Google Plus may have a much smaller base of users than Facebook, however this does not mean that one should disregard it as a digital marketing channel. Compared to Facebook’s estimated 800 million users, Google Plus only has 40 million users. However, as many digital marketing analysts expect Google Plus’s user base to soon start growing, one should consider allocating a small portion of one’s digital marketing budget for activities here, and create a Google+ brand page.
As Google Plus currently has fewer users than Facebook, one will be able to target prospective customers with more focus. The lower social noise from constant updates and interactive games on Google+ (compared to Facebook) would ensure that users are more likely to pay attention to the digital marketing messages on your Google+ brand page.
One of the functionalities of Google+ that sets it apart from other social networking sites is its ability to host live audio and video chats. Christened ‘Hangouts’, this application offers brands the unique opportunity of directly engaging in conversations with customers and receiving their immediate feedback. It can also be used to provide exclusive content in the form of videos/audio clips. This feature is particularly useful for music bands, television channels, movie studios, artists and photographers.
A great example of how a brand has used Google+ Hangouts to promote exclusive content is The Black Eyed Peas. This rock band once hosted a live backstage session on Hangouts, before one of their music concerts. During this session, the band members thanked their fans for their support, and gave them a short glimpse into their lives, thus strongly connecting with their fans.
As always, Google is working to integrate their collection of products and offerings. Leading digital marketing professionals soon expect Google to do the same with Google+, by allowing users to connect with Google Places, Google Maps and YouTube, right from their Google+ profile. Such integration will be even more beneficial to a brand, improving their visibility, both socially as well as in the search engines.
In the end, the decision of using Google+ brand pages depends mainly on one’s industry and audience. Here, it is important to research which groups comprise your main consumers and what digital marketing content are they looking for. Getting the right balance between digital marketing and social communications is essential if you want your digital marketing strategy to succeed.
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