Hangouts and specifically, Hangouts on Air (HOA’s) are the most popular Google Plus service.
They’re the entry drug for the Google+ curious.
But as +Ronnie Bincer has pointed out in many of his HOA appearances, there are concrete networking, social and search benefits to hosting HOA’s.
So when I asked him about making the business case for Hangouts On Air on our last Lunch Bunch show of 2013, he replied: (paraphrased)
It’s important to understand that the activity that you do on Google Plus will affect Google.com search results. If showing up in search results matters to your business then being on Google Plus is important.
Any and all activity you do on Google Plus, including using Hangouts On Air, is going to impact search results which will impact your bottom line.
The ROI of HOA
Google Plus Hangouts On Air (HOA’s) are a powerful tool. More businesses are taking serious notice of it as they begin to understand the potential it has for branding, lead generation, search and direct revenues.
Here are a few suggestions from Ronnie for doing business with HOA’s:
HOA’s enable you to have your own broadcast network and produce your own “TV” style shows.
These “shows” are then “automagically” uploaded to your connected YouTube channel where you can edit, cut and repurpose the content to use later for your content marketing.
This adds another layer to content curation. In addition to collecting and sharing topical content, you process that content through your own filter, pointing out trends and patterns that put it into specific context for your audience.
Create a buzz around your topic that will attract like minded people. Establish you expertise by hosting regular HOA’s and nurture a community by interacting and engaging with them using G+ Circles and Communities.
Google Plus recently allowed everyone (some countries excepted) the ability to run a “private” Hangout On Air from their YouTube Channel.
This will have a huge impact, not only with those who were reticent on using HOA’s because they were by default public, but with businesses who want to hold meetings, training, consultations with their clients and want them recorded. Although video conferencing has been around for awhile, Private Google+ Hangouts are free and allow companies to hold meetings globally without having to send their people out to various locations.
Private HOA’s gives us the opportunity to have private or “gated” communities where people will pay to enter for access to exclusive content or services.
Another method to monetize your HOA is to find sponsors for your regular HOA broadcast. While this can be challenging unless you’re already a celebrity. (if you are and reading this, please share on Twitter. Thanks) We’re seeing more HOA shows with sponsorship logos sitting above their lower thirds.
Pitch Your Technical Talents
HOA producer - As the technology behind Hangouts on Air continue to change and the quality of the broadcasts continue to be more professional, the need for technical support will increase.
A “wingmen/wingwomen” will be needed to run the technical aspects of the show freeing the host to focus on the content.
So, if you have the technology down, you can hire yourself out as a HOA producer (wingman). You can do this from anywhere in the world.
HOA editor – Our friend Scott Scowcroft offers his services as a HOA video “repurposer”. Scott has become known for “The Scott Treatment” where he edits sections out of a longer HOA for people who then use them for their content marketing.
Neither of these positions have shown up at local job fairs, so this might be a good time to get a head start on the competition.
“Get the technology to disappear so you can concentrate on the content.” – Ronnie Bincer
Tips for starting a HOA show:
1. Find a topics you’re passionate about and communicate that passion in your own voice.
2. Create your own space by focussing on a specific niche.
3. Be responsive to your followers and look to see where there’s traction.
…and of course:
4. Learn the tools.
Hangouts On Air are going to explode next year as people discover they have access to their own public and private broadcast network.
Here’s a time stamp summary of our show. I recommend you watch it and leave any questions or comments below.
1:29 - Ronnie. Business case for BHOA starts with how we use Google+ in general. Why be on Google+ – Does Google.com matter to your business?
4:12- Evolution of HOA from when it was introduced?
7:10 – Where do you see HOA going in the next 6 months?
11:12 - How many conversations do HOAs starts and how we can keep the event living beyond the ‘stop broadcast” button being hit.
14:22 – What could help a host focus on content and guest more?
18:00 - How do you go about starting a regular HOA broadcast?
22:20 - How do you go about finding sponsors?
26:33 – How badly does Google want us to be able to make money utilizing Google+ and HOA in particular?
29:54 – Is there a difference between content synthesization and curation?
31:36 – Ronnie’s parting words.
Do plan on using Hangouts On Air next year?
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About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.