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The Future of Advertising on Google Plus

by on August 26, 2011

Google Plus Visual Attention Map The Future of Advertising on Google Plus

That gaping gap of whitespace on the right rail of Google Plus may look like prime display ad real estate, but if Google wants to profit from their social platform, the search behemoth may need to learn a few new tricks.

Early eye tracking studies from EyeTrackShop show user attention on Google Plus mirroring that of Facebook almost exactly. Social networkers who have learned to ignore the right rail on Facebook over time are already directing their attention to the social stream on Google Plus, suggesting users come to the platform with a predisposition for ignoring the right rail.

This form of banner blindness has pushed other networks to offer forms of social advertising, leaving us to wonder what Google Plus may have up their sleeve moving forward. With brand pages and an API still on the horizon it will be interesting to see what comes into play, but with everything in its infancy and talks of traffic drops, it’s smart that Plus has shunned advertising on the platform to date.

It would be a shame to see Google Plus lose user confidence with a social ad mistake that resembles LinkedIn’s misstep, so playing it safe feels right for awhile.

Google Plus Fixation Order The Future of Advertising on Google Plus

If the platform takes hold and users become disciples, Plus stands to gain significantly from innovative social advertising models. Odds are we have no idea what that means today, but there’s one thing we know without a doubt. Every time a user takes action on Google Plus they’re giving Google new data. Right now that data may seem frivolous, but over time that database of knowledge could help advertisers reach target audiences with absolute precision.

Another social flop could push Google back to the days after the failure of Buzz, but if this takes off the company could hold the key to more knowledge about us than anything (or anyone) to date. What this means for advertising is hardly imaginable, but for anyone looking to target specific audiences with intent, this is one opportunity worth keeping an eye on.

August 26, 2011 , , , , , , ,

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The Golden Age of Social Advertising is Now

by on August 16, 2011

Screen shot 2011 08 16 at 7.09.24 PM The Golden Age of Social Advertising is Now

When banner ads debuted 17 years ago click-through rates hit 78 percent. Now those numbers feel unattainable, but marketers are finding new hope in social advertising.

According to a study by Pivot, 85 percent of advertisers are either involved, or plan to get involved in social advertising within the next twelve months.

This mass adoption may feel like an extension of the move to social media in general, but the equation for success in social advertising feels more clear cut than that of social engagement. While only 12 percent of brands believe they have figured out how to engage effectively via Facebook brand pages organically, 54 percent report that they are “satified or very satisfied” with their social advertising results. Still another 60 percent believe that social advertising will be “very valuable” to their brand over the course of the next two years.

Brian Solis calls this move toward social advertising a shift to the new attention dashboard. As users have learned to develop banner blindness where display ads are normally placed (e.g. the right rail), social networks like Facebook and Twitter are figuring out how to create branded placement opportunities that are more integrated into the user experience.

By mid 2011 Twitter’s promoted products are expected to become part of the stream while opportunities like sponsored stories and granular targeting allow brands to zero in on Facebook.

These new platform offerings rely not only on integrating ads into the user experience, but they also allow advertisers to target the specific consumers at a precise point of attention and intention. Facebook’s sponsored stories, for example, are two times more effective than standard ads.

Results like these coupled with the strengths of social advertising (pictured above), paint a bright picture for the future of the industry. Brands who jump on this opportunity while this form of advertising is still an effective and attractive novelty, stand to benefit significantly. Add to that the 45 percent year over year increase in Facebook CPMs and the truth is clear. The time to start social advertising is now.

August 16, 2011 , , ,