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Google Hangouts merge mobile, social media marketing

By Joe Hewitson / May 6, 2013


Google Hangouts for the Google+ service has quickly grown to become one of Google’s most popular products. This application allows users to video conference with up to nine other friends and live stream to even larger audiences.

Utilizing Google+ as a social backbone, participants can run these video chats from mobile devices, increasing its usefulness and proliferation. As enhancements to this fine feature — such as the new Capture functionality — continue to stream from Mountain View, there’s now an abundance of fun and creative ways to push your mobile marketing strategy.

Capitalizing on the “always connected” characteristics of current mobile technology, you can use Google Hangouts to feed live content to your customers wherever they may be. I encourage you to consider some of the fresh ideas below that might just give your mobile marketing strategy the interesting new spin and visibility it needs. Keep in mind that by connecting the following ideas with mobile customers via QR codes whisking them to a Google+ circle or mobile ads inviting them to a live hangout, you can bridge the gap between passive mobile marketing and creating instant personal connections with your customers.

Demonstration

Making use of Google Hangout’s ability to broadcast live video over the web can instantly increase your visibility among target groups. By providing demonstrations of your product in a live environment, you engage the customer in a more meaningful way. Spreading the word about these live demonstrations can be easily accomplished by using the integrated Google+ “circles” functionality along with any other social media you’re no doubt already using. A prime example of this was demonstrated by Google itself when they promoted their new Google Glass product with great success. This kind of live demonstration can even be run entirely from mobile devices, as spelled out in this instructional video.

Live contests

Everybody likes getting something for free, right? Well, Google Hangouts can be used as a spectacular platform for distributing giveaways and gaining customer exposure at the same time. Coming up with fun and innovative themes, such as holiday product tie-ins or launch-day giveaways, can generate impressive amounts of interest. It’s also important to make it easy for the audience to participate, which is precisely what makes accessible, mobile solutions like Hangouts so important. By utilizing their own mobile devices to view and participate in these live events, customers are more apt to get involved knowing they don’t need to be tied to their desktop or TV.

VIP access

Leveraging the mobile nature of social media with Google Hangouts, you can give your customers a “VIP look” of the behind-the-scenes action in your organization by streaming live from a smartphone or tablet. This platform can be stretched even further by using the new Capture feature to take snapshots of live events that you can then distribute through any number of social media outlets. Coca-Cola, Topshop and even the President have used this strategy with success.

A hidden beauty to these mobile marketing strategies utilizing Google Hangouts is their immense reusability. Live streams can be automatically stored in a mobile-friendly YouTube channel, which not only lends to the social media integration, but also allows for reuse in later marketing campaigns. The key takeaway from this technology is the use of live media combined with the mobility of smartphones and tablets to grab the audience’s attention and, once captured, provide easy ways for them to interact and share in the experience. With over 500 million users, many of which rely on mobile devices, Google Hangouts have granted wonderfully creative new ways to reach your customers through their increasingly mobile lifestyles.