On April 16, 2014 Google announced that +Post ads would be available to all Google+ brand pages that have more than 1,000 followers. In this article I will review what these are, why it is important for brands to consider taking advantage of them, as well as why this this makes it more important than ever to be engaged in Google+.
What are +Post ads?
+Post ads allow brands to promote their Google+ content posts via Google’s AdSense program. This means that any post you push out via your brand page on Google Plus can receive additional traffic from other places on the web. If you are not familiar with the AdSense program, it is a form of the Google AdWords program, except the ads show up as display ads on 3rd party web sites instead of in Google’s Search results.
Imagine that you are running a business that promotes travel to the beautful Outer Banks section of North Carolina, and you create great article content that you would like visibility for. One step you can take is to promote that article on Google Plus from your brand page. The +Post ads program allows you to also pay to promote that same content on other people’s web sites, therefore dramatically increasing the visibility of that content. Basic controls within your AdSense account allow you to control what places these ads show. The following screen shot shows a traditional AdSense ad on the TripAdivsor web site:
One of the great features of this program is that the shared posts are fully interactive. Visitors to the site running your +Post ad can actually comment on the article right on that 3rd party site, including resharing them through their own Google+ accounts. You can see this in action in this example of a Toyota ad on the AllRecipes web site:
In this screen shot we see a +Post ad on the right rail and in the center of the screen the ad has been expanded out as the user has already begun to engage with it. The user can +1 the content, share it, or comment on it.
Why Brands Should Consider Adopting This Program
+Post ads can act as an accelerator to a content marketing program. If you are engaging in efforts to use content to expand your reputation and visibility online, this will immediately expand your reach. Traditional social media requires you to build an audience on their platform, and then you can share content to the audience you build. You get to accelerate that by participating in the communities on that platform, or building relationships with influencers. This is already great stuff.
With +Post ads you now have an additional tool in your toolbox, which is the ability to show you content to an audience already on a 3rd party web site. Features built into the AdSense program allow you to control what sites the ads show up on, so you can also control the relevance of that audience. You can therefore tune this program over time to get the best results for your content.
To make this work for you, focus on producing content that viewers will want to engage with, and that will help grow your reputation and visibility in a manner that is useful to your business. In addition, be prepared to handle the engagement, as this is in fact the payoff for your efforts. Interact with the people who comment on, or share, your content, just as you would if they interacted with your content on any social media site.
Why Does This Make Google+ More Important Than Ever?
An increasing number of brands are feeling compelled to engage in Google+. The addition of +Post ads makes G+ even more attractive. From Google’s perspective, not only does this help them monetize Google+, they get to do that without actually placing any ads on Google+ itself, and it will help them expose Google+ to more users via the extensive reach of the AdSense platform.
Google Plus has been steadily growing and is becoming more valuable by the day, and the addition of the +Post ads program will only accelerate that process. You can read more about this new program from Google here:
- Google +Post ads available to all, by Larry Kim
- Google +Post ads, Bringing Engagement to Advertising, by Mark Traphagen