How to Use +Post Ads from Google: What Marketers Need to Know

social media how to Have you heard of +Post ads from Google?

Do you know how your company can benefit from them?

Google’s +Post ads give your content assets massive visibility.

In this article you’ll discover what +Post ads are and how you can use them to promote your content to an even wider audience.

What Are +Post Ads?

Your audience is bombarded with more content than they can consume (Mark Schaefer calls it content shock). That information overload is blocking your visibility and marketing efforts.

You may be creating compelling content with blog posts, infographics, images or videos, but that content is limited by the walls of social media channels and your existing readers.

expanded google+ post ad from audi

An expanded Google +Post ad from Audi.

+Post ads help you break free from those limitations so you can get your content and marketing message in front of millions of people—the right people.


Watch this video to see how Toyota uses +Post ads

With Google +Post ads, you pay to promote your valuable Google+ content as an ad on relevant third-party websites. You can promote any of your public content—pictures, videos, updates, hangouts—everything!

The good news is that +Post ads are not within the Google+ stream (hooray!). Instead, they’re served through Google’s Display Network and you can handle them through your AdWords account.

If you’re not familiar with Google’s Display Network, it’s a paid ad service that shows your ads (e.g., your +Post ad) on relevant websites and to the audiences most likely to be interested in your product or service.

In the example below, you can see Toyota’s +Post ad on AllRecipes.com.

google+ post ad from toyota

+Post ads use your Google+ updates as targeted ad content across a range of related websites.

Of course, anyone can see your +Post ad content, but what’s special about these ads is that users who are logged into Google can reshare, +1 or comment on your content right in the ad, without going to Google+. And if your content includes a link to your site, users can click through. Each interaction is seamless for the user.

expanded google+ post ad from toyota

+Post ads are interactive for users logged into Google+.

Right now, if you want to use +Post ads, you need to be a qualified brand on Google+ (you need to have over 1,000 followers). If you don’t yet have 1,000 Google+ fans, bump up your efforts to get more attention and expand your circles.

Optimize Google+ Content for Better +Post Ads

Since +Post ads use your Google+ updates, it’s important for those updates to look their best. Optimizing your Google+ content so your ads look great means you’ll get the interaction you want.

For maximum shareability and interaction (both on Google+ and your +Post ad), use compelling images and/or videos, powerful content, clear calls to action and +Post formatting (i.e., bold, underline and italics).

As you create your update text, keep in mind that shorter +Post ads with a link have a higher click-through rate.

300 x 250 google+ post ad

Example of a 300 x 250 pixel Google +Post ad.

Here are the different ad sizes and how they would look.

different google+ post ad sized

Examples of differently sized Google +Post ads.

In this hangout on air, Google+ expert Jesse Wojdylo describes a few more ways you can create Google+ posts that encourage sharing (and will likely work well as +Post ads).

Optimizing your Google+ updates means your +Post ads are also optimized. And as you’d expect, when new audiences see a relevant, useful ad, they’re more likely to interact with it.

Create and Use Google +Post Ads

The actual mechanics of creating and using Google +Post ads are simple. The infographic below will help you get up and running.

g= post ads infographic

Instructions and tips for setting up and running +Post ads.

Combine +Post Ads and Facebook Ads

Believe it or not, Google +Post ads and Facebook ads make excellent bedfellows. +Post ads and Facebook custom audiences can work together to help you find, track and market to more people in your target audience.

If you’re not familiar with Facebook custom audiences, here’s a quick overview. Custom audiences allow you put a conversion pixel on different pages of your website (e.g., a landing page or conversion page).

When someone visits a page with a conversion pixel, Facebook gathers that person’s Facebook profile information and uses it to serve your ads to similar people (the ones who are most likely to be interested in your message).

How does that relate to +Post ads? If you create a +Post ad that includes a link to a specific page on your website, you can install a Facebook conversion pixel on that page.

google+ post ad from toyota

Creating a Facebook Conversion Pixel in the Ads Manager.

Because your +Post ad has the potential to reach millions of viewers via the Google Display Network, you can increase the number of people who match your target market for Facebook ads. That’s really helpful for your future Facebook ad campaigns.

With the additional information on new leads, you can run different Facebook remarketing campaigns to continue promoting your content. For example, you can create a custom audience of previous website visitors to show ads for your latest blog posts.

The difference between standard Facebook remarketing and +Post ads is that Facebook ads rely heavily on calls to action to drive conversions. +Post ads use your thought leadership (via your Google+ updates) to create that connection with new audiences.

Enjoy More Freedom and Reach

With +Post ads, you’re no longer limited by AdWords’ restrictive ad types. Instead, you have complete control over your +Post ads because they work seamlessly with your Google+ content.

aviary app

Peg Fitzpatrick’s Google+ update captures attention with a tall, skinny image and compelling content.

You can continue to use Google+ updates to build brand loyalty with your current followers, then use that same content to reach an even larger targeted audience with +Post ads.

That kind of exposure lets you start conversations with your current audience and beyond. Sharing optimized, interesting and useful Google+ content via +Post ads helps you grow your Google+ circles, deepen your connection with existing fans and find new people to join your community.

What do you think? Have you used +Post ads? Do you have advice for others? Share in the comments below!

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About the Author, Marcela De Vivo

Marcela De Vivo is CEO of Gryffin.com, a boutique social media, SEO, and content marketing agency, blogs at The Alchemy, and specializes in Google Penalty Recovery and Link Building. Other posts by »




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  • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

    Great, I’ve been looking for an article that goes through Google+ post ads for a while- and this looks like just the one! Thanks. Just to clarify (I couldn’t tell from the article) can you only create Google+ post ads for Google+ pages and not profiles?

    I’ve not invested a huge amount of time in my pages yet, but a lot of time into my profile. In many ways I am the brand, but I do want to generate traffic for my G+ page in the future.

  • Deanna Abita

    This looks great. I’m going to try it today! I’m so sick of Facebook ads (and Facebook in general) I stopped using fb ads a wile ago and am very glad, google adwords converts better for cheaper so I can’t wait to test out this. Advertising on FB is seriously a waist of money in my current opinion and I hate how you wrap it into this post and say use them together however… I guess I’ll try the SME free FB marketing video and see….. maybe it’ll change my mind… anyways good post :)

  • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

    I tend to agree with you on Facebook, although if you get all technical and use Power Editor and Website Custom Audiences you can get some success. Jon Loomer is your man here. However I am quite excited about using Google Adwords instead. It will feel less like I am flushing money down the toilet! ;-)

  • Deanna Abita

    On a side note… that info graphic is way to small to read in the post and for some reason I can’t right click and save it to zoom in in another app. had to go through the code to get the image. anyone else having this issue the direct link to the jpg is here: http://cdn.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/mdv-tff-m5-google-postads.jpg

  • Deanna Abita

    No, John is who’s site I was using. He’s really smart on the subject but I feel like even when your paying for advertising on FB you still have to game the system. With adwords if you got good copy and a good pic your good to go. I don’t really even use FB to much anymore and even on personal pages you can tell none really interacts with anything anymore because of there awful algorithm. I mean I just logged in to do a quick check on my feed and the top post is from 15h ago then I got one from yesterday, I have to scroll like 10 down just to find one that was posted within the last 3 hours that’s crazy. I know G+ failed but people are sick of FB there only there because they feel like that’s the only option and without a new social network to jump to things are just going to get less social. I don’t want to promote on a network that I just pop in on now and then because if I’m not using it I know others are doing the same.. logging in out of habit.. but it gets less and less every day.

  • Deanna Abita

    The info graphic even when downloaded and zoomed in is just to hard to read. is there a link to a bigger version?

  • Deanna Abita

    Just a follow up on this; the info graphic was hard to read and adwords normally has really good customer support so I just called them to get more info on this and there acting like this is a google + feature and they don’t support it. The girl I talked to didn’t even know what I was talking about and had to do a web search to find out what +posts were. let’s hope google gets it together on this.

  • Brian Clawson

    Awesome article! I have never tried combining the 2 platforms…. I will definitley be giving this line of thought a try! THANK YOU!

  • Marcela De Vivo

    Hi Ian, this is one of the difficult aspects of Google +, choosing between promoting the profile vs the page. We’ve run some independent tests and find that pages tend to gain more traction. +Post ads are currently only available for pages.

  • Marcela De Vivo

    Hi Deanna, I agree, FB ads are hard to do well and successfully, we do find great success with using website custom audiences on FB, it’s a great combination because you can catch them outside on the web in general with +post ads, and then in FB using custom audiences, think of the branding potential!

  • Marcela De Vivo

    Sorry Ian didn’t read your comment but yes, totally agree with you, Jon Loomer is who we’ve worked with in learning how to use custom audiences and he’s a brilliant resource.

  • Marcela De Vivo

    Hi Deanna, I will post a larger version of the IG and include the link here.

  • Marcela De Vivo

    Thanks Brian! Let me know if you have any questions, happy to help!

  • Marcela De Vivo

    Hi Deanna, here’s a link to the high-res version: http://www.gryffin.com/google-post-ads-masses-infographic

  • http://bruno-buergi.com/ Bruno Buergi

    It’s the first time I hear about this and it looks interesting for me. I definitely will test it for myself.

  • KristiGarrett

    What a great, nuts and bolts article on how to use (and not ignore!) Google+. Can’t wait to use the +Post ads, as soon as I build my platform enough to qualify!

  • Marcela De Vivo

    Let us know how your tests go Bruno!

  • Marcela De Vivo

    Awesome Kristi! Hope it works for you!

  • http://www.brightinbound.com.au/ Sarah McIntyre

    Finally a reason for Google+. Now it makes sense as a content distribution platform, not just a place for Google employees to hang out.. :)

  • Marcela De Vivo

    Totally agree Sarah I think it has massive potential when you think of the trend towards content marketing and the power to amplify content, not just a sales pitch.

  • Susan Walsh

    I watched the Eric Enge Hangout of Air and the person from Google said that you need to have 1,000 followers in order to participate – does this mean you have to have 1,000 on a business Page or can it be your Profile page? Thanks.

  • http://www.it-sales-leads.com/ Barbara Mckinney

    +Post ads can act as an accelerator to a content marketing program. If you are engaging in efforts to use content to expand your reputation and visibility online, this will immediately expand your reach.Every marketer should try this proram for this business. Thanks Marcela!

  • http://ImpartialGeek.com David Foster

    I was actually a beta tester for +1 ads, and to be honest I never really got anything from them. I have not used them in awhile because they cost me money with no noticeable different in traffic than if I do not use it. I definitely think they have potential, but I would suggest that people wait until they get the issues hammered out before you go blowing your money. I get WAY better results with Facebook ads, and I am NOT a Facebook guy. I LIVE on G+, so believe me I want to see them work…

  • http://ImpartialGeek.com David Foster

    Facebook ads convert very well for me. Better than adwords for sure. It really just depends on your offering.

  • Deanna Abita

    Well I might try the custom audience thing people seem to love that. Overall it just seems like when people type in a keyword on google for the type of fashion we sell and see & click a cheap text add they stay longer and actuially check the item out more and there’s a higher conversion rate by far from adwords because people are searching for what your selling Facebook charges 4-5 times what I pay for both text and YouTube ads and FB clicks are almost all bounces. I have an app that grabs UID’s of FB users so I can use the graph search and target to exactly who I want but it’s just the attention span of people on FB there just there to browse and clicks from FB are almost worthless and cost the most. If your selling an actuial product that is. I can see how FB would be good for email sign ups.

  • http://www.spiderworking.com/ Amanda Webb

    Thanks for the guide. I’ve been interested in these ads. Of course this is just the beginning of Google+ ads, it’s going to be interesting to see how they evolve.

  • http://infobunny.com Dexter Roona

    Just found this post via Google Alerts! …. Marcela De Vivo great post, im so glad that Google Plus is an ads free zone, that for me is one of the reasons that Facebook falls down with the site being pay to play and displaying ads in the bars. Does anyone really want to see those ads im not convinced, but i guess the mighty buck is far more important than what people would really like to see on a site, great to see Google with a different approach, but then again they have always been ahead of the game

    regards Dexter Roona

  • http://www.jharkhandbihar.com jharkhandbihar

    Thank you for sharing in formation google post blog, this is a nice pick and sharing every one ,

  • joshua kinney

    “Facebook charges 4-5 times what I pay for both text and YouTube ads and FB clicks are almost all bounces.” Either something is amiss or you’re doing it wrong. Good move to stop advertising there though. Sounds like you need to refine your audience. Also, Facebook is crazy cheap any time I run them. Around .25 CPM. You also might be thinking about it as a direct response medium, which it’s probably not the best fit for (some cases, sure). You’re certainly correct about adwords though. Comparing FB with Adwords *search is like comparing apples and oranges.

  • Grant Perry

    Great actionable article. I just set up a campaign but when I set up and ad it only gives me an option of 11 posts to select from, even thought we have hundreds.

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  • http://www.TopSpotsMarketing.com/ Louis Foussard

    Hi Marcela…

    Superb article. I haven’t used any social media ads yet, so I hadn’t paid much attention to much of the information. And, although I hate to admit it… I hadn’t even heard of +Posts.

    Great Info! Thanks again…

    ~ Louie

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