Digital Marketing
Jun. 30, 2014

Similar, Not The Same: Webinars, Google Hangouts on Air, YouTube Live Events

It’s on the top of your marketing team’s to-do list: make more videos.

If you’re looking to launch a video marketing campaign but don’t know where to start, I hear you! From a technology standpoint, creating video content has never been more accessible. But with all of the options available, how can you be sure you’re picking a strategy that won’t be defunct by the time you start your next shoot?  If you’re searching the pros and cons of webinars vs. Google Hangouts on Air vs. Live Events and are still feeling a little lost, let me be of assistance.


In a nutshell:

Webinars aka Web Conferencing, allow a host to share a presentation and their screen with attendees, who are able to ask questions through an instant message style window. Webinars are usually advertised as live events and people who want to participate need to register directly with the host to access the login information.

Popular Webinar Platforms: Go To Webinar,, and WebEx.

What do you need? The presenter must provide a link, and depending on how the webinar has been configured, a phone dial-in to access audio.

Webinars create engaging live environments as most include time for Q&A. An added bonus is that most webinars (depending on technology) allow you to record the presentation and distribute the content to individuals who didn’t attend the live event. If you want more information on how to host a webinar, read on.


First things first:
Login to your YouTube account, locate and click on your Video Manager. Then go to your left sidebar and click on Live Events. If you haven't enabled live streaming, go through the steps to verify your account. Once you've verified your account, you're good to go and start scheduling!

So what are they?

video managerLive Events allow you to stream a live recording directly to your YouTube page. No need to edit your video with this tool, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on who you have on screen and how well they have rehearsed. Not only do you have the ability to record video with Live Events but you can also share your screen, giving you the opportunity to create and share presentation slides.

Personally, I would rather watch someone present and put a face to a name, than listen to them through a speaker phone.

How to schedule a Live Event on YouTubeWith Live Events you have the option to integrate other pieces of technology and film through a custom device. This allows you to take your recording to the next level and hook up multiple cameras and microphones at different angles. 

You can still use this option if you're using video as part of your lead generation techniques. Instead of sending out a login and voice dial-in for a webinar, send out the YouTube link. Once you've scheduled your event, you are given a designated link that does a countdown to the time the event begins. Include the event link in your emails and share this link out on your social media channels.


Similar to YouTube Live Events, Google Hangouts on Air allow you to record videos directly from your desktop. Login to your Google+ Account and go to the Hangouts Tab. Click 'Start a Hangout'. Here you will be given the option to begin a Hangout immediately or schedule one for a future time and date. Your broadcast, by default, will be shared publically on both your Google+ and YouTube pages. Google Hangouts on Air sound an awful lot like YouTube Live Events but there are some major differences worth knowing about.

There is a big differentiating community component of Hangouts on Air. Unlike webinars and Live Events, up to 10 hangout attendees can login and show their faces. This gives you the opportunity to host an event with an individual in a different location. If you still have questions about how Google Hangouts on Air work, head on over to the Google+ support page


It depends on what you value and what you want to do with the content after the event.

If your main goal is to have a recording to share in the future: any of the three options would work.
If you want the event to be more personalized: opt for Live Events or Google Hangouts so attendees can see what you look like.
If you're trying to boost your Google+ or YouTube Profiles: go with a Live Event or Google Hangout on Air.



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