I love the debate around Google+: “It’s dead!” “It’s a force to be reckoned with!” “Google’s reading my mind!!”
There’s something about simple, declarative statements that the punditocracy just can’t resist. The truth is, Google+ is a slow-moving train that’s gaining steam and will become increasingly important to search marketing folks and audiences everywhere.
Why? Google’s doing an increasingly better job of stitching together its various assets, including YouTube, Picasa, and Search -- each of which is formidable in its own right -- with Google+. People are still signing up in droves -- 40 million as of last week. And Google’s only just begun to put its full might behind the project.
The company has done some pretty ingenious things that should be very helpful to content marketers working to improve SEO and their own efficiency. Combined with the +1 features spreading all over the Web, Google is finding new ways to change the SEO and online marketing game. And it’s not just a consumer strategy. B2B brand marketers should also be paying close attention, as Google+ / +1 presents the opportunity to speak to a growing and influential group of people.
As I’ve written before, the key to content marketing and efficient SEO is to “produce once, repurpose many.” Google+ has a built-in way to make production and reuse very efficient.
You can use Google+ to post all sorts of content, lead discussions and, of course, follow the posts of those in your various circles. At the end of the day or week, you can “liberate” all this content using the “Data Liberation” tool in Google+. This enables you to download the content into, say, a Word document that you can then edit and reuse in blog posts on your website, in company newsletters, with your Tumblr account and on your Facebook Pages.
Another great tactic is the use of Hangouts. These are sort of like Webinars, in which you can set up a broadcast of any sort and invite people to the live Hangout – which could include an audience of thousands. You can record the session for your YouTube channel, to which you can direct more traffic, and, of course, you can repost that video on your website or blog, and in any other marketing channel you’d like.
List segmenting also becomes super-easy by using Circles. While Circles won’t replace Salesforce in your technology arsenal, it will help you with targeting specific content and messages to just the right audience in online venues, so you have the opportunity to ignite or join conversations appropriate to that Circle.
For those who were hoping Google+ would go the way of Buzz: I know you’re busy and are basically horrified at the idea of managing yet one more network. But the truth is, Google+ is gaining steam, and could actually help with efficiency rather than be a new drag on it. Give it a chance.