On Wednesday of this week, we talked about Google Places for Business and how your small business can benefit from starting or claiming a local Google+ page (and how that’s different from a social Google+ page you might already have).
Today we’re going to look at another aspect of Google Places for Business. The first step to successful local marketing with Google is setting up all of the free features available to you through Google Places for Business. These are the items we covered in Wednesday’s post, such as setting up your page and providing accurate information that will allow customers to find you, learn about you, and connect with you through ratings and reviews.
After you are comfortable with the free feature set, you might want to consider delving into the available premium business tools, AdWords Express and Offers. Right now, Google Offers is still in a free trial phase, although it’s considered a premium tool. We addressed paid search advertising previously, so today we’re going to look at Offers.
A very flexible promotion option, Google Offers can be used in a variety of ways to increase traffic and exposure for your business, or reward loyalty for regular customers. The offers you create for your business can be found on a variety of platforms, where they can also be shared and have the potential to go viral (bonus!).
First, there is the Google Offers website and mobile app. This allows users to search for deals in their local area, which means that locals who might not otherwise have encountered you can be exposed to your business and link to your Google+ page. Users can also encounter your offer and your business through Google Wallet, the mobile payment app.
The most recent (and exciting) comer to the Google Offers game is Google+ itself. According to Engadget, brands like Zagat, Hello Kitty, and Nook were among the pilot program participants, and the option will become more widely available as it rolls out. Once available, businesses will be able to share offers directly with their Google+ followers, who can then share them with their network.
So how does this all come together? Check out the video below to see what Google Offers look like and how they can be used by your potential customers:
Ready to get started? As we said earlier, the Offers tool is in a free trial phase right now, but it will become a paid feature at some point. Google will notify users by email when the trial ends. So give it a try now and see how it works for your business!