What is a Google Hangout?
Microsoft users have Skype, Apple customers have Facetime and iMessage, but now anyone with (or without) a Google account can use Hangouts. Hangouts is an all-encompassing app that’s used for just about every type of communication you can think of: instant messaging, group chat, video calls, conference calls or just a good old-fashioned voice call. If you’re new to Hangouts, you’re probably going to be pleasantly surprised by its seamless integration into Android and Chrome OS. You can add an extension into your Chrome browser, use the web page or download the app for iOS and Android. Once you get started, all your conversations will automatically be synced across all of your devices, so you can pick up from where you left off, wherever you are.
One of the most recent updates is a seriously powerful one; you no longer even require a Google account to participate in a Hangout. As long as you have an internet connection and a connected device, anyone can invite you into a Google Hangout and you can take part as a guest.
Ways To Use A Google Hangout
For many users, Hangouts primary function is that of a video conferencing tool. There are plenty of different ways you can use Hangouts in the workplace, not only to hold meetings with your colleagues but as a way to reach an external audience. Video marketing is becoming more and more important as brands look for ways to engage their customers, but it also helps in saving costs and improving processes.
- Engaging with employees – particularly those working remotely.
- Client Consultations – maintain a close working relationship with your clients without leaving the office.
- Product Demonstrations – can be performed with low setup costs on your premises.
- Customer Support – this could be for one specific customer, or for a similar problem had by many.
- Interviews – A great way to promote your brand, whether it’s with a prominent figure from with your company or a guest.
- Webinars – host presentations and Q&A’s to find out exactly what your customers need to know.
- Behind the Scenes – customers love to feel like they’re getting the inside scoop on what’s going on within a brand, especially if they’re the first to spread the news with their friends!
Key Benefits Of A Google Hangout
Offering a Google Hangout to your customers as well as using it internally doesn’t just mean you’re getting good use out of a great video tool, it also means your business will be benefitting from a whole range of features.
- Accessibility – available from any device
- Connections – can stay in touch with everyone, regardless of whether they have a Google account
- Content – record and upload your Q&A’s or presentations to your website/YouTube channel
- Low Cost – you can’t get much lower than free (or included with the rest of Apps at least!)
- Promotional – great way to advertise upcoming events and products
- Text Chat – functionality for speakers and attendees
- Powerful Planner – to schedule your meetings
- Registration module – to mark all attendees
- Virtual Meeting Rooms – with a fixed URL which can be bookmarked
- Automatic and customized e-mails – set up to remind attendees
- Reporting tools – to analyse your data
How to use Google Hangouts for marketing
The most common use for Google Hangouts is for arranging meetings, whether it’s with colleagues, vendors or clients. These meetings can host up to ten participants on a video call (you can also send messages in a group conversation with up to 150 people), but for anything over and above, you may have to use another service such as UberConference, which we covered in an earlier blog post here. If you’re looking to get full use of the service, it can be a big help in expanding your marketing reach. Using Google Hangouts to converse with your customers is a great idea, it allows you to introduce them to new products and services, offer detailed instruction on how to use your product or find out additional features or new updates. It’s also fair to say that a customer that has any issues will more than likely appreciate the personal touch of being part of a Hangout. If you’re using Hangouts for a meeting or a presentation, you can set it to record and then seamlessly upload the video straight to your company’s YouTube channel for your customers to see and share. We’ve seen many successful examples of this being used to promote new books, movies, gallery openings, and product lines, have a look for yourself at some examples below.
- Warner Brothers
- The White House
- Manchester United
Try it Yourself
If any or all of the above has got you interested in using Google Hangouts as a video conferencing, instant messaging or marketing tool, you can give it a try for yourself here! – https://hangouts.google.com/
Please do get in touch if you have any questions or queries regarding getting started with Hangouts or any part of G Suite (Google Apps) at firstname.lastname@example.org