8 Ways to Use Google+ Hangouts for Your Business

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social media how toDo you use Google+ Hangouts?

Interested in ways to use them for your business?

Google+ Hangouts are a great way to hold group meetings, interact with customers, interview people and share your expertise.

In this article you’ll discover eight ways to use Google+ Hangouts for your business.

use google+ hangouts for business

Discover eight ways to use Google+ Hangouts for your business.

A Quick Introduction to Google+ Hangouts

Before getting into ways to use Google+ Hangouts, here’s a quick look at the types available.

For public Google+ Hangouts, you’ll want to choose Google+ Hangouts on Air. Google+ Hangouts on Air allow you to have up to 10 hosts in a live hangout that is publicly accessible on Google+, your YouTube channel and your website. You can record hangouts directly to your YouTube channel for future use.

google+ hangouts on air image

Get started with Google+ Hangouts on Air.

For private Google+ Hangouts, choose Google+ Video Hangouts, which allow you to have up to 10 participants in a video chat that is accessible only to the people invited.

google+ video hangouts image

Get started with Google+ Video Hangouts.

You can run Google+ Hangouts from your desktop browser or by using the recommended Google apps. Try running a private Google+ Hangout with yourself and a select group of people to start with, so you can install the proper browser software and test out the controls before you go live with a hangout.

Google+ Hangout Controls & Apps

At the top of a Google+ Hangout, you see controls that (from left to right) allow you to invite people to the hangout, mute your microphone, turn off your webcam, adjust your bandwidth settings, configure your video and sound settings and end the hangout.

google+ hangouts top control panel image

Google+ Hangouts top control panel.

In the left sidebar you’ll find apps that allow you to do specific things during the hangout, some of which are available only in hangouts on air, not in the video hangouts. These apps may also be ordered differently depending on which ones you choose to use or have used in the past.

google+ hangouts left control panel image

Google+ left sidebar controls.

Starting at the top in the above image, you find the Group Chat app icon, which opens a chat box on the right side of your hangout. This is a great way to invite a person to interact during the hangout, even if he or she isn’t one of the 10 people in the video with you.

Next, you have the Screen Share app icon. This allows you to share your screen to show slides, live software demos and other information on your desktop.

google+ hangouts screen-sharing options

Choose screen-sharing options for hangouts.

The Tag icon allows you to showcase links from websites of your choosing on the right side of the hangout. These can be links to your website, social profiles, landing pages and other items that your hangout attendees and viewers would need.

showcasing website bio item on google+ hangouts

Showcase items from websites in your hangout.

The Q & A icon allows you to specifically start a Q&A in the hangout.

The Camera icon enables you to take a screenshot of the hangout while it’s live. You can use this feature at a specific point during the hangout to create a thumbnail image to use for your YouTube video preview. You can also use it anywhere you’re planning to promote the hangout replay.

The Video Camera icon allows you to control who is being shown during the hangout and how guests will appear when they join the hangout.

google+ hangouts cameraman options

Use the Cameraman options to customize your hangout.

Use the UberConference app icon to create a conference call number that people can use to call in to the hangout if they’re unable to access the live video stream.

google+ hangouts uberconference options

Give attendees the option to listen to your hangout via conference call.

The Control Room app icon allows you to quickly control which participants in the hangout are seen and heard. You can also use it to kick people out of the hangout if needed.

google+ hangouts control room app dashboard

The Control Room allows you to mute and hide a participant’s video feed.

The Hangout Toolbox app icon triggers a box of features you can use to further enhance your hangout. In the example below, you can see how to add a lower-third banner with your name tagline or a custom overlay image so every person on the hangout is identified when they’re on video.

google+ hangouts toolbox options

The Hangout Toolbox offers several options to enhance your Google+ Hangout experience.

The Effects app icon toggles special effects you can use on your video during the hangout. These are more for personal use than business use.

google+ hangouts special effects options

Use special effects in Google+ Hangouts to create a fun experience.

Finally, there’s a YouTube app icon that allows you to choose a YouTube video to stream live during your hangout.

At the bottom of your hangout (as shown below), you see additional options for starting and stopping your broadcast, as well as links to share to direct people to your hangout.

google+ hangouts bottom control panel image

Google+ Hangouts bottom control panel.

Now that you know a little about how Google+ Hangouts work, here are a few ways to use them for your business.

#1: Upgrade Conference Calls

Want to feel more connected to remote employees, contractors, vendors and others you work with outside of your office? If you have fewer than 10 people in attendance, upgrade your conference calls from voice to video with Google+ Video Hangouts. This will increase everyone’s engagement in the meeting, as you’ll be able to see attendees’ facial expressions and gestures.

Video hangouts can be used for regular weekly meetings, brainstorming sessions and more.

#2: Present a Webinar

Ready to present a webinar to your audience, but don’t want to pay hefty fees for a webinar platform? Try Google+ Hangouts on Air. Hangouts on air allow you to use your webcam, share your screen and watch other YouTube videos live with an unlimited number of viewers. You can also record and save hangouts on air to your YouTube channel.

One feature missing from Google+ Hangouts is the ability to get attendees to register for your webinar so you can capture their email addresses. There are a few ways around this. One option is to have a registration page for your webinar that has a simple opt-in form for your email list. Require people to opt in to get a link to your webinar before it goes live.

Another option (after the live webinar is over) is to embed a replay webinar on your website, rather than publicly listing it on YouTube. All people have to do to see it is to give you their name and email address, and you send them the link to the web page on which your webinar recording is embedded.

#3: Host a Q&A Session

Want to turn hangouts into an opportunity to interact with your audience? Host informative Q&A sessions with people in your business or industry leaders.

Simply find topics that relate to your products and services (topics that people typically have lots of questions about) and create a Q&A session around them. You can have one expert or a panel of experts (up to 10) to answer people’s questions submitted prior to the event or submitted in the text chat.

#4: Interview Industry Leaders

Video interviews make great content, and they’re easy to create with Google+ Hangouts.

You can choose to record the interview with just you and your guest(s) and share it later with fans after some editing. Or you can host a hangout on air with a live interview and open the floor for viewer questions at the end.

#5: Enhance Job Recruitment

Is your business hiring? Don’t just post a job listing. Hold a hangout on air session for potential applicants letting them know more about your opportunity, how to apply, tips for applying and insights into the job they would be doing.

You can then use Google+ Hangouts during the interview process with your potential candidates. This is especially helpful if you have remote employees who need to be part of the interview process, or if you’re hiring remote employees and don’t want to make them travel to your location.

#6: Launch a Product

Launching a new product? Use Google+ Hangouts on Air to host a live product launch party.

This event has the potential to get your customers excited all across the globe. You’ll get bonus points if you can get a celebrity on board with the launch, as shown in the above hangout.

#7: Hold User-Group Meetings

Want to virtually bring together users of a specific technology or tool? Hold a weekly or monthly user-group meeting.

Groups of 10 or fewer can participate live on video, and groups larger than 10 can view and interact in the hangout chat. Google+ Hangouts make the perfect environment for virtual user-group meetings because people can share their screens for tutorials and feature reviews.

#8: Sponsor a Hangout

Don’t want to host Google+ Hangouts on your own? You can get your name on them by sponsoring them instead. Similar to podcast sponsoring, find people who regularly host Google+ Hangouts in your industry and see if they’re interested in sponsorship opportunities.

In exchange, you can ask for a few mentions of your product or service during the hangout and a link in the YouTube video description when it’s shared after the event.

What do you think? Do you use Google+ Hangouts for your business? If so, please share your experiences and ideas in the comments!

use google+ hangouts for business

8 tips for using Google+ Hangouts for your business.

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How to Stream Live Google Hangouts on Air to YouTube

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social media how toAre you using Google Hangouts on Air?

Do you want to know how to set up for live YouTube streaming?

Google Hangouts on Air and YouTube offer the benefit of recording your event while showing it in multiple places at the same time.

In this article you’ll discover how to stream your next Google Hangout on Air to YouTube.

Why

Google Hangouts on Air let you share live events on Google+, YouTube and your website, which means your audience can choose how to consume your content. This is particularly important since many mobile users prefer to watch video on YouTube.

#1: Prep Your YouTube Channel

Before you can stream a Hangout on Air to YouTube, you have to create a YouTube channel and set your preferences. Below are the steps to create a channel and prep it to stream and record your live Google Hangout on Air event.

stream live google hangouts on youtube

Discover how to stream live Google Hangouts on Air with YouTube.

(If you already have a YouTube channel, you can skip ahead to step 4.)

1. Log into your YouTube account. Your YouTube login is usually the same as your Google account.

2. Click on your profile picture in the top right corner of the screen and choose Creator Studio.

creator studio

Click Creator Studio to get started with your YouTube channel.

3. Click the blue link to create a channel, and follow the steps. You’ll end up on the Videos page.

create a channel button

After you click Create a Channel, follow the steps to finish the process.

4. On the left sidebar, go to Video Manager > Live Events. If you’ve already enabled live streaming, you can skip to the last part of step 9.

5. Click Enable Live Streaming.

set up live streaming

Set up live streaming so your Google Hangout on Air will stream to YouTube.

6. Choose your country from the drop-down menu, then choose whether to verify your account via phone call or text message. Click Submit.

verifying account

Verify your account.

7. On the next page, enter the code that was sent to you and click Submit.

8. On the Congratulations page, click Continue and agree to the terms of service. You will automatically be redirected to your YouTube Live Events page.

9. Click the blue button that says Create Live Event.

set up live events on youtube

Set up your YouTube channel to participate in the live event.

Note: If you’ve already enabled the Live Event feature, you’ll see a different screen when you click Live Events in the left sidebar. This page will tell you that you don’t have any upcoming events and will ask you to schedule a new event.

10. Click Schedule a New Event.

schedule a new event on youtube

Schedule your event on your YouTube channel.

On the next page, fill out the information about your live event. Enter the title and the scheduled time, as well as the description and tags.

11. Select whether you want to share a message about the event on your Google profile. You can choose whether to make your event public, unlisted or private.

Choose Public to allow anyone to join your event.

If you want to share the link to your event with a specific group of people but not the entire world, choose Unlisted.

Want to increase security settings even more? Select Private. Then the only people who can access the event are those you’ve invited. They’ll have to access the event via their YouTube account using their email address for verification.

event information

Complete the information about your live event.

Note: I don’t suggest choosing Private for a live event because people won’t be able to easily access your event.

12. In the area labeled Type, make sure you select Quick (using Google+ Hangouts on Air).

13. Click Go Live Now. Google Hangouts will automatically open up in a new browser tab.

If you go back to the open YouTube tab, you’ll see that you’ve been redirected to the Events page of your YouTube Account.

event listing

You see your event listing on the Events page of your YouTube channel.

This is where your event is listed. From here you can edit the event details, description and privacy settings as needed.

Note: If you accidentally close the Hangouts tab, click Start Hangouts on Air to reopen the window. If your event isn’t starting right away (e.g., it won’t happen for a few days or weeks), you can return to your YouTube Events page later and click Start Hangouts on Air when you’re ready.

#2: Send Invitations

Before you start your live event, you’ll want to invite people to the event. There are multiple ways to do this.

One way is to click the Invite icon at the top of your Google Hangout on Air screen. You can add the invitees’ email addresses one by one, or grab the permalink of your Google Hangout on Air and send it to a list of people.

hangout invitation

Invite people to attend your Google Hangout on Air and YouTube live event.

Another way to invite people is by clicking Links at the bottom-right corner of the screen. You’ll find the YouTube permalink there, and you’ll also see an embed code. Sharing the YouTube permalink makes it easy for viewers to find your event directly on YouTube. This is particularly useful for your mobile users!

youtube permalink

Use the YouTube permalink and embed code to reach as many people as possible.

If you like, you can embed the event video on your website by copying the embed code and pasting it into a page on your website. Then you can steer participants directly to that page. This option gives you more control over the branding of your event since you can design the page exactly how you like.

#3: Adjust Event Settings

Now it’s time to adjust the settings for your event.

1. Click Settings at the top of your Google Hangout on Air screen.

2. Select the appropriate camera, audio and speaker settings. Test and adjust the sound to make sure it’s perfect for your viewers.

customize audio settings

Customize the settings for your event.

You can also control participants’ settings. First, click on the Cameraman app on the left sidebar. You have three broadcast options: Hide the guests’ video when they join, mute the guests’ audio when they join and mute any new guests who join. Select Yes or No for each option depending on what you prefer.

If you have more than nine participants, turn off video and audio. If you have fewer than nine participants, you can run the event like a Google Hangout and allow everyone access to video and audio if you like.

cameraman

Use Cameraman to generally control how users participate in the event.

Another way to control participant settings is to click Control Room on the left sidebar. This is where you can see a list of people who are joining you. You have the option of muting or unmuting both their audio and video. You can also eject a participant or give someone else control over the Hangout for a minute.

control room

Use Control Room to control how individuals participate in the event.

The difference between the Control Room app and the Cameraman app is that you can control each participant individually from the Control Room. This is a great option when you want to hold a Q&A-style live event and hear from one participant at a time.

#4: Start the Live Google Hangout on Air

When you’ve customized your settings and are ready to start your event, click the green Start Broadcast button.

The event will begin recording and your participants will be able to see and hear you. The event will stream from your Google Hangout on Air to your YouTube channel and your web page with the embed code (if you used the embed code).

When the event is over, click the red Stop button on the bottom of the screen.

start and stop buttons

Click the buttons to start and stop your Google Hangout on Air.

A huge benefit of streaming a live event on YouTube is that your event is recorded and you can send the recording to anyone after it’s over.

#5: Access the Recording

1. Log into your YouTube Account and go back to the Creator Studio.

2. Click Video Manager on the left sidebar and you’ll see your recording listed.

youtube video manager

Go back to your YouTube Video Manager to find your event and edit as necessary.

Note: Under the video you have the option to edit it. Editing allows you to add a custom thumbnail or change the description of the video. You can also change the privacy settings on the video, making it either public or private.

youtube video permalink

Find the recorded video’s URL so you can share with others.

3. Find the video’s URL and share it as you see fit. Providing the URL to participants gives them the option to review the information you presented and is a handy perk. Sharing the URL via social platforms or your newsletter could increase the number of signups for your next event.

Conclusion

There are many webinar and video chat tools available. They offer the possibility for greater communication, but can also be quite confusing. YouTube and Google Hangouts on Air eliminate the confusion and offer the additional benefit of recording your event while showing it in multiple places at once.

What do you think? Have you hosted a live event on Google Hangouts on Air and YouTube? What was the response? Share your comments below.

how to stream live hangouts on air with youtube

Tips for live streaming Google Hangouts on Air with YouTube.

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