For local small business owners who hate spending time posting content to all the various social media platforms out there and trying to figure out how to best leverage each one (which is pretty much 100% of you), I have some bad news.
There is now yet another platform you must pay attention to and post updates to on a regular basis.
The reason this new platform is one you can’t afford to ignore is that it is owned by Google, the 300-lb gorilla in the room when it comes to anything related to online marketing. The platform I’m talking about is Google Posts, which was rolled out for local businesses by Google back in the late spring of this year.
Google Posts are sort of a mini-blog post (100-300 words) accompanied by an image that appears at the bottom of the Knowledge Graph for your business on the search engine results page. As an example, the picture below shows what a Google Post looks like for my business.
The Google Knowledge Graph for your business typically appears when someone does a branded search for your business on Google. A branded search is one that uses the name of a business, such as “Acme Widgets” (vs a non-branded generic search for a type of business, such as “widget makers near Roanoke VA”). The Knowledge Graph is how Google shows users basic information about your business right on the search results page, including your address, phone number, online reviews and star rating, etc.
When someone does a branded search for your business, it means they already know of your company’s existence, but are trying to find out more about you. This could be an existing customer who wants to look up your phone number, check your hours of operation, verify your address, or find your website. It could also be a potential customer who heard about you from a friend, or saw or heard an off-line ad for your business (such as a radio, newspaper, or TV ad).
So, the two audiences you should have in mind when creating Google Posts for your business are (1) existing customers and (2) warm leads who already know a little bit about you but want to learn more. With that in mind, here are some great ideas about what to promote using Google Posts:
- Limited-time offers or sales that you are running
- New products you are offering or new services you are introducing
- Upcoming events you are hosting or participating in
- Other exciting news about your business (hiring a new employee, opening a new location, etc.)
To create a Google Post, you will first need to have claimed and verified your Google My Business page. If you haven’t done that yet, that should be a top priority for you, since that is how you respond to customer reviews about your business and ensure that Google is displaying your correct contact information in the knowledge graph. To learn how to claim and verify your listing, simple do a Google search for “Google My Business” and click on the first result that comes up.
Once you have claimed and verified your Google My Business listing, when you are signed in to Google My Business account click on the “manage location” link under your business listing. Once there, on the left side of your screen you will see a list of options, and the second option from the top should say “posts”. It currently has a blue tag next to it that says “new”, since Google is trying to get more people to notice it and start using it.
Click on the “posts” tab and you will be prompted to create a Google Post. You can upload an image to include with your post (it must be at least 250×250 pixels), and in must be between 100—300 words. You can choose between several calls-to-action to include with your post such as “learn more”, “sign up”, “get offer”, etc. In addition, you can choose to make your post an “event”, in which case you will be prompted to enter the date and time of the event. If your post is not an event, it will stay up for a week, at which point Google will prompt you to create a new post to replace it. If your post is an event, it will stay up until the event is over.
Now that you know all about Google Posts, you can start using them right away to promote things you have going on in your business. Alternatively, if you’re sick of posting content to social media and would rather just have someone else do it for you, give Redpoint Marketing Consultants a call. We’ll take care of your Google Posts so that you can focus on running your business.