Google Hangouts on Air
Google Hangouts on Air is a valuable and yet largely untapped platform that can boost any business’ marketing strategy. Made available to all Google+ users in May 2013, the program enables users to stream live video through their Google+ or YouTube channel and to embed the stream to other websites.
There’s nothing quite like live content: the idea stimulates excitement and expectation and can powerfully encourage engagement. Like any live television show, Google Hangouts on Air is open to unlimited viewership. Plus, the video won’t disappear into thin air: it will record to your YouTube channel so no one need miss out.
Not only are hangouts live but they are personal. Remember, these days people buy people. Showing your face to your potential customers is a great way to build a relationship, prove that there are friendly humans behind your company and create a feeling of trust. What’s the added bonus? Google Hangouts lets you do all this for free!
So marketers, what are you waiting for? You can use Hangouts to promote a new product, for company announcements, press conferences or webinars. Or, you can hold industry discussions and interviews, host a Q&A session, stream your company event or organise a chat between customers and prospects. Push the boat out, be imaginative and do what you will with Google Hangouts but always remember these 5 golden rules:
1. Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
Yes, the word ‘Promotion’ is repeated three times. Why? Because it cannot be stressed enough that your hangout will only be successful if people know it’s there to be watched! Organising a Hangout is likely to take a lot of time and planning but what good is all this effort if no one is there to see the results? Promote your Hangout everywhere to everybody you can reach. Use email marketing, your social media accounts and your blog and not just once – when people know the hangout is taking place, then is your opportunity to continue building the anticipation.
2. Make it Professional
What would your reaction be if Coca Cola aired a Hangout from a dark room with fuzzy sound and an intermittent connection? The answer is, you wouldn’t have a reaction because this wouldn’t happen! Just because Hangouts is an amateur’s video platform, doesn’t mean you should use it like one. Remember, the video is a representation of your business. Use a high-quality camera, check your lighting and sound in advance, choose your best speaker, get a solid plan of action in place and run rehearsals.
3. Don’t Forget the CTAs
Making videos can be fun and it can become quite easy to find oneself so caught up in the planning and rehearsal that all else is forgotten. But remember, the sole purpose of the video is to get your viewers to do something – to get them to engage and to turn them into prospects. Include calls to action anywhere and everywhere that your video appears for the maximum effect.
4. Embed the Video on Your Website
It’s always important to bring the content to your audience rather than the audience having to come to you. With Google Hangouts you can embed your video in other locations and your website is the prime place for it to feature. Not only will this widen your audience reach but will drive more traffic to your website, boosting your brand awareness and SEO. When you’re promoting your video, consider setting up a specific page on your site and directing links to that page.
5. Promote, Promote, Promote again
Even when the live stream is over, the video lives on in YouTube and there is plenty of marketing juice left to squeeze out. As soon as your video is available on YouTube, continue to link, share and attract more viewers. You can even edit the video with annotations and links to your website.