- Google + Hangouts are becoming increasingly popular
- They can be conducted via both video and text
- Google + Hangouts can be used effectively to market products and services
- Google + has over 300 million active users
- Google + Hangouts are free to use
Google + officially launched in June 2011, and after an initial slow uptake in subscribers Google announced last year that Google + had over 300 million active users. While this figure has been disputed by some, there’s no arguing with the fact that it’s growing in importance and influence.
One of the products within Google + which is growing rapidly and proving to be a popular addition to the Google suite of services, is Google + Hangouts. However for every subscriber out there, there’s loads more of us that don’t have a clue as to what exactly a Google + Hangout is and until now we’ve avoided piling another online weapon into our armour! However Google has put lots of work into making Hangouts worth the effort so it’s probably a good time to get to grips with the functionality and benefits – and at least it’s free!
Here’s a list of the functionality available and a good overview of the main features of Google + Hangouts online. The basic concept is that you can start conversations in real time either via video or text. This is achieved by selecting the contacts that you want to interact with, and adding them into a ‘Hangout’.
The above image highlights some of the ways that you can engage with your contacts via Google + Hangouts.
If you prefer video to get to grips with things, this file produced by Google is a good place to start.
One of the main ways that Google has tried to incorporate Google + Hangouts into more of our lives is by embedding the functionality into Gmail.
This was always part of Googles end game, which was to create basically a Googleverse of applications that would be interlocked within each other.
Another one of the key things that increases people’s engagement with Google + Hangouts is the video conference functionality, and the ability to live stream that video content.
If you create a Google + account of your own, you can immediately observe this function in action, as there are always publicly available Google + Hangout videos being streamed online.
Why Are Google + Hangouts Effective Marketing Platforms?
Google + Hangouts are important from a marketing perspective for a variety of different reasons. Some of these include:
- Increase content generation
- Increase brand awareness
- Build thought leadership within industry
- Engage with current and prospective clients
Establishing a Google + Hangout for your business is very straightforward. Firstly you need to make sure that you promote the Hangout via your Google + company page and not a personal account. Then establish a YouTube channel with your Google+ account, before beginning a Hangout.
These are some good examples of companies using Google + Hangouts to effectively engage with online audiences.And the good people over at the Moz Blog have produced this useful step by step guide to hosting successful Google + Hangouts.
This should be a very handy resource if you are thinking of starting a Hangout of your own. The added value that you can bring to your brand online by using Google + Hangouts is really only limited by the amount of resources you want to spend developing this marketing channel.
People engage with visual and audio content, if you can give them both at the same time along with promoting your brands, products and services you will reap the rewards.
How Can Inspiration Help?
We are a digital marketing company with over 15 years of experience in supporting our clients develop successful marketing channels.
We are happy to offer advice and support to all our clients on how to effectively use Google + Hangouts.
Has your company tried them yet? Do you think they are going to be a passing trend, or will we still be using them in 10 years? Do let us know!