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Want new ways to benefit from Google+?

Have you shared rich media on Google+?

When you provide rich media within Google+, you maximize the reach and engagement of each piece of content and make it easy for visitors to consume.

Here are eight types of rich media content to share on Google+.

Why Rich Media on Google+

Many social media users, especially those on mobile, don’t want to leave the platform they’re on. With rich media, your audience can enjoy your attention-grabbing content without leaving the platform.

rich media posts on google plus

Find out how to use eight types of rich media in your Google+ posts.

#1: YouTube Videos

YouTube’s direct integration on Google+ makes video one of the most powerful types of content for media sharing with your Google+ circles for a couple reasons.

First of all, you can dynamically embed YouTube videos inside Google+ posts. This allows your connections to view YouTube videos in full, with annotations, without having to leave Google+.

youtube video embedded into google plus post

YouTube videos automatically embed inside Google+, annotations and all.

Also, the Google+ comment integration with YouTube offers major potential for viral reach. When a viewer comments on one of your YouTube videos, the default option is to have that comment shared into the viewer’s Google+ stream.

Engagement Tip

Keep YouTube videos short and to the point. Google+ users will watch videos in their stream, but may pass on longer videos.

#2: GIFs and Cinemagraphs

Anyone who spends time on the Internet is familiar with animated GIFs and cinemagraphs, which are images that move. On Google+, GIFs can be uploaded and shared (and of course viewed) just like a regular image. On other social media platforms, the reader has to click a link in order to view the GIF in motion.

gif in google plus post

Like videos, GIFs can be viewed directly on Google+.

GIFs sometimes have a stigma, because they’re usually of animals doing strange things. However, pair the right GIF with a piece of content and you can greatly amplify your message and encourage sharing.

Use Giphy, a GIF directory, to find attention-grabbing GIFs or cinemagraphs to share alongside original Google+ posts. Note: GIFs and cinemagraphs must be high-quality. Out of focus, incorrectly sized or inappropriate GIFs will not attract the type of attention you want.

Engagement Tip

Strategically use GIFs and cinemagraphs to highlight the point of your content. The motion of GIFs and cinemagraphs will attract more attention than a static image.

#3: Auto Awesome Photos

If you’ve spent time on Google+, then you’ve most likely seen photos containing additional effects and editing. These effects are called Auto Awesome.

Some of the more common Auto Awesome effects include GIFs created from rapid-fire images, falling snowflakes added to shots with snow and HDR (high dynamic range) images, like in the example below.

auto awesome image

The Auto Awesome function adds effects while keeping a copy of your original image.

Turn on Auto Awesome through your Google settings, and effects are automatically generated from your photos. (It’s available on Android and iOS apps, as well as desktop. However, you can only manually add effects on Android devices.)

The coolest part about Auto Awesome effects is that Google+ keeps adding new effects.

Engagement Tip

Come up with post ideas that go with the Auto Awesome images created from the pictures you take on your smartphone. The unique flair that Auto Awesome effects add to images help attract attention to your content and brand.

#4: Google+ Stories

Related to Auto Awesome are Google+ Stories, which are photo timelines generated from images taken at the same location around the same time.

A creative marketer can take a planned series of photos throughout a trip, event or conference, and then combine those images into a unique visual representation.

google stories post

Take a planned series of photos and create a story from them.

Most marketers aren’t aware that Google+ stories even exist. They create an incredible opportunity for a brand willing to put in a little bit of work and create something to stand out from the crowd.

Engagement Tip

Take lots of photos throughout a conference to create a Google+ story from the event. Then share the Google+ story in conjunction with your event recap article. Make sure to notify (or even tag) other influencers who attended the event, so they’ll engage and share.

#5: Audio

Want to draw in a larger audience to your podcast? Upload your podcast audio to SoundCloud. Then share that content on Google+, so your audience can listen without leaving the platform.

SoundCloud is an audio file hosting company, but with one additional benefit. SoundCloud has a robust and growing community of users for podcasters and content creators to tap into.

podcast audio in google plus post

Share audio content on Google+ to attract listeners to your podcast.

Also, marketers who use Google hangouts to record their podcast episodes can use SoundCloud as an additional distribution method to capture a Google+ audience.

Engagement Tip

Add a call to action inside your SoundCloud audio posts. Ask a question or direct listeners to the next episode. This will turn listeners into engaged audience members.

#6: Images and Infographics

Images and infographics play a significant part in any content marketing strategy. Attach the right graphic to your content, and it will attract extra attention to your post; attention you need to grow your audience.

Google+ posts—relative to other social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook—are extremely flexible in the size of images marketers can share. So have fun with your photos and create infographics of any size.

image in google plus post

The right image makes the difference in attracting attention to your content.

Android users and iOS users with the Google+ app installed can turn on the Google Auto Backup feature, and all images taken with a smartphone will be automatically uploaded to Google+ photos.

Engagement Tip

Use large, well-formatted images. This will capture the attention of Google+ users as they scroll through their feed.

#7: Rich Link Shares

Rich link shares in Google+ automatically attach a featured post to the top of a headline link.

For best visual results, use Canva’s “Google+ Cover” template as your featured image. In general, this size and shape makes for good top-of-post content and it’s perfectly formatted for a Google+ rich link share.

rich link in google plus post

Properly format top-of-post photos to get the most out of rich link shares on Google+.

An additional benefit of rich link shares is their “Do-Follow” status. This means that any PageRank or “Google juice” the Google+ post URL accumulates will be passed along to the page in which the post is linked.

Engagement Tip

Make sure your blog article featured image is optimized for the Google+ rich link share. This will attract the most attention to your post.

#8: Live Streaming Video

Google Hangouts On Air gives content creators the opportunity to provide the audience with live streaming video in three places: the Hangout On Air event page, YouTube video page and a Google+ post.

No other social network allows free, HD-quality video to be streamed directly into the audience’s news feed.

hangout in google plus post

Stream free, HD-quality video directly to your audience via the news feed with Google hangouts.

In addition to the many other benefits of Google Hangouts On Air, this functionality allows you to draw even more viewers into your Hangout On Air show audience. Plus, once you capture your hangout on YouTube, you can easily reshare into your Google+ stream to capture even more views and engagement.

Engagement Tip

Before going live on a Google Hangout On Air, share your hangout event page into your Google+ stream. This will maximize the potential viewership.

Conclusion

Google+ provides a unique showcase for social media marketers who want to highlight their brand through a diverse selection of rich media content. Find the best tools and features to use with rich media to stand out from the crowd.

In the digital world, there’s an abundance of opportunity for content creators. Properly deploy these various types of rich media, and your Google+ marketing engagement will explode.

What do you think? What types of rich media are you using on Google+? What tools do you find most effective for creating rich media? On which types of rich media do you receive the most engagement? Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments.

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  • This is what make Google plus much powerful than Facebook.

  • Don’t forget you can also embed a SoundCloud audio link to create a Rich Media SoundCloud post in Google+….

  • Cindy, as always, thank you for allowing me to contribute. If anyone has questions about rich media sharing in Google+ or Google+ in general ask away… I’ll be checking in all day.

  • Cindy, as always, thank you for allowing me to contribute. If anyone has questions about rich media sharing in Google+ or Google+ in general ask away… I’ll be checking in all day.

  • Rob

    Great article Ryan and good to see you writing for the SME!

  • Thanks for tips!

    I never thought about sharing audio. I mostly share images.

    Canva is one of my favorite design tools. Moving the text can be somewhat wonky. However, you have many options from Grids to images. I recommend it!

  • Amen @PravinVibhute:disqus!

  • That’s actually #5 on the list above.

  • Appreciate that @disqus_KYuycKj3c7:disqus. Love contributing to this community.

  • @AmandahBlackwell:disqus LOVE Canva, such a great tool for creating images to share all over social media.

  • I agree!

  • Pingback: Marketing Day: A New Mobile Ad Report, Polyvore Expands Its Promoted Ads Program & More()

  • deb1221

    Great info, Ryan. Have not yet tried Google+ Stories. Looking forward to trying them out. Thanks!

  • excellent info in that post Ryan! I really gotta start using Google+ more often, and better…:-)

  • Leanne Isaacson

    Great post @ryanhanley:disqus – the information is fantastic but also including the “how to” makes the post even more valuable.

  • Just for your info – there are TWO popups on this page offering the same thing!

  • You’re welcome, Ryan. Thank you for sharing!

  • Yea Canva is great!! Had never used it before this.

  • While we’re on the subject, don’t forget their new polling feature.

  • Great and useful post, Ryan!
    I’d never heard of G+ Stories, but they have a great potential 🙂
    Thank you!

  • I’ve ween the “Stories” thing a few times, but never really figured out how to use it.. Hmmm

  • I’ve ween the “Stories” thing a few times, but never really figured out how to use it.. Hmmm

  • So NICE to read through this post Ryan. I’m a Google fan and this list just reminds me why. Sharing, posting, Pinning, and more.

  • Wow, G+ always surprises me. I was aware about the storybook feature. Cool.

    BTW what is the link to that No. 2 Gif ani, G+ post. Curious to read that 🙂

  • treb072410

    Thanks for sharing Ryan! I really had a great read..

  • Very thoughtful and thorough article on Google+! So many great suggestions. I’m wondering if the Canva Google+ Cover also looks good on any other platform. Will need to give it a try.

  • Dana

    FYI I tried to share this on G+ but your site wouldn’t let me, the display kept scrolling. I think because I have “large” text…. just an FYI

  • Ah, right! Missed that one, sorry :o)

  • Thank you so much for this great article Ryan!
    I didn’t realize all the different ways we could share rich media on google plus.
    We do a weekly #saturdaymorningmastermind Hangout on Air and I never thought to put it on sound cloud as an audio and then share it on gplus at a later date too! Great idea!

  • Bill

    These is a helpful list, and a clear proof that Google Plus is a powerful social media platform for optimization. But this doesn’t end Google Plus from getting more powerful. I believe there are more extreme development on its algorithm to fully defeat Twitter and Facebook.

  • Goldsmith

    Join the Illuminati today? My Name is Bryan Roland, contact our agent via email: johnwalker24@outlook.com. You have to pass through our Agent Mr. John Walker to get to the Master. (USA)

  • Argo Italia

    “Awesome Photos”! Thanks @ryanhanley:disqus