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How to market your content on Google+

How to market your content on Google+

Google+ is not just a Facebook competitor. Google sees it as a core layer to its web assets and a vital part of the social web puzzle. It is embedded in and across all Google’s web assets including Gmail, Blogger, Picasa and YouTube. Google+ was designed and developed from day one to be visual, integrated, and mobile optimised. As it has grown in popularity it needs to be taken more seriously by marketers. What is now the second largest social network should no longer be seen as an afterthought.

Google+ is about relevant content. Google’s objectives for Google+ are led by the key goal of improving user experience. This includes using the social network to improve the search results by serving up online content that is relevant, recent, and accurate. It means providing content on the search results page that best meets the users expectations.

5 principles of optimum content activities on Google+

Here are 5 principles to keep in mind when creating, publishing, and promoting content on Google+.

  1. Focus on visual content: Images, photos, and videos are vital for Google+ content sharing.
  2. Make it educational: Google+ is much more about learning and educating than Facebook. People tend to be more serious and want deeper and more insightful content than pictures of puppies and cats.
  3. Include regular and consistent content updates: Content posting frequency is dependent on your industry. Entertainment and media type sites that are about news and entertainment will require multiple updates on Google+ every day. B2B sites don’t need that level of intensity; so once a day may be enough. Be prepared to experiment and see what works best for your brand.
  4. Make your Google+ sharing button prominent: Include a Google+ sharing button on your blogs and websites. This makes it easy for people to share your content.
  5. Use Google+ Hangouts: These can be used to share your most valuable content and can be public or private. This includes includes webinars, Q&A sessions, or running workshops.

Learning how to market on Google+ by applying these tactics and principles can improve your social media marketing.

Business brand content best practice tactics

There are many types of businesses that are struggling to market with Google+, both B2B & B2C. They can be small, medium or large. They can be businesses that are creative, or they could be knowledge and industrial industries. Personal brands are also marketing effectively on Google+.

Some people think that your organisation may have no place on social networks or Google+ because the content may seem to be potentially boring. So how do you market your content on Google plus?

Let’s look at some case studies to get you thinking and maybe even inspire you. Here are how both “business” and “personal brands” market with content on Google+.

Case Study #1: Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company and is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. They are home to the Avengers and Iron Man series and many other well known super hero brands. They have over 3 million followers on Google+

1. Offer a special limited time offer

The media and entertainment industry that sell to the consumer find that competitions and special offers are enticing and tempting ways to get fan engagement.

Here is an example of this tactic.

Marvel Google+ content

2. Ask a question

If you want to drive engagement, ask questions. In this update it also links back to the Marvel website driving traffic to their online asset.

Marvel Google+ content

Case Study #2: General Electric

General Electric is a huge industrial and technology juggernaut on Google+, with over 500,000 followers. They know how to use Google+ to make their brand interesting. Despite being a B2B brand that marketers sometimes view as not sexy enough for social media, they display some great tactics for using content on Google+.

1. Reveal exclusive behind the scenes while involving passionate fans

Involve passionate fans in your content creation and reward and share their content. Here is how GE is involving their fans and sharing behind the scenes images at one of their industrial facilities. This content can also be educational.

GE Google+ content 1

2. Have some visual fun

Who said that Google+ was serious? Here is an example of content that is fun and uses a quote in a visual format. Look at the number of “+1’s” and shares.

GE Google+ content

Personal brand content best practice tactics

Bloggers, authors, artists, and passionate creators of visual, multi-media, and text content can be powerful personal online brands. Those that understand the power of the social networks can accelerate and enhance their brand through effective content marketing tactics. Here are some to consider and maybe emulate.

Case study #1. Trey Ratcliff – photographer

Trey is a photographer from Queenstown, New Zealand who just happens to have over 6 million Google+ followers. His content is visual, compelling and contagious. This is what you should strive for.

Here are a couple of examples of how he uses content on Google+ to great effect.

1. Hangouts

This hangout is about how to create great sunset photographs. This illustrates the importance of the key principle of educational content.

Trey Ratcliff Google+ content

2. Hashtags

Hashtags are now almost a universal categorisation tool that started on Twitter, and are now used across other major social networks including Google+ and Facebook. This helps people discover and share your content, and ride on the back of hot trends. Here is how Trey does this with a trending global hashtag, #SunsetDay.

Trey Ratcliff Google+ content

Case Study #2. Jamie Oliver – chef

Jamie is a well known celebrity chef that loves sharing healthy and easy to make recipes. He has over 1.8 million followers on Google+.

1. How To’s

Adding value to people’s lives by showing them how to do something is always a certain winner in content creation on Google+ (and other social networks). Here is the compelling and tempting photo (visual format), with the link to his website which reveals how to make a Pasta Peperonta.

Jamie Oliver Google+ content

2. Multi-media content – Video

Running a competition that showcases your followers is a sure way to make your content flow over the web. Here he has used multi-media content via a video to announce the final five in a competition.

Jamie Oliver Google+ content

Creativity and imagination go a long way

So have some fun with your content creation on Google+ and don’t forget to educate, entertain, inform, and make it visual.

Remember it’s all about your audience not you.

How are you using Google+? Is it driving traffic to your website or blog? Is it about creating engagement for your personal or business brand? Looking forward to reading about your insights and experiences in the comments below.

More reading:

How does Google’s Hummingbird update impact Social Media Marketers? 
Your brand is not the story. Your brand is IN the story.
23 tips for creating content that Google loves (Infographic)
Online vs Offline: Which is more important in building your authority and reputation?
Why a ‘body of work’ builds trust in your personal brand
20 social media facts, figures, and statistic for 2013

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