What Are Google Posts and Are They Worth the Hype?

What are Google Posts? Basically, they’re an easy way for you
to publish content directly to your brand’s Google Knowledge
Panel. The Knowledge Panel is the box that appears to the right of
the search field when someone seeks information about your
business, like this:

Knowledge panel

If someone Googles your brand, this content will show up as part
of your general business listing.

For anyone investing time and resources into a content marketing
strategy, taking advantage of Google’s posting feature might seem
like a no-brainer— it boosts your chances of getting your content
in front of more eyes.

But if you’re already stretched thin, should you even bother
posting directly to Google?

Is it right for your brand?

This post will take a look at how to use Google Posts so you can
figure out how to use them efficiently and integrate them into your
brand strategy. It will also provide some tips and tricks for
reaping the benefits of Google Posts as part of your marketing
strategy along with some Google post examples to get you
started.

What are Google Posts and how do they work?

What exactly is the purpose of Google Posts? How can they help
your brand meet your goals? With Google Posts, you can increase
visibility and engagement with relatively minimal time and effort.
These small snippets are a great opportunity to inspire readers to
take action before they click over to your actual website.

Google initially rolled out the feature during the 2016 US
election as a way for candidates to easily post their viewpoints
directly into search engine results. These were dubbed “candidate
cards.” Since then, Google has expanded the feature for
businesses, but not every business can take advantage of it.

For example, you’ll need a verified Google My Business account
and, at this point, hotels cannot make Google Posts.

The rest of you can now create several different types of posts,
giving marketers greater control over what their audience sees in
the Knowledge Panels for their brands. You can use Google Posts to
highlight a broad range of content including:

  • Events
  • Product promotions
  • Webinars

  • Newsletter
    sign-ups
  • General announcements
  • Coupons and discount codes

It’s important for marketers to keep in mind that these posts
are relatively short and temporary. They disappear after just seven
days and your audience will only see the first 100 characters of
your headline.

Event posts, however, won’t vanish until the date of the event
passes.

Although they disappear from your Knowledge Panel, readers have
a choice to click a link and view your previous posts:

Image Source:
Google

On the plus side, this means you can incorporate the benefits of
Google Posts into your marketing strategy without getting too
weighed down developing new copy.

On the other hand, it might start to feel tedious coming up with
fresh, albeit short, snippets all the time. This is especially true
considering that you can’t schedule Google Posts–at least not
yet.

What are the disadvantages and benefits of Google Posts?

Like many Google features, (so-long, Google Plus) it’s hard to
say if Google Posts will simply vanish one day. Nonetheless,
marketers who have the time might as well take advantage of Google
Posts while they’re here, right?

Here are the general disadvantages and benefits of Google Posts
so you can decide if they’re worth your time and energy.

Pro: Great for local brands to engage their audiences

Over 70% of
all internet searches
happen on Google with the search engine
bringing in over 40,000 queries each
second
and a whopping 3.5 billion every day.

Yes, these are global figures, but people are using searches
like “near me” to find local listings.

The truth is, if marketers aren’t taking full advantage of
Google My Business and their Knowledge Panel, then brands are
missing out on a full range of ROI and traffic. Google Posts gives
marketers more control over what readers see when they Google a
listing.

Different people respond better to different types of
content.

If you can get more actionable content in front of your audience
before they even click your link, you might as well go for it,
right?

Pro: They don’t require a huge investment.

It’s hard to argue against something that doesn’t cost
anything.

That’s right: Google Posts is completely free.

As a marketer, your biggest investment time-wise will likely
come from setting up your brand’s Google My Business accounts and
getting verified.

But let’s be honest: you need to do that anyway to maximize
your presence in local search results. So, you have nothing to lose
and everything to gain by starting there.

After all, search results deliver a
better ROI
than other marketing channels like Facebook.

Pro: Google Posts are shareable.

You might not think that readers would feel compelled to share a
tiny 300-character post with their friends, but if you write
actionable content with a great offer, they might do just that.
This gives you a great opportunity to test out different strategies
and see if anything sticks.

Either way, Google gives readers the option to share posts which
translate into more possibilities for your content to reach more
people – and that’s always a good thing.

Image Source:
Google

Con: You can’t merge results with Google Analytics.

Google Posts allows you to track views and minimal clicks
through the Google My Business Dashboard, but it surprisingly does
not integrate with Google’s own analytics tracker. We hope this
is an update they’ll make in the future.

Con: Keeping up with posting can become tedious.

With social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest,
and Twitter, your posts are fairly permanent unless you delete
them. With Google Posts, they only stick around for seven days
before vanishing into the internet void. To top it off, you can’t
schedule posts: not through Google or third-party platforms. This
means you must post in real-time, which benefits readers looking
for relevant information, but can be a hassle for marketers.

Con: Google Posts don’t seem to affect your general rankings.

The jury is out on whether Google Posts affect your general
search rankings. If they do improve rankings, the difference is
probably pretty negligible.

On the other hand, Google loves websites that engage with its
platform and publish content on a regular basis, so using the post
feature could help you make the most of your overall SEO
strategy.

How to benefit from Google Posts

Understanding how to use Google Posts is key to leveraging ROI.
This feature is very different than
social media
posting, so it requires a little bit of background
information to make the most out of your content.

Focus on high-quality images

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, you’ll need square images: 750 px
by 750 px is perfect. Make sure the images are center-focused (kind
of like Instagram) or you could end up with a bunch of material cut
out. If you’re using Google Posts to promote products, now might
be the time to invest in high-quality graphics to capture
attention.

Incorporate Google Posts into your general social media strategy

Since you’ll be posting in real-time without the option to
schedule, you’ll need to figure out a way to smoothly incorporate
posting into your overall social media strategy. Consider putting
out a few posts as you sit down to schedule your posts on other
platforms. Set a date to post each week so you always have fresh
content to engage with.

Emphasize action

With a 100-character title and 300-character body, you need to
put a strong emphasis on relatable and actionable copy.

Now isn’t the time to pump out a bunch of keywords and
industry jargon: your content needs to provide immediate value to
your audience.

Be straightforward with your CTA with phrases like “Download
now”, “Claim deal”, or “Sign up”. Give your audience a
sweet deal along with a savory picture – that’s really all you
need.

This Google Post from Just Mind in Austin quickly demonstrates
value and encourages action:


Image Source:
Google

Use UTM Codes to Track Results

Since you can’t integrate Google Posts with Google Analytics,
you’ll need another method to track results and determine your
general ROI.

Don’t worry, this is easy to do because Google Posts allows
you to insert custom links into your posts.

By using these codes, Google Analytics can figure out where your
readers came from and what they did when they got to your
website.

From there, you can figure out if your Google Post campaigns are
working and A/B test different types of content.

This is how
UTM insight
s show up in your Google Analytics:


Image Source: Pinterest

Google Post examples to get started

These Google Post examples from local businesses got it
right.

Events

This Detroit bakery highlights their upcoming Coffee Chat
events:



Image Source:
Google

Product promotions

This Google Post from New York’s Junzi Kitchen has a
high-quality image and actionable language to encourage readers to
order now.


Image Source:
Google

Wrap up

What are Google Posts and are they worth the time?

This feature certainly isn’t the end all, be all solution to
driving traffic to your brands’ websites. They are, however, easy
to integrate with your general content marketing strategy.

Billions of people use Google every day to connect with local
businesses so it’s important for marketers to make the most of
their Knowledge Panel.

Understanding how to use Google Posts is key. If you can get
more content in front of your audience before they even decide to
click your link, why not take advantage of that?

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What Are Google Posts and Are They Worth the Hype?
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What Are Google Posts and Are They Worth the Hype?