Hangouts allow you to video conference in real-time with up to 10 people in a virtual room which makes it a great tool for new business.
The screen-capture above is a Google Plus Hangout with Brad Ball, former CMO McDonald’s/USA, President of Marketing for Warner Bros Entertainment and VP of Nascar Entertainment and Marketing. Brad is a partner and chief development officer for Moroch Partners.
A Google Plus Hangout is a free group video chat that rivals platforms such as Skype, FaceTime and Facebook Video Chat. Google Hangouts focus more on “face-to-face-to-face” group interaction.
You can include up to 10 locations at a time in your Hangout. Each location can include one or more people. More often, it will be one person per location (via their built-in laptop camera). Google continues to roll out new features to Hangouts which are making it more useful for video conferences, seminars and other online events.
Included below are some thoughts and ideas on how you can engage prospects and use Google Plus Hangout as a tool for agency new business.
Here are some advantages for using Google Plus Hangouts:
- Impress your prospects by scheduling video conference calls. You will probably be among the first to provide them with such an invite. A majority of agencies have yet to even set-up a Google Plus account to take advantage of this feature.
- Live video sessions provide a very personal, interactive opportunity for prospects to learn about your agency.
- Easily conduct client testimonial video interviews and save them to YouTube. Google will be offering a recording feature soon, but in the meantime there are a number of free tools you can use such as ScreenCastle, Pixetell or Screencast-O-Matic.
- If you are at trade show or speaking at a conference, you can invite people who are unable to physically attend. You can also record the event and post it on YouTube allowing you repurpose it through your agency blog and other social media outposts.
- Showcase your capabilities and share your industry knowledge.
- Hangouts are a great place to do internal training or to spotlight a new product/service with a demo. Recording and repurposing these type sessions will allow you to get the most out of your time investment.
- You have the ability to create focus groups and gather feedback on your services and positioning.
- Give your prospects the behind-the-scenes look at your agency. This could be an agency tour or staff interviews.
- You can use a Hangout to conduct private meetings with your new business team, meetings between your remote offices or prospective client meetings. If someone is unable to access Google+, they can still conference in with a voice call.
- Easily collaborate on projects or have collaborative sessions with others in business development.
By checking ‘Enable Hangouts On Air,’ you can now broadcast your live hangout —from the Google+ stream, your YouTube channel or your website — around the globe. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to:
- See how many viewers you have. During your broadcast, you can look inside the hangout to see how many people are watching live.
- Record and re-share. Once you’re off the air, you can upload a public recording to your YouTube channel, and to your original Google+ post.
- Bloggers have a new tool at their disposal for live blogging, interviews and more.
- The possible uses for Hangouts on Air are limitless. Including presentations, virtual conferences, panel or roundtable discussions. Some in the music industry are even holding live online concerts.
Getting started is simple. All you need is a computer with high-speed internet, a web camera and microphone. Before you Hangout for the first time, Google offers suggestions to provide the best experience:
- Check out the system requirements to make sure you’re using a supported browser and operating system, and that your processor and bandwidth are sufficient.
- Download and install the latest version of the plugin.
- Make sure you have the latest drivers for your webcam.
- Webcams don’t work well in low light situations. For the best quality webcast, make sure you’re well lit from a light source that’s coming from behind your camera.
- Use a head set! Headphones with a built in microphone will dramatically improve your Hangout experience.
- If a hangout isn’t performing well, try closing down all programs running in the background. You may also want to try restarting your computer.
Here’s how to add people to Start a Hangout:
- Click Start a Hangout on the top right side of your screen.
- Add entire circles or just individuals that you want to hang out with.You can choose to make the hangout only available to people who are 18 or older by selecting the check box next to Restrict minors from joining this hangout. Other hangout participants won’t be able to invite minors and the 18+ restriction cannot be changed once the hangout has started.
- Invite phone participants to join the hangout by clicking the Telephone tab at the top of the page and dialing the phone number you wish to invite. Learn more about inviting phone participants.
- Click Invite to start the hangout and send the notifications to the people you chose.
- You can’t have more than 10 people in a hangout at once.
In addition to video chatting, Google Hangouts users can share their screens, sticky notes, documents, scratchpads, images, SlideShare presentations , Google Docs and YouTube videos with other users.
How are you using Google Plus Hangouts? Share your experience and ideas in the comment section below.
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