If you’ve used Google Hangouts yet for video calls, meetings, interviews, or even to create videos to be used as either educational or marketing multimedia, you know that the service is pretty amazing. What you might not know, however, is that there are tools within Google Hangouts that can help you add a level of professionalism to those video conferences you might not otherwise have.

And best of all, the tools are free and easy to use. You just have to know where they are. That’s where I come in. I want to show you one particular Google Hangout tool that can help you promote your business (product, service…whatever) while in a Google Hangout.

The tool is called the Hangout Toolbox.

Here’s what you need to know. When you’re in a google hangout, if you hover your cursor over the Hangout window, you should see a sidebar (on the left side of the window (Figure A) that offers a few “tabs”.

Figure A

The Hangouts tabs appear when you hover your cursor over the window.

Within these tabs you’ll find one called Hangout Toolbox. Click on that icon to open the Toolbox sidebar (Figure B).

Figure B

The Hangouts Sidebar ready to go.

One of the best things you can do with the Hangout Toolbox is insert a bit of information about yourself that will reside at the bottom of your window. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Open the Hangouts Toolbox
  • Click on the profile icon (top left icon)
  • Click the slider to enable the Lower Third section
  • Type something about yourself in the first text area
  • Type another bit of information in the second text area

That’s it! Your information should now appear in the Hangouts Window (Figure C).

Figure C

Now we know a bit more about who’s speaking in the hangout.

You can save presets and use them as needed by creating a preset and clicking Save. When you want to use a particular preset, select the one you want and click the checkbox to enable it.

With this toolbox you can also add custom overlays. If you don’t feel the text gives you enough, you can create an overlay (make sure to use a transparent .png image) with whatever you want to appear in your window (Figure D). Once you’ve created the overlay, click Custom Upload to upload your image.

Figure D

Getting easy promotion in Hangouts has become quite simple.

Google Hangouts don’t have to be minus your branding. With the help of this easy-to-use tool, you can help promote your company, your product, or your service, without having to hit people over the head with it during the discussion.

What are your favorite features of Google Hangouts?