Today's Top 3 Google I/O Announcements Marketers Should Know

by Pamela Vaughan

Date

June 27, 2012 at 4:27 PM

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Has the Google news been bombarding your RSS feeds today like it has mine? Feeling a bit overwhelmed? To be honest, I had to take a deep breath myself. Talk about announcement overload! Today was the Google I/O conference, so it's no wonder that we have some new developments to sort through.

But we're inbound marketers, so we have to stay on top of these things. And luckily, you have us here to tell you what you need to know as marketers! So let's review the top 3 announcements made at the Google I/O conference today that we should be aware of as awesome inbound marketers.

1) Google+ for Tablets

You probably heard the rumors even before the news broke, but today Google officially announced its new tablet (Nexus 7), which is similar in price to the Kindle Fire, costing $199. Google also launched another Nexus-branded product called Nexus Q, a spherical social-streaming media device that can be hooked up to speakers or TVs, through which anyone can stream music or video powered by Android and Google Play.

Along with these new devices, Google also announced a Google+ app specifically engineered for tablet devices. According to Google, the app design features a "stream that styles content based on popularity, type, and orientation; a 'lean back' Hangouts experience that's great for the couch or common room; and crisper text, fuller photos, and easily-tappable actions like +1 and comment." Below is a screenshot taken from Google's slideshow showing the new tablet application:

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The Android version of the tablet app will roll out to phones today, and Google says the iPad version is coming soon. As for the new Nexus devices, they're available for preorder today and will ship mid-July in the U.S.

Marketing Takeaway

Tablet adoption is only increasing, and with new tablet devices popping up all the time, it only makes it more important for marketers to be optimizing their websites, emails, and other content for tablet devices. Announcements like this one should serve as a wake-up call for marketers who continue to put mobile optimization on the back burner. You should also consider whether Google+ should be a bigger part of your social media marketing strategy with the release of the Google+ app. If much of your audience uses a tablet, you might start seeing larger Google+ adoption among them, too. Marketers, it might be time to start experimenting with some new content on Google+ -- maybe something visual to take advantage of that nice, crisp resolution!

2) Google+ Events

Google also launched Google+ Events today, offering a richer, better way for users to connect before, during, and after events take place. Let's run through the key features ...

Before (Features That Enable You to Set Up Your Invitation):

  • Choose from beautiful-looking themes.
  • Attach a personalized YouTube video greeting.
  • Include creative animations.
  • Automatically sync with Google Calendar.
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During (Features That Enable Attendees to Share Photos):

  • By enabling "Party Mode" on their mobile device, any photo an attendee takes on their device will automatically get added to the event in real time. 
  • When other attendees turn on "Party Mode," more photos will appear to other attendees.
  • Event hosts can also project a "live slideshow" of the photos added during the event.

After (Everyone's Pictures in One Place):

  • See everyone's pictures in one place on the event page after it’s over.
  • Read everyone's comments on the page, documented in chronological order.
  • Browse by popularity, photographer, or photo tag.

Marketing Takeaway

Google+ Events seems to offer a much richer experience than other social networks' events features, Facebook in particular. If you're hosting a marketing event and your audience uses Google+, Google+ Events might be a fun feature to try out. And with events season in full swing, now might be the best time to use this feature to drive more ticket sales, too. Just think about it -- with the integration of Google+ into search results, your use of Google+ Events could be the extra push you need to see a growth in ticket sales from your organic and social channels. And if you're trying to increase your Google+ following, the fantastic new features Google+ Events offers during the event is just the push you need to drive attendees to use Google+ to share their experience at your event.

3) Google Now

Built in as a new feature of Jelly Bean (Google's newest Android 4.1 update, also rolling out in mid-July), Google Now combines what your mobile device already knows about your activity and everything you've previously wanted to know through your search history on the device to deliver you the right information at just the right time.

By monitoring things like your usual route to work, how long it takes to arrive there, your favorite sports teams, your calendar, travel plans, and favorite local eateries, Google Now can tells you things like the day's weather forecast at the start of your day, suggest alternative routes to work when traffic is bad, and notify you of you favorite team's score when they’re playing a game.

Check out Google's video below for a better understanding of what Google Now does:

Marketing Takeaway

Google Now sounds a little bit like behavior-based marketing ... for search, right? Only time will tell how this search trend evolves and how marketers should adapt, but as with any new trend, it's important to be aware. And since Google is getting better at delivering content to its users, it's critical your business increase the chances that your content is delivered.

That means the importance of consistently pumping out content has never been greater. But not just any content, mind you -- the content needs to be relevant to your audience. Do you know what your audience needs? Have you defined marketing personas around which you can create content? Are you continually trying to create content that answers their questions? If so, it's much more likely Google Now will be able to return results for your content one of these day. This will be particularly important for local, brick-and-mortar shops that need to appear at the top of search results for mobile queries.

What do you think of the Google I/O announcements from today? What other marketing implications do you see?

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