Google Plus has just begun testing Social Ads that aren’t.
Confused? Let us explain.
First, from TechCrunch:
Google is doing a thing that was probably inevitable with its social network Google+: It’s testing a new +Post ad system in the form of promoted posts that translates public Google+ content from their brand sites into a display ad that can run across Google’s Display Ad network. The company announced the pilot program via G+ product manager Eran Arkin’s page on the network today.
Brands can now take any photo, video or even Hangout that they create as a publicly visible piece of content on Google+, and then pay Google to turn that into an ad for its network, which is used by over 2 million sites worldwide. Google says this “lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream.” The subtext of this kind of effort is clear: ‘our social ads reach the entire web, not just your network, unlike on that other blue social networking site which shall remain nameless.’
What’s the big deal? Why is this any different to repurposing the same content across multiple channels, which happens all the time anyway?
As noted by TechCrunch, the key benefit is that this new offering is directly linked to the advertiser’s Google Plus page and thus:
[provides] a way for the audience to reshare video content directly from the ad, leave a comment or question that will be answerable via its G+ account, or even start a Hangout instantly to chat with someone live. It’s early days in terms of solid metrics, but Google is claiming that these +Post ads have expansion rates (how often an ad that expands when interacted with is actually expanded) 50 percent better than the current average for rich media advertising, which sounds promising but ultimately doesn’t say much.
All Things D, however, points out a surprising aspect to the new +Post offering:
The big twist: The Google+ posts that brands turn into ads won’t be “native” ads, because they won’t run on Google+, which doesn’t allow (formal) ads. Instead, the ads will run around the Web, on sites that use Google’s massive ad network.
As we said in the headline, social ads that aren’t social ads.
Here’s a Google promotional video showing these new +Posts in action for Toyota:
As reported by The Next Web:
Google says a select group of partners, including Toyota USA (as you can see in the video above) as well as Mondelez brands RITZ crackers and Cadbury UK are already running +Post ads. The company says they are seeing expansion rates 50 percent higher than the industry average for rich media ads.
Here are the key benefits of this new +Post offering, as advanced by Google:
+Post ads amplify your brand’s content by easily turning Google+ posts into display ads that run across the web. The live, social ad format allows you to go beyond clicks to live conversations with your audience. People can join a Hangout On Air, add a comment, follow your brand or give a +1, right from an ad.
Ads become more relevant with social context. Comments, +1s, and shares from friends can move people to engage with your ad. Social actions on ads and Google+ add up together, showing the full picture of engagement with your content. +Post ads expand in a lightbox to bring full screen social creatives across the web.
The Web is Your Stream
Match your message to the right people, in the right place across the web. Reach the audiences you care about with Google Display Network tools including demographics, affinity segments, and contextual targeting. Make your content work on every screen – desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Fast and Efficient
Quickly turn posts into ads that scale across the web, and pay only when people engage with your brand’s content. This engagement can continue after your ad campaign ends, as people discover your posts on Search and Google+.
Is This The new Social Face of Adwords?
After a series of social faux pas (Google Buzz, anyone?), Google has been working hard with Google Plus to integrate it into every aspect of Googleplex operations. What we just may be seeing here is an effective way for Google to provide social depth and interactivity to its flagship Adwords product. +Posts are in beta right now, but they add social substance to Google’s advertising enterprises in a whole new way. Facebook will be taking careful note.
How you can start using +Post ads
+Post ads are currently in beta for a limited set of AdWords advertisers. If you are interested in testing this feature, sign up here or contact your Google team.