February 12, 2015
Google is well known for providing small business owners and entrepreneurs with a variety of useful tools to help them improve productivity and efficiency in their daily tasks. From Google Drive to Google Docs and everything in between, the complete suite of Google apps is definitely at the top of the list of useful business tools and resources. The recently launched Google Hangouts is no exception, and while many still aren’t aware of what exactly Google Hangouts is and how it can help their businessed, its popularity is quickly growing as more and more business owners realize its potential and see the benefits of using it.
What is Google Hangouts?
This new addition to the Google suite of apps is essentially a limited social network, but designed for businesses, (though anyone can use it if they so desire.) Its main focus is for video chats with friends, colleagues, and clients.
The potential for new methods of online marketing created by Google Hangouts is large. It is also easy to use, and meetings can be set up within seconds on any mobile devices.
How to use Google Hangout for marketing
Google Hangout’s most practical use is for setting up meetings with colleagues, clients, vendors, and others. Meetings can include up to nine people. If you require larger meetings, then you might want to use another Web meeting app like UberConference.
For expanded marketing reach, Google Hangout is a great way to converse with customers, introduce them to new products and services, and instruct them on product use or let them know about additional features and benefits. Customers with issues will likely appreciate such a personal and attentive response.
You can also use Google Hangouts to record a meeting or presentation, and then post the video to YouTube. It’s a great way to expand upon your marketing, as well as add videos to your company blog or website. You can also use it to promote items such as books, films, art gallery openings and shows, nightclubs, restaurants, and many other types of businesses.
You can post videos announcing new products or services, or generally anything related to your business that your customers and potentially many others might be interested in. This is beneficial because a recording that can be viewed by many at their leisure has a much larger reach than a meeting with only nine people at a pre-determined time.
Just as you might have followers on Facebook, you can build a Google Hangouts community and chat with them about industry news, or let them know about special promotions and offers. You can also host informal interviews, and record the proceedings for later posting so that others can see it as well.
Google Hangout can also be used to handle online service calls and technical support, or even coaching and mentoring.
Some examples of brands using Google Hangouts for their marketing promotion
1. New York Times
The New York Times uses Google Hangouts for promoting its marketing efforts. One of its most remarkable Google Hangouts was in 2012 when the publication hosted its hangouts for the Olympics athletes. The Times allowed its readers to use its Hangout to submit their questions to the athletes — it tremendously enhanced the Times’ user engagement rate.
One of the most renowned beverage companies in the world, Coca-Cola, uses Google Hangouts for posting its clips from fans — which increases user engagement and brand promotion. It hosts Hangouts with its brand ambassadors, offering customers tge opportunity to interact with them and ask questions related to the brand. A few months back, Coca-Cola has hosted a Google Hangous with its Coke racing team member, singer Jason Derulo.
Once you start using Google Hangouts, you’ll no doubt discover many other possibilities for marketing and promotion, as well as generally keeping in touch with your contacts and followers to improve brand recognition. From new and improved ways to provide excellent customer support, to videos that really showcase exactly what it is your company or a product can do, Google Hangouts is an excellent marketing tool from the ever-growing suite of useful tools and resources offered by Google. Just remember to make sure that your Google+ profile is up-to-date so customers can easily find and connect with you.
Peter Davidson works as a senior business associate helping brands and start ups to make efficient business decisions and plan proper business strategies. He is a big gadget freak who loves to share his views on latest technologies and applications.