What is the Hangout Showcase App and How Does It Work
What is the HOA Showcase App and How Does it Work
The case for using Google+ Hangouts On Air (HOAs) just keeps getting better. A HOA is a free broadcasting/webinar
platform that is connected to the world’s number one search engine. They are simultaneously recorded and uploaded
to the world’s number two search engine – YouTube. With the addition of the Showcase App, your audience can now
click on links to your websites, products and services from within the HOA. They can do this while it’s live or while
watching the replay anywhere the video is embedded such as on Facebook or your website. In this article you’ll learn:
What the Hangout On Air Showcase App is
How it works
What it can be used for
How to set it up and run it
What is the Hangout On Air Showcase App and How Does it Work?
The Showcase App is a new Google+ Hangout On Air feature that allows you to direct viewers to your online assets
via “cards” you create in the Showcase panel.
A viewer can click on any of the cards to view that content in a new tab while the HOA continues in the other window.
After the live broadcast, the content cards will continue to live on for playback versions.
The Showcase App only works for Scheduled Hangout On Air Events (SHOAEs). If you need help with creating a
SHOE, see my article: How to Schedule a Google Plus Hangout On Air Event
How can You Use the Showcase App?
Here’s a few ideas. (I’m sure you’ll have more.) Sales:
Add a link to your landing Page Amazon or other affiliate Merchandise
New video or blog content Promote a book launch Subscription Opt In Page
Link to previous or upcoming HOA Events Article or publications of your guests Special projects
If you do a regular HOA show, you can highlight and link to sponsor websites or offers. You can make offers time
sensitive as in: “Visit this site in the next 30 minutes for a special offer.”
How to set up and use the Showcase App
The app is very similar to the Q&A app in that when enabled, it opens a new window. Like the Q&A app, it needs to be
enabled from the “outside” of the HOA before it can be used by the host inside.
1. Enable the Showcase App by clicking on the yellow tags icon. After creating your Scheduled Hangout On Air
Enable Showcase app outside of HOA first
2. Preload your Showcase cards: Click on the ‘play arrow’ to open the HOA area.
Showcase app inside Hangout
Create Showcase cards by inserting url
You’ll see the Showcase panel on the right with a field to enter your website link. Any url can be entered here; website,
landing page, G+ profile etc.. Tip – Good practice is to copy and paste url’s to avoid linking to wrong site then having
to delete and start again. h/t Ronnie Bincer
3. Edit image slideshow and text. Images found on the sites you link to will rotate in a slideshow format. You can
edit which images you want to appear. If you don’t want a slideshow because you feel the animation could be
distracting, you can select a single image for the card by deleting all other images. You can also edit the text that
appears. Due to size, make keep text short and compelling keywords.
Creating and editing Showcase “cards”
4. To Show or not to “show item”. When you’ve created all the cards you want, click on the “show item” box to
have the card visible to viewers. A few things about “showing”
- The viewer will only see the cards that you have chosen the “show item” option.
- The cards appear in the order that you create them, first on the top, others in descending order. Prioritize them
- While running the HOA, you can choose to select or deselect the “show item” option. You can also add another card.
- All cards that are “shown” will be visible in replay on YouTube or wherever else the video is embedded.
Exit the Showcase HOA
When you’re finished “preloading your cards”, click on the “X” at the upper left of the panel, to exit the HOA window
and return to the Event Page.
5. Disable the Showcase app after preloading Showcase cards by clicking the Showcase icon again. (next to the
Q&A app). Do this if you want to encourage interaction on the event page. Otherwise, when the “play arrow” is clicked,
the video area opens up in a new window that obscures the page. If your show is more informational and promotional
than interactive, leave the app enabled.
6. Re-Enable the Showcase app again before going LIVE. If you’ve disabled the app after pre-loading your links,
you’ll need to re-enable it to be able to use it inside the HOA. To allow people coming to the Event Page to read and
leave comments, they’ll need to know how to detach the pop up window that appears when they hit the play arrow.
Detach window to allow view of Event Page
When the “play arrow” is clicked, the viewing window will “pop out”. The viewers can click on the small icon in the
upper right corner to detach it. This will allow it to be moved out of the way making it possible to view the HOA as well
as the event page. The optimal set up for this is to have two monitors. Otherwise you’ll need to toggle between the
video window and the event page.
7. Watching Showcase HOAs replays.
As with any Hangout On Air, the broadcast is recorded and uploaded automatically to your connected YouTube
channel. As a YouTube video, it can be embedded on your website, Facebook page, landing page etc.. When
someone wants to view your Showcase video, they’ll see an annotation in the bottom left corner. When clicked, it will
open the video in the Showcase format.
Tip: If you don’t want to see the Showcase panel while viewing the HOA, click on the square icon to the left of the “X”
in the upper right of the HOA screen. This shows which apps are being used. To return the panel, click on the
(At the time of this writing, the annotation still reads “click to join live Q&A on Google+ Hangouts”. It’s expected to
change to “showcase” soon.)
This is a powerful marketing tool. It’s well worth the effort to get comfortable with and explore. As with any tool, you
need to determine how you want to use it. The Showcase App works best for information and promotional type shows.
However, nurturing engagement is important if you want to build a community around your brand. You’ll need to
experiment with finding a good balance should you choose to use the app. Whether the goal is to send people to your
eBook landing page or to highlight a guest’s website, the Showcase app packs a lot of value and potential. The
Hangout On Air product enables us to be owner/producer/director and star of our own desktop TV studio. Now we
have the option to add commercials.
How do you think you would use the Showcase App? If you have questions about and would like to be updated on
what’s happening on Google+, subscribe to my weekly Google+ Tips & Topics Newsletter.
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Owner at Communications NewRayCom
Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts.
He's a believer in the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking. Ray
writes about social media, social business and Google Plus on his blog: NewRayCom.com. His clients include hotels,
restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and freelancers. Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media,
Social Business and Google+.