Introduction - what's it all about?
Google have announced that they are trialling a method for Google+ content to be distributed through their 2million strong display network i.e. on publisher's websites.
This enables posts to appear when a smaller version, embedded in a page, is clicked.
As such, now you can allow your content to flow outwards and connect people to your content, your Page, to your Brand. (if accepted into the Beta program, see at the end of the article or click here.)
This promo video gives you some idea how they will work.
Here are a couple of quotes from the video: "Let our consumers talk to us through the advertising." And this "changes not only what you say, and how you think about it, how you craft the messaging." Check it out...
Very early days on all this but it feels like we've been here before...
In the early days of Google Adwords (2003-5), the price per click of an ad was low as competition was low. This meant people could really gain a high return on their investment by getting in early.
Could there be the same opportunity with +Post Ads? Well, we certainly think it is worth getting yourself and your brand page ready for the opportunity.
As such, this post will make sure you are ready for when it happens.
How to create your Google+ Brand Page
Here is the link to get your started: http://www.google.com/+/business/brands/
And here is a video with complete instructions on how to do this:
Or if you would rather a step-by-step 'paper' based guide then this blog post has everything you need:
The new way of thinking
We have to remember that in the days prior to Google Adwords, Search was all 'organic' on Google. Then people could 'pay for exposure' based on 'clicks' for specific keywords or phrases.
The same could be said for Google+. Until now a person or a brand achieved exposure through naturally engaging with people on the platform, building your network, building your authority. And that process would enable content to 'rise in Search' (lots to this, but that is the short version!).
Now there will be a choice for brands to make: do they build their following through organic means, paid, or a mixture of both.
Check out this really great little video interview with Mark Traphagen to explain this opportunity:
Every post becomes a mini-landing page (as mentioned in the interview)
Looking at the promo video we can see that the +post ad, once clicked, is in effect a mini-landing page but without having to leave anywhere, and as such is an opportunity for every brand. People can interact directly with the content, and being logged into their Google+ account is the thing that makes the difference here. This is going to transform how we think about content and engagement.
This could well create a new form of online marketing.
Why being able to use Google+ well really matters
As with Google+ in general, with every +1, comment, share can now track the person who is doing it. In turn, you can build a relationship, you can find your brand advocates, you can connect with the influencers in your niche, you can reward/support/encourage...
There is the question however, who will be manning the desk? People will need to know how best to e.g:
- To optimize each post to encourage the most engagement
- Choosing when and where to share it within the network (presumably this will be done within the Adwords dashboard settings)
- To build Google+ Engager circles
- To comment in ways that stay on brand, yet encourage engagement
- To deal with 'issues' that may arise on threads
There is also the big question of how best to create content which will work best for your marketing; and interesting to consider what % engagement rates will be considered the norm within a few years (just as a 2.5% CTR seems to be considered the norm for PPC).
This is the key thing about Google+ and how it has taken Permission Marketing to the next level. No longer do you need an email address - you have access to much of their information on about section on Google+ and their public posts. You can speak directly to them, especially when they have engagement with you first (many caveats apply here). You also have a whole visual database of their content available and can engage with them too. It is all about relationships built over multiple interactions - you and your brand will be the obvious choice when the time comes to make a purchase decision.
The approach for big brands may well be more about positive 'touch points', but for smaller brands those 5000 people in their circles really could make the world of difference.
As mentioned in the interview with Mark, knowing how the +1 recommend feature works, for instance, can transform how your content to travel across the Plus - combine this with ripples are you are ahead of the rest.
So, all in all, knowing how to use Google+ is going to be important, and as such, we have been preparing and this website has everything your will need to get started and really excel at using Google Plus for Business.
We have no released information on this yet. Presumably the dashboard on the Page, linked to Google Adwords, will start to show data for the +post ads, including: cost (could be PPC or CPM), engagement metrics (+1, comment, shares), top engagers with the brand (we have this on YouTube, so why not?), cost per action e.g. someone clicks a link, joins a hangout etc.
Combined with Google Analytic's goal, this could all prove the case that social really does work.
Quoting from the promo video, this process will enable "the right message, at the right time, to the right person" which has to be what every marketer wants, right?
We can speculate on what will come next, maybe even ads will appear with a publisher mark up in organic results as well. But Google is going to continue to serve us content to which we relate. If we don't, we don't click and they don't receive ad revenue.
Google+ has just grown up. It will be exciting to see what happens next...
Sign up for the Beta test here: http://www.google.com/+/business/brands/ads.html