Content marketing is about more than writing some articles and blog posts. While that is often where a bulk of your content will come from, it’s also very important to get your content out in social media networks (but in the right way).
While some are still hesitant to jump on the Google+ bandwagon, I see it as the next big thing.
Why Do you Need Google+?
You may be thinking “Not another social network” but there are some good reasons why you want to take the time to look into Google+.
Using Google+ can help you increase visibility of your website in Google’s search engine. See this article on Google Authorship to understand one way this is done.
Google now appear to be bringing their many services together better than ever before. Google+ is one way to do this and it will increase your exposure.
Google+ makes it easier for people to discover you and connect with you.
I’m not saying that Google+ is better than Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn but rather than each social network is unique in the way that it works and the way that it connects you with people. Now let’s take a look at how to use Google+ for content marketing.
Formatting Your Text on Google+
One trick to help your text stand out on Google+ is to use formatting but just like in an article or a blog post, don’t go overboard. For example, all caps on the Internet is often interpreted as yelling. All bold text might have the same effect.
Use special formatting only for certain words or phrases you want to highlight or emphasize. Here are some shortcodes for formatting your text within Google+ posts:
More Google+ Messaging and Posting Tips
In addition to understanding how to format your text, these tips will help you get more from your experience with Google+:
How to mention someone- You can mention someone (tag them in your post) by placing an @ before their name (like on Twitter) or a simple +. For example, +LisaMason will allow you to tag me in your post.
Share the link to a specific post in your feed- Click the timestamp on the post to get that post with a permalink.
Send a private message- You can send private messages on Google+ by setting them to share to only that person and disable resharing.
+Mentions and Hashtags
Just like Twitter and Facebook, mentions and hashtags are going to help you draw more attention to your posts. There are two main rules with mentions and hashtags:
Don’t overdo it!
Basically this means that you should only choose relevant people to mention or those you know will be interested in your post. Avoid sharing every single post you make with the same people (they’re going to grow annoyed with you).
Don’t use too many hashtags in one post. Instead, stick to 2-4 of the most relevant to your topic. Mentions (+) and hashtags (#) will be one of your most useful tools for gaining attention to your content on Google+ but you must use them successfully.
Respond to Mentions
Yet another way to increase interaction on your Google+ content is to reply to all of your mentions. Did you know that Google + allows you to see your notifications according to category? You can “view all” or you can choose which ones you want to see.
Everyone loves a good picture or image. There’s a good reason Pinterest is growing so popular these days. Adding visuals to your posts will help them catch the reader’s eye in their stream. It also greatly increases the chances your post will get shared or receive a +1.
Add a Photo or Video
You can add photos or video files from your computer or from a URL. Did you also know that you can add videos, links or photos to your posts by dragging links directly into the share box? It’s very easy!
Add an image that is relevant to your posts to increase visibility. When sharing other content (such as blog posts) to Google+, be sure you have a quality, interesting image attached.
Go Easy on the Viral Shares
Viral shares are great. They usually make us laugh and sometimes they make us think. Nearly always, they make us want to click the share button. That’s great for your content marketing plan but you want to be sure you’re sharing something unique and original as well. Posting LOLcats every day is not liking to incite confidence in your professionalism.
Replay a Winner
If you have a popular post or share, don’t be afraid to repost it when the appropriate time has passed or if current events suddenly make that particular post relevant once again.
Organize Your Circles
One of the most innovative aspects of Google + is the ability to create, edit and manage your circles. This means you can send specific messages and posts only to certain groups of people. For example, I might send a social media tips article only to my circles of people interested in social media. I might share a cartoon about writers to my writing circle. You can control where the content goes so that you are not spamming your wall all day long with things that only certain followers will want to see.
While organizing your Google+ circles might be a time consuming mission (especially if you began adding people before deciding to get organized but it is well worth the effort with how it will pay off for you in the long run. Your users will appreciate your content more and when you make sure you send the right content to the right groups of people, you will increase your exposure and your interaction.