Considering YouTube and Google+ are now integrated – the future of businesses appears to depend on social presence and Google is leading the way. A study by Janrain indicates Google+ has continued to grow strong, quickly becoming the second largest social network despite it’s late start (June 2011) and others have forecast Google+ will surpass Facebook by May 2016.
A smart way to predict the future of online marking can be done by looking at how Google AdWords has recently been integrating Google+ into their digital advertising offerings.
This new ad format (beta access needs 1000+ users following your business page) indicates AdWords and Google+ will merge into a marketing/social engagement platform. Brands will soon be able to take any picture, video post or hangout allowing customers to talk to a brand directly through the advert. Google transforms your content into a format geared to receive +1s, comments, follows and directly connect into live hangouts. Toyota (vehicle manufacturer) tested these ads on the Google Display Network - they said the new network does not just change what you say, it changes how you think about it - and increased expansion by over 50% in early results.
How Google+ Has Changed Other Brands:
- AlJazeera used Google Hangouts and received over 500 comments and 1,766 RSVP’s to an event.
- TopShop found their G+ posts to have been viewed over 400,000 times (a 400% increase), comments increased by 340% per day, reshares increased 275% per day and they saw 300,000 new followers on Google+ in the two weeks around London Fashion Week (2013) compared to 17,000 on Facebook and 12,000 on Twitter.
- Cadbury’s the leading chocolate brand in UK received over 39,759 +1s after 500 posts with an average of 74.4 +1′s and 21.3 reshares per post and gained 10,000 new followers soon after adding the G+ badge to their site.
+Post ads, engagement ads, trueview ads also changed what businesses should see as a valuable click to their website - different to the traditional CPC/CPM the new models include cost-per-engagement (CPE) and cost-per-view (CPV) which both offer huge free click potential. At the point of writing this article I could not find information to show how +Post Ads were charged - maybe it is 'per reshare' or 'per comment', or 'per response' we will have to wait and see but whatever it is - 'pay per click' and bringing users to just your website might not be enough in the very near digital future.
How To Transform AdWords Into A Social Followers Booster
AdWords currently allows a little more than just a Google+ link to site - you can link most other social networks to your marketing campaign (and not be forced to use 'like farms').
AdWords lets advertisers select keywords of their choice and add a G+ profile page link in the destination URL:
After seeing my advert on the top of the search results page plus.google.com/+imransq which is a normal G+ page, notice I used the term ‘social marketing’ as a keyword (bold). Not only could I add G+ as a destination URL - sitelinks were used to display my website blog, Facebook, Twitter and G+ pages. The sitelink descriptions below did not display for the example, its because Google decides what is relevant to show but these can be added:
If you are wondering why search results look different, a new SERP interface was recently launched making headlines bigger and better (shaded area was also replaced with a small 'ads' badge). The AdWords system placed a display URL in the headline (happens when less than 68 characters in length) automatically. If you want longer headlines too, add a full stop '.' in line one of the description (check HERE to learn more). That's another trick which could help you against competitors - better, bigger headlines.
Top image credit: plus.google.com/+GoogleAds