Google Hangouts, which was originally unveiled as just anotherfeature within the Google+ social network, has grown in recent years tobecome a powerful, standalone product. Today, Hangouts is used as thevideo and text message platform on Android devices, a web-based videochat solution, and an excellent resource for blog owners who are looking to converse, collaborate, and demonstrate, in a way that supplementstheir more traditional written content. The Hangouts platform has dozens of uses based on who’s utilizing it, but there are five great reasonsto adopt Hangouts within the context of a modern blog.
1. Host an Interactive Q&A Session with Visitors
The traditional blog format emphasizes a written post that can becommented on after it’s published, but Hangouts allows blog owners to go well beyond this conventional way of interacting with regular readersand new visitors. Thanks to the recent addition of Hangouts on Air, it’s possible to invite a virtually unlimited number of people to a livebroadcast. The broadcast itself can be used in many ways, but blogowners might find that it’s most interesting to use this opportunity as a Q&A. Commenters on a blog typically have lots of questions aboutthe author’s sources, opinions, justifications and much more. By hosting a live session online, with an unlimited number of attendees, it’spossible to turn the blog into a live session where visitors getexclusive access to the site’s author.
In addition to clarifying the blog’s viewpoints and its sources ofopinion, a question-and-answer session hosted by the Hangouts on Airfeature would allow a website owner to increase user engagement levelsdramatically. Users who take part in this event would be compelled notonly to click, but to type responses, navigate the website, and back uptheir questions. This could open the website to better Google searchrankings and better performance for the site’s contextual advertising.Overall, utilizing Hangouts on Air in this way maximizes the site’svisitors, viewership, and revenue, all at once.
2. Bring Other Authors, Blog Owners, and Experts to the Site
While a Q&A session is one way to engage massive amounts ofreaders all at once, using Hangouts to host an interview with a fellowblogger or author might be an even better way to earn the trust andinterest of the site’s readership. Since blogging and SEO becamemainstream, many blogs have focused on building readership and theirreputation through guest blog posts. In place of these more conventional posts, a live video interview with a fellow blogger would allow thewebsite to replace static, written content with video content thatencourages additional clicks, more time spent on the website, andnumerous benefits for the site’s search engine optimization factors.
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Even better than the benefits of live video, savvy blog owners canuse the prospect of an upcoming interview to solicit opinions andquestion from their loyal readership. This could turn one interview into a compelling, multi-part blog series that further enhances traffic,improves SEO, and creates a new group of repeat visitors.
3. Bring Live Entertainment to the Website
An interview might make for compelling content in some cases, butsome blogs are centered more around music and entertainment. In thiscase, the blog might want to focus on hosting live music acts or someother form of entertainment. This is an excellent time to consider theuse of Google Hangouts. Because such an event would require supporting a large audience, the Hangouts on Air feature is likely the best way tobroadcast a live performance to interested blog owners. What’s more,blog owners could opt to make the live performance free or paid, helping the site’s SEO or revenue as needed.
For visitors who can’t attend the live performance, Hangouts permitsthe recording of live video so that it can be recorded, submitted toYouTube, and stored indefinitely. Simply posting such a video toYouTube, along with the website’s name, link, and a robust description,could generate future traffic to the site and improve its readershipstatistics.
4. Give a Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse
Most blogs are focused on the perfect intersection of edited contentand a slick design, but some users wish they could peek behind this“curtain” and see how both elements come together to create the contentthat they love. A Hangouts session could be used to show a quick lookbehind the scenes as ideas are hashed out, drafts are written, orredesigns are created. In larger blogging environments that use a shared office, a live stream could be setup via Hangouts on Air to broadcastthe workday to interested users. These options help to show the blog’s“human” side and show the depth beneath its thoughtful content. Like the other Hangouts options, a primary reason for instituting this type ofbehind-the-scenes glimpse is to foster user engagement and drive up theduration of the average visit to the website.
5. Use Hangouts as a Business and Brainstorming Tool
Large, multi-author blogs sometimes involve authors who live indifferent cities, states, and countries, making it hard to host a trulycollaborative, interactive brainstorming session for new content. Oneexcellent way to overcome this is by using Google Hangouts. Multi-person video chats allow bloggers to overcome the geographic distance thatseparates them from other involved writers, making it easier tobrainstorm new ideas and come up with publishing schedules for contentthat will best serve visitors’ interests and needs.
Start Using Google Hangouts: It’s an Excellent Tool for Bloggers
Google Hangouts originated as a tool to foster new types of socialinteraction, and that core strength is what makes it such a strong asset for the typical blog owner. While blogs began as a ware to sharewritten content, today they demand that visitors are engaged in entirely new ways. Adopting Google Hangouts will allow a blog to modernize itsapproach to user engagement, visitor outreach, and rich media, pairingthe written word with a visual component that can only serve tostrengthen the website’s reach and relevance over time.
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