Zoom: Everything You Need to Know
Because working remotely is so hot right now.
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We don’t know about you, but Zoom has fast become our first choice for video meetings, conferences, networking and even drinks with friends.
It’s a fantastic tool and we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about Zoom, so you can make the most of it for your business.
What Is It?
Zoom is essentially a video communication platform that offers it’s users the option to make video or voice calls over the internet with up to 1,000 participants. It allows you to meet your team, customers, friends and family, face to face no matter where they are in the world.
How Much Does It Cost?
There are four levels of pricing with Zoom, starting with the free basic package, all the way up to the Enterprise package where you purchase licences at £159.90 each.
The free package allows you to host up to 100 participants and gives you unlimited minutes for 1-2-1 meetings. However, calls are limited to 40 minutes when you have a meeting with 3 or more people, meaning it’s not ideal for a lot of situations. Realistically, for business purposes, you’ll want to sign up to the Pro plan at £119.90 per year. This plan gives you up to 30 hours for your meeting and a host of other additional services, such as social media streaming. Feel free to not invite us to your next 30 hour meeting though! With the pro plan you also get the option to record your meetings so they can be shared with participants or stakeholders who weren’t able to attend the initial call.
How Does It Work?
One of the most important things you need to know about Zoom is how to host or join a meeting. Joining couldn’t be simpler. The host will send you an email link to the meeting, which will sometimes have a password. You download the Zoom app to your device prior to the meeting and can then click the link to join at the set time.
When it comes to hosting a meeting. You have the option to host a call then and there, or to schedule one for the future.
To create a ‘here and now’ meeting you sign into the Zoom app on your chosen device and click the ‘New Meeting’ option. This will open a live meeting. You then click on the Participants button which will open a window which has an invite button. Click the button and you can invite saved contacts, email a joining link or copy the invite link to use wherever you need to.
Check out the short tutorial video below for how to schedule a meeting for a future date, which includes advanced options which enable you to create a waiting room for guest to enter if they arrive early. You can choose if guests are able to join the meeting before you, if you want them to be muted on entry and to automatically record the meeting on your computer.
What Additional Features Does It Have?
Zoom has a whole host of features to enhance your video calls.
The host can mute all attendees
This is partnered with a raised hand feature which muted attendees can use if they have a question for the host.
Hosts are able to assign people to break out rooms and then bring them back to the main ‘room’. They’re a great addition to networking events, and are perfect for team brainstorming sessions and training sessions.
This is a great security feature if the access details to your event are shared publicly. Upon joining the meeting people are put into a waiting room and you let them into the main room.
This is another good option for a meeting where attendees are muted as questions and comments can be added here for the room to see. People also have the option to send messages to the whole room or specific attendees.
Active speaker, full screen and Gallery view options
You have a few choices of how to view the attendees to a meeting. You can either select gallery view, which puts up to 25 people into a grid format on your screen and then puts a yellow box around the active speaker.
Or you can set it to full screen and it will put the active speaker as the main window on the screen with a small row of other participants above.
Your background doesn’t have to be the office shelves or your colleagues. It can become a powerful additional branding and marketing tool with a professional virtual background. Check out our other article all about how to use this feature.
As well as virtual backgrounds you cal also personalise your video with stickers, borders and other fun elements.
Both the host and attendees can share their screen with the room. Which is a perfect tool for remote presentations, team meetings and showing the family your holiday snaps.
Company Branding & Custom Emails
The branding options are enhanced with the Business plan starting at £15.99 a month. With this plan you can create a branded page where your customers can join your meeting. Plus, a branded email to send invites to attendees.
Stream Your Meeting
With the Pro level plan and up you’re able to stream your meeting to Facebook, YouTube and other third party services.
Record Your Meeting
As mentioned earlier in this article, some plans come with the option to record your meeting which is a great tool if your whole team aren’t able to attend but still need to know what was discussed.
A smiley, waving screenshot is a must for all Zoom calls.
What Are The Alternatives?
There’s a whole host of alternatives to Zoom. Skype, GoToMeeting, JoinMe, Microsoft Teams to name a few. But none of them offers the complete package of intuitive design, ease of use, competitive pricing and range of features and functionality that you get with Zoom.
How Do You Sign Up?
Hit this link and it will guide you along the way to creating your Zoom account.
Final Top Tip
If you use Zoom to join some of the brilliant online networking events that are fast popping up, we have a simple yet effective tip for you. When you log into the meeting click the rename option and change your name so that it includes your business name/website. It will help people to remember who you are. Plus they can grab your business name or website and look up your business easily post the meeting.
And there you have it. That’s everything you need to know about Zoom. Just think of all that time you’ll save not having to commute all over the country to different meetings, and how much easier it will be to stay in touch with friends and family from afar.
Do you want a professionally designed background?
We’re offering professional, branded backgrounds for just £100. Drop us a message below and let us make you look like a pro at your next meeting.
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