09 Feb 2021

3 Essential Benefits of Using a Branded Video Background and 4 Best Practices

Ashli LoppNews  

3 Essential Benefits of Using a Branded Video Background and 4 Best Practices

One year ago, who could have predicted Zoom would play such a large part of our lives today. The number of Zoom users exploded from 10 million at the end of 2019 to more than 300 million just four months later! Today, it is the vehicle on which we socialize and work. It is our connection with the world. 

Since the early days of video conferencing in the 90s, technology has improved dramatically. There is one advancement that is becoming an essential tool in today’s remote working world. Virtual backgrounds give the opportunity to push your brand and so much more. 

Here are 3 essential benefits of using a branded virtual background. 

  1. Privacy

No one wants to broadcast to the internet piles of laundry or kids’ toys carpeting the floor. Let’s face it, living and working from home is hard, and we should forgive ourselves for not being completely on top of domestic life. Finding a presentable corner of your home can be quite hard. 

A professional virtual background can quickly paper over a multitude of sin in the back of your work space. This practicality alone is worth the sacrifice of setting up a zoom background. 

Everyone is familiar with the infamous visit of a pundit’s five year old daughter on CNN (if not, you need to read about the story here). I have a two year old and I know how impossible it is to corral such a creature. I also have two cats unfettered by boundaries and decorum; all of the small mammals in my home certainly have the potential to ruin a professional zoom meeting. 

The virtual background uses an AI to segment a person from the background, filtering out say feline gatecrashers. If our poor presenter on CNN had a virtual background, he could have saved his five year old the inconvenience of instant international fame. 

  1. Uniformity 

Imagine the crisp, professional tone you’ll set with customers if each of your employees use the same background, like the one Columbia University uses below. 

Even employees using such a background on internal meetings will keep staff focused and on a professional wavelength. As opposed to the cluster of chaos that comes from typical zoom meetings. 

When backgrounds are all over the place, with less than professional spaces in view, you may give more of a vibe of “university class” than “Hey we are a firm that deserves your money.”

  1. Brand Recognition

Here’s the big one: with a well designed branded background, you can present your brand to customers, and implicitly reinforce what you are trying to say through your logo throughout the meeting. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, and even an austere background can make a statement toward the nature of your firm through your logo, typeface, and background pattern. Is your firm serious? Laid back? Modern? Old-fashioned? A branded background can communicate all this and more. 

You can even add more information to backgrounds, information you want your customers to focus on: A motto, a list of services, contact information, recent promotions. You can produce new or modified backgrounds based on what management wants to push for that period of time. 

4 Best Practices with Virtual Backgrounds

All of the above benefits of using virtual backgrounds and only one significant cost: your (often times tech illiterate) staff will need to go through the process of setting the background up. Here’s a step by step of how it’s done on zoom. 

Once implemented, here are 4 best practices to get the most out of your branded virtual background. 

#1: Find some good lighting

For those of us who have a fairer complexion we know how awful we look on photos/video when harsh light is bouncing off our slightly greasy foreheads. Not all lighting is the same: some, (like your computer or smartphone screen) emit an unnatural blue light. 

We have evolved to perceive all of our light come from a yellow light source (the sun and fire). Assuming you are meeting during the day, try to get natural lighting in front of you. Nice and warm, yellow, indirect light from the sun is ideal. If you have a ton of light behind you, you will appear as a black hole, even with virtual background on. 

#2: Use the Right Resolution

Create your virtual background at a resolution of 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high; this is the screen ratio for Zoom meetings. For those of you uninitiated with Pixels, it’s a unit of measurement used in graphic design: The most important is the ratio between the numbers so you know it will fit on perfectly on screen. Beyond that, just know that the higher the pixels, the higher the resolution. 

If your pixels are too low, you will see granularity in your background. Not only is it ugly, but you may be presenting a background that’s unprofessional and more damaging than if you just didn’t use a background. 

#3: Don’t Fidget

The virtual background AI isn’t good at detecting excessive movement, and if you’re moving a lot you’ll get a “halo effect”, where the virtual background will reveal a bit of your background around your moving head. 

It is also not good at detecting depth, so if you have a limb on screen that’s farther forward or back you will look decapitated. 

Sitting still with your hands down with about half of your torso appearing on screen is ideal. 

#4: Use a Solid Background

Virtual background is best at detecting a single colour background, preferably green. We’ve all heard of a green screen, and the technology is the same here. If you can find the space to create such a background in your home, you’ll get a crisp look over your virtual background. 

This is important, if you wear any matching colour to your background, it will confuse the AI and part of your body may disappear, be warned!

Need Help?

If you don’t have a graphic design department, your IT consultants may be able to provide a professional branded virtual background template for your employees. Contact us today for a free quote on our services covering all your IT needs, including a beautifully designed virtual background. 

 

 

 

 

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