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An honest Zoom review by Growth Marketing Pro, Hailey Friedman
Zoom video conferencing software review
Table of Contents
What is Zoom?
Zoom is video conferencing software and a webinar tool.
Video conferencing tools like:
…allow you to host video calls, conference calls, online meetings and big, powerful webinars.
This Zoom review covers the platform’s capabilities as video conferencing and webinar software. Read on to learn about Zoom pricing, pros/cons, and alternatives.
Click here: for a review of the top webinar software tools
In a post-COVID world, you’ve most definitely heard about Zoom — it’s the company that is becoming synonymous with webinars.
It’s quick and easy to set up and get a personalized meeting room link. I’ve used Zoom many times before, and maybe you have too. I’ve had a ton of experience hosting Zoom meetings first hand and will share my experience of the features with you here.
If you’re interested in Zoom’s webinar feature (for salespeople and marketers), it’s important to note that it is actually an add-on to their video conferencing service (not included).
Zoom Video Conferencing
Here are some of the basic features that are included:
- Screen sharing: Meet one-on-one or with large groups and show others what is going on on your screen. This is helpful whether you’re presenting a deck, walking someone through a product demo, or turning on your computer’s camera and showing your face. A basic capability but important nonetheless.
- One-on-one meetings: Host unlimited one-on-one meetings even with their free plan. Zoom is an excellent resource for you if you need to organize professional one-to-one meetings with people across the country without paying a cent.
- Group video conferences: These meetings can host up to 500 participants (if you purchase the “large meeting” add-on). There is even a free plan that allows you to host video conferences of up to 40 minutes and up to 100 participants.
Zoom Industry Specific Features
- Education: This is a plan for educators. It helps create easy to use meeting rooms for professors and students. Zoom Education plans are used by tons of universities like Stanford, Berkeley, Drexel, and more. This plan starts at $1,800 per year and includes 20 hosts at that price.
- Developers: For app developers who want to add video and screen sharing elements to their applications, Zoom has an API Partner Plan that you can purchase. This plan starts at $100 for 4,000 minutes of use (this is charged per minute per attendee.)
- Telehealth: Zoom has created a unique platform for telehealth professionals who want to use the platform to work directly with patients via video conferencing for things like consultations, specialist visits, and care coordination. The price of this plan isn’t advertised on the website, though, so you must contact their sales department to learn more information.
Zoom Webinar Review
Zoom’s webinar features are an add-on that you can purchase to go along with Zoom’s video conferencing feature. Zoom Webinar is not a separate being. Meaning, in order to use Zoom’s webinar tool, you also need to purchase a Zoom Pro account or better.
Zoom Webinar Features
If you do decide to upgrade to the Zoom webinar add-on, here’s what you can expect:
- More participants: Zoom’s Video Conferencing feature is capped at 500 participants, Zoom webinar can host up to 10,000 participants
- Integrations with CRM & marketing automation tools: Video conferences don’t have integrations with popular CRM and marketing automation tools. You can only get these when you get the webinar add-on.
- Automatic mute features: While you can mute with regular video conferencing, it’s not automatic. Hosting your webinar on a video conference can cause a lot of chaos unless participants know to mute themselves as soon as they get in the room.
- Panelist Green Room: If you have a lot of panelists, having a place to practice your presentation is key. When you upgrade to a Zoom Webinar plan, you unlock a green room that allows you to practice your webinar with all your panelist.
Zoom has a pretty decent freemium model for their video conferencing plans. The free plan gives you the ability to host up to 100 participants, host unlimited one-on-one meetings, and host group meetings up to 40 minutes.
But you will find that if you need more than that, the prices go up dramatically.
Zoom Business and Enterprise plans both require a minimum number of hosts which makes the cost of those plans skyrocket dramatically.
With any Zoom plan, you have to buy multiples of the same plan if you intend to have several employees with a Zoom account. This can add up fast.
On first glance, Zoom Webinar’s pricing seems reasonable for most high-end webinar platforms. A year of hosting unlimited webinars of up to 100 participants is $549. It’s not the cheapest webinar platform (WebinarJam at under $500/year is the cheapest I’ve seen. You can also try it for just $1), but certainly not the most expensive at that rate.
But that’s just the start.
The $549 price tag you see is just for the bare minimum of webinar attendees (100 participants). If you want more webinar attendees, things will increase rapidly from there because you can only purchase webinar participants in the following increments: 100, 500, 1000, 3000, 5000, and 10000 participants.
Everything seems to be an add-on or an extra with Zoom. It’s quite easy to rack up a massive yearly or monthly bill with Zoom if you want some of their more advanced features like Zoom Rooms, H.323/SIP room connectors, more cloud recording space, etc.
For most small businesses, you may not need these add-ons and extras, but for larger companies, this nickel-and-diming may cause Zoom to bleed your company.
Getting a Zoom webinar plan together is so customizable that it almost becomes too much to fathom. All the add-ons and extras make convoluted plans, and it would be nicer if Zoom created a few pre-selected plans to make the process of creating an account easier to manage.
- Unlimited meetings: Each Zoom plan allows you to host unlimited meetings. This is great because you don’t have to condense meetings or host only a few webinars per month for fear of going over a meeting limit.
- Scalable platform: Zoom has a ton of features and capabilities that can grow with you as your business grows. For example, Zoom Webinars can host up to 10,000 participants which is more than enough for what most people will need as they grow their business.
- Has a limited free plan: If you want to try out Zoom’s video conferencing capabilities to see how easy or hard it would be for you, you can test it all for free.
- Excellent webinar reporting features: There are many reports you can pull if you use Zoom for webinars which makes your life so much easier because you don’t have to pull reports by hand.
- Expensive: Everything seems to be an add-on or an extra with Zoom. At the basic level, if you don’t want any add-ons and extras, Zoom is reasonably priced. As soon as you start adding extras, though, Zoom’s price gets less reasonable by the addition.
- Too many plan options: Plan flexibility is great, but there is almost too much to look at when you try to customize your Zoom plan. Zoom seemingly has their hand in every pot which creates issues for the average consumer just seeking to get into the platform.
- Everyone needs Zoom: If you want to run a successful Zoom event, your webinar attendees will also need to download Zoom to access your meeting. This process is quick, but it can be a turnoff to some webinar and meeting attendees.
How to use Zoom Webinar
- Sign up for Zoom or the webinar platform of your choice.
- Write a script for your webinar. Download the Perfect Webinar Script — it’s free.
- Create a landing page for your webinar. We recommend choosing a landing page software for this purpose.
- Send traffic to your webinar registration landing page using emails, ads and social media.
- Re-use your webinar over and over again by recording it and turning it into an evergreen webinar. Demio enables you to do this!
Who Is Zoom For?
Zoom seems to have their hands in a lot of pots. It looks as if their business model is to create tons of product offerings, and they do it well, but it’s also way more expensive than most small business owners can handle.
Zoom is a great webinar software for large companies with a ton of resources. Overall, I don’t think that Zoom is meant for small teams even with their free and pro account options. Prices add up too quickly making it difficult for me to endorse this as a small business software.
Zoom Webinar Alternatives
Zoom has quite a lot of features for larger companies to utilize for their growth marketing efforts. For the small business owner, though, investing in Zoom may be a bit out of reach.
There are many other webinar services that we have reviewed here on Growth Marketing Pro that will allow small business owners to host webinars, get reports, and work with other panelists.
The great thing about Zoom, though, is that you can test out the software to see if it’s something that you would like to use without paying an arm and a leg. Plus, Zoom is a fantastic software for small businesses to use to host small one-on-one meetings with clients and co-workers, which is a plus even if you don’t intend to host your webinars there.
Now go on out there and make a webinar!!