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How Advertisers Can Take Advantage of Google's New Endorsement Feature

Google updated its terms of services today, allowing the company to display users’ names and photos in specific parts of its adverts. That said, users’ names and pictures will only be used for “shared endorsements,” which are small, one-line reviews showcased below a certain ad or listing. Moreover, these contents will mostly be restricted to people within their Google+ Circles, though ratings and reviews shared on Google Play or Google+ Local will be visible to the vast public. This means that when you comment, follow, or +1 a page while logged in with your Google account, your name and image can be used for that specific advertisement. Nevertheless, you can opt out on this feature by changing your “shared endorsements’ setting.”
Digital marketers can take advantage of Google’s new update by doing the following:
  1. Expand your Google+ network.

    You can increase the chance of your advertisements and endorsements to be seen by your audience through Google+ network expansion. By communicating with users over Google+ and nurturing long-term relationships, you can boost your chance of receiving more +1s, comments, and followers. This in turn will enhance your adverts’ online rankings as the more engagements you receive, the higher you’ll rank. +1 is particularly influential in affecting your online ranking. According to Moz’s 2013 research study, Google +1 is the highest page authority amongst all search ranking factors such as “# of Unique IPs Linking to the Page” and “# of Root Domains Linking to the Page.”

  2. Produce and share content frequently.

    Through content creation, you can further boost your advertisements’ visibilities. By frequently coming out with new textual and visual contents, you can attract more visitors to visit your social page. In addition, you can enhance your audience’s brand loyalty by formulating articles that resonate with their needs. This in turn can increase your +1s, comments, and followers as your supporters are more engaged.  That said, to effectively interact with your audience through content marketing, you should use these three approaches: 

    • First listen, and then write. You should listen to what your audience is saying before you start formulating articles or posting images. After all, the primary goal of content marketing is to produce content that resolves your consumers’ problems so that they come back for more. To find out what your audience’s needs are, you can ask your consumers directly, research online, or ask your sales team.  
    • Ask questions in your status updates. You can pose your status updates as questions to arouse curiosity. For instance, instead of saying “Here are 3 ways to effectively target Gen Y,” you can say “Want to discover the top 3 approaches to target Gen Y?” While the former tactic can still be useful, the latter approach is more emotionally-appealing as it cultivates a sense of mystery.   
    • Ask your audience to spread the good word. You can always ask your Google+ fans to ask their peers to +1, comment, or follow your page. In offline marketing, when a customer gives you a positive feedback, you would ask him or her to let their friends know about your products or services. In today’s digital age, this word-of-mouth marketing approach should be even more emphasized as a quick status update can generate thousands of comments or likes for you.
By leveraging Google’s new updates through the approaches above, you can improve your returns of your advertising dollars. Not only will your SEO ranking become higher due to the increased number of +1s, comments, and followers, but you will also enhance your click-through rates as consumers are more likely to click on an advertisement that has testimonials as well as an image. This will further help you use Google’s advertising platform to vigorously attract new clients.