Last month, Google announced its newest ad unit, still in early beta, to enter the display network. The big reveal: +Post Ads. But what are they exactly? Well, let’s go down this rabbit hole and see just how truly ingenious Google really is.
The Evolution of Google+
Not too long ago, Google assured all of us that their version of a social media platform, Google +, would be ad free. So, at the announcement of this new ad type, were the Google floodgates finally going to open? Well, not really, but they have finally created a converged ad unit that has the potential to be more powerful than what any of us can really even know at this point. Take a look at the video below in which Toyota describes how they were able to leverage this new form of advertising to increase the number of conversations they were having online.
This ad allows you to promote any posts you make on your brand’s Google+ Page. However, these +Post Ads, which from the outset seemed eerily similar to Facebook’s Promoted Posts, will only show on Google’s display network. What actually happens is users will see the post similar to an image ad that would show on the display network. One really unique facet of this is that the ads will actually pop out and take up central real estate on a user’s computer screen if you hover over the image.
The Effect of Social Signals on the SERP
Here’s the interesting part: ads on the display network will feature the full capabilities and functions as if they were being viewed on a brand’s Google+ Page. These ads will allow viewers to actually +1 the posts, as well as share and comment on the posts, without even having to visit the actual Google+ Page. OK cool, so what? There are several implications as to why this is important for companies.
Social Signals are being incorporated into the Google search algorithms, meaning that the previously untouchable Google organic SERP (search engine results page) will now be slightly affected with social results, which are being created from paid advertising.
Ding, ding, ding, they did it ladies and gentlemen! Google just successfully tied Organic Search to Social Media to Paid Advertising, boom Converged Media. See my previous post for an in-depth explanation of Converged Media.
Content-Driven Brand Engagement
Using Toyota as our example, it is important to note that creating relevant and engaging content should be the focal point when creating new content. These new +Post Ads will allow brands to amplify their content and reach users all across the Web. So what happens is that Toyota would create new content on their website. For most brands and users, this may simply just be a new blog post. After creating that piece of content, they would then create a post on Google+ and include the link to the new content.
Knowing that the +Post Ads will be on the display network, Toyota can then target users with various demographic information and all the categories or interests available. Ensuring the messaging and targeting are on point will be key to increasing the results from these ads. Once properly targeted, ads will show on the display network capturing increased +1’s, shares, and comments, all of which will be directly incorporated back on the original post on the Google+ Page.
By amplifying the social signals from a brand’s content, it is conceivable that the content could potentially begin showing up organically in the SERP. Knowing that this may become a standard in the industry after this ad type is fully released puts heavier emphasis on the content your brand is producing. Always be sure to keep this viewer engagement in mind when structuring the messaging behind your content.