Google+ has 2.2 billion users. That’s a pretty big base from which to operate. It’s run by arguably the biggest tech company in the world, and as such, is connected to a virtual galaxy of content, services and apps. Just having a Google+ account can increase exposure and prominence for the authors of content. (they do this by adding a snippet of content to search results, “…rich snippets help users recognize when your site is relevant to their search” increasing the chances you get noticed.)
With all that going for it, getting on the Google advertising train might make some sense. There are primarily 2 paths to the world of Google ads.
AdWords is the main online advertising program from Google. Google promotes AdWords as a way to reach new customers and grow your business. Using AdWords, you can choose where your ads appear, set your own budget, and measure the effectiveness of your campaign. They don’t have a minimum commitment so you can stop any campaign, any time. Basically, AdWords works on a cost per click (CPC) basis, so you only pay when someone clicks on your ad up to your budget.
Advertising with AdWords is focused too. Your ad shows up on the screens of people already searching for the products and services you offer. You choose where your ad appears, like on specific websites, and in what geographic areas. And because you set a budget, you can’t be overcharged. AdWords also provides detailed reports and analytics on how your ad is performing, so you can test and compare to ensure you are hitting the best segment with the best message.
Setting up your Adwords account is, as you would expect, pretty intuitive with videos and helpful instructions.
+Post Ads have been around since 2013. They are a little different from other advertising channels in that they crisscross the entire web. The aim, in common with other channels, is to drive traffic to you, your content and your web presence. Promoting from your google+ page can also amplify the effect, allowing people to follow you and your presence, give you +1’s, and enjoy your hangouts with the aim to engage and communicate.
In order to engage with +Post advertising, you have to jump a few hurdles though.
- Your Google+ page must have at least 1,000 followers.
- Your post should contain content that’s relevant to your audience.
- You have opted in to shared endorsements
With +Post ads, Google gives you plenty of firepower to analyze and understand your efforts too. The Google display network provides “demographics, affinity segments, and contextual targeting” making your content work on desktops, tablets, and smartphones when you promote your Google+ posts.
Best practices include:
- Keeping your ad text sharp with your actionable words at the front (for example, “Watch now,” “Join us,” “Check out,” etc…)
- previewing your ad
- monitoring your ad for comments, and
- Adding high res images (but not stock photos so much…ok?) with an aspect ration of 16:9
With that last point, remember to keep text off the bottom of the image as it might get clipped in some formats.
Google is one of the biggest populations on earth, and as such, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t consider what they offer. Engaging with Google, and choosing the route that is best for you, is key to making your ad dollars do as much work as possible.
Are you advertising on Google?
**UPDATE: while I was publishing this, some news came through my feed regarding mobile advertising and GooglePlay:
“Google announced this morning the launch of a pilot program which will allow mobile application developers the ability to advertise their apps directly within the Google Play store. These ads, which will initially be made available to advertisers already running search ads on Google.com, will also only be shown against Google Play search results. That is, they won’t just randomly appear in other sections of Google Play, like category pages or stuffed in the middle of Google Play’s Top Charts.
Instead, advertisers will be able to bid on ads that match a particular search query, like “hotel apps” or “coupon app,” for example.”
Read more here at Techcrunch