Google Hangouts & how to use them

The new age of marketing is upon us.  While it is important to have a functional website, a great social media presence to interact with your patient base, and automation software of some sort filling cancellation gaps, texting updates, appointment reminders, confirmations and surveys to your patients, there are still many ways to drive your marketing and branding.  One of those is through the use of Google Hangouts.  Google Hangout provides you with the ability to connect, digitally, up to 150 people at the same time.  The “hangout” occurs in one online room where those participating can choose whether to meet by audio, video, or simply through chat or text.  You can also share YouTube videos and content during the meeting.  When you start your own hangout, YOU get to not only choose the people you invite, but you can make the event private or public based on what you are hoping to accomplish.

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Google Hangouts is still a fairly new, so not everyone is using it just yet.  Click on the banner above to do your own research into the technology and how you can use it to promote your practice.  There are two primary types of Hangouts.  One is just that, a Google Hangout.  The other is a Hangout on Air.  Hangouts themselves are typically used for personal video chats to one person or to a group.  The messages are private and are not visible to anyone except those invited by the admin.  Also, these videos are not recorded for YouTube.  Hangouts on Air are open to the public for viewing and are automatically recorded to your YouTube Channel so long as it is connected to a Google+ account.  The public can not be invited to a Hangout on Air, but it will be visible to any and everyone!

Google Hangouts are very similar to Skype.  The quality of audio and video through Google is definitely superior (based on my own observations).  As a dentist, you can use these sessions for staff meetings, training or continued education, new employee orientation and training, or as a tool to connect your team with vendors or other people closely connected to your practice (For instance, an outstanding Dental CPA).

Launching a Hangout on Air allows YOU to create a group chat or give and individual presentation to other dentists, other professionals, potential patients, or anyone else you can think of!  One major advantage of the Hangout is that you don’t need a script to create a functional video.  Any meetings, discussions, seminars, webinars, presentations, etc. become your content!  So, when you stream a live Hangout on Air, it is recording to your channel and becoming new content for your website.  Now, you can create a dynamic and vast content marketing campaign, specific to your practice, while accomplishing a different goal of say informing a potential patient or training a new team member.  Make sense?  Pretty cool, eh?

As you can see, there are many ways with which you can start using Google Hangouts immediately to set your practice apart!  How to effectively reach a target audience is a question I receive from dentists all the time.  Generating feelings of comfort and trust in said target audience is the fastest way to do that.  Using Google Hangouts and video marketing allow potential patients some face time with you and your staff and allow them to get some familiarity that print or audio advertising can not provide.  Informing and educating your patients is becoming an expected value of any service provider across a host of different industries.  Build lasting relationships.  Develop exclusive content for your Hangout participants.  Thinking outside the box a little can go a LONG way!