Google has always been very focused on keeping a highly social element to their services. Now they are also looking to integrate those same services into more intuitive and interwoven features. Google Plus Hangouts is one of many endeavors that have managed to pull that off, and likely one of the services that is here to stay. At least until they come up with something more efficient.
But how do you make the most out of Google Hangouts? Especially when the focus is not one on one social interaction, but your video marketing strategy? You might not see how the two can be compatible, but they are in more ways than you think.
Video already has a high value, thanks to the shift in content over recent years on the web. Think of Google Hangouts as one more platform to engage using the tool, and try these tips for getting every bit of use out of it that you can.
How Google Hangouts on Air Work?
Google Hangouts on Air allow you to broadcast your video chat to the world. You can go live on Youtube and your site and record your chat as well.
People can watch two ways. The first is through the live broadcast, streamed to them. The second is at a later time, once you have published it elsewhere (any video platform is technically compatible when you edit the file). Though YouTube is probably your primary platform of choice.
Make A Q&A Session
This can be done on Air, or regular Hangouts. You can get together a panel of people, open up a call for questions from an audience beforehand, and hold an informative Q&A session with anyone. This is a great alternative to a Tweetchat, which can get a bit crowded and confusing for those who are just wanting to tune in for an interview rather than hold a massive, ever moving chat with a bunch of strangers.
Q&A sessions make perfect podcasts. That's what we are doing with MyBlogGuest podcast. We also make sure our podcast reaches more audience through specialized websites:
This means more channels you can market to! And the best part is that your users can download your brand to their smartphones and take it with them whenever they are go on vacation.
Have A Demonstration
Likewise, you can demonstrate a how-to, a product release, a review or anything else through Google Hangouts. A great way to use this is by having a product that interacts, and then showing that interaction through multiple people for the audiences benefit. It gets the point across, shows it in action, and is entertaining.
Feature demonstration make a great video product review which you can then upload to Youtube. It has "share screen" feature too that makes it easy to walk users through your website.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Want to up your game in the customer service department? A lot of companies were using Skype, but that can be more cumbersome. Almost everyone has some kind of Google related account, whether it is Gmail or YouTube. Which means they have a G+, and so access to Google Hangouts by default.
You can conduct one on one customer service sessions with users this way, face to face. You can even get multiple agents online if it requires an escalation.
If you are doing a good job, Google Hangouts on Air can be re-packaged as your product video testimonials.
Have a staff you need to keep on board, but you aren't in the same region? This is becoming increasingly common as startups seek remote agents, developers and funding from around the globe. You can keep in touch by setting up online meetings through Google Hangouts. It is easy, efficient, and free.
Edit it and re-use internally for every department to be up-to-date. Edit out any private details and you can use your meeting summaries on your blog to get your customers familiar with your team.
Conduct Press Interviews
Are you a company that has some traction and has been gaining some media focus? When you have an announcement that is especially big, such as a product release, maybe it is time to do something beyond the usual exclusive. Invite a small number of well known related blogs or news sources to take part in a hangout where you announce it all at once.
Like q&a sessions, interviews make great podcasts. If you are doing a video course for your product or service, you can also use those video interviews as part of it. Here's one we created at Udemy for example.
There is a reason that Google Hangouts has become so popular lately. You can do an awful lot with it, and making the most out of it is just a matter of thinking outside the box. In fact, these suggestions are not at all exhaustive; an innovative company, website or filmmaker could come up with some truly creative ways of making it work for them.
In what ways have you been taking advantage of this useful social tool? Let us know in the comments.
Ann Smarty is a blogger and SEO consultant and professional blogger. Check out Ann's personal project My Blog Guest - the forum meant to connect guest bloggers to blog owner for plenty of mutual benefits. Ann also provides guest blogging services.