+Post Ads: Socializing Advertising Across the Web

This is bloody brilliant.

Almost exactly a year ago I stuck my neck out and made a bold prediction: we would not see in-platform advertising on Google+ in 2013...and maybe never. Read that post at http://goo.gl/ntXGUE

In that post I said part of the reason I didn't think we'd see in-stream ads on Google+ (as Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms have been forced to do) was because of the way Google+ is ingeniously tied into the rest of Google. The social data gathered here for logged in users is very valuable to Google in enhancing the effectiveness of its other revenue-generating products, such as AdWords in Google Search.

But now comes +Post Ads, and they've gone beyond what even I imagined: Google+ ads that aren't on Google+!

+Post Ads allow brands to pay to push their Google+ posts out into Google's extensive "display" or "content" advertising networks. This means that highly targeted engaging and interactive content will appear where we would traditionally see static banner ads on a web site. 

A great example of how effective this could be is the example in the video shared by +Eli Fennell below. Recently +Toyota USA worked with Google+ to create an interactive environment utilizing Hangout technology where users can collaborate with friends and family to collaboratively design their next Corolla. That content was awesome enough in and of itself.

But now thanks to +Post Ads, that post will appear on targeted websites across the web. Because these are social media content posts, not traditional ads, they have built in appeal. They become part of the fun and/or information of the site on which they appear. People will _want) to view these and share them with their contacts (which they can easily do, since these are live Google+ posts!).

Those of us who have understood the value of Google+ from the beginning have always talked about the reach it can give you beyond the social platform. Now that reach has been given to advertisers, all while continuing to keep Google+ ad free!

This just may be one of the biggest innovations in online advertising since the first banner ad appeared.
+Post Ads: Social Advertising Done Right

On the heels of the Toyota Collaborator Hangout App, +Toyota USA and Google+ are launching a new feature for social advertising: +Post ads.

Paid social advertising has traditionally focused on inserting ads deeper and deeper into the stream of social interactions.  The problem with such an approach is the same problem +Mark Traphagen describes as going into a party and shouting, "Hey everyone, I work for (insert company name here), do you want to buy some stuff?"  When authentic social interactions are taking place, that is not the time to go into sales mode.

+Post ads take the opposite approach: instead of forcing ads deeper into the social stream, they boost the social stream into ads outside of the social network proper, inviting new audiences into the discussion.

Such an approach, if successful, not only benefits those who use it, but also frees the social network it is attached to so it can remain ad free, and for this reason among many, I wish the endeavor great success.  Social networking can be a part of paid advertising, but in my opinion, paid advertising has no place on a social network itself, and +Post ads seem to strike that right balance.
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