Google+ has figured out a new way to monetize its social platform and drive more traffic back to it from across the web, with a promoted posts feature called “+Post.”
The concept of +Post is similar to what you may be used to in other social networks – a brand pays for premium placement of a post – except instead of ads showing up within the Google+ network, they will be placed across Google’s Display Network, driving users back to the brand’s Google+ profile.
+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.
Brands like Toyota have taken +Post out for a spin, and Google used Toyota’s testimonial for the following promo video:
According to Google, +Post ads act like a regular post in Google+, allowing users to engage with them directly from the ad, wherever it may be displayed:
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.
AdAge reported the charges incur only when a user “hovers over the ad for two seconds, which will cause it to expand on the screen.”
Google said this social ad model makes more sense than keeping posts within the social platform itself, because it’s capturing people searching for something specific on the web (versus just browsing Google+).
This social advertising model supports what Google has been preaching for some time – that “zero moment of truth” when a brand delivers what the user needs, when they need it.
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.
The move also seems to make sense to the Google+ platform itself, however, by capturing those people across the Web that normally wouldn’t visit Google+. This may be one way for the social network to get more engagement and users.
+Post ads are currently in beta "for a limited set of AdWords advertisers," though Google has an open invitation out for future testers.