Search results are great, but if you had the opportunity to get deeper insights from Google, would you dive in for your content marketing efforts?
As of late October, that opportunity has become reality with the launch of Google Media Tools. The suite debuted to a small audience at the Online News Association digital journalism conference held in Atlanta, Ga., and was introduced to the public following the conference through a post on Google’s official blog.
In my humble opinion, Google Media Tools is probably the savviest content marketing play the internet giant has made, since telling the world a Parisian love story back in 2010.
What are Google Media Tools?
In every sense of the word, Google has designed a “Youtility“ for anyone who is in the business of telling stories.
Positioned as an online hub for journalists of all skill levels, Google Media Tools brings together a mix of free and paid services that currently includes 27 tools. These tools — all existing Google services — support everything from live online video streaming via Hangouts on Air, to location-based data visualizations through the Google Maps API.
These tools, complete with helpful descriptions and outbound links, have already grabbed the attention of large news organizations like the The New York Times and The Weather Channel. It’s rumored that the Today Show is even featuring content generated as a result of Google Trends data — one more tool that’s been curated into the suite.
It’s a genius case study in and of itself, and probably one that I expect will be nominated for a Content Marketing Award next year. But, keep in mind that Google Media Tools is simply the gateway. It’s the services that are collected in the suite that have the power to add value to your content marketing efforts.
Here are just a few ways you can consider working Google Media Tools into your content marketing program.
More-efficient information gathering
The very first tab in Google Media Tools directs you to a section of the site that provides quick and easy link access to all of Google’s search tools.
From this section, you can easily navigate to tools like Advanced Search, Google Trends, and other helpful research tools.
A new feature that should be considered as having a lot of potential for content marketers can be found in Google Consumer Surveys. This is an affordable option for quickly gathering market research and insights in the form of consumer surveys. While it’s not free, the creative pricing model does make it a potential solution for brands that wish to add the credibility of primary consumer research to their content.
Easier access to data visualizations
One of the most impressive developments highlighted in the Google Media Tools suite lies in Google Maps Engine.
Available in lite and pro versions, this engine provides content marketers with the opportunity to create detailed maps with a variety of layers that can be embedded on websites, blogs, and other online properties. It’s highly flexible, and maps can be customized to serve all different types of needs.
For more advanced users who are comfortable with the platform, the suite also includes easy access to Google Earth, an extensive database of satellite and terrain imagery, 3D imagery, and models. Google includes links to a Help Center that can give you all the details you need to make this tool a part of your content marketing strategy.
Live-on-air video streaming (sometimes)
Google Hangouts aren’t necessarily new, and if you’ve made a few attempts to use the technology, you’ve probably already experienced the audio-visual sync issues or frozen screens that are common occurrences in Hangout recordings.
Google does provide direct links to a variety of resources and information on how you can work with Hangouts on Air as a live-streaming video platform — but proceed with caution: Depending on the integrity and speed of your internet connection, your results in recording these online video sessions can vary.
Get familiar with the tools
All said and done, Google Media Tools is an aggregate gateway to specific tools that can help support the storytelling process from end to end. You can expect more developments and additions to be rolled out to this suite in 2014.
Have you already started taking advantage of Google Media Tools in your organization? Let me know how in the comments.
For more inspiration on using the latest technology in your content marketing efforts, read CMI’s eGuide: 8 Content Production Tools.