I interviewed Google's spokesperson Andrea Faville to learn more about the video features available on Google Plus Pages for business; along with a number of examples from businesses across the small-to-large range, and the great new "Hangouts with Extras" they're previewing for everyone!
If you haven't already done so, I recommend also checking out Jeremy Scott's earlier coverage here at ReelSEO on Google Plus Pages for Business & Brands.
Video Examples on Google Plus Pages for Business
"We've already seen a number of businesses do great things with video on their Google+ Pages." says Andrea. Here's a few examples she shared:
A number of larger businesses, like the Dallas Cowboys and Burberry, created special videos welcoming people to their Page. Bands like Coldplay and Train have posted music videos; and Andrea also mentioned that H&M posted video clips from their Versace fashion event. (Note: I didn't see the Versace videos on the H&M site, or anything in their "Videos" category at the time of this article being published.)
Google Hangouts – Live Video Chat Examples from Business and Brands
Hangouts is the video chat and conferencing program available for all Google+ Page owners, and Page accounts can include up to 10 people. Here are some examples Andrea shared with some notable brands using Google Hangouts:
- Good Morning America hosted a series of Hangouts with viewers
- The Muppets hosted a great Hangout last week, and they even did their own video promo you can watch below. (I've also included a screenshot of one of their live chat sessions, which are made available around any video you post in your Google+ Pages account.)
- The New York Times has announced they will be holding Hangouts with sources and reporters.
I asked Andrea, what are some ways that businesses can make their own use of Google Hangouts. Here were some of her suggestions:
- Have an open conversation with customers. ”These can be as simple as holding an 'open Hangout' and letting customers join and leave as they'd like…" said Andrea. "Hangouts can also be used to answer customer questions in real time, or solicit feedback on a new product.”
- Create a unique experience. "For example a restaurant could host a Hangout with their chef showing off his latest recipe, or a bookstore could host a Hangout with an author that visits their store," said Andrea.
NEW! Google Plus "Hangouts with Extras”
Andrea gave me a demo of their new 'Hangouts with Extras," which provides even more ways to interact with those you're hanging out with.
- Screensharing: when you want show off whatever you're doing on your computer screen
- Sketchpad: when you want to draw, doodle or share notes together
- Google Docs: when you want to write, plan or present something with others
Andrea informed me that this is currently in preview mode, so it may have some features revised moving forward. But right now they are making it available to everyone to try out. Here's how simple it is to do:
Step 1: Go to your home page, and on the right hand sidebar under "hangouts," click the button, "Start a hangout.”
Step 2: When you see the Hangouts screen appear, select the link in the center, "Hangouts with extras”
Step 3: Enter a Hangout name and invite others individuals or entire groups, or Circles, to join you.
In the example below, I select one individual from one of my Circles. (You can select up to 10 people in one or multiple Circles.)
And here I am in a Google Hangout (with extras) with Andrea!
Other Video Features I Would Like to See with Google+ Pages
- Include other video platforms. Right now you're limited to using YouTube for uploading and embedding a video. (You are able to link to videos on other platforms, but their video player won't show up in your page.) For this to be a true business solution, it should allow for embedding videos from other platforms not affiliated with Google.
- Have a video recording feature (i.e., video screen capture) for Google Hangouts, like what is already available through GoToMeeting (and with Skype 3rd party add-ons, albeit for just one or a couple people). Andrea informed me that Google is looking into having this feature in a later release.
- Allow for Google hangouts video recordings to be made public or private. Being able to feature a live or subsequent group text chat, which live video streaming sites like Livestream, U-Stream, and Justin.tv do – could be a nice solution for businesses and brands doing their own live events with a remote audience, and for people not to miss out on something that the couldn't be available for the live showing of. This would also be nice to have recordings of Hangouts posted in the Google+ Pages "Videos" section.