Google+ Hangouts


Google+ Hangouts is one of the newest video conferencing platforms on the internet. The big difference between Google+ Hangouts and other video chat platforms is simple: Google+ is completely free.

Making video conferencing completely free opens up a whole host of uses that just wouldn’t have made sense with other services.

Here’s how to start a Google+ Hangout, along with a few creative ways you can use Google+ Hangouts to market your business.

How to Start a Hangout


Starting a hangout is easy. Just click “Start a Hangout” in the right sidebar in Google+.

Choose which circle(s) or specific people you’d like to invite. Then click “Hang Out.”

Here are a few creative ways you can use Google+ Hangouts to market your business.

Discuss Your YouTube Videos, Live


If you’ve uploaded YouTube videos to your list, one powerful use of Google+ would be to use it as a live discussion platform.

Google+ allows its users to share a YouTube video screen. That means you can all watch the same video at the same time, then share discussions about that video.

Host a Class or Workshop


You can also use Google+ Hangouts to host a class. If you make the class free, you can draw quite a crowd.

People often feel like they get more out of a learning experience if they can actually see someone’s face and interact with them. Interacting with you live over video is going to be a more rewarding experience for most people than just seeing you on video or reading text written by you.

Host a Q&A Session


If you’re an expert on a certain topic, you can use Google+ Hangouts to create a Q&A session.

Unlike other Q&A systems, hosting a discussion on Google+ allows people to see your facial expressions as you answer. It also allows you to get the subtext of what people are really asking.

Again, the best part is that it’s all free. People who wouldn’t necessarily pay for a video conference can still come online to ask you questions.

Use it to Interview a Well Known Guest


If you have an interview guest that your audience would love, why not host them on Google+ Hangouts?

Having them interviewed live will allow your guests to interact with them in real time. Your guest also benefits as he or she will be able to actually look into your target market’s eyes and gauge how responsive they are to what’s being discussed.

Host a Press Release


Let’s say you have a handful of bloggers who you’re close with. You’re about to release a new product that’s going to be a big deal in your community.

Instead of answering questions one by one over email, why not just host a Google+ Hangout press release instead?

This will allow bloggers, website owners and journalists to interact with you directly, face to face.

They’ll also feel more of a sense of connection and bond with you, which increases your chances of getting a positive review.

Create a New Product


Finally, you can use Google+ Hangouts to create a new product.

Using a screencasting tool like Camtasia, you can record everything that’s going on in your screen in video form. Your whole presentation, as well as any questions that are asked can be captured for future viewing.

This whole conversation can then be turned into a CD, DVD or virtual product.

In the meantime, everyone who’s on the chat can benefit from learning from your class “in person.”

These are just some of the many ways that Google+ Hangouts can be used to market your business. As you can tell, the fact that Google+ Hangouts is 100% free allows marketers to use video conferencing in ways that just wouldn’t have been possible in the past.

Michael Rockwell