Keeping up with the crowded social media app space can be a lot to deal with. However, there’s one new app you should definitely be keeping an eye on: Clubhouse. It is the invitation-only, audio-based app that’s sweeping the world. With its ability to hold targeted, themed discussions among a group of people, it’s a tool that marketers should be aware of as a potential new avenue for reaching consumers.
What Is Clubhouse?
The idea behind Clubhouse is right there in its name. Think of it as a giant virtual clubhouse, with different rooms filled with different people, at different times, and holding different conversations. You can pop in on these conversations and either listen (as you would to a podcast or a panel discussion) or join in (as you would at a real-life event). It’s become especially popular as a way for people with an already-large platform – think celebrities, media personalities, and so on – to “host” direct conversations with each other, fans, or both.
Other social media platforms measure “interaction” by one-sided actions, such as likes, views, or comments. Even “conversations” held in comments, for instance, are likely to have a lag time. Clubhouse is different: it’s all about the real-time conversations. Because of this, it’s a fresher way to look at marketing, but it will require an adjusted strategy.
Marketing With Clubhouse
For marketers, Clubhouse represents an opportunity to create more interactive branding, with more direct connections to consumers. By jumping into a space that encourages conversations and communication, brands can build a stronger connection with their customers, demonstrating expertise and building a relationship that can translate into brand loyalty. It’s easy to dismiss Clubhouse as just the latest in a long line of flash-in-the-pan trendy apps, but its focus on building discussion and networking should grab the attention of any marketing professional.
Marketers can use Clubhouse in several ways to bring awareness to their brands. For instance, a Clubhouse chat can be a way for a company to demonstrate their expertise in their field – think of a panel of accounting professionals discussing common tax season misconceptions. The key is making it organic, rather than an obvious sales pitch. Provide useful information that potential customers would want to have or unique access to intriguing perspectives. A company that works with literary PR, for instance, might do a series of author panels on interesting topics as well as more traditional Q&As, or a company specializing in print advertising might hold a discussion on changing trends and new technologies.
Building expertise is one way of building customer trust. However, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Customers like to feel like they “know” brands. Forming that emotional connection is crucial to getting those repeat customers and personal referrals. Consider Clubhouse to be a way to build out that “casual” part of your brand, where a brand can act as expert or host for conversations about related topics. When your brand is seen as accessible and knowledgeable, it builds loyalty and, in turn, increases the likelihood that they’ll recommend you to their friends. This is ideal, since the most-trusted source of information for many people remains word-of-mouth recommendations from trusted people in their lives.
Building a Marketing Strategy
Given Clubhouse’s reputation for exclusivity, it’s more important than ever to put the focus on the quality, not just quantity, of content. Take some time to build a strategy and ask the right questions before jumping in:
- What do our customers want?
- Why do our customers choose our company over the competition?
- What knowledge do we have to offer?
- How can we present that knowledge in engaging ways?
- What tone do we want to strike?
- What is our goal for each piece of content (i.e., a specific number of new referrals or clients, an increase in web traffic, a specific number of new orders, etc.)?
Marketers may want to consider utilizing Clubhouse both as a host and as an “audience member.” Brands can sponsor rooms and use them as a space to share the company’s story, take questions, or give talks on related topics. Be sure to choose topics that likely customers would find useful and interesting It is also important to check that the brand’s representatives are comfortable engaging with fast-paced live content. Livestreaming – even when it’s audio-only – is a totally different skill than “regular” social content. Therefore, choosing the right voices to represent your brand is crucial to creating a warm, welcoming, engaging, and high-value “room” on Clubhouse.
Still, it’s important to not just drop in full steam ahead. It is crucial to spend some time in relevant rooms related to your industry to build connections. Try to avoid massive rooms, instead focusing on mid-size and smaller rooms that, by their very nature, allow for building better connections.
Like other social media platforms, Clubhouse may very well introduce a more formal advertising option in the future. Keep an eye on updates regarding that topic, and, in the meantime, consider building a strategy for organic engagement through Clubhouse’s unique system.