I have a confession to make. This post was going to start off like so many others already have, with an intent to validate why a business should incorporate Google+ Hangouts on Air into its marketing mix.
I’ve already written a few of them myself, and the live video broadcasting product has been around long enough to see its share of How-To’s, Ultimate Guides, and membership mastery courses.
Still, I feel very strongly about the human connection that businesses can make with prospective customers using video, and the complementary benefits that broadcasting on YouTube can have on their discoverability across various products within the Google ecosystem.
So, here’s what we’re gonna do: we’re gonna pull back the curtain on the 5 main reasons someone like myself would want to produce Hangouts on Air for his business. By the end, my hope is that you, too, will see strategically how this is an investment you absolutely must make for your business.
The Name Dropping
On my show, Google+ Business Spotlight, I’ve interviewed representatives from major brands such as GoDaddy and T-Mobile. I’ve interviewed apps & services such as Sprout Social, Unbounce, Circloscope, NOD3X, Haiku Deck, and Canva. I’ve interviewed highly respected authorities such as Neal Schaffer, David Amerland, Stone Temple Consulting, MarketingProfs, and Bruce Clay. Not to mention some really great authors, entrepreneurs, and business owners in fields like glass blowing, interior design, real estate, photography, even metals.
So, when I’m talking to you about Hangouts on Air, and tell you I’ve literally been face to face with these people and brands, your perception of my level of expertise with Hangouts on Air is high. No way do I get these kinds of names on a show by being a chump, and by not knowing what I’m doing with the technology or the promotion.
Am I tooting my horn? No, rather, I’m illustrating the strategy behind finding recognizable guests for my show, and how that guest list can help me advocate using Hangouts on Air as part of a content and visibility strategy.
TIP: Even if you aren’t going to get into the business of producing Hangouts on Air for clients, and instead just want to create them for your own business, name dropping is still incredibly useful when visitors and prospective customers are evaluating your credibility.
The Blog Content
Let’s talk about content for a minute. The series I produced focused on how (the guest that week) uses Google+ for their business. Major keyword targeting right there, especially when I put the repurpose machine to work in the form of blog posts, YouTube optimization, strategic Google+ sharing, Pinterest, and email marketing. Also, since my company provides online marketing strategies that involve Google+, the overall theme of my show aligns my brand with the keyphrase.
That’s an important tip: if you are going to produce a Hangouts on Air show, or a series, please make sure it ties into your business somehow, and that the content you can pull from that discussion can be used as an example to a prospective client.
I’ll give you another example: This summer, Susan Finch, a colleague of mine who also happens to do exactly the same thing as my own company, joined me in a five-part mini-series we called “If I had a nickel.” The shows were all about the things website owners needed to take accountability for, from the perspective of web services providers. Because, if I had a nickel every time I ran into this situation…you get the point. Each show had a guest expert, we talked about analytics, plugins, switching web service providers, local SEO, even copyright and image guidance. All things that my company provides in its service mix and identifies as best practices. So, even though the topics were aimed at helping people, they also provided phemomenal blog content for both our sites.
The Other Person’s Audience
I mentioned the strategy behind name dropping and bringing on guest experts, even though in many cases, my co-hosts and I on the various shows I produce were perfectly qualified to discuss the topics at hand. Well, there’s more: when you bring on a guest, and do the promotion the right way, they introduce you to their audience by sharing and highlighting their involvement in your show.
Here’s the key: even though the guest’s audience came to support and learn from the guest, I have an opportunity to offer my own insights and expertise on the topic at hand to earn the trust of the other person’s audience. Remember, we aren’t discussing topics that have nothing to do with my business, so I can actively participate in these discussions. Offer one or two golden nuggets of my own, and BOOM, instant credibility and trust building.
Another tip: be sure that your Hangouts on Air production has some type of call to action to keep those new faces now that you’ve hooked them on how awesome you are. Subscribe to YouTube channel, sign up for emails for the next show, anything.
The Validation and the Knowledge
As I said above, I’m producing various Hangouts on Air series about topics that relate to my business, so why have guests in the first place when I could simply take the topic and run with it on my own? Apart from the Other People’s Audience element, which is definitely important when building a platform for yourself, having someone else validate what you already know to be true is extremely effective when talking to prospective clients.
Take the following client story: I realize one of our clients needs a site upgrade, it’s been a few years and with his type of business, he really needs mobile, schema markup, and better Google+ local integration. How do I justify the cost? I point to the discussion I had with Bruce Clay, one of the leading experts in the field of SEO and internet marketing. “Look, it’s not just me telling you to do all this, I literally interviewed an expert in the field, and he said exactly the same thing. Not only that, he said to do it right, you have to be willing to invest.” (I could have hugged Bruce when he said that).
Do you see how much more credibility that interview added to my own existing knowledge, and how I can leverage that when speaking to clients? If you are producing Hangouts on Air for your business, that same validation from industry experts, vendors, and even colleagues can have a huge impact. Actually, going to back to the If I had a nickel series, some of our guests, even Susan and myself, could be considered competitors. So for instances when I can point to any of those discussions, I can add “even other people like me” to “the expert” who is advocating a particular action, a very diffusing technique when responding to objections.
And of course, let’s face it, when I bring in a guest like Neal Schaffer, David Amerland, or Yifat Cohen, and get blown away by their extensive knowledge, I’ll pick up phrases, ideas, and techniques that I can then apply to my own business and to those of my clients.
I saved this reason for last, because it’s truly the most important motive behind producing Hangouts on Air. The resource library I can create with a well-planned, and well-executed series will pay dividends over dividends. Originally, I wanted to use my Google+ Business Spotlight show to get industry-specific insights on how various industries were using Google+, then spin them into ebooks. Instead, I decided to build a playbook for myself on how to grow a standalone brand asset for a Hangouts on Air show.
But anyway, back to the library. If I want to pitch a real estate agent on creating a better social media strategy for them, I can pull from an outstanding interview with Bill Gassett. If I need to help a client justify to her CEO why they should increase the marketing budget to support more dedicated social media staff, I can give her the link to the discussion with Mark Traphagen and Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting.
If I want to create a blog post about all the different things that producing Hangouts on Air can do to help your business…oh wow, you see what I just did there? 😉