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Hangouts on Air: A Guide

Hangout-e1336739034232With more than 7 billion hours of video watched every month on YouTube, it’s easy to understand its potential. Google+ Hangouts on Air are one of the easiest ways to create video while also nurturing and building relationships with your industry.

Setting up Google+ Hangouts can be a little tricky but we created this guide after hosting our first HOA. Some obvious tips, some not – let us walk you through the Google+ HOA setup:

+ Use a computer with a webcam.

+ If you don’t have one already, setup a Gmail account.

+ On the right-side of your Gmail account, click the arrow and View Profile.

+ You do not have to upload a photo or add details to participate in a Hangout, but it is recommended. This is your Google+ profile*
*Note: if you do not want your Google+ account to be public, check the settings.

 + Install Google+ Hangout Plugin

+ If you are hosting the interview, make sure your Google+ page is linked to your YouTube account. You will want to do this in advance of the interview.

+ Pick your interviewee and consider a regular series. For our What’s Your Story series, we are interviewing PR and marketing professionals, journalists and others in our industry.

+ Before you invite your first guest, test with a co-worker. In our HOA test we used a lot of Google Effects, which can be found on the left-side panel, and are a nice addition if you want to add some humor.

+ HOA can be hosted and attended by Business Pages or individuals.

+ Circle your interviewee on Google+ and have them circle you. This is not an action Google+ says is necessary, but the Hangout request was extremely delayed when we weren’t following each other, so we found it useful to circle each other in advance.

+ Have your interviewee check their Google+ settings to make sure they allow Hangouts.

+ We sent our interviewee the questions ahead of time for preparation’s sake.

+ Once you’re ready to invite the interviewee, hover over the Home tab on the left-hand side of the screen, then click Hangouts on Air. Click on Start a Hangout on Air. Name the Hangout (this will be public, so name it appropriately!) and invite the interviewee. The invitation to Hangout should appear in their notifications tab and on their wall.

+ Schedule to meet at least 15 minutes before the interview is slated to begin so you have time to troubleshoot if there are issues.

+ When the interviewee accepts the Hangout on Air, it will not start filming until you hit Start Broadcast.

+ Google+ Hangouts on Air are live. Once you hit Start Broadcast, it will stream publicly on your Google+ and YouTube channel. Make sure your interviewee knows this ahead of time.

+ If your Hangout is planned five days in advance or more, you can add it to the list of scheduled Hangouts on Air.

+ When the Hangout has concluded, it will automatically show up in your YouTube Video Manager.  If you want to make edits, you can set the video to private, download it, make corrections or additions to the video, re-upload and publish. We wanted to add an intro and graphics to our Hangout, so after the live version ended we downloaded, added a little spice, and re-uploaded.

Other Tips, courtesy of Google+:
+ For the highest quality video and clear audio, use a high-bandwidth, wired connection.
+ Make sure there is a light source behind the webcam facing you.
+ Broadcast in a quiet, controlled environment.

View our first HOA below, Marketer Insight: MapR CMO talks Successes, Strategy. For more content marketing tips and best practices, download our free tip sheet, 10 Tips for Creating Great Content.

 

 

About Lisa Denten

Lisa Denten is the Social Media Manager of Cision U.S., where she leads social strategy, coordinates the blog editorial calendar and manages public relations campaigns. She regularly hosts Cision webinars, was chosen as a #FollowFriday guest on industry blog Spin Sucks, and has spoken on panels for Inbound Marketing Summit and Publicity Club of Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry before joining Cision in 2008. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter at @lisaml15.

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