How to Hangout: A Guide to Google's Hangouts on Air – 352 Noodles & Doodles

We’ve talked before about the success we’ve seen with Hangouts on Air, the powerful live broadcasting tool tucked away inside the framework of Google+, and now we want to show you how you can use that tool to promote events, run  live Q+A sessions, reach new audiences and more. You may be used to Google Hangouts, the Skype-like video chatting tool, but Hangouts on Air takes that to another level. There may be some debate on how useful Google+ is, but you should not ignore Hangouts on Air, and we’ll show you how to run an effective Hangout of your own. Enjoy!

Transcript below.

Image credit: Chris McClave

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[Burton Hohman:] Hello, my name is Burton Hohman, and I’m a digital marketing strategist here at 352 and I’m going to be teaching you how to hang out. Specifically, we’re going to be talking about how to do a Google Plus Hangout on air. So, hangouts on air are Google Plus’s tool that lets you broadcast live to an audience over YouTube and let them interact with your brand, ask questions, and watch recorded versions of it in the future.
 
So, specifically we’re going to talk about how to promote it, show time, which is while you’re doing the hangout, then we’re going to do a follow-up, and then we’re going to talk about the future of hangouts on air, at least what I think the future is going to be. So first, what you need to do with any hangout and with any marketing campaign is you need to promote it. So, what you want to do first is you’re going to start early. So, the first thing you’re going to do is create an event page on Google Plus. It’s pretty easy to do. You just navigate into Google Plus and drop down to hangouts and then create the event page. Once that’s created, that’s where you’re going to post all the information about the hangout and that’s where you’re going to point all the people to go to because they can R.S.V.P to it before it begins and they can ask questions about it and you can interact with them before the hangout even starts. So, once you’ve promoted it, you’re going to want to make sure to repeat it. Even the people who have already R.S.V.P.’d you’re going to want them to remind them about the hangout, and they’re also going to need to provide an incentive. Now, you don’t need to give them anything per say, but you’re only going to give them a reason to watch the hangout. So, whether that’s, you know, to learn about a new product you’re launching or to ask questions with, you know, stars of your movie, whatever it maybe, you’re going to want to give them the reason to watch. Once you have that, it’s time for the show. You’re going to want us to have everything set up and ready to go before hand. You’re going to need professional lighting equipment. You’re going to want an external video and audio recording devices. You can use your own computer’s webcam, but to take it up to the next level you’re really going to want to use that external equipment that’ll help you set apart from the rest of the hangouts out there. Once the show is going on, be prepared for technical glitches. No matter how much you prepare you’re always going to run into technical issues. One of the biggest ones is going to be your internet connection. So, while no matter how strong your Wi-Fi is, you’re going to want to plug in directly to a land line. No matter how, you know weird that might be, it’s going to be the best for this most solid internet connection. So once the show is going, you’re answering questions, people are loving it, interacting with your brand, you know you end the broadcast, what do you do next? Well, the next thing you’re going to want to do is follow-up with the people who watched it. So, yes, they watched it, yes they asked questions, but you’re going to want to make sure you talk to them in the future, you know you make them stay engaged with your brand. Answer any questions that they had even if you answered them on the hangout, they might not have been there to see that specific question answered.

So make sure you follow-up with every single person who R.S.V.P.’d and then, you know you can use that video, chop it up into smaller clips, and promote that in your future marketing efforts. So, it really offers you a great way to not only follow-up with the people who are there but to continue a dialogue with people who are actively interested in your brand. So now that you know how to do your own hangout let’s kind of talk about the future and where hangouts are going to go.

So recently, The Amazing Spiderman cast did a hangout where not only did they talk about the movie, but they did what’s called a shoppable hangout. So, while people were doing the hangout, they could buy movie tickets in the hangout interface. So not only are you talking about your movie, but you’re giving people a way to directly buy your products. This is going to be really big for all kinds of products. There’s some fashion designers who are using it where they’ll have models come out and show their clothing, and then have a link to buy it directly there. So, that’s going to be really big.

The next thing is AdWords announced that Google Plus posts are going to be able to be used in the display network. So that means you can have your hangout on the display network for people to watch live while you’re doing it directly through an ad. So not only are you going have your ad out there, but people can interact with you through that ad and even buy your product in that ad.

So, while there is a lot of controversy about the future of Google Plus, I don’t see it going anywhere and especially with tools like hangout on air. It’s going to be a great opportunity for your brand. Not many people are using it, so you can do it now to get the leg up. Thanks for watching and please subscribe to 352’s channel.