The Zoom Boom is clearly underway. With millions of Americans sequestered at home, business communication tools like Zoom are not only saving the day for folks who are working from home, but they have become an essential way for anyone to gather with friends and family and still comply with social distancing guidelines. Group video chat is the new watercooler, living room, cocktail bar, gym, party venue, and basically the best way to engage and stay connected in a touch-free world.
While businesses have leveraged video conferencing for years, the recent shift to a stay at home society as we work together to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus has brought video chat deep into the mainstream. In the past week, I have used Zoom to workout at my local (now virtual) CrossFit gym, to attend a surprise birthday party, to share drinks at a happy hour, not to mention attend dozens of business meetings. All from the (forced) comfort of my home. I am sure many of you reading this have done the same.
Zoom is great, and there are many other great video conferencing platforms in wide use today. But they all share a common inconvenience – having to share a hard to remember unique link and/or seemingly random meeting ID number. How many scheduled meetings have you been late to because you were scrambling and stumbling to find the link or meeting ID? This is especially true when trying to join from a mobile device.
Well, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Here’s a little domain name hack we’ve been using for several years at .CLUB and other companies to simplify and brand our Zoom meetings:
Link a Custom Domain to your Zoom Account
When using Zoom, you have a main (or personal meeting ID), and you can generate a new unique ID for each meeting. Here’s the hack: First of all, unless you are expecting to host multiple meetings on your account at the same time, it is simpler to use your personal meeting ID for all your meetings. That way you don’t have to launch Zoom and create a meeting and new link every time you want to schedule a call. Since the link to all your meetings are now the same, you can very simply register a custom domain name, in many cases for less than $20 per year, and point that domain name to your Zoom URL. For example, we use a domain name like www.OurNameMeeting.club and have it redirect to our Zoom URL https://zoom.us/j/yourZoomMeetingID. You can substitute your name or company name in the URL and of course redirect it to your actual Zoom URL.
Now, whenever you invite someone to a meeting, or have a regularly scheduled meeting, you simply share the easy to remember URL. This is great for regularly scheduled meetings for now your attendees always know the way to join the call. Just go to the URL.
We use a .CLUB domain as our meetings are like gatherings of our community, so CLUB makes sense, but you can use any domain name and extension that makes sense for you or your business. Just pick something that is intuitive and easy to remember.
Redirecting your chosen domain name to your Zoom URL is very simple to do. For example, if your domain is registered at GoDaddy, under manage your domains, next to the domain you want to use for Zoom, click DNS or MANAGE and scroll down to the FORWARDING section. Next to DOMAIN click ADD, and then enter your ZOOM URL in the FORWARD TO space. Select PERMANENT (301) and click SAVE. It is that simple. In a matter of minutes your domain name will point to your Zoom URL. Now you can start or join a meeting by simply going to the Domain Name you used in any browser.
BONUS: If you have the Zoom app on your computer or mobile device when you enter your new Zoom Domain in the browser it will automatically prompt you and open the meeting using your Zoom app.
ANOTHER BONUS: In most cases your browser (desktop, laptop, and mobile) will remember the Domain you used, so just typing the first few letters in the browser address bar will call up the full domain name, and boom – one click or tap and your Zoom meeting is up and running!
So, what domain name will you register to brand your Zoom meetings? Make it a memorable one and launch your next virtual meeting with ease!