Saturday, May 10, 2014

Get Active on Google Plus with Hangouts on Air



Google Plus Hangouts on Air: Social Meets Video

By now I'm sure you are familiar with Google's social layer known as Google + and perhaps you already know about Hangouts on Air. But for those of you who aren't sure, let me explain. 

Hangouts on Air or, as they are sometimes referred to, HOA's are live online videos that are broadcasts to your Google+ page or profile and your YouTube channel at the same time. 

That's basically my definition but here's the official description from Google:
Live streaming. Schedule broadcasts and go live in HD on Google+, YouTube, and your website. It will be recorded and automatically saved on your YouTube channel

Get Active on Google Plus with Hangouts on Air via @Ileane

Free Live Broadcasts

Many people feel that HOA's are a game-changer for marketers who previously relied on expensive software live Webex or GotoWebinar to conduct live webinars. Google provides this service for free and take it from someone who has watched a ton of presentations on all of those paid platforms, Hangouts are just as good and in some cases even better. The added benefit is that you don't need to upload the video to YouTube when you're done - it's already there for your subscribers to watch without any additional effort on your part.

Ready to get started with HOAs?

My advice to beginners is to simply, start off by watching some popular HOA's in order to see what they are like. You can visit the Hangouts On Air tab on Google+ to watch the events that are happening at any given time.

I highly recommend watching The Mia Connect which is a weekly show hosted by my friend Mia Voss

What about hosting your own HOA's? 

Being a Hangout Host requires some additional expertise, and here's a list of resources to help get you started: 

Resources for Hosting Hangouts:

by David Amerland

Ronnie Bincer is known as The Hangout Helper. Be sure to add him to your circles on Google+ and be on the look out for all the incredible tips he shares along with detailed screenshots. Ronnie also offers a course and membership site called Hangout Mastery
Hangout Mastery

Shannon Hernandez offers a Free Beginners's Guide to Google+ Hangouts and FAQ's

Hangouts on Facebook!??

The Social Buzz Club, holds weekly webinars each Thursday at 2pm ET.  These webinars are conducted using the same HOA technology we've been talking about but there is an added social element - these HOAs are also broadcast on Facebook!

Laura Rubinstein, co-founder of Social Buzz Club, makes use of a Facebook app called 22social to live stream the same HOAs through a tab on their Facebook page.  With 22social, you can redirect your audience from a custom URL of your choice over to Facebook. I really love the way that Laura is doing this because not only does this app integrate with the Facebook commenting system, she is also using this as a list building tool.

Using HOAs to Build Your List 

This is really one of the most brilliant uses of HOA for marketers or anyone who wants to build an email list. Basically this is how it works, first you promote the webinar in advance and require an email opt-in for those who want to attend. Next, you hold the webinar (and the key here is to deliver an incredible amount of value to your audience) then when the live event is over, make the video unlisted. 

This works so well for Social Buzz Club because they have a seemingly unlimited pool of experts that are featured each week which is a highly unique selling point. 

Solo HOAs

There one last tip I want to share with you for how you can use Hangouts. You can do a solo Hangout like the one I did here:

Social + YouTube + Email List = Trifecta!

Doing a solo hangout is another way to hone your skills and the only way you are going to get better at doing HOAs is to get started!

Have you tried HOAs yet? I'd love to hear about your experience. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.