For businesses and brands, communicating their information to a consumer audience that is attentive and receptive, increases the likelihood that the message will be properly received, easily understood and appropriately acted upon. With that being said, the challenge for businesses is to positively identify these individuals and then procure an opportunity to directly address them with a captivating message. Traditionally, this has proven to be very costly and/or time consuming, especially for SMBs.
Consider the price versus exposure of a Super Bowl ad for example. It costs $4+ million to communicate a 30 second message to an audience of (approximately) 110,000,000 people. Obviously this goes well-beyond the ad budget of boutique and mom-and-pop businesses, but not beyond their need to benefit from large-scale exposure. Google’s introduction of Google+ Communities has created an ideal opportunity for businesses/brands to engage and interact with an ever-growing number of active consumers, in an environment that fosters meaningful interaction with like-minded individuals. Although for the time being, Google+ communities have nowhere near the audience of a Super Bowl ad, they still present a very similar opportunity for businesses and brands to reach a large group of motivated consumers; with an engaging message. And, although the crowd is smaller by comparison, businesses and brands have the opportunity to extend their marketing message beyond the traditional 30 second restriction of television and radio.
Given that Google+ communities offer immediate access to a much more focused group of consumers and also offer businesses the freedom to express themselves without many restrictions or limitations, makes them a very attractive and affordable marketing channel for SMBs. Even though the large populations found in Google+ communities are obviously very appealing to marketers, they must resist the urge to “broadcast” their marketing message to the audience. The true value to businesses and brands is found in the intimate relationships that are forged and nurtured, within a G+ community. Given the fact that G+ communities offer members a very supportive and familiar environment in which to interact in, the communications exchanged there are much better received and understood; and therefore (IMO) much more valuable to businesses. In comparison, individual Super Bowl audience members have no mentionable connection to the business paying $4+ million for a 30 second ad, and thus (aside from the ad’s entertainment value), viewers have made no long-term attachment after viewing the pricey ad.
The point I am making is that spending a lot of money on pricey ad space does not by default make your advertisement more appealing to the audience and certainly makes no guarantees on exposure. What makes a message more appealing is when it is tailored to, and focused on, a very select group of individuals (like G+ community members) who have already expressed an interest in some aspect of the message, and thus are much, much more receptive to it. Perhaps even more appealing is that Google+ communities are FREE. Businesses and brands need only invest in consistently producing relevant content for their audience.
No matter what your business offers, I am certain there is a sprouting Google+ community somewhere, ready to warmly welcome you in. Utilized properly, this can offer a demographically focused audience of (in some instances) more than 100,000 members, that will continue to grow and flourish over time. Although it’s certainly not a Super Bowl size audience at the moment, it is FREE and focused.
Here are a dozen examples of highly populated and very active Google+ communities:
- Animal Lovers [277,087 members]
- Dogs [96,295 members]
- Auto Enthusiasts [114,409 members]
- Beauty [109,115 members]
- Fashion! [57,291 members]
- For The Love of Dresses [60,129 members]
- Men’s Fashion & Lifestyle [54,167 members]
- Bodybuilding [59,914 members]
- Fitness & Weight Loss [175,813]
- Exercise and Healthy Living [60,673 members]
- Healthy Living [81,264 members]
- Traveling [40,559 members]
Nowadays, the personal relationships that are built in a Google+ community are founded on mutual admiration and respect, forged from endless interaction and steady engagement; and are based heavily upon a common interest. With that being said, it is paramount that when communicating a branded message within the community, businesses make a consistent effort to create and share captivating and engaging content, that is highly-relevant to both their business and the values shared in each individual G+ community. Simply put … be a genuine, meaningful and active participant. Take the time to build a “tribe” of followers that understand and appreciate your contributions every single day, not just on Super Bowl Sunday.