Update: Google +Post Ads Now Available!
As of this morning (4/16/2014) Google has launched +Post Ads for all who have 1000 or more followers on their Google+ page. It’s important to note the distinction between page and profile here. It’s more difficult to get 1000 followers on a brand page than it is on a personal profile, but well worth the effort. Here you can learn more about the features on Google +Post Ads. Google also has a support page outlining the process of Creating a +Post ad.
In addition to to being able to promote your G+ page posts you can also promote any YouTube videos you post on G+ (again as your page). Even Google+ Hangouts on Air can be used as a +Post Ad:
“Hangouts On Air events can be promoted using +Post ads, helping brand advertisers own the “front row” for live, branded experiences. These ads help raise awareness of the events, let people watch the Hangouts live, and tune in afterwards, all from lightbox display ads across the web.” (see Creating a +Post ad linked above)
What Are Google +Post Ads?
+Post Ads, pronounced Plus Post Ads, are basically a way of extending your company’s content out into Google’s Display Network of advertisers. This network is currently over 2 million websites strong, and well established. This is currently in closed beta (now open as of 04/16/14), and only a few companies like Toyota USA are able to use the new feature.
Another interesting feature to these, and one that really makes them stand out as unique, is that +Post Ads are like an ad and landing page rolled into one. Visitors don’t actually have to leave the site in order to interact with your ad because the ad comes up in an overlay right on the site. From this overlay visitors will then be able to interact with your ad directly as though it were the landing page, but never actually have to leave the site.
When using +Plus Post advertising it will be important to fully optimize the post you choose for your ad for conversion. Treating your selected post as a langing page means you’ll have a specific goal for those who view the post. Your landing page post should contain a call to action (CTA) letting people know what you’d like them to do. For example you may be hosting a live website review that showcases your abilities and services, and in this case you’d clearly indicated this in your chosen post.
Value to Business
Each time a visitor plus one’s your ad it is a recommendation to their network of your content. The ads are interactive, and don’t require a person to leave the page they’re on so overall engagement will be much higher than traditional ads. +Post Ads will help businesses significantly in building a highly relevant audience for their business. This can be done because each person who interacts with your ad is connected with a G+ account, and that person can be interacted with directly by your business.
Value to Consumer
On top of these ads not requiring the user to leave the site they’re on, which I for one think is great, they are also a big way for Google+ to further monetize Google Plus. Being able to bring in big money from Google+ will enable Google to keep the social network ad free into the foreseeable future. Many, if not most, other social networks are forced to display ads on their networks in order to make any money.
If you’re a business interested in check out +Post Ads here’s a link to aply for the beta program: http://www.google.com/+/business/brands/ads.html