Posted October 10, 2013 by Steve Young

How did the Google Hangout video below increase conversions for animated explainer videos by 123% (month over month)?

In this post, we’ll walk you through the process we used, so you can use it to increase conversions on some of your products or services.

In addition to the initial spike in conversions when we first published the video, we continue to see sales trickle in because of the blog post.

And the best part? We didn’t have to come up with ANY of the content.

What is Google Hangouts

If you have never used Google Hangouts, it’s a very powerful messaging tool.

You can use it to have group conversations, send photos, and message Google+ friends anytime.

It’s also a powerful video capturing tool.

You can turn any Hangout into a live video call with up to 10 people. Then turn that video call into a recording and make it publicly available on Google+ or your YouTube channel.

You can even share your screen with the audience if you need to demonstrate any of your products or services.

Pro tip: If you share the video on YouTube, you can download the mp4 file of the recording. This makes it easy for you to do some light editing or add open/end slates to your video.

You can then re-upload the edited video onto another YouTube channel or the same one and use that video to share with your customers.

Step 1: Find Problems or Questions That Your Customers Have

One of our partners, Unbounce, came to us wanting to know more about our animated video process. Here were some of his questions:

  • How much does it cost?
  • What’s the process?
  • Is there an initial sample created before full production begins?
  • How much direction can we supply throughout the process?
  • Can we supply the voiceover?
  • What dictates the final cost?

These were all great questions, so I replied with my answers.

Then all of a sudden a light bulb went off in my head.

Unbounce isn’t the first person to ask these questions. There must be more potential customers wondering the same thing.

Having just created our very own animated explainer video, I knew who to call to get the expert questions to all these answers.

However, unlike our situation, you don’t have to wait for customers to come to you with questions.

You can easily send a survey out asking customers about problems or questions that they have about your product or services.

In fact, one of our more popular blog posts came from a survey where we asked our customers “what’s the #1 question they have about video production?”

By far, the most popular response we received was “Is video worth the investment?” So we decided to write a blog post about that very topic.

We then pushed the post to our list and promoted it in a LinkedIn group of video marketers where it was highly commented on.

Step 2: Record a Google Hangout Video Interview with an Expert

If you are the expert, then by all means you can record yourself giving the answers through a Powerpoint presentation or talking head style video.

I tend to favor an interview style just because it makes for a more lively conversation, but that’s just my personal preference.

In our case, I asked the same animation company that created our video to do an interview. I sent him the questions prior to the recording, so he knew the format of the video.

You can even share your screen during a Google Hangout in case you need to demonstrate anything.

Pro tip: While recording, Google Hangout will by default give the primary top spot to the person talking. It’s best to try to remain as silent as possible while the other person is talking, so you don’t make your viewers feel dizzy with the constant camera change.

Step 3: Write a Blog Post Summarizing The Video

After the recording, you need to make the video public on YouTube. After the video has finished processing on YouTube, you can then download the mp4 file and make the video private.

The next step is for you to summarize the video into a nice blog post that your customer can read (or more likely scan).

I like to download the file so I can control the playback settings and slow down a portion of the video to make summarizing easier.

Notice how we haven’t generated any of the content?

The questions were provided by the customers and the answers were provided by the expert.

Step 4: Edit Your Video

You can take your downloaded mp4 and add any musical intro or outro that you’d like.

You may also want to add a call to action towards the end of the video or a bug that overlays the entire video.

I like to add a custom thumbnail to let viewers get a quick snapshot of the video. Here’s a great tutorial from Google on how to create a custom video thumbnail.

Here’s a great example of one by Corona Geek:

Step 5: Promote to Your Email List and Social Media

Now you can publish your blog post and hope that people will see it or you can go out there and promote this valuable content.

Here’s that strategy that I have whenever we put out a blog post:

  • Send to email list
  • Share content on Twitter and Facebook
  • Share link on relevant LinkedIn groups
  • Answer related questions promoting the blog post on Quora

The biggest driver of conversions has been our email list. Even with a diverse group of customers (small businesses, startups, and enterprise) we noticed that the content really resonated with each segment.

Based on our email blast, we even created an animated video for a plumber.

Pro tip: When sending the blog post to your email list, A/B test the subject line to about 20% of the list. We tested “Everything you need to know about creating an animated video” versus “Everything you did NOT know about creating an animated video”.

Guess which one won in the comments below and I’ll share a couple of days after the blog post is published.


We love the use of video to drive conversions.

Google Hangout videos are a great way to generate content that your customers want to see. In addition, you will also have content that you can repurpose on YouTube and on your blog.

Now your turn.

How have you used Google Hangouts to increase conversions? Do you have tips that you can share? Leave a comment below.

About Steve Young

Steve Young is the Director of Product Marketing at SmartShoot. He enjoys writing about marketing, design and product development. Although he shares the same name as a famous quarterback he unfortunately does not share the same bank account, so please throw him a bone and share or comment on his posts. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

Keep in touch: @stevepyoung

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