With the variety of tech options exploding around us, businesses have an increasingly amazing array of ways in which to communicate with both their consumers, as well as other businesses and Google Hangouts for business tops the list of options. Two of the newer modes of tech communications are Google Hangouts and Hangouts on Air (HOA).
A Google Hangout allows people separated by distance to actually gather together in an online video chat. The Hangouts are designed for direct communication between different parties, and are not actually broadcast live over the internet. But, HOAs can be recorded and later posted online for other interested people to view.
Google Hangouts for Business Features
There are many useful features of HOAs, and we’ll cover some of the most important ones here. The video conferencing can accommodate up to 15 total people from anywhere in the world. Gathering that fill of 15 can be done either through private invitations or a public option. A nice feature is that you can join the hangout via an Android or Apple phone (though you can’t start one from a phone, yet). Once you have your gathering, the HOA allows you to use multiple cameras per person, upload documents to share with others in the hangouts, do screen shares, watch YouTube videos, and even use text chat among the HOA members.
Your HOA also provides you with a great SEO opportunity. You can title your video (keyword pickup), increase follower count on G+ as people watch and interact with your video, and the comments left during a live HOA are seen as social signals by Google, thereby increasing the chance that your video will rank highly in search. You can also write additional content to accompany your video, which adds to the total SEO value of the event.
Videos can now be filmed in full HD, and you can drop your videos onto YouTube for even greater exposure, especially through views. People are not so much looking for a polished video coming out of an HOA, rather they are looking for good quality content. Content becomes the key, and if your content is solid, then your HOA becomes a great asset for your company and a great resource for your customers. At the end of the day, any attention your HOA video receives can be used to your benefit – especially to drive people to your social channels, and ultimately to your company website.
Hangouts for Business Uses
In addition to the general “boosting of SEO,” Google Hangouts can be used for many practical purposes. Since you are able to gather many people on the live video chats, Hangouts are great for business meetings and even light consulting work. You can connect with other businesses and even clients who are anywhere in the world, and since you’re actually able to see and talk in real time, the meetings still leave you with the sense of having actually met and interacted in person. You can also record educational webinars, and even focus on a bit of self-promotion by holding press conferences. People typically enjoy having a video to watch (over just a large block of text), so recorded Hangouts and HOAs are great at attracting users to your website, and perfect for relaying important and relevant information to them.
No matter what your initial purpose may be, it’s worth your time to experiment with this great new technology from Google. Choose a purpose or two, record a few HOAs, and test out how they work in your specific industry and with your particular audience. If you have other specific questions, there are many articles out there to help you craft and use Google Hangouts to your greatest benefit. The technology is there – smart business is taking advantage now, isn’t it time your business does the same?!