used at any point until the end of 2020, across any Google Ads platform.

So, why is Google offering ad credits to SMBs?

Google has stated that they believe SMBs are the backbone of communities, representing around 90% of all businesses (according to World Bank). The coronavirus pandemic has meant that these companies are seeing a significant decline in revenue, as well as being forced to temporarily shut down.

In addition to providing $340 million in Google Ads credit, Google has also set up a fund to enable NGOs and financial institutions with what they need to provide small businesses with access to capital. Additionally, Google has provided $15 million cash grants to non-profit organisations to help bridge the gap for small-to-medium sized businesses.

SMBS, who, as Macy Edwards, Director of Digital Paid Media at ClickThrough puts it are “the vast majority of the businesses who advertise with Google, and who may not have the cash reserves that larger firms have to carry on advertising”.

Facebook ad credits for SME's

In addition to Google pledging $340 million in ad credits, Facebook has also announced financial help for small-to-medium sized businesses. For its part, Facebook will offer $100 million in Facebook ad credits, as well as cash grants to support up to 30,000 small businesses across 30 countries.

As many businesses are currently treading a fine line between saving revenue and helping their consumers, it’s likely that the moves both Facebook and Google have made to support SMBs may soon be adopted by other large companies.

While customers don’t want their favourite brands to stop advertising altogether amid the coronavirus pandemic, they do want to see a shift in strategy that clearly shows how businesses are proactively helping against the spread of the virus.

As Macy Edwards points out:

“These schemes from Facebook and Google are not only a public commitment to the businesses who have helped them get to where they are, but will keep those brands active, support CPCs and use inventory that would likely remain unfilled otherwise.”

On Monday the 20th April, Google provided updated information on their ad credit programme, particularly in regard to eligibility criteria. Those eligible for this programme are small and medium sized businesses globally, who have spent with a Google Ads account in ten out of twelve months of 2019, and in January and/or February of 2020. Eligible customers will also be those who advertised directly with Google, or through a partner that adheres to its advertising policies.

Starting in late May, Google will begin rolling out the ad credit in phases. Those who are eligible will be notified, and will see the ad credit applied to their Google Ads account. This is an ad credit for future Google Ads spend which can be used throughout the year. It must, however, be used by the 31st December 2020.

To make it as easy as possible for SMBs, the ad credit will be automatically applied to eligible customer accounts, meaning that there is no need to directly apply. Those who are eligible will be informed through an in-product notification, showing the credit amount once it is applied to the account. Unfortunately, Google cannot accommodate appeals from customers that did not receive a SMB COVID-19 ad credit.

In doing so, Google hope to help alleviate some of the cost of SMBs staying in touch with their customer base, showing support and solidarity with businesses as they continue to weather this crisis.


Relative newcomers TikTok are also getting in on the act with their own program for SMEs. They intend to provide $100 million in ad credits to help smaller companies hit the ground running once normal business activity resumes. The program will be rolled out market-by-market in the upcoming months, with the timing dependent on the decisions of individual governments as to when normal economic activity restarts in each country.

Do you think more companies should offer support to SMBs? Let us know by tweeting @clickthrough. Alternatively, get in touch with our digital marketing experts today for more information.

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