Social Media Marketing

What is the Value of a Google Hangout for Marketers?

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On June 5 Marketo kicks off Season 2 of the Marketing Happy Hour with Youtility Author Jay Baer. Jay will be discussing his new book (available now for pre-order), hot topics in the news, and there will even be a fun segment or two around marketing. Register for the Hangout here.

Google is having one hell of a time proving the value of the “social layer” that ties all of Google’s platforms together, but those of us who have been listening are way ahead of the game. The most compelling feature of Google+ for marketers is the Hangout and Hangout On Air. In an earlier post I wrote about how to host a kick-ass Google Hangout, but today I am going to dive into the value and benefits of doing so.

Marketo has hosted 4 Hangout On Air’s over a period of two months. The value of these Hangouts can be proven by using the four categories of measurement that I have determined to define success:

  • Content – Struggling for fresh content? Hangouts are awesome for providing content, and content that can be repurposed. The Hangout recording syncs to Youtube and can then be embedded back into Google+, a blog or even a landing page. Transcribing the hangout can make for a great blog post as well.
  • Engagement – You want engagement? You got it. The Hangouts that we hosted earned thousands of social signals in the form of shares/ +1/ comments etc. Better yet, some of these were from influencers in our space, which leads to better visibility while increasing the relevance that these signals show around our content to Google.
  • SEO – Everything that is shared on Google+ has the potential of showing up in Google search. The more people who are sharing and engaging with your posts and content, the better chance you have of ranking in search. This is especially relevant for personalized results, but there is also evidence that it affects search rankings in general.
  • Thought Leadership – Hanging out with influential folks from your industry and interviewing them live on air is a fantastic way to build thought leadership. Not only are you providing a platform for external thought leaders, but you are also building up your own influence.

Hangouts are in no position to replace a webinar platform, but hosting one is a great way to experiment and have fun within what is essentially your own television studio for the web. As a marketer, if you are not paying attention to Google+ then you are simply missing opportunities.

Marketo has hosted four Hangouts that we call the Marketing Happy Hour. Our guests so far have included marketing thought leaders Brian Carter, Jon Miller, Joe Chernov and Craig Rosenberg. On June 5 we kick off Season 2 of the Marketing Happy Hour with Youtulity Author Jay Baer. Check out our sizzle reel of greatest hits from Season 1: