As a B2B marketer you shouldn’t ignore Google Hangouts. Doing so means you’re likely losing out on valuable opportunities to connect with clients and prospects.
Here are just some of the benefits of Google Hangouts.
Fresh content: Hangouts provide content that can be repurposed. Recordings can be synced to Youtube and shared via landing pages, other social media or your blog. They’re also great fodder for email marketing campaigns and/or newsletters.
Improve engagement: Hangouts generate a lot of social signals in the form of shares, comments etc. They are like a “shot in the arm” for engagement metrics. Worth a look if that’s your goal.
SEO: It’s all Google, baby! Everything that you share on Google+ will gradually show up in Google search. The more people share and engage with your post, the more the chance you have to improve your search engine rankings.
Build thought leadership: Hanging with cool peeps once made you cool. Though, thank God, high school is long over, the fact is hanging out with experts in your industry builds thought leadership. Hangouts provide you the perfect opportunity for interacting with external thought leaders while building your own influence.
Some tips to help you create a Google Hangout
Invest in equipment: The equipment need not destroy your kids’ college funds. All you need is a HD camera and USB microphone, which should cost between $100-200. Remember, the equipment is just a channel to connect with your audience – ultimately what will make or break your effort is the content of your Hangout.
Depending on what you’ve got going, the ideal bandwidth for an uninterrupted Hangout, including uploading and downloading of data should be around 1 mbps to 2 mbps. To make sure that the network can handle it, if possible, run a test before going live.
Optimize your titles
Hangouts will be instantly uploaded and accessible via YouTube. Make sure that your titles are optimized for keywords to benefit from any relevant traffic coming from search engines.
Create a schedule
As with blog posts, Hangouts should not be once in a blue moon events. Create a schedule and plan for producing and conducting them on regular basis. Define your topics, research for information that would interest your audience and determine the solution(s) your business can offer. Participate in some other Hangouts to understand what others are saying.
Build a marketing plan
Create a Google+ Event prior to promoting your Hangout on your website or social media. The event page should include the necessary details about the subject matter and presenters, as well as a place for your audience to register to attend. Drive traffic to the event page through emails, blog posts and other social media channels. Google will automatically send a reminder to all confirmed people one day prior to the event.
Choose a knowledgeable host to facilitate conversation during the Hangout. Getting this piece wrong will ruin the whole hootnanny.