Modern online marketing is all about blending in so you can stand out. They may sound like mutually exclusive terms but oddly, they’re not.
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.