Zoom Has Become One of the Most Popular Videoconferencing Platforms
Zoom is a remote meeting and video conferencing software that became very popular during the coronavirus pandemic. In this article, we will see how this tool works and how you can use it in business meetings or in the digital marketing of your company.
In the process of digital transformation of companies, boosted by the coronavirus pandemic, remote work has become the main option. If many companies were still reluctant to adopt the home office, the year 2020 made it an inescapable reality.
This fact opened up a whole range of options and novelties because you can't work remotely without having communication and integration tools between teams, right?
That is why Zoom grew exponentially during the pandemic, since the platform allows remote meetings, webinars, classes, and presentations, with numerous resources for presenters and participants.
For this reason, we bring here a complete guide on Zoom, so that you know how to use the tool and how it can be useful in your day-to-day life and in the marketing activities of your company.
What You'll Learn in This Article
This is a complete guide on Zoom, so that you will know how to use the tool and how it can be useful in your day-to-day life and in the marketing activities of your company.
Next, we will tell you:
- What is Zoom?
- What is Zoom for?
- How does the platform work?
- How much does it cost to use Zoom?
- What are the pros and cons?
- How to use Zoom?
What Is Zoom?
Zoom is a platform for cloud video conferencing, online meetings, and group messaging. The tool offers excellent audio, video, and screen-sharing experience over the Internet, for both desktop and mobile users.
Zoom's mission is to make video communications easy. It does this by offering numerous resources for hosts and participants, as well as integrations with business tools.
A Little Background
Founded in 2011 and launched in 2013, Zoom got its big boost in 2020, the year the pandemic accelerated home-office adoption, given the need for social distance. In December 2019, Zoom had around 10 million users who held meetings daily; in March 2020, it already had 200 million.
Today the company has a headquarters in San José, California (USA) and offices in several countries. Among the platform's clients are several brands and institutions such as:
- University of San Francisco;
- Columbia Business School.
What Is Zoom Used for?
Zoom is used for meetings, webinars, and presentations over the Internet, with:
- Shared screen,
- Waiting room,
- Other functions.
Next, we will see the main uses that you can make of this platform, especially taking into account companies and marketing. Keep reading!
Zoom is used to connect people who are far away from each other. For this reason, the platform is widely used to hold meetings between remote teams, on a professional day-to-day basis, and, also, between friends and family, in personal life.
Some companies also take advantage of the meetings to hold informal gatherings, such as a happy hour or a celebration, which are important to generate integration among employees. This applies to the exceptional period of the pandemic, but also to global teams, for example.
Zoom is also widely used in education. Educational institutions can use the platform to broadcast live classes, with security features and restrictions so that the teacher has control of the broadcast.
For companies, it is possible to think of training for employees or courses for external audiences, in order to educate customers and consumers.
Webinars or webinars are live broadcasts that are used in the Digital Marketing strategy to educate and involve the public. At Zoom, you can host webinars with lectures, interviews, tutorials, questions and answers, product launches, among other types.
To present content, companies can invite their own employees to speak on topics in their area of expertise, bring invited experts on a given topic, or make co-marketing partnerships with other brands.
Oftentimes, registering for the webinar is a way to collect participant data and feed it via email into an inbound marketing strategy.
Zoom remote meetings can also be used to provide technical support. After-sales and onboarding teams can serve their customers through Zoom, with file-sending and screen-sharing features that make service more efficient.
In 2020 the performance of live demos and meetings became popular. Although they have been most viewed on YouTube, Zoom can also be used for this purpose. However, the platform is suitable for more restricted live demos and meetings, since it has a limited number of participants. Companies can use Zoom to create events for their employees during the holidays, for example.
How Does the Platform Work?
While Zoom is a video conferencing platform, it also offers several other solutions for video communication. See below what products Zoom offers and how they work.
Keep reading, now the best is coming!
Zoom Meetings is the flagship of the platform. Meetings offer high-quality audio and video and allow up to 1,000 users to participate with video. In the free version, however, the limit is 100 participants.
Meetings are conducted by a host, who manages the meeting online. The host has several controls, such as:
- Schedule meetings;
- Invite the participants;
- Share the screen and allow participants to share it too;
- Take notes on the shared screen;
- Record the broadcast;
- Allow chat (only with the host or between participants);
- Create surveys;
- Create a waiting room;
- Open rooms simultaneously.
Zoom Video Webinars
Zoom Video Webinars is the solution to broadcast live and on-demand events. It is possible to create online events with up to 100 speakers and with 100 to 10,000 participants who can only watch, depending on the plan. Webinars offer features like:
- Create registration forms;
- Personalize outreach emails;
- Manage Subscriptions;
- Integrate CRM systems;
- Use virtual funds;
- Share the speakers' screen;
- Integrate with Facebook Live and YouTube Live;
- Offer on-demand viewing;
- Include text messages in the webinar;
- Create surveys and questionnaires;
- Promote participants and speakers;
- Allow participants to raise their hands to interact;
- Generate performance reports.
Zoom Rooms is used to easily and wirelessly share screens in live video conference rooms. It allows integrating the participants who are present in the room, but also remote users, without the need for complex and heavy hardware.
Zoom Rooms is very easy to use, it only requires that the room have a Mac or Windows computer running the Zoom Rooms software, as well as a Tablet running the platform application. It is also necessary to have monitors, speakers, and other devices that enable conferencing. Participants, in turn, can access from any device with the tool.
Zoom Phone is a corporate cloud phone system. It allows you to make and receive calls, with smart management features, such as:
- Call routing;
- Automatic answer;
- Support for landlines;
- Caller ID;
- Call History;
- Call recording;
- Transcribed voice messages;
- Desktop and mobile tool;
- Integration with Zoom Meetings and Zoom Rooms.
Zoom App Marketplace
The Zoom App Marketplace brings together third-party applications that can be integrated into the platform to make the user experience more complete. They enhance CRM, analytics, customer service, sales, among others.
These are just some of the tools that can be integrated:
- Eventbrite, for managing Zoom Meetings or Zoom Webinars events;
- HubSpot, for managing prospects and leads, generated in Zoom Webinars;
- Google Calendar, to schedule Zoom meetings and events;
- Zendesk, to schedule meetings from a customer's ticket in Zendesk;
- YouTube, to automate the upload of Zoom recordings to the YouTube channel.
Zoom Video SDK
For those who want to develop applications and integrations, Zoom offers a platform for developers and also for creating custom applications. To boost your business you can find:
How Much Does It Cost to Use Zoom?
Zoom offers different plan options for different needs and types of customers. There's everything from the free meeting plan to full options for every product on the platform.
Zoom prices are different for each solution the company offers:
- Zoom Meetings: from USD 149.90 / year (per license);
- Zoom Rooms: from USD 499 / year (30-day free trial);
- Zoom Video Webinars: from USD 400 / year (per license);
- Zoom Phone: from USD 96 / year (per user);
- Zoom United (Meetings, Phone, Chat): from USD 300 / year (per user).
At Zoom Meetings, which is the most popular Zoom solution, there is a free plan. Unlimited individual meetings are possible, but group meetings can only have up to 100 participants and a maximum time of 40 minutes.
With Zoom Meetings paid plans, you can hold group meetings without a time limit, host more participants (up to 1000 with the use of a plug-in), and record in the cloud, among other additional features.
In Zoom Video Webinars, plan values vary depending on the number of participants you want to include, which can range from 100 ($ 400 / year/license) to 10,000 users ($ 64,900 / year/license). If you talk to the Zoom team and customize the plan, you can reach 50,000 participants.
There are also additional plans to improve the use of the platform, such as cloud storage, the audio plan, and other professional services. There are also specific plans for clients in the Education and Health area, with more advantageous values.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Zoom?
Zoom is a very complete videoconferencing platform, with various solutions for audio and video communication and numerous transmission control resources. The platform gained thousands of clients in 2020 and showed its strength.
However, some Zoom features may not exactly meet what you need or expect from a video conferencing platform.
So, now let's look at some of the pros and cons of Zoom so that you can assess whether the platform meets your demands.
Quality of Transmission and Resources Pros
Zoom offers excellent video and audio streaming quality, which some competitors cannot offer.
Additionally, the platform offers valuable resources for hosting live online events or meetings with large teams. You can send invitations, send access links and create a collaborative environment. And users can participate in meetings and webinars without having to have an account on the platform, something some competitors do require.
Simultaneous Participants Pros
Zoom is the video conferencing platform that offers the highest number of simultaneous participants in the free plan. It is possible to include up to 100 users with video.
On paid plans, you can grow up to 1,000 meeting participants and up to 10,000 webinar participants.
Time Limitation Cons
The time limit for meetings is a disadvantage of Zoom. In the free plan, it is possible to hold group meetings of up to 40 minutes (individual meetings are unlimited). On paid plans, there is no time limit.
Google Meet, one of its competitors, allows you to make free group video calls of up to 60 minutes. WhatsApp, in turn, has no time limit, although it only allows up to 8 participants and has some quality and resource limitations.
The Complete Platform of Audio and Video Solutions Pros
Zoom is not just a video conferencing platform. With all its solutions, it is possible to hold meetings, webinars, calls and integrate all these tools with sales and marketing platforms. To do this, the idea is to choose the best-paid plan to subscribe to, and there are options for companies of all sizes.
Zoom's growth in 2020 was staggering. Millions of new users arrived and surprised the company, which had to adapt. The tool was aimed at corporate clients, but the explosion of use during the pandemic attracted users of various types, who wanted to use the platform for the most diverse purposes.
In the process, unexpected lawsuits arose and many users complained about the lack of company support and delays in responses. According to Zoom, the problems were solved in the following months, with the creation of new resources and expansion of the support capacity, in addition to webinars, training, and tutorials for the use of the platform.
The growth in the user base has also led to unforeseen security problems. Harassment incidents, intrusions into private meetings, and hackers 'invasion of users' cameras and microphones, for example, were of concern to the company.
Therefore, steps were taken to increase host control and user data security and privacy, including end-to-end encryption, which increases protection and was a recurring demand from users.
How Do I Use Zoom?
Now we will see a tutorial on how to use Zoom and perform the main actions on the platform, from the creation of the account to the main controls of the host.
If you just want to attend a meeting or attend a presentation, you don't need to create a Zoom account. You just need to click on the link provided by the host and access the video conference through the browser, the Windows or Mac program, or the mobile application.
But if you want to host a meeting, webinar, or presentation, registration is required. Here's how to get started.
1. How to Create a Zoom Account
Creating an account at Zoom is the first step to using the platform. To do this, go to the official Zoom website and click the button to sign up. The platform requests your email and sends a message to activate the account. When you click on the activation link, your account is already created.
Next, Zoom suggests that you invite colleagues to the platform, but you can skip this step. After that, you will already receive a personal URL for your meetings and you are ready to run a test meeting.
2. How to Download Zoom
When the test meeting begins, Zoom prompts you to download the program, either on your desktop or on your cell phone.
Zoom's official website offers a Download Center that offers all versions of the platform, such as the program for Windows or Mac and the application for Android or iOS.
3. How to Host a Meeting in Zoom
To organize your first meeting, simply open the program and invite the participants. Zoom offers a control panel at the bottom of the screen, with security functions (create a waiting room, hide profile photos, etc.), invite participants, open the chat, share the screen and record the meeting.
In the lower-left corner, you also have the microphone and video controls. In the video options, it is possible to include filters and a custom background.
4. How to Schedule a Meeting
Through the browser, you can schedule a meeting. Just log in and click " Schedule a meeting ". At this point, some settings can already be configured, such as the start time, duration, password, the creation of a waiting room, the permission for participants to join at any time, among others.
5. How to Update the Plan
If you want to hold meetings with more than 100 participants, more than 40 minutes long, or other transmission resources, you must buy one of the paid plans on the platform.
In your account settings, go to < Account Management > Billing. This page tells you what your current plan is and the benefits of updating your account.
When you click on " Update account ", the website takes you to a payment page, which guides your purchase according to your needs and preferences. The platform asks you to enter the number of licenses you want, the plan, the billing cycle (monthly or yearly), additional options (such as cloud recording and meetings with more participants), and the inclusion of other Zoom products.
Then, enter the details of the payment method, review the order, and confirm the subscription. It is possible to pay with international credit cards or PayPal, then you can already enjoy the benefits of the payment plans.
You're on Your Way to Becoming a Zoom Pro!
As long as remote experiences are relevant, Zoom will have a captive audience for your platform. And don't think this trend will diminish with the pandemic. Remote encounters will continue to increase for a long time in the digital age.
Now you know how to use and take advantage of this tool that became part of the daily lives of many people in 2020-2021. Use it in your work, in your studies, in your personal life, but also take advantage of the full potential of Zoom for marketing!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.