Developing a Google+ Content Strategy for Your Business

As with other social networks, content is king on Google+. If you really want to build a large and thriving community of brand advocates and customers around your Google+ page, you’re going to need to build trust and credibility.

There’s only way you can accomplish this: by communicating with your target audience on a consistent basis in the right way, and by regularly delivering the highest quality content which will grab attention, appeal to their interests and contribute real value to their lives.

To create this type of content, you need to have a strong understanding of your target audience: their goals, aspirations, problems, challenges, frustrations and desires. This will give you the insights you need to communicate with them in ways that they will listen and take action on. As your followers begin to engage with your content, you’ll begin to build trust and credibility, and start converting them into customers.

It is important to note that posting excellent content on Google+ is not only going to help increase your followers on Google+, but it is also likely to increase your organic search ranking, especially in the major search engines.

Keep in mind that just because a particular piece of content has done well on other social networks doesn’t mean it is guaranteed to do just as well on Google+. In the following article, Brian Honigman explains how to create content that caters to the wants and needs of your audience, and is perfectly suited for Google+:

How to Create Content Suited for Google+

Some businesses and marketing teams unfairly treat Google+ like a social media content dump; nothing more than a bulletin board to publish content that was originally meant for other social networks in an attempt to increase their SEO efforts.

It’s all too common for marketers to only focus on publishing content that has been repurposed from other networks or blogs and fail to actively participate in the Google+ community. Many of these brands can miss the features that make Google+ a unique opportunity to share content and as a result, can struggle to develop any real traction with their content.

While repurposing content can yield many advantages, it shouldn’t be the sole purpose of any social network strategy since each channel requires unique content to nurture their audiences. Marketers should test a variety of content types on Google+ to incorporate a healthy mix of themes your organization regularly addresses.

Google+ benefits from a thriving and dedicated community that often consumes content varying from visually appealing posts such as videos, GIFS and infographics to in-depth discussions that we’ve grown to expect from chat rooms or fan forums. Many Google+ users interact by offering advice and openly sharing their expertise within circles to give back to their communities. The overall mindset is that Google+ users are looking to learn and communicate with their content and self promotion doesn’t tend to resonate as well.

To create content that caters to the wants and needs of your audience, you should begin by developing a healthy understanding of how your community wants to interact with your content and what your audience is looking to accomplish while using Google+.

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In the previous article, you learned how to create content that is perfectly suited for Google+. In the following article, by Gavin Llewellyn, you’ll learn how to create a powerful content strategy that is specifically designed for Google+:

Creating a content strategy for Google+

The overall aim of brands using social networking is to create engaged communities around compelling content that educates, entertains, inspires and/or angers.

The key, then, is to use content to generate interest and ultimately Likes, Retweets, +1s, comments and shares for the content that’s being published. By generating interest for specific posts, users can produce a viral effect where that interest is then multiplied as a result of others throughout someone’s social graph being exposed to and then (hopefully) interacting with that content themselves. And so the cycle continues as their social graphs become exposed to the content.
Creating impactful content on Google+

One of the unique aspects of Google+ is the intuitive nature of the interface and the ability to easily filter and segment people and companies into custom Circles. By focusing in on specific Circles, users can control the information and content they see from others. But in order to get Circled (whether you’re a company or an individual), you have to offer compelling content that benefits the user.

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In the following video, Ryan Hanley and Mark Traphagen share some powerful insights on how to build a successful content marketing strategy on Google+.

How to Get More Followers on Google+

Once you have created your personal profile and business page, you’re now ready to start building your audience. If you’re a personal brand, it is important to begin the branding process by building your audience on your personal profile before you start working on your business page. This will allow you to start build to build your reputation on your personal profile and then share updates from your business profile to your personal profile.

Having a large audience on social media in general will give you more social proof, will translates to more credibility especially if you’re selling something. If you’re selling a social media expert, prospective clients will want to see that you have a large audience before actually buying your products. You’ll have more connections, your products will look much better, and you’ll get more sales as your content spreads much faster.

In the following article, Neil Patel shares a few valuable tips on how to get 500 new followers within one week:

How to Get at Least 500 More Google+ Followers by Next Week

Google+ is still a very important part of the social media landscape. Even though Google Authorship has disappeared, we still have Google+. Growing your presence on this social media giant is as important as ever.
I want to tell you how you can grow your Google+ following. Unlike Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, there are no follow penalties or limits on how many people you can follow, or how many people can follow you. This is a recipe for major expansion.

Keep in mind that you don’t just want to grow your numbers. You want engaged followers. In this post, I’ll explain both how you can boost your numbers and increase your engagement.

Follow my instructions, and you’ll have an extra 500 followers or more by next week.

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The tips shared by Neil Patel will definitely add more value to your brand as your unpaid army of promoters becomes larger.

Now your appetite for audience building has been wet, are you ready to get even more followers on Google+?  Well, in the following article, Jayson Demers shares 50 free ways to increase your Google+ followers:

50 Free Ways To Increase Your Google+ Followers

Since Google’s decision to shut down their Authorship program last year, many businesses and experts are assuming that Google+ as a social platform is now irrelevant. In fact, I’ve written several articles giving my take on its decline:

Is Google+ Really Walking Dead?
Why Google+ Is Dying (and Nearly Dead)
What the Death of Google+ Means for SEO

While Google+ as we know it is dying, it’s going to live on in different ways. There are still going to be benefits to using it for SEO purposes, such as the perpetuation of Author Rank (not to be confused with Google Authorship, which is dead) and Google My Business (formerly known as Google+ Local), which is still strongly supported by Google for local SEO purposes. As I wrote in one piece, “While Google+ probably won’t become the next Facebook, it’s going to continue to be an influence in search engine optimization in the future, and it’s going to continue to deliver value to Google in the form of advertising intelligence.”

As a result, I conclude each piece with my advice to continue using it for SEO and marketing purposes. According to recent research by ComScore, Google+ still has a significant audience penetration in the US. With a 38% reach of the digital population – compared to Twitter’s 36% – Google+ is still a major player, and continues to hold value for business owners.

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If you’re looking to get more targeted Google+ followers, Justin Bryant shares a few awesome techniques in this informative video that will teach you how to get more potential customers for your business:

So, there you have it. Now that you’ve learned how to grow your Google+ presence, you’re ready to take things to the next level!

Creating a Business Page on Google+

A Google+ page provides your business with a digital identity on Google where you can post content and interact with an audience of people who have chosen to follow you on Google+. Engaging with your audience on your page allows you to build trust, build relationships, develop your brand and increase awareness.

Google+ pages work in the same way as Google+ personal profiles. You can add people to circles, edit your profile, share content on Google+, +1 comments and photos within Google+ and create and join Hangouts. You can post content and direct them back to your website or blog for updates about your busness and can send messages to particular groups of people. However, Google+ pages cannot currently +1 other page and you cannot share to extended circles.

Before you create your page, it is important to be clear and specific about what you’re aiming to achieve by creating a business page on Google+. You can leverage your Google+ page as a marketing tool to do several things including searching for new customers, developing your brand, building your opt-in and driving traffic to your blog.

In the following step-by-step guide, Shawn Hessinger explains how to create a Google+ provide page:

How to Create a Google Plus Page for Your Small Business

Get a Google Page with This Guide to How to Create a Google Plus Page for Your Small BusinessWhen you create a Google Plus page, it will integrate your small business into the Google ecosystem. This will make your company more accessible when users are searching on a Google page locally.

And just like the other social media channels offering business pages for their entrepreneurs, with a Google page, it means you can also do the same. Google+ offers you the opportunity to create a business page to promote your business, organization or a specific product you have in mind. The Google Plus community is growing in numbers and you can take advantage of when you create a Google Plus page to grow and promote your business.
A Google Page for Your Small Business

I want to take you through the process of creating a Google Plus page for your business or organization. Just like Facebook, you will need a personal profile on Google Plus to get started. If you don’t have one yet, sign up and create a personal Google Plus account first. You can only create that Google page for your business once your profile has been created.

If you have a Google Plus personal profile, follow these steps to create a Google Plus page for your business.

How to Create a Google Plus Page

Pick a Category for Your Business

1. Visit Create a business page on Google Plus (or follow “All Your Google Plus Pages” in the pull down under your profile photo) and hit “create a page.” Pick a category for your business. Pick the right category that perfectly describes your business or organization. You can choose from local business or place; product or brand; company, institution or organization; arts, entertainment or sports and other if the specific choices mentioned do not apply to your business.

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In this video, Kori Ashton explains how to create a Google+ business page.

An Overview of Google+ Communities

What is a Google+ Community?

A Google+ Community is G+’s version of a group or forum, and is designed to allow individuals and organizations to congregate and collaborate together around specific topics they are interested in or passionate about. G+ Communities also provide a convenient platform for brands to share common interests, express opinions, share related content, and engage in meaningful conversations and discussions with their target audience. Any business or brand on G+ can create (and “own”) a Community.

Communities present an excellent opportunity for brands to engage with their customers and prospects, and significantly increase their reach and social influence on the Google+ network. Communities also enable brands to extend their reach by effectively engaging with other Communities.

G+ Communities are places where members can engage and share questions, comments or content relating to a specific topic with other users who are just as interested in the conversation. For example, if you are an online marketer with a focus on SEO and internet marketing, you would naturally gravitate towards Google+ Communities dedicated to these topics. You would simply look for a Community around that topic and share your expertise by answering questions and publishing videos and hangouts about social media, SEO, search marketing, etc.

Here are some examples of SEO related communities:

  • Search Marketing for entrepreneurs
  • Social Media Marketing for Small Business Owners

Setup

Community Admins can set up different categories within each community. By default, everything goes into the “General Discussion” category, however, you could have different categories for conversation. For example, in an Internet marketing Community, you could have different categories for SEO, Search Marketing, Social Media, Online Reputation Management, etc.

If a member of a particular community is posting spam or content that is unrelated to the chosen topic within the Community’s stream, a moderator can be called upon to step in and address that situation by removing off-topic or inappropriate posts, and if needed remove or ban the poster from the Community.

Participating in communities that are relevant to your chosen topic will help strengthen the relationships you have with your connections and expand your targeted network. Your goal on these platforms should be to add value, offer insight, and join in the conversation. G+ Communities are a particularly powerful way of strategically generating awareness for your brand.

There are four types of Communities available:

  • Public – membership open to all.
  • Public – membership upon acceptance by owners or moderators.
  • Private – able to be found in searches for Communities.
  • Private – hidden from searches for Communities.

All private Communities can be restricted to its invited members only, but can also remain discoverable by search. In addition, a fully private Community can be created, similar to a private YouTube channel, where it can be found only by knowing the specific URL of the Community. Furthermore, if you share a post to a private community page, it cannot be publicly viewed anywhere except in that private Community.

On the other hand, anyone can join a public community and create posts, leave comments on others posts, share content, or join a Hangout within the community. If you are the creator of the public community, you have the option of leaving the community unrestricted. You can also make community membership subject to an invitation, or approval from a community moderator. All of the content in public communities can be indexed by Google and discoverable on both Google Search and Google+, just like public “regular” Google+ posts.

Benefits of Joining a Google+ Community for Business

Connect with people in your target market.

Joining relevant G+ Communities make it easy to identify prospective customers for your business and make social connections with people who are most interested in your offerings. G+ Communities also allow you to begin building relationships with an already assembled relevant audience.

Your main aim, in these platforms, should be to interact, create and join in conversations with members of Communities related to your industry, particularly because these conversations will be about topics that are directly related to your industry. A brand that fosters a sense of community is more likely to develop brand advocates and loyal customers in the long term.

Drive relevant traffic to your website.

Inside a G+ Community you can post blog posts, articles, videos and other various types of relevant and valuable content. Keeping your brand-led community well-stocked with valuable information helps you build credibility in your niche and can help enhance your reputation as an authority in your industry. Often times people use these types of forums to search for answers, ask questions, get opinions.

Show off your skills and expertise by inviting and answering people’s questions or offering up insight that gets them thinking. And don’t simply post a link to your content. Be tactful by giving your audience clear answers that have value, build on the conversation, and then offer a link to one of your blog posts or articles that explains the concept in more detail.

Gain valuable insights.

Communities offer a great opportunity for you to learn about your target audience, their needs and challenges before you join the conversation. Treat this as an opportunity to research and understand your target market on G+. Find out what your potential customers are really thinking and use that to better craft the content you share from your business page.

You can also listen in on what they are saying and discover meaningful ideas for products or services that you can provide to them. For example, if you are an electronics retailer, you could listen to what people in your target audience are talking about within a tech-focused community, and use this information to make decisions on stock, products, user needs etc, and respond to those needs.

Establish thought leadership.

G+ groups provide the opportunity for you to build your brand as an authority and thought leader in your niche. People generally join G+ Communities as a way of finding answers. Industry experts tend to use Google Plus as an opportunity to build a reputation by providing meaningful answers to questions, and generally being helpful. G+ can also give you access to influencers who might not notice you elsewhere.

When you are recognized by people in your target market as a credible source of information, the dividends can be extremely valuable. You’ll be seen as a thought leader and industry expert which will help establish your credibility among your target customers. When you provide good information and advice, you gain the trust of people in your target audience.

Generate brand awareness.

You can create your own Google+ Community in order to generate brand awareness and recognition for your business among your target audience. The aim here is to build trust and authority and establish relationships, rather than to push sales. Generate useful content and start conversations that encourage participation. Content shared by both your business as well as Community members will play a key role in making the community a go to place for expert information.

G+ Communities provide superior functionalities.

Google, with the introduction of Google+ communities, has provided superior levels of functionality for a Business to develop its brand and attract a growing number of targeted followers to its audience. On G+, Community members can share files and documents from Google Drive both inside and outside their Communities. Members can both link to and distribute documents of all kinds with each other.

Using Google Sites, members can host a website from their from Google Drive. In addition, any community member can access Google+ Hangouts which can be scheduled by event and run from within a Google+ Community, with Hangout invitations sent to all members automatically.

Generating Exposure with the Google+1 Button

Google introduced the +1 button to help people find the things they love and care about, and share them with their friends, family and contacts, and to help them create even more relevant results in Google search. The button is now appearing in all over the web, on blogs, news articles and Google+pages.

Google recognized the concept of social proof early on and introduced the +1 button, which is similar to the Facebook like button. With the +1 button, searchers have a means of identifying content that other users have rated as high quality.

To use the +1 button, you need to have a profile page on Google+. Clicking the button means that you are giving your personal recommendation of that piece of content, and based on that recommendation, other people may decide whether or not they are going to purchase the recommended product.

In the following article, Cyrus Shepard discusses the impact of Google’s +1 button on SEO. And even though the article may have been written several years ago, the fundamental concepts hold true today:

Amazing Correlation Between Google +1s and Higher Search Rankings

Every two years, Moz runs a scientific correlation study to discover the qualities of web pages that have a strong association with ranking highly in Google. This year, for the first time, Dr. Matt Peters and the Moz Data Science Team measured the correlation between Google +1s and higher rankings.

The results were surprising.

After Page Authority, a URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor. In fact, the correlation of Google +1s beat out other well known metrics including linking root domains, Facebook shares, and even keyword usage.

Moz isn’t the only one to discover this relationship. Searchmetrics, using a slightly different methodology, found Google +1s to be the highest-correlated factor they studied, and other studies have found similar results.

Here’s the million-dollar question: Can Google+ activity actually help your pages rank higher?

Beyond correlation: Why it matters this time

Back in 2011, folks may remember the controversy that erupted when Moz found a similar correlation between higher rankings and Facebook activity. At the time, Google claimed they didn’t use Facebook shares for ranking websites. Dr. Peters concluded that the relationship between Facebook activity and higher rankings was likely not directly related, but probably caused by overlapping factors such as links and high-quality content.

Click here to read the entire article…

Certain posts do better on Google+ than others. In the following article, Dustin W. Stout highlights seven components that can help you craft the perfect Google+ post:

The Anatomy of a Perfect Google+ Post

There is a reason that certain people get more engagement, more followers, and are more successful on Google+ than others. A lot of it has to do with they way they craft their posts.

In this post I’ll go over the anatomy of a perfectly crafted Google+ post. Seven components that, if executed properly can make your post look like they were written by a pro.

And just FYI, my Insiders get exclusive access to downloadable resources and my best email content. Get on the list by adding your email:

Why Should You Care?

Let’s face it– the internet is plenty full of garbage. There’s more than enough bad content littering the digital space than we could possibly consume in a lifetime. If you want to make your ideas and creativity stand out you must take the time to do things with excellence.

On Google+, the audience there is highly engaged and they have a low tolerance for spam. So don’t expect to phone it in or put your Google+ activity on autopilot and get a good response. But when you take the time to put a little craftsmanship into your posts, it really pays off.

So here’s a few tips to make sure your posts stand out and get the proper attention they deserve.

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When you +1 something on the web, you will be given the option to share this with any of your circles on Google+, and then it will be collected in your +1 tab on or profile.

In the following video, Ilka Flood explains how to add the +1 button to your website: