(post wording updated 8/20/12 @ 5:00 ET)

Join social media power influencer +Lynette Young for a look at ways your business can kick start its presence on Google+ in a Learn with Google Hangout on August 23rd at 1pm EDT/10am PDT.
RSVP for the Hangout on our Google+ Event page. 

Companies big and small are using social media to interact with customers and build digital brands. Even if your business wasn’t an early adopter of social, Lynette will guide you through ways to kick start this channel with Google+. In this hangout, she’ll talk through examples of businesses using hangouts, pages and unique content to grow their audience. As a Learn with Google program, you’ll also hear lots of tips and strategies you can use to build a community from scratch on Google+.

Lynette Young is a digital media specialist helping entrepreneurs and businesses put social ideas into action. She is the founder of Women of Google+ and CEO of Purple Stripe Productions. Kari Clark of the Google+ Marketing team will moderate the conversation with Lynette and other social media specialists including:
We hope you can join us to begin using G+ for your business. If you have a question for the panel, leave your questions as a comment on our Google+ Event.

To get yourself geared up for the hangout, check out the two newest Google+ business case studies. Toyota Global has been engaging its Google+ community with content of the latest car models and a hangout with a Toyota engineer. By incorporating Google+ badges on its website and YouTube channel, the car manufacturer has grown to over one million followers. In the education space, ES Corporation is teaching English lessons in hangouts. Using social extensions, the business also saw a 46% increase in click-through rate on search ads.

Posted by Lindsay Rumer, Google+ for Business

Today, shopping is no longer limited to the mall - it happens at home, waiting in line, or at the doctor’s office. If you’re armed with a smartphone, every moment is now a shopping opportunity. As retailers gear up for this month’s back-to-school shopping crunch, we took to the digital Main Street to find out how consumer shopping patterns have changed. Focusing on apparel shopping, we analyzed consumer shopping behavior from the point of sale backward, and surveyed apparel shoppers to understand shopping trends.

We found that not only is online research playing an integral role than in both online and in-store purchases, consumers are increasingly shopping on their mobile devices and using online video to inform purchase decisions. In fact, 4 in 10 shoppers visited a store online or in-person as a direct result of watching a video online. Here are a few highlights from the report:

Mobile devices bring the mall to you

Mobile shopping is not a sporadic activity limited to weekend trips to the mall. It’s constant and pervasive. More than 1 in 5 apparel consumers are using their tablets or mobile devices on a daily basis for shopping. People are shopping on their mobile devices throughout all parts of the day - and not just while on-the-go. More than 69% of consumers shopped on their phone or tablet while at home, 31% while in a store, 28% while waiting in line, and 27% while at work.

People are using their mobile devices as shopping assistants by informing purchase decisions and helping them locate the best deal. Of people that shop on their mobile device, 56% compare prices and look for promotions, 42% read reviews, 38% search inventory, 16% scan bar code while in store, and 13% contact the retailer.

Video is the virtual fitting room
Aspects such as fit and quality - easily apparent in person - become harder to grasp when shopping online. Video has now filled the role as the virtual fitting room, enabling shoppers to hear personal opinions and reviews, and see the product in motion. In fact, video has become so influential that 4 in 10 shoppers visited a store online or in-person as a direct result of watching a video. Today, nearly 1 in 3 shoppers use YouTube to shop for apparel. So it’s no surprise that video ads top traditional media in encouraging purchases. Thirty-four percent of apparel shoppers are more likely to purchase after viewing an online video ad, versus 16% after watching an ad on TV.

Millennials (aged 18-34) are twice as likely than other age groups to rely on a video to decide which company to purchase from, and are regularly turning to YouTube for shopping advice. YouTube vloggers posting their latest shopping finds aren’t just sharing their recommendations with close friends, they’re sharing with an audience of thousands of subscribers and millions of views - MacBarbie07, a popular YouTube partner, has more than 100M views of her styling tips. And this fall we’re seeing even more shopping reviews on YouTube - there are nearly 600,000 shopping “haul” videos on YouTube, more than 35,000 of which were uploaded within the last month alone.


Digital shoppers are valuable customersPeople who shop on their mobile devices and research with video tend to not only spend more on average purchases, but do so more frequently. We found that 1 in 4 mobile researchers purchased apparel more than 6 times in the past 6 months (versus 16% of non-mobile researchers). And 28% of video researchers spent more than $500 on apparel in the past 6 months, while only 2% of non-video researchers did. This is just the tip of the iceberg. In the next 5 years we’ll see a bigger change to shopping than we’ve seen in the past 50. Download the full report for more insight into this year’s shopping trends. Visit Think with Google to learn how you can leverage these digital trends for your marketing strategy this year.

Posted by Todd Pollak, Industry Director, Retail, Google

(cross-posted on the Inside AdWords Blog)

It’s almost back-to-school time, but students aren’t the only ones who are getting geared up to learn. Today, we’re announcing our next series of Learn with Google webinars, which will arm you with the tools you need to get the most out of Google’s advertising products and solutions. Over the next couple of months, 13 webinars will teach you tips and how-to’s to help make the web work for your business.

Join us as we kick things off this Thursday, August 9th with a webinar on multi-channel attribution and check out the full schedule below:
  • Aug 9 at 9am PDT Multi-Channel Funnels: Attribution Across Channels
  • Aug 23 at 10am PDT How to Kick Start Social with Google+ (Hangout on Air)
  • Aug 28 at 10am PDT Optimizing your Video Ad Campaigns
  • Aug 29 at 10am PDT Google+: Enhancing Marketing and Making Social Accountable
  • Sept 5 at 10am PDT Go Bigger, Faster with AdWords Editor
  • Sept 6 at 10am PDT Making the Most of Recent AdWords Updates
  • Sept 12 at 10am PDT Driving Cost-Effective App Downloads with AdWords
  • Sept 13 at 10am PDT Go Bigger, Faster with AdWords Scripts
  • Sept 18 at 10am PDT Better Together: Combining Targeting Strategies in Display
  • Sept 19 at 10am PDT The Importance of Search Advertising
  • Sept 20 at 10am PDT Measuring the Impact of Online Advertising on Offline Sales
  • Sept 26 at 10am PDT GoMo: Mobilize your Site and Maximize your Advertising
  • Sept 27 at 10am PDT Optimizing Display Campaigns: Tips, Tricks, & Tools
Visit our webinar page to register for any of the sessions and to access past webinars on-demand. We’ll be adding new webinars as they’re scheduled, so check back regularly for updates. You can also stay up-to-date on the schedule by adding our Learn with Google Webinar calendar to your own Google calendar to automatically see upcoming webinars.

Whether your goal is to engage the right customers in the moments that matter, make better decisions, or go bigger, faster, we hope that you’ll use these best practices and how-to’s to maximize the impact of digital and grow your business. We’re looking forward to having you in class at an upcoming Learn with Google webinar!

Posted by Erin Green, Marketing Coordinator