There is one aspect of Google Plus that I really really like, and it is of course something you don’t hear much about (I am weird and I am okay with that). Let’s see, how can I put this? As a marketer, the online world can really drive you nuts because the pattern is that one new thing “kills” everything that existed before. It’s like everyone who tweets was brainwashed with the song, “Video killed the radio star.” The web will kill print, mobile will kill web, face-to-face will kill b2b, Google Plus will kill everything that existed previously, and on and on. The levels of irritation these pronouncements cause me cannot be measured accurately on any known scale of measurement.
Oddly enough, Google Plus has proven to be an ally in the cause for promoting integrated marketing techniques. Yes, Google Plus, that thing that people are saying will kill everything, actually is a great example of how to integrate a lot of different things together.
All in the family
What Google is clearly aiming for is creating a central hub where you can access all of your online activities. Since Google owns YouTube, Blogger, Picasa, and many other platforms in addition to Google Plus itself, it isn’t difficult for the giant company to interweave these different capabilities together. When you are in Google Plus, you can access videos, your blog posts, your pictures, not to mention your gmail account and Google documents, among other things. It essentially can be your online office, right?
This, in a nutshell, is how marketers have been talking about how to create a powerful marketing campaign. Create a hub to where everything leads, weave everything you’re doing together, and have all of that stuf point right back to your hub. You can go from out to in or from in to out. Whether your central hub is a blog site or your company’s website, this kind of integration gives you the most organized, most brand-focused approach you can get.
Taking the Google Plus model beyond Google Plus
So if we take a look at what Google is doing with Google Plus (or as I like to call it, Google world), how can companies take this same approach to their marketing campaigns? Well, here are some ideas.
1. Instead of getting feedback on a product via a hangout, go to your next convention or conference and have available a product video that you want feedback on. Encourage people to be honest. Promote the fact that you want this feedback via your online presence on Facebook (or Twitter, or wherever).
2. Make sure you are using images throughout your marketing campaign. They can be product images on your website or on your Facebook page or they can be pictures of people at your booth at a convention that get posted to Twitter or Google Plus. Nothing provides a face with a name like a picture if you can’t meet online.
3. Follow David Meerman Scott’s advice and think of new ways to send out product releases. There’s no real reason to just send out copy now. Send out copy with a QR code that leads to a photo gallery or to a product video. Make it interactive. Allow people to leave comments on the gallery or on the video. Add share buttons.
The list goes on and on. All of these things could easily be done within the framework of Google Plus, but you can also really explore the capacity to integrate different techniques as you move beyond the online world. Can an ad in a print publication lead to a Facebook page? Can a trade show presence tie in to a Google Plus hangout? You betcha.
We’ve talked about this a lot here, but now is the time when marketers have the world in their hands. It’s not a time to be “killing” this or that. It’s a time for all kinds of new marketing approaches to be born. If you don’t believe me, just Google it.
Do you agree? Let’s talk about it!
Image by Zsuzsanna Kilian. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/nkzs