Whether you work in SEO, Social or Online Marketing in general, it’s highly likely that you’ll have come across the phrase ‘content marketing’ at least once or twice in the last year. Thanks to Google’s latest algorithm updates, creating great, high quality, shareable content is now more important and essential than ever before for any brand – and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide the perfect platforms for sharing this content with a diverse, connected audience within a certain niche.
Like I just mentioned, Twitter and Facebook are probably the two most popular social networks for content marketing in today’s market – but there is another platform that’s quickly rising through the ranks of the social media world; I am of course talking about Google+. Launched in 2011, Google+ is now the second largest social network in the world (it knocked Twitter into third place in January 2013) and has more than 235 million active users – but despite these impressive statistics, it’s still being overlooked when it comes to content marketing.
Come on, admit it; when I mention ‘content marketing, Google+ is hardly the first social platform that springs to mind, is it? I think the problem with Google+ is that many people still see it as the barren wasteland it was when it was first launched and no one quite knew what the point of it was – but today that’s all changed. Here are five reasons your business should definitely be using Google+ for content marketing in 2013.
- Circles: Just like Twitter and Facebook, it’s easy to build up a dedicated following of customers, clients and potential leads on Google+ using the ‘Circles’ feature. Unlike the former two platforms, with Google+ you can choose which ‘Circles’ you share your content with. This makes it a highly effective platform for content marketing because you can target certain groups with certain pieces of content, ensuring the right content always reaches the right target audience.
- Communities: Wouldn’t it be great if you could share your content with people who already have an interest in your niche? Well, you can with the ‘Communities’ feature on Google+. A bit like LinkedIn Groups (but with much less spam), Google+ Communities are made up of individuals who have an interest in a particular area and who are always keen to discover new content and get engaged in discussions.
- Authorship: We’ve had some pretty big hints from Google bosses over the last few months that content which is tied to an authority account will always rank higher than content which can’t be traced back to an individual author/individual. This means that whether you’re planning to publish and market content on your own site or another, tying your posts to your Google+ account is now no longer an option.
- SEO: No one quite knows what the relationship between Google+ and SEO is just yet – but as the platform is owned by the largest search engine in the world, it would be silly to think an active, engaged Google+ profile which shares content that people actually want to read wouldn’t have a direct impact on a brand’s SEO and general search rankings.
- Hangouts: Video hangouts on Google+ are great for a few reasons. Firstly, they let you connect directly with your target audience in a much more personal way than Facebook and Co. Secondly, they’re also a great way to create useful, unique and free content – and last but not least, if you have a YouTube account, they automatically get posted onto there so you get to fill two channels for the price of one!