Arguably one of Google+’s standout features, Hangouts have been used by marketers and brands in a variety of ways. From live-streaming concerts to personalized product tutorials, the video-chat feature has become a valuable tool for customer interaction. And after two years of experimentation, publishers are beginning to monetize their efforts.
Today, Glamour magazine — with the help of Google — launched a month-long series of Hangouts that will feature the publication staff, online personalities, and products. According to Mashable, eight of the nine Hangouts are sponsored by companies and will feature each sponsor’s products “centrally” in the content.
For example, a Hangout with DIY blogger Erica Domesek will show viewers how to make hair accessories for hair styled by Suave stylists. A L’Oreal-sponsored Hangout with Glamour stylist Annabel Tollman will teach viewers how to wear ombré using L’Oreal products. Other sponsors include Pantene, SlimFast, Vince Camuto, Alterna Haircare, and La Crema.
While some of the Hangouts will invite consumers to participate on Google+, others will be “closed sessions,” during which people will be asked to interact on social media sites using hashtags — a good way to generate awareness across networks. And since Hangouts can be uploaded to YouTube, the “live show” will be accessible afterward for anyone who might be interested.
Bill Wackermann, Glamour‘s publisher, told Mashable that the program is “a way to put advertisers’ products in front of Glamour‘s 1.5 million Google+ followers in a format that’s both compelling (in an editorial sense) and makes those products part of a story.” As an added bonus, this content can also be distributed by advertisers on their own social media channels.
The month-long series kicks off today, and it’ll be interesting to see the results — for both Glamour and the participating advertisers. If successful, it’ll make a great case study for Google+, which has been struggling to maintain marketers’ interest. Additionally, it could be a great strategy for other publishers and advertisers to replicate. We’ll be sure to update you if and when campaign results are released.