I can’t deny it, I was very disappointed with Google+ when it first launched.
Too many things seemed wrong with it back then.
– I didn’t understand what it’s for.
– None of my friends were on it.
– I had no time for another network.
I am sure I wasn’t the only one having doubts about Google+. But the social network has changed a lot since the day of its launch. It has managed to find its own competitive edge.
It never beat Facebook in building and maintaining relationships. Or Twitter for up to date news. It becomes evident only now that Google+ was built for something else, content marketing.
What Makes Google+ Ideal for Content Marketing
1. It’s Tightly Integrated with Search.
With the introduction of Search Plus Your World Google Plus became tightly integrated with search. Search results are now enhanced with photos, posts and more coming from your friends.
Authorship is also omnipresent in search results today, allowing users to pick information from people they trust but authors to also gain that authority.
2. It’s Integrated With Other Platforms.
Google plus is hardly just a social network. With a tight integration among various other Google products: Maps, Ads, Reviews, Hangouts, Youtube, Calendar and more, it follows you across every Google product.
3. It’s Better For Building New Relationships.
Unlike other networks who connect you with people you already know, Google+ is ideal to meet new people with whom you share similar interests.
4. It Gives You An Exposure.
Through Authorship Google+ connects your profile or page with any content you publish to give you even greater reach in search and helps you gain exposure while building your personal brand.
8 Tips for Using Google+ For Content Marketing
1. Use +Mentions and #Hashtags to Increase Visibility
The reason to use Google+ is to increase visibility and awareness of your brand, company or product. And the network offers two features that can help you with that: mentions and hashtags.
– A mention allows to you to let a particular person or a brand know that you have mentioned them in a post. You may be familiar with a similar feature on Twitter (the @username) or Facebook (tagging people). This is an ideal way to get yourself on their radar in hope that they will share your content with their audience, comment or engage in any other way on your page.
– Hashtags are not unique feature to Google+. They have been created to help users follow online conversations. And that’s exactly why you should use them in Google+. The search giant will include your post in any search for hashtags you included in it. This way you can gain attention of people interested in specific conversations or topics.
2. Attract More Viewers with Visual Content.
Photos make up for highly attractive content on Google+. And, for a reason, they are easy to consume. So to make the most of it, include images along with your posts and even build up a dedicated Google+ visual content strategy. Users often scan images in their news feed to assess which posts are worth reading. Use big and descriptive images to stand out for them and get picked from other, competing posts.
3. Segment Your Audience for Better Content Targeting
The ability to segment your audience and feed targeted content to different people is one of the most powerful features of Google+. After all being able to share targeted content with specific audience is an invaluable asset for any content marketer. In Google+ you do this by posting content to specific Circles, segments you can create to divide your users into categories.
4. Grab Readers Attention with Text Formatting
Readability is a serious issue on the web. Especially in an environment as Google+ News Feed where information changes very fast. It is crucial then that whatever you post stands out from other updates. Proper formatting allows you increase your chances at your content being noticed and read by users.
There are very simple ways to format your content:
- putting an asterisk before and after a word (*word*) makes it bold.
- underscore before and after a word (_word_) makes it italic
- dash before and after (-word-) adds a strikethrough.
5. Breathe New Life into Your Archived Content
The relative newness of Google+ gives you an advantage of being able to promote your archived content, one you’ve already promoted extensively through other social networks. Chances are that your Google+ followers haven’t seen these posts yet and will be happy to receive more advice from you.
6. Use Ripples to Identify and Target Influencers
Ripples are quite unique feature on Google+. In Ripples you can see each time your post gets posted on Google+ or shared directly from your website. What’s more, you can also see who shared your content and view their Google+ profile. This single functionality allows you to:
- spot your brand ambassadors
- identify influencers and,
- measure your social engagement.
7. Engage Your Audience with Hangouts
Image courtesy of Business2Community.com
Even though Facebook offered chat option for a long time, it’s Google+ Hangouts that revolutionised how a brand can engage their audience in real time. With the ability to create a video content, from interviews with important figures in your industry for instance, live events or private presentations, Hangouts should become an important aspect of your content strategy.
8. Build Engagement with Long Form Content in Google+
Lastly, create content specifically for Google+. The site allows you to post long form content which can attract the most engagement from its users. Link to your own blog from it too and use hashtags to make the post more discoverable to increase its reach.