Are you using Google Hangouts to promote your business?
In the right hands, Hangouts can become the ultimate weapon for connecting, engaging and building relationships with the key influencers and customers for your business.
What’s more, Google Hangouts is available to everyone, free to use, and comes with a huge range of features and apps, which makes it incredibly versatile. For these reasons, the possibilities presented by the tool for promoting your business are bound only by your imagination.
For inspiration to get you started, here are 10 brands that are using Google Hangouts creatively for their business and getting results.
Manchester United Football Club
During a home match versus Liverpool Football Club, Manchester United introduced their Google Plus Front Row campaign. Using Hangout technology, the Front Row campaign involved broadcasting videos of fans through the digital advertising hoardings at the side of the Old Trafford pitch. This was a world first at the time, and allowed Manchester United supporters from all over the world to ‘be in the front row’ as their favourite team played.
Shoppable Hangout With Diane von Furstenberg
The fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg, made history by being the first brand to host a shoppable Google Hangout. All the clothes that featured during the shoppable Hangout were made available to buy via a link that took viewers to a new window where they could purchase the garment on display.
The success of #ShoptheHangout is illustrated by a number of striking statistics. A promotional trailer released a week before the Hangout generated a massive 2.3 million views on YouTube. Plus, the project generated 150 million social media impressions and over 65 million press impressions which, unsurprisingly, helped increase traffic and sales for partners selling Diane von Furstenberg clothes.
Penguin And BBH Storytime Hangout App
In collaboration with the advertising agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the children’s book publisher, Penguin, created an app that brought the story ‘Billy Goats Gruff’ to life on their Storytime Hangout page.
By clicking a ‘Launch Storytime Hangout’ button, users were able to initiate a video call and invite attendees to share in storytime. Then, by using their webcams, participants could pick a character from the story they wanted to play, and a mask depicting that character would appear over their face.
Explaining the creation of this app, Anna Rafferty, MD of Penguin Digital, said that “While nothing will ever replace the act of snuggling up with a book and reading a story with a child, we’re using technology to give it a twist, enabling it to happen at long-distances, and connecting stories and readers as Penguin has always done.”
To promote the launch of the epic sci-fi film, ‘Interstellar’, Warner Brothers held their own Google Hangout with Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and other stars of the film. This provided film fans with the chance to ask the cast questions in real-time via a Q&A app, as well as the opportunity to buy tickets for the film and access related links. On the whole, the pioneering use of technology proved to be a fantastic method for engaging with their audience.
Is there a bigger global brand than Barack Obama? In what the White House dubbed the “the first-ever presidential hangout road trip”, Obama spoke with nine geographically dispersed Americans using Google’s Hangout tool. Unsurprisingly, thousands of people submitted questions to ask the President. And the backgrounds of those who were lucky enough to be picked ranged from bloggers and online entertainers, to work-at-home mums and LGBT rights advocates.
In collaboration with Taylor Guitars, the singer/songwriter Daria Musk held a series of Google Hangouts on her personal page. On the first of these occasions, after discussing how the collaboration came to be, Daria and Tim Godwin from Taylor Guitars gave a Taylor Guitar GS Mini to a lucky fan. Afterwards, Daria played her song ‘Maybe’ and invited the live giveaway winner, Al Ebnereza, to the Hangout.
The American newspaper, Washington Post, are using Hangouts to allow editors and readers to debate and discuss important public issues. Not only that, but these Hangouts have allowed followers to engage with one another and listen to each other’s point of view. So far, the paper has covered a diverse range of topics, including ‘Diversity in America’ and ‘What questions do Romney and Obama need to answer?’
Pop sensation, Taylor Swift, used Google Hangouts to announce her new album ‘Red’. Taylor hosted the Hangout herself, which allowed her to answer fans’ questions about her new album. The Hangout also provided Taylor Swift’s fans with the chance to listen to the first single from the album, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’. After using her Google Plus page to promote the Hangout, Taylor’s Google Plus followers rose from 209,739 to over 2 million.
The Food And Booze Show
The Food and Booze Show are using Google Hangouts to review what pubs and restaurants have on their menu – live and on location. This has proven that Hangout formats can work using mobile and Wi-Fi technology, showing that the tool can be used for businesses to promote their products and services on-the-go. When The Food And Booze Show have used Hangouts in the past, they have encouraged viewers to comment and ask questions – which has made the experience very interactive and kept the audience engaged.
Having built the number of followers to their Google Plus page up to 3.5 million, Cadbury are now a firm advocate of the platform. For this reason, in the run up to Easter, the chocolate manufacturer used Google Hangouts to generate buzz around their #cremeeggbake competition – which involved participants posting recipes using crème eggs on social media.
The winners were then invited to partake in Hangouts, and the campaign was deemed a massive success. This statement is backed up by statistics that reveal Cadbury enjoyed 3 million organic views across Google Plus and 36,000 engagements – including 3,000 comments, 5,000 shares and 28,000 +1s.