Google Launches Promoted Pins to Support Local Businesses

The new feature will help business stand out to Maps users and promote new visits.

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Need to Know

  • On Google Maps, new square-shaped pins will highlight small- and medium-sized businesses such as restaurants.
  • The feature is part of Google’s Smart campaigns, aimed at helping SMBs succeed in an increasingly digital market.
  • New features also added to Google Search Shopping tab include visibility of product availability, curbside pickup options.
  • Smart campaigns now available in 150 countries; Promoted pins will be free until September 2020.

Analysis

Google is adding a new feature to Maps that will help small businesses stand out, the company revealed this week.

Promoted pins, which will be square-shaped and display some key business information on Maps, are now available to Google Smart campaign users. These pins, which will appear to users of Google Maps, will be eye-catching due to their shape (ordinary Maps pins are rounded) and show information—such as the availability of curbside pickup—aimed at encouraging users to click to learn more.

The feature is available for free to Smart campaigns users until 2020.

Promoted pins were revealed by Google as part of its ongoing roll-out of new advertising and marketing products—announcements that the company would have made in previous years at its annual Google Marketing Live, but which it is this year revealing gradually over the course of several weeks.

Many of these products, including Promoted pins, are tailored to SMBs that require a stronger suite of digital consumer-facing capacities as COVID-19 has resulted in the closure of physical storefronts.

Recently, Google Canada committed $1 million to expand Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE program, an investment aimed at supporting 50,000 Canadian businesses and artists as they built a stronger digital presence in the early days of the coronavirus lockdown; internationally, the company dropped merchant fees for vendors selling through Google Shopping.

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