A Google Hangout is a multi-participant video chat, with an admin (the person running it) and video screen sharing so that all participants can see each other. Other participants will appear in small screen thumbnails, underneath any participant who is currently speaking.
Google Hangouts can range from informal chats between a closed group of participants to heavily optimized public Hangout “shows”. You can choose to broadcast and live stream your Google Hangout through Hangouts On Air – and Hangouts are automatically recorded and added to the YouTube account associated with the admin.
Hangouts are restricted to invited participants by default, if you don’t set them to “Public” sharing.
Set Up A Google Video Conference With Google Hangouts
While it’s true that currently you can only invite ten people to participate in your actual Google Hangout, using Google Hangouts on Air and streaming it live via Google+ and YouTube means that unlimited numbers of people can sit and watch your Google Hangout unfold. But first, you have to let them know about it.
Make Sure You Have Hangout Experience under Your Belt
Before you go for the big audiences and scramble to get them watching your Live Stream, do run one or two smaller, unpublicized Hangouts on Air to iron out any bugs that may exist. You don’t want to get on air and have your Hangout derailed because your microphone doesn’t work and you are scrambling – live – to troubleshoot the problem.
If you are planning to invite telephone participants, make sure you include them in a dress rehearsal (i.e. small, private Hangout) so you are not scrambling with the phone invitation process.
Also be aware that while calls within the U. S. and Canada are free, you will need to add phone credits for other countries; and that you can invite only one phone participant.
More tips to make sure your Google Hangout quality tops the charts
- Get comfortable with all aspects of the process. There is nothing like running a couple of Hangouts to acquaint you with all those things you “should have done” first (as well as give you better ideas on how to perform other tasks).
- For top streaming quality, upload speed and security, do host your Live Stream Hangout over a wired connection if you can, rather than wireless. If possible, invite participants with wired lines too – one wireless connection can slow you down.
- Make sure you have verified your YouTube account before you attempt to Live Stream a Hangout on Air!
- Use the best quality equipment you can. If you want to promote a commercial-quality Hangout, use commercial quality equipment – not your built-in web cam and microphone.
Use Google Events to Promote Your Hangout
How do people attract a massive audience? One strategy you’ll find top-featured Hangout producers using is promotion through Google Events. When you create an Event for your Hangout, people can schedule if into their Google Calendars.
You can also create an Event by SMS (Gvent). Creating an Event through Google+ is easy. Just click on the “Events” button in your left-hand, vertical menu.
A pop-up window will open. Just fill in your Event details.
It’s important, however, to avoid one common mistake most people make: Do not choose “Hangout” as your Event Type if you want to stream it live and have it recorded on YouTube.
1. Instead, open up your Event Options tab, and select “Advanced”.
2. Select “Make this an event on air”. (Do NOT select “Google+ Hangout” if you want to broadcast your event.)
Whatever, you do, don’t select “Public” – or you may end up without a single guest you’ve invited and (strange as it may sound) find yourself host to a party full of people who couldn’t care less about your topic – or who are at the wrong level (e.g. total newbies unable to contribute to the discussion).
When you make it an “Event on air”, you close it to people who aren’t on your guest list – even though they can all view it, Live, as your live-streamed Hangout is unfolding.
You can find out more details about “Events on Air”, such as those shown in the screenshot below, at Google Support.
Inviting People at the Start of Your Hangout
When it’s almost time for your hangout, send email reminders to your preferred guests.
Press “Start a Hangout” and add people from your Circles or contacts. Be sure to also select “Make this an event on air”, if you want live streaming. Select Hangout options and restrict your hangout to people over eighteen.
Click the “Hangout” button to start your Hangout rolling.
Once your preferred guests have joined, open the Hangout up, if there are any slots left.
More Promotion Tactics for Your Hangout
Don’t just leave it up to Google and YouTube to promote your Hangout. Add extra tactics to make sure news of it reaches those who would most appreciate it and benefit from it.
1. Let your social network contacts know exactly where they can find out which new Hangouts are coming up in the near future with Google Features.
2. Have your Hangout URL ready to copy and paste into Facebook and Twitter, the day of the event.
3. Tweet and post it right before your Hangout after your invited participants have joined; and again when it’s just starting.
4. Ask your participants to Tweet it too – but also not to share the Hangout URL before you are all present. If you have less than ten participants, anyone can join – and you don’t want some joker to ruin it for everyone (or get your account banned!)
5. Embed your Hangout recording on your blog and promote it. That way, you’ll capture a different segment of your target audience – those who do frequent your blog, but rarely bother with YouTube. (Yes. There are such people.)
Remember to put actual calls to action into your Hangout posts. (More than one is good!)
And once your Hangout has begun, focus on your guests and forget you’re being recorded. Concentrate on having a great time and sharing great information.
How to Promote and Increase Feedback During and After Your Hangout
Don’t stop thinking about sharing just because you’ve pressed the “Start Broadcast” button and your Google Hangout is now live. There are things you can do to increase interaction, feedback – and most especially, shares of your completed Hangout.
The easiest way is simply to click on one of the Profile photos of Circle members currently online, but you can also just enter the names of selected individuals or even another Circle.
Then select “Hangout” to directly invite new guests you have chosen.
Change your promotional tweet once your Hangout has started and you’re live: Don’t just repeat the pre-promotional message.
Tweet “Listen in – Live on Air – right now: [Hangout URL]”.
In fact, post-Hangout should be one of your biggest promotion periods of all.
- Remember that editing your video with YouTube tools can result in several hours passing before your video is processed, so unless there is some glaring mistake or dead air that you feel will kill your video, don’t edit it immediately.
- Let your subscribers know your Hangout recording is now on YouTube (provide the URL, of course – you can find it in your Channel).
- Ask people to link to the actual post containing your Hangout and leave comments and suggestions.
- Blog about your recent Hangout on Air. Do this more than once: Blog (a) about the actual topic (b) about your experiences, running a Hangout on Air
- Include your Hangout on Air YouTube URL in your website list of resources for your readers and fans
- Ask people to share your Hangout on Air YouTube URL.
Not so hard, right?
Having that first informal Google Hangout under your belt will do wonders for your confidence – but creating Hangouts on Air will do wonders for your web reputation – and your business.
* Google Plus is still in a state of change and updates and Google Hangouts goes right along with that. The tips in this article will always be good even if the Google Hangout buttons change. Best wishes!Pin It