Google Posts, a content publishing feature teased by Google earlier this year, is currently being rolled out to all Google My Business users. While Google+ was widely unpopular and faded away not too long ago, Google Posts has a lot of potential for local businesses when it comes to engaging users and generating leads.
The new feature is now available for all users on desktop and mobile devices, accessible via the left-side menu inside the Google business listing dashboard. The posts feature, as exhibited below, gives users the opportunity to publish new content connected to their Google listings. Unlike Google+, the new feature limits text messages to 300 words, which can be accompanied by a custom title, start/end dates for events, and a call-to-action button. The call to action buttons include:
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Get Offer
While social media platforms are utilized to engage followers and keep them abreast of new events, promotions, and discounts, the Google Posts feature gives local marketing professionals new opportunities to interact with users via search engine listings. According to Google, the new feature gives businesses the ability to do the following:
- Advertise new specials and promotions to users within search engines without the need to pay for advertising. These posts will accompany the local listing and can entice users to check out a location while doing a local search.
- Create a hype for current events and/or upcoming festivities.
- Highlight best selling products and new arrivals to encourage users to check out a store.
- Promote new menu items and advertise limited time promotions for meals (example: Lobster Fest here in Montreal).
Any content posted can be customized for a particular action. For example, restaurants can encourage users to book reservations, whereas retail stores can incentivize people to either visit the location in question or order products online. This tactic to local marketing provides additional flexibility for companies that want to reach users in innovative ways. With local search marketing on the rise, it only makes sense for Google to provide extra features to Google My Business managers to increase foot traffic. It should be interesting to see how this feature develops over the next year, especially if Google decides to tie in Google AdWords with the new Posts feature.