Social media is an effective marketing tool that lets you interact directly with your target audience and establish meaningful connections. Videos are also an effective marketing tool that let you communicate content visually to your audience. And now there’s a tool that lets you combine both: Google+ Hangouts. They’re designed for making group video calls and facilitating conversations across long distances. But they’re also very effective in marketing.
A Google+ Hangout can be used for instant messaging, sharing photos and general chat. But the application is probably best known for video calls. Up to 10 people can be part of a video Hangout at one time, all chatting and interacting with one another.
A lot of content creators are using this tool to interact with their fans and encourage an interest in their content. But how? Sure it encourages interaction, but how effective can a tool be that only lets you talk to nine of your fans at a time? Well, that’s why Google+ introduced the “On Air” feature. You can take your intimate Hangout and share it with the world. While only 10 people can video chat, an unlimited number can view it live and chat via text as the event unfolds.
Formerly unknown singer/songwriter Daria Musk rocketed to Internet stardom when she used Google+ Hangouts to hold a live online concert, and its popularity exploded. Web series creator Felicia Day uses the tool for a romance/paranormal book club, wherein she and her friends discuss a particular book, while fans, or anyone who’s interested, can watch and interact.
And some even choose to ignore the On Air feature and use the exclusive, intimate nature of Google+ Hangouts to their advantage. Some prominent figures such as Eliza Dushku have offered an exclusive Hangout as a reward for donating to their Kickstarter campaign.
Google+ isn’t the only network being used for this type of interactive marketing. Acclaimed author G.D. Falksen uses Livestream to chat with his fans every Saturday night, sometimes reading excerpts from his latest book. While Livestream doesn’t lend itself to interactive video conversations, it does allow for a moderator to create a live video while the audience communicates with them and each other via text chat. It also allows content creators to share their creative process with an audience in real time by streaming their desktop while they work on, say, a piece of art.
Live online events are a great way of fostering your audience’s interest in your brand and giving them something to look forward to. And thanks to tools like Google+ and Livestream, the possibilities for live content are practically limitless. So use your imagination. Find new and innovative ways to get your audience involved with your content. Streaming live video connects them with you and with each other, ultimately making them a part of the action. And that kind of connection is priceless.