Are Google Plus Post Ads Over the Top?

Google recently introduced “Plus Post Ads” on Google+ (or Google Plus, for those of you who recognize symbols don’t work well for SEO — which you’d think Google of all companies would understand) which further adds to the advertising clutter on social networks.

However, Google ignores its own dominance in advertising through AdWords by positioning Google Plus ads differently. Here’s text directly from the Plus Post Ads page:

[Plus] Post ads amplify your brand’s content by easily turning Google+ posts into display ads that run across the web. People can leave a comment, follow your brand, give a +1, or join a Hangout right from an ad. The Hangout On Air ad format allows you to go beyond clicks to broadcasting live conversations with your audience across the web.

This statement almost makes Plus Post Ads seem altruistic, rather than another revenue stream. Plus Post Ads make Plus content accessible across the web. Users can follow links to Plus pages. They can also interact with Plus content — comment, share, watch videos — on third-party websites.

And, Google’s strategy is working. Major brands have already started using Plus and report roughly fifty percent greater engagement with their content compared to traditional advertising.

Background On Plus Post Ads

Google’s mission statement is “to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.” Since being incorporated in 1998, they have done an extraordinarily good job of this. Google processes over a billion search requests daily through over a million servers around the world, making them the most visited site in the world and, for most people, THE portal to the Internet. Over 70% of search still starts on Google.

There’s no denying that Google’s search engine is a driving force on the web. They can often squeeze out their competition by offering products that are simpler and better integrated with their heavily used platform. Think Gmail and Google Docs. This appears to be the case with Google Plus, their answer to Facebook. Businesses use Plus optimize search results on Google via social impact factors and as a window into users’ preferences. This allows advertisers to target their ads both on Plus and on Google.

Google Plus Post Ads In 1 infographic

The infographic below shares some great info regarding “ Plus Post ads.” It highlights some of the benefits of using Post ads and gives step by step instructions on how to create your own. Here are some takeaways:

Before you begin your +Post campaign, you need at least 1000 followers (this is a +Plus requirement). This ensures that newcomers to Plus are adequately networked and that their ads are of interest to at least a few people.

You can target your ads based on different metrics. For instance, you can target based on keywords or interests and remarketing (recommended).

You can create a campaign based on recent Plus posts. This makes it easy to update the campaign with additional content.

If this sounds a bit like Facebook ads, the infographic has a nice comparison between the two — the takeaway is that Facebook is currently better at targeting specific demographics while Google is relying on search queries which allows them to target users based on location and what they want/need.

The impact of Plus Post Ads

Google Plus appears to be making a hefty impact in the social marketing world. Google is throwing a lot of money at the platform because they understand the importance of user information and targeted marketing. Their latest implementation, +Post, has some far-reaching implications, foremost being that companies can utilize Google’s expanding Display Network to traffic users to their content.

Google started with the intention of organizing and spreading information. They are clearly continuing in that spirit, now focusing on how to bridge connections between potential consumers and businesses. If Google can gain sufficient traction on Plus, they will have the ability to target users based not only on demographics (from social data) but also on their momentary wants and needs (from search queries). This could be extremely powerful.