Google on Tuesday launched the SA version of Engage, a programme that provides digital agencies, Web designers and marketers with tools meant to help get more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) online and, ultimately, grow the search giant’s advertising revenues.
Part of the Engage project involves giving agencies vouchers for its AdWords advertising service. Google hopes those who use the vouchers will continue using the service once the voucher value has been exhausted.
Elizma Nolte, marketing manager at Google SA, says Engage is already active in 17 markets and is rolling out to 40 more.
“A third of SA businesses are invisible online,” she says. “Of those that aren’t, very few engage in online marketing. SMEs don’t have time for marketing, or the time to learn how to, but they will pay people to do it for them.”
Nolte says many companies “want a website to generate more business, but think it’ll look after itself”.
“The ideal is working with digital agencies that can create, optimise and market the website,” she says. “Engage is about bridging the gap between businesses and digital agencies.”
Though it’s free to sign up for Google Engage, interested parties must be able to demonstrate that they are involved in an applicable line of work.
Those who sign up will be offered free training materials, access to Engage seminars and webinars, AdWords and Analytics training, and the option of completing a course of study that will qualify them as a Google certified partner.
Engage members also get R10 000 worth of R500-denomination AdWords vouchers to give to their customers. Those that become Google certified partners will be offered higher value coupons. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral