Google+ pages just started this month, and it’s exciting to see all the engagement from businesses and Google+ members already.
Google can make a lot more money by helping businesses market smarter on the web, and they can use Google+ pages to help businesses tie everything together.
The following are some predictions on how businesses will benefit by joining the Google+ ecosystem . . .
Google Checkout Integration
Google will make more money by getting more transactions in Google Checkout, and could easily integrate Google Checkout into Google+ pages to help businesses sell products or “Google Offers.” Businesses could then use sale data to group fans into customer circles based on interests and eventually re-market to again (within AdWords remarketing campaigns, Google+ Circle updates, and targeted AdWords ads based on audiences/circles). Imagine the possibilities.
Improved Analytics to Help Businesses Market Smarter
Google can help businesses market better by linking data across Google. Imagine an integrated marketing solution that incorporates data from Google Analytics (what people do on your site), Google AdWords (other sites they visit/IP location/conversion rates), Google Offers (location/interests of person), Google Checkout (what they buy), Google+ Circles (other relevant ways to reach them and known influencers), Gmail accounts, Google Mobile App/Android Usage, Google Voice, Google Chrome data, etc. Imagine the reporting and advertising possibilities for marketing smarter on the web to the right audience/circle at the right time.
Right now, it’s hard to get a certain message read by your targeted audience unless you’re updating at the time they are looking in their stream (especially if they never visit your brand page). But what if people in your circles can request to get important circle updates or a summary of all updates delivered to their inbox (or highlighted within Google+). This benefits the user because they can opt-in or out of certain messages, and benefits the business by helping classify those people into unique circles (based on interests). This could help you and Google know about engaged people in your circles, which could help you begin crafting more targeted messages and deals to your biggest fans.
Google+ Circle Mashups
Google wants to help Google+ members get the information most important to them, so I imagine new versions of Google+ will allow people to create circle mashups (a la Yahoo Pipes). For example: create your own “what’s hot streams” (based on trending topics, people you follow, brands you follow, search queries, #hashtags, shares, comments, +1s within custom time-frames you select). This could be like alltop.com on crack. This will help Google+ keep members more engaged — and force brands to be more interesting/engaging in Google+ to get more visibility.
Message Customers Appropriately with Highly Targeted Circles
As time moves on, brands could take advantage of circling followers into highly targeted circles. For example: time of day circles (knowing best time to reach them in their stream), day of week circles (knowing best days to reach certain people), buyers circle (categorizing customers by how often they buy, month purchased in), never purchased circle (people who might be customers soon), location circles (knowing what state they live in so you can craft geo-targeted messages), active reader/commenter circle (who are people most likely to read your posts and engage with you). Big brands will probably need several people dedicated full-time to managing updates, responding to people, and categorizing people into specific circles in Google+. I can see the job post now, “We’re looking for a Circle Specialist to help us manage our Google+ Accounts in . . .”
Google Music Integration & Audio Ads
We’re already starting to see how Google wants to encourage people to share music with Google Music. Soon we might see shared playlists, sponsored playlists, and ability to stream music through a mobile app. This could lead to their own version of Pandora (with Google mobile text, video, and audio ads) to reach your targeted circle (or customer). This could harness what they learned about radio advertising and bring it to a pandora-like platform.
Facebook started social advertising by using friend’s likes under ads to make ads more relevant to other friends. Social ads tend to have better click-through rates from my experience (for display ads), and it seems like Google is preparing for something like this with the +1 integration on AdWords. You see, now that Google+ is helping people connect with others, it can help showcase ads in Google AdWords that influencers +1. Google is already doing this organically by highlighting sites that friends like (see below), so it seems like it will be tested on AdWords soon: