Just like that, Captain Underpants is dead, never to be see again. And yes, I was Captain Underpants.

Let me explain.  I used wake up in the morning, stretch, and head off to start the coffee.  Once my bloodstream was sufficiently caffeinated, I’d sit at the kitchen table and do work on my laptop.

When my kids eventually woke up, they really thought it was funny to see Dad sitting at the table with his boxers and T-shirt working on the computer.  Hence the moniker, Captain Underpants.

So why is Captain Underpants dead?  What has changed?  Well, Google Hangouts is what happened.

For those of you who don’t know, Google Hangouts is an instant messaging and video chat platform which includes both desktop and mobile versions.  All of that is great, but the real killer is the video conference capabilities.

Gone are the days where I can sit at the table and work without a care for what I look like.  Gone are the days where a morning shower isn’t necessary, and a baseball cap is part of my uniform.  Captain Underpants is truly dead.  Now, in any given moment, a client may request a video chat to ask for help with a problem.  Or I may be watching a Google Hangout On Air (more on that in a minute), and the host may ask that I leave the audience and be part of the show. It truly has changed the way that I work.

Not that I’m complaining.  Ever since I’ve started using Google Hangouts, my networking has gone through the roof.  If you have never been involved in a Hangout before, it’s hard to describe how much a face-to-face video call can tell you about another person.  I’ve made numerous business relationships and even close friends since I started participating in Hangouts, and I haven’t even met them in real life.

Another feature that led to the demise of Captain Underpants is Google Hangouts On Air or what are frequently called HOA’s.  This amazing feature given to us by Google allows you to have a live online show, take questions from the viewing audience, and then once the show is over, the show is automagically uploaded to YouTube for clients and customers to view later.  You can have up to 10 people in the “filmstrip” who can actually be participating inside the show.  The camera can be controlled by the show host, or the software can switch the camera automatically to the person talking.  It truly is like having your very own television studio.

This awesome feature has allowed many content creators to have their own weekly or semi weekly show, where they can invite thought leaders in their industry or niche to educate and entertain on any number of subjects.  If fact yours truly has created a show where men share tips on Pinterest called the “Manly Pinterest Tips Show”

These shows have led to even more content being created as shows are being chopped up into more digestible pieces for quick run-and-gun viewing.  Even high quality trailers are being created to promote upcoming shows.

HOA’s can be a great addition to your video marketing toolbox.  The importance of video in marketing can not be overlooked.  My friend Jenn Herman wrote recently about the importance of visual marketing in 2014.  She wrote, “Whether your business is product or service based, photos and videos are paramount to marketing now. It’s about connecting with your audience and sharing who you are or what your brand really is. The visual marketing component really allows this connection to be forged with your customers to develop the brand loyalty that we all strive for.”  If you are not starting to implement video in your marketing strategy now, you’d better start thinking about it.  You can be sure your competitors are.

So, don’t mourn for Captain Underpants.  A new hero has risen to take his place…Captain HOA.

The Death Of Captain Underpants
How the new feature in Google Plus, Google Hangouts On Air, has changed the way businesses can operate.