When it comes to online promotion, there is a social media that is often ignored by musicians: Google Plus.
While its potential has been recognized and utilized by many entrepreneurs around the world, for quite many musicians Google Plus is still unexplored territory.
However, while it is true that it may be trailing behind Twitter and Facebook in popularity and usage, Google Plus offers incredible opportunities for promotion and music marketing through the so-called Hangouts on Air.
What makes Hangouts on Air so cool is the fact that they can easily be broadcasted live on YouTube and on artists’ websites.
Here are some creative ways of using Hangouts to promote your music, increase your fan base, and boost engagement:
1. Streaming Gigs
How nice would it be to stream your next concert live? Guess what, you can do that with Hangouts. All you need is a computer, an Internet connection and a microphone. Obviously, the faster your Web connection and the higher quality your mic, the better the video.
You can set up your gig as an event on Google Plus and invite your followers to watch the streaming. There is also the option to invite extended circles, which are your fans’ circles. This means that you can even reach people who are not part of your circles on Google Plus.
They will be able to enjoy your show, which, in addition to YouTube, can also be embedded and streamed on your site.
2. Masterclasses, Online Workshops and Webinars
Why not expand the audience of your upcoming workshop or masterclass by broadcasting the event using Hangouts on Air?
This is a great way of reaching more people, sharing your talks and resources with them, and even driving traffic to your website. Streaming masterclasses with Hangouts can also help you get more email subscribers, as you can easily direct them to your newsletter.
And if you are into hosting webinars, Hangouts on Air can also be an alternative to the various other streaming services: GoToWebinar, Ustream, etc. If you would like to learn more about using Hangouts on Air for webinars, I recommend Mary Jaksch’ article The Ultimate Guide to Using Hangouts on Air for Webinars.
3. Private Lessons
Do you enjoy teaching? If so, are you giving private lessons online? While it is true that nothing beats a face-to-face interaction, you can still provide plenty of value by teaching online.
Some do that with Skype. However, if you are preparing a class and want it to be accessible to a group of students, you could easily do that with Hangouts on Air.
4. Q&As With Fans
Put yourself in your fans’ shoes for a second. How much you think they would love to have the chance to personally ask you a question?
By having a series of Q&As – for example, once a month – with your fans, you will definitely increase their engagement. In addition, they will probably do some great word-of-mouth promotion for you, as talking to their favorite musician is something they are likely to share with others.
In all likelihood, this will bring more people to your Q&As and will strengthen the connection you have with your fan base.
5. Behind-the-Scenes Looks
Similarly to Q&As, giving loyal fans special behind-the-scenes looks will increase their engagement.
Why not set up a computer and webcam and stream your rehearsal or the studio recording of your new song? Or perhaps you are about to perform and would like to show fans what is happening backstage before the gig?
Another exclusive kind of content your fan base is interested in is interviews. Are you about to be interviewed by a publication, blog or podcast? Well, why not giving your fans access to it by sharing the streaming of the interview on YouTube and your site?
These are some of the things you can do with Hangouts on Air that can really help you promote your music and build – and grow – a loyal, engaged, fan base.
And, in case you are wondering yes, Hangouts on Air are free.
Can you think of other ways musicians can use Hangouts on Air? Leave your comments below.
[Hangouts photo from Gizbot.com]