Today, Google introduced a type of promoted post in Google+ that allows brands to turn their social content into ads that are distributed on the Google Display Network. Toyota USA, Cadbury UK and RITZ crackers are among the test partners participating in the closed beta.
Brands can take content posted on Google+ and turn photos, videos and even Hangouts into display ads. Rather than have the ads served only within the Google+ context — as with social ads on other networks such as Facebook and Twitter — advertisers can distribute their social content across the web through Google’s Display Network, which includes some 2 million sites. +Post ads are designed to be interactive, with the call-to-action being “Click to Expand” to a full-screen lightbox. Users can follow, +1, comment, ask questions, re-share content or join a live Hangout from the ad unit. Google says +Post ads are seeing expansion rates 50% higher than the industry average for rich media ads, but otherwise hasn’t provided any other performance details. The program is running in beta. Interested advertisers can apply here.