Google demonstrates this point nicely with their recently released +Post Ads. These adds look like the normal, social media update we’re using to seeing across sites such as Google+ and Facebook.
The fact that the highlighted box is showing up on a non-social media site makes it noticeable in a good way. It’s non-threatening because we recognize it as a friendly form of conversation. The icons in the upper right clearly state that it’s an ad, but it doesn’t feel like one. So we click and it get even less “ad” like.
When the box expands, it becomes a slice from your Google+ page. Viewers can read the comments, add their own comments and interact with the material in the same way they would if they found it inside the walls of Google+. Nifty. And slightly familiar. Feels a little like those Facebook “like” ads that got them in trouble. The Google +Post ads also show images of the people who interacted with the post and their comments. The difference is, these are actual posts that people responded to publicly – the same posts you’d find if you searched the brand’s profile page. Still, it’s a leap from “I’m okay with people reading my comment” and “I’m okay with you using my comment to sell your product.”
What really makes this concept exciting is that now you can use it when you run a Google+ Hangout. You can run the +Post Ad while the Hangout is live pulling in viewers from all over the web. Prior to the Hangout, the ad can be used to collect RSVPs and after to link people to the replay. That’s smart marketing.
Everything is set up through AdWords with all of the usual switches and dials determining the when, where and how much you’ll pay to display your ad. As of right now, the option is open to anyone with at least 1,000 followers on their page.
To squeeze that extra dollar out of every brand, Google+ has one other new +Post Ad option:
Automatically promote your most recent post
At any given moment, there is someone interested in your brand, but it’s challenging to make sure you reach people at every moment that matters. Now you can automatically promote your most recent Google+ post, and pay only when people engage with your content, extending the reach of your social content across the web.
Automatically turn every post into an ad? Sort of defeats the purpose of doing something special so you stand out.
What do you think? Excellent idea or headed for trouble?