Display Your Google+ Posts as Ads Throughout Google
UPDATE: Google has now released this ad capability to any advertiser with a minimum of 1000 Google+ followers. Advertisers can choose to make a post to their Google+ page an interactive ad within the Google display network.
Additionally, Google is rolling out the option to make a Hangout On Air a +post, as well as the option of having your most recent post automatically be used as a +post ad. Facebook has a similar feature within Facebook Advertising to automatically promote your most recent post, and it's extremely efficient and effective.
Get started here. That's a complete guide on How to Create Google +Post Ads.
Google announced that Brands who are actively using their Google+ Pages will soon be able to use their status updates to generate display ads which will be displayed across the Google network. Similar to Facebook's Sponsored Stories, viewers will see the ad in a way that's close to how it appeared on the original Google+ timeline.
But that's where the similarity ends.
On Facebook, when you sponsor a story, all you're doing is paying to get your story in front of more Facebook users, either in the News Feed stream or in the right sidebar ad space.
In this case, what Google is allowing us to do is take our brand message and carry it over into the rest of the web - everywhere that displays Google ads. That's over 2 million sites within the Google Display Network.
In other words, this is NOT advertising ON Google+. It is the ability to use your Google+ post as an AdWords ad.
Getting Started with +Post Ads
Unfortunately, this capability it not yet open to everyone. Just a few select partners are currently working with Google and using the new ad format to test it and work out some of the bugs. Here's a video explaining the new format with one of their partners, Toyota.
Once this is opened up for everyone, I will share more detailed instructions on how to take advantage of the capability.
Enormous Reach Potential
This is tremendously exciting for a number of reasons.
First, time has shown that advertising copy that tells a story is far more compelling and effective than pure display ads. This is a perfect opportunity for brands to use the power of the Google+ platform to share and tell stories, and extend the reach of those stories far beyond their Google+ following.
Second, one of the reasons why Google is still "testing" this feature is that it's far more than just another ad. These new ad formats are going to be dynamic. Viewers who see the ad will be able to:
- +1 a post.
- Share a post.
- Comment on a post.
- Participate in a discussion.
- Ask questions.
- Follow a Brand Page.
- Watch a Video.
- Share a Video.
- Watch a Live Hangout.
Everything that you can do in a Google+ post to have a conversation with and engage your audience, you'll be able to do in these ads.
This is a Game Changer.
Brands and Media who are still trying to ignore Google+ will literally have Google+ posts and video staring back at them on their own websites.
Ironically, throughout the weekend I was having conversations all over Google+ about Facebook Advertising. You see, on Friday, it was revealed that Facebook is deliberately reducing the organic reach of brands and their Facebook Pages in order to force them to pay for more exposure. I argued that that was the wrong direction to go, that it would squeeze out businesses and orgnizations, and that there had to be a better way.
Google is so much smarter than I am.
While I talked about how brands should be turning to Google+ and using it more, Google was taking action. But what's exciting is that this new ad format from Google was nowhere near what I and others were thinking. Google continues to leave Google+ as a pristine, ad-free zone, yet continues to find new ways to integrate the platform into other products and make money. There's no doubt in my mind that, as exciting as this is for brands, it's even more exciting for Google's bottom line.
And I am 100% OK with that.
Google has and will continue to deliver outstanding products and services that help my business and yours, and we will continue to be happy to pay them for that.
How Should Businesses Prepare
There are several key takeaways here that businesses need to recognize and prepare for.
#1 - This is an AdWords display ad format, so if you're not yet using Google pay per click advertising, now's the time to get your account set up and to begin learning how to create and manage ads. You will need to gain an understanding of concepts like keywords, bids and so on.
#2 - This will require brands to have a Google+ Business Page. If you haven't yet set up your business page, use this as motivation to get it done before the holidays.
#3 - This will require engaging posts. Like any advertising, your content needs to be compelling. What's great about this idea is that you get to create interesting posts on your Google+ Page that your fans will enjoy, and then watch as those same posts get fantastic results on the display network.
And don't lose sight of the fact that, since it's the "same" post being displayed on both networks, everyone sees the same levels of interest and engagement. As your post gets more +1's and comments and shares, anyone else seeing that post will see those engagement levels. Those positive social signals help garner additional attention and interaction.
So take this window of opportunity to get your business on Google+ and begin working out what kinds of content you're interested in creating and sharing. Perhaps it's blog posts or great images or compelling video... and the aspect of doing live Hangouts On Air that are displayed on other websites is a staggering concept... whatever interests you, interests your audience, and you're prepared to create, get started.
If it's all overwhelming and you feel like you could use some help undertsanding and managing these campaigns, contact me and we'll discuss your situation and come up with a strategy for moving forward.
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."