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Toyota USA Testdrives New Google+ Ads: Could They Be The Most Powerful Social Ads Yet?

Google+ announced this week that they’re testing a new +Post ad system, and just like anything Google does, they scope creeped the hell out of it.

According to the post (which was a public post on Google+ product manager Eran Arkin’s Google+ page…that’s so meta, you guys), when you advertise with +Post, not only do you get an ad placed within the Google+ network; you get your social post placed – as an ad – throughout Google’s entire display network. That means access to ad space on over 2 million sites worldwide.

According to Arkin, “This lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream.”

This is pretty powerful, and creates more of a two-way conversation than other networks have been able to do for advertisers. Now a social post – whether it’s a photo, video, or even a Google Hangout – can be used as a display ad, so not only can an advertiser drive clicks to their site, but drive engagement with an interested audience, no matter where that audience spends their time.

On the flipside, it’s important to note that social ads are generally a part of an opt-in network, where display ads on Google are not. It will be interesting to see how consumers respond.

Toyota USA is the flagship beta customer for Google’s +Post program, showcased in this video that Arkin included in the post:

Why Toyota USA is investing in Google+ ads:

Toyota USA has seen sustained engagement growth over the last year, and the growth isn’t sporadic; it’s directly proportional to what they post. As an advertiser, this is an attractive figure because it allows you to measure and optimize with an educated eye. The integration with Google’s display advertising network is a key driver for the +Post program allows brands like Toyota USA to continue growing their engaged audience.

Toyota USA Google+ EngagementAnother reason Google+ is a channel they’ve invested in? An engaged user base. Engagement doesn’t just come in the form of +1s. Comments on Toyota USA posts account for 8% of engagement that the brand sees. If you remember the chart from our Facebook study of the Interbrand 100 Companies last summer, note that this figure crushes Facebook’s comment-to-like ratio. Studies show that a comment will lead to a click more than 4 times more often than like will…this stat may be for Facebook, but don’t fret…we’ll bring you the Google+ equivalent soon.

Screenshot 2013-12-11 17.40.35

Toyota USA also saw the benefit of repurposing their visual content as advertising. This is an awesome phenomenon. For many digital companies, digital ads are repurposed as content, but this flips that philosophy on it’s head and leverages solid social content for digital advertising.

Toyota USA’s photo and video content receives the highest engagement on the network.
Screenshot 2013-12-11 19.33.10

Are Google’s new +Post ads something your company will invest in? Is Google+ an are you’ve been active? With their focus on content and search integration, and now this integrated digital advertising offering, it’s going to be hard to ignore in 2014.

If you have a Google+ page, Simply Measured can help you analyze your content. Request an invite to a free trial today for the full Simply Measured suite, or try a Google+ Free Report today.

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Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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