Power of Zoom - How Companies Can Best Utilize This Powerhouse Tool


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How Your Company Can Best Utilize This Powerhouse Tool

COVID-19 has turned our professional lives upside down, and we’ve seen a rise in virtual substitutions for in-person meetings. From schools to multi-billion-dollar tech companies, it seems everyone is relying on Zoom. The Skype-like video platform now offers lots of features and tools to help professionals.

In addition to its functional properties, Zoom can also be a powerful marketing tool for your company. There are many ways you can use the platform to increase sales, create a social media presence, and advertise your company name. In this blog, Hollywood Branded will go into 5 specific ways you can use Zoom to benefit your company online and in-house.

Zoom, Marketing, product placement, brand integration, brand sponsorship, podcast

1: Fund a Celebrity Call

In any industry, there are many celebrity-like figures who have made it big and want to share their success stories. Hiring one of them to speak at a virtual event for your company could be beneficial in two ways: it could boost morale and productivity in your employees, and it could increase awareness of your business and get you new customers.

If you’ve never held an event before, virtual or in-person, you don’t have to take this approach. You could also fund an independent celebrity call or event that is pertinent to your line of work. There haven’t been many advertised instances of this Zoom strategy, but there have been some viral videos circulating of celebrities speaking on Zoom calls for Universities.

John Mulaney, UGA, Zoom, Marketing, product placement, brand integration, brand sponsorship, podcast

The University of Georgia is one of the many schools this semester that has chosen to pay a celebrity to speak with their students and boost morale. John Mulaney was booked by UGA recently to speak with students.

According to UGA’s event site, the call was more for purposes of entertainment than anything, but it did provide some leadership benefits as the moderators asked pre-written questions from the University’s union. Despite the questions being pre-written, most of them were about Mulaney’s dog, Petunia, thus making her the star of the show.

This was extremely beneficial for UGA in that it engaged students who were learning virtually from home and went viral on social media which caused many people to visit the University’s social media sites. Although this example is not of a company, it is the same approach that you could use to benefit your company.

Watch the Video

2. Sponsor an Established Podcast or Internet Show

There are many shows that are still filming remotely and using Zoom to connect guests with hosts. These shows often have sponsors, or they feature products and brands on their show as part of product placement deals. Popular podcasts will often take the time to thank the sponsors for funding the show.

This is different from product placement in the sense that you are paying to help the show happen. Sometimes the host or hosts will also give a shoutout to your company and read a short description of your product or service for their viewers to hear.

You will need to consider if the show or podcast you are considering has a fan base that aligns with your brand. It will be a waste of time and money if you fund a show, and none of their viewers are interested in your company.

In the world of podcasts, many creators are still continuing on with their regular shows, just via Zoom. Comedians Cody Ko and Noel Miller have continued their TMG podcast via Zoom since the start of the pandemic. Below, you can see how the creators were able to thank the episode’s sponsor by reading out a blurb about the company and displaying a link and discount code for fans to take advantage of.

Zoom, Marketing, product placement, brand integration, brand sponsorship, podcast, TMG, Cody Ko, Noel Miller

Rooster teeth, another popular podcast, has also been continuing their show via zoom. Even before the pandemic, Rooster Teeth was a podcast that would read off three to four sponsors for each hour and 30-minute episode. They have been able to continue their sponsor ad reads and offer discount codes to their viewers virtually by also offering a link and code on-screen.Zoom, Marketing, product placement, brand integration, brand sponsorship, podcast, Rooster Teeth, Achievement Hunter

These are just two examples of podcasts that are continuing to include brand sponsorships in their shows. There are endless podcasts with topics from home improvement, to women's health, to pop culture, that would be open to working with your brand. 

While viewership of podcasts is increasing, their audiences can still be more niche compared to live commercialized shows. If you don’t feel your brand aligns with a podcast’s audience, consider sending your product or paying for a placement spot on a more well-established TV show.

3. Product Placement On Shows And Zoom Shoots

Creators have had to get more creative, ironically, with the growing challenges of filming during a global pandemic. For this reason, we are seeing an increase in Zoom shoots for films and remakes. Two recent productions gained a lot of media attention recently.

The first (seen below, left) was a sequel of the beloved 90’s rom-com, Father of the Bride. The entire original cast got together to make Father Of The Bride Part 3-ish. The plot existed in a semi-real version of present day, where the Banks and the MacKenzies were having a family Zoom call because they couldn’t socialize during the pandemic.Zoom, Marketing, product placement, brand integration, brand sponsorship, podcast, Father Of The Bride Part 3ish, Fast Times At Ridgemont High Table Read

The second viral production that was filmed completely on Zoom was a table read of the popular 80’s comedy, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (seen above, right). A star-studded cast got together for a script reading of Fast Times At Ridgemont High to raise money for CORE, a community organized relief fund that was directing its proceeds to COVID-19 relief.

The cast included; Jennifer Aniston, Dane Cook, Henry Golding, Jimmy Kimmel, Shia LeBeouf, John Legend, Ray Liotta, Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and original cast member, Sean Penn. The entire film was narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman.

Just as with any traditional production, these two productions had space and endless opportunities for brands to insert product. Some shows have been able to continue traditional forms of product placement integration by having guests interact with the product over Zoom. An example of this can be seen on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Back in late May, the scotch brand Johnnie Walker Black Label was featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live as part of a #TipsFromHome episode which featured bartenders who were unable to work during the pandemic. 

Zoom, Marketing, product placement, brand integration, brand sponsorship, podcast, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Bartender, Johnnie Walker

Kimmel invited them to create mixed drinks with ingredients that could be found around the house. As a result, Bartender Maria Nabi created a banana bread cocktail called The Monkey Business, using Johnnie Walker Black Label as the main ingredient.

4. Host Product and/or Service Feedback Calls

Now you have a few ideas on how to continue to advertise your product or service via Zoom, but how can you use the platform to improve your brand? The answer is, host a Zoom call in which you invite customers to review and make recommendations to your company.

This is a relatively new idea, considering company feedback is usually obtained in other ways. However, it is a chance to get to meet your customers face-to-face and hear about how your product or service is received in the consumer market, a unique opportunity your company may not have considered if not for the pandemic.

Hollywood Branded has recently began to try this method out with some of our clients and brands. Recently, we hosted several calls with brands, influencers, and interns to hear their feedback and suggestions for an app we are working on. We found the calls were extremely beneficial and even helped our team brainstorm some new ideas.

Zoom, Marketing, product placement, brand integration, brand sponsorship, podcast, Hollywood Branded, Wardrobe In Motion

You can then advertise the call on all of your social media platforms, inviting past and current customers to sign up and offer feedback. This can create advertising material for your company while also providing valuable feedback to your business. You can use the audio, and the video if you’d like, as advertising material when someone says something positive about your company or product.

product placement guide

5. Promote Company Culture on Social Media

One of the last ways you can use Zoom to benefit your company is to create personal material for your social media. Young consumers are choosing to work for companies and brands with a positive company culture and buying product from companies with a strong social media presence.

This means it is extremely important for your company to start branding your social media. By doing this, you can increase your sales and your chances of hiring better, more dedicated employees.

Zoom, Marketing, product placement, brand integration, brand sponsorship, podcast, Hollywood Branded

I know firsthand how beneficial this strategy can be. Hollywood Branded already had a very tight-knit and positive company culture and posting about it only increased our bonding.

We post funny moments from our company zoom calls, and some of our best singing moments from our morning guessing game called ‘Sing For Thanks,’ which boosts morale and gets us ready for the day.

How To Get Started:

If you don’t already use Zoom, you can easily transfer over by registering your company online. If you’d like to have group meetings, if you have more than 100 people on your team, or if you’d like to take advantage of Zoom’s cloud recording storage, you can sign up for one of the other paid plans which range from $149-$199 per year, and Zoom is always offering periodic discounts for new companies. 

Once you’ve signed up for a plan, you should make sure to record all of your sessions. This is important because you can’t predict when something might be said that you want to use to promote your company.

If you are running out of Zoom cloud storage, download all of the important recording that you want to keep, store them on an external hard drive, and clear your recording history, or just increase your payment plan if money is not an problem.

In conclusion, this multi-faceted video call platform is offering companies more than meets the eye. You can use it to get feedback, boost in-house morale, increase awareness and interest in your company, and help your presence on social media.

Even if you don’t sell a physical product, the producers of a show or podcast can still find a way to feature other products or services. If you seek feedback more than anything, you can host your own Zoom calls, promoted on your social media, to hear from your customers face-to-face.

And, lastly, you can use Zoom to document some of your team’s best moments to share on social media and advertise your company culture to potential customers or future employees.

Learn More About Product Placement and Brand Integration

Product placement is an extremely beneficial form of brand marketing, as is brand integration into TV, Film, and podcasts. To learn more about this marketing strategy, check out some of our other blogs!

Eager to learn more about product placement and how it can benefit your brand? Download our free infographic that will explain the ins and outs of product placement. 

Click to download our product placement 101 infographic