1. Google Plus
Social & Display
Google+ like other social networks is a method
to talk with consumers in a more personal and
authentic manner. Like Facebook advertising,
Google+ post ads are an attempt to build visible
conversations and earned media. However,
Google+ post ads have a clear difference as they
do not sit within the Google+ social network
itself. Instead these ads/conversations are able
to connect across the two million Web sites that
are part of the Google Display Network.
Toyota, Ritz Crackers and Cadbury UK (the first to gain access) are banking on the opportunity to
turn their content into conversations and push it out to a wider network than just those who are
part of their Google+ profile. Google are promoting this as the ability to amplify your (Google+)
content across the Web. Yet, at the same time this will keep Google+ itself advertising free.
Three things to note:
Google is trying to make Google+ more visible and relevant to the wider public as the
platform hasn't achieved the user base it has desired. Google+ has 300 million users –
technically the 2nd largest social network – but arguably much of this has come from
Google’s single registration and log-in model.
Advertisers gain the potential of more interactions with their Google+ content. This contains
an extra benefit for advertisers using social extensions in their Google Adwords in search.
This extension shows the number of followers underneath the ad thus lending a social
reinforcement to the brand (and ad).
The Google+ post ads are supposedly more interactive than traditional display ads, allowing
one to “engage” with them by hovering a cursor over them for a couple seconds. This then
allows you to leave comments, or do other things, like joining a Hangout.
What Toyota and others are hoping to take advantage of is not just the amplification but the ability
to connect consumers to such ideas as the Toyota Collaborator - "customize a Corolla with your
friends in a Google+ Hangout." Connecting Google+ followers to this content is one thing; showing
it to the wider world opens up a whole new world of prospects.
Overall, this new initiative has some interesting potential, particularly those who have established a
Google+ presence. Those Google+ brands will gain more exposure to their content through the
Google Display Network; Google gain more awareness of Google+ and its other features and
consumers gain the ability to converse with brands across the different websites that they visit.
However, even with this new ad format, it’s unclear whether it will be enough to change marketers
historical perceptions of Google+ as a relatively sedate and secondary option to Facebook, not to
mention Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and many others in the crowded social space.