Google has started a program geared towards small businesses to give some guidance and advice on how to become better marketers on Google. Designated professionals dubbed Small Business Advisors, will be leading 50 minute individualized consulting sessions on a range of products. From Google My Business, to Ads, and Analytics, the sessions cover everything. Surprisingly, they even include YouTube in this program.
No Monopolies or Franchises
Google stated that the Small Business Advisors program is available to small businesses in the United States with an active Google account. Large businesses, marketing and SEO agencies will not be able to participate. The cost is $39.99 per session, but through the end of 2020 they will not be charging the fees.
Google does not have a single definition for small businesses. However, companies with up to 100 employees or even 499 employees (the U.S. Small Business Administration definition) could access this program. On the other hand, Google predicts that primarily very small businesses with relatively few employees will use the program. If an account is suspended, the business would be ineligible to book an appointment and must get reinstated before accessing the program.
Not Extra Support
Some people erroneously compared this program to AppleCare. AppleCare is an insurance and technical support program for the company Apple and their devices. However, Google has stated that this is not an improved version of Google support. Although many may be tempted to see it that way, Support, Google says, is intended for troubleshooting around discrete problems, such as reinstatement or merger of repeated listings.
Google Small Business Advisors are there to help your business become more proficient at using and utilizing Google products. Advisors will do “pre-appointment research to come prepared and make the most of your fifty-minute appointment”. Google says they designed the Small Business Advisor program specifically for business owners who:
- Feel overwhelmed or uncertain about your business’s online presence
- Have advanced product questions
- Don’t have an online marketing specialist or outside marketing agency
- Have never used Google products
Above all, business owners need to remember that they cannot use the program for real-time Google My Business verification.
Depending on the survey you consult, anywhere from sixty-seventy percent of small businesses don’t work with marketing agencies and are trying to manage digital marketing in house.
Sharing is Caring
Advisors will deliver custom recommendations over video-chat, which might include screen sharing. Small Businesses are encouraged to “share their goals” prior to speaking with an advisor. The advisors will be made of Google personnel.
Google has said that Small Businesses can expect discussion of two products per appointment. That raises the question of multiple sessions. Potential users asked Google if they had plans for a discounted bundle for business owners who wanted more than just one session. This was their answer; “There are no upcoming plans for a price bundle or subscription, but it’s something we might explore in the future”.
In Conclusion – Why They Care
Google local support has historically faced criticism for uneven or unfair quality. This program shows a huge future growth for Small Businesses, who usually receive inaccurate or self-serving marketing information by third-party businesses trying to sell them products. Yet the value of the program will ultimately depend on the quality of the advisors themselves and their level of expertise. It will sink or swim on that basis.