A conference call with no PowerPoints or video of any kind. Or a podcast with a live audience. Those are the parallels that come to mind when we try to understand one of the hottest new social media apps of 2021, Clubhouse. But it’s more than that. Clubhouse is a digital marketing domain in and of itself. And you’ll need to be on it to realize this.
The drop-in audio chat platform, Clubhouse has been making waves in the social media and digital marketing world. The app launched in March 2020, right around the time COVID became a global worry. It flew under the radar for a while before Elon Musk, and a number of other celebrities took to the platform in February 2021 and later. Currently, Clubhouse has more than 2 million users, a significant number for an invite-only platform.
Clubhouse allows you to listen to audio chats between experts, or almost anyone for that matter. You can also participate by asking or answering questions of those that are hosting their room. Clubhouse facilitates a no-frills, content-led experience with no other distractions. This is perhaps what makes the app such an attractive destination for marketers.
The “clubs” on Clubhouse each feature 5-20 speakers and up to 5,000 listeners for very popular rooms. The listeners can also be given opportunities to interact through questions or comments. The modus operandi of the clubs depend on the moderator and the speakers. You could do interviews, open conversations, panels, fire-side chats, and more. One thing that Clubhouse enables is engagement. The rooms see a huge amount of engagement and enable one-on-one conversation with the experts.
But like all marketers worth their salt, this isn’t what you’re interested in: what’s it in for me? is what you’re likely thinking about.
With Clubhouse, you have the opportunity to engage the audience with great content and enable one-on-one interactions. What else is great about the app from a marketing perspective? It’s early days for Clubhouse, yes, but how can you build out a conversion-driven marketing strategy to succeed on it? In this blog, we have put together a few ideas. If you are a marketer, and you’re looking at Clubhouse as a marketing channel, this is a great place to get started.
Having a set of followers is very important. Building a base of followers is the first step when you venture into Clubhouse. Your followers are the people who are going to join the talk rooms you create. Without a wide follower base, you’ll have limited reach.
But to get followers, you’ll need to be a follower! Seek out clubs and discussions in your domain of expertise. Attend these discussions and also make sure you are following other members of these clubs.
Since the App is in the beta stage and has just 2 million users, you would see that most clubs have fewer than 100 members, depending on the community. Most of the rooms also have 20 or fewer listeners too. The idea is to not focus on the numbers, but on the content and the quality of the interaction.
Being heard is important. There are very few ways in which you can attract attention apart from constructive participation in discussions:
- When you enter a discussion, listen to the conversation for a while to gauge the temperature of the room.
- Read the room and understand how the discussion is proceeding and chime in with your question or comment, ensuring that it adds value to the discussion.
- Raise your hand and more often than not, you will be given a chance to speak.
Asking the right questions is often the key in these talks. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You are getting the opportunity to converse one-on-one with an industry expert. This is a great way to learn new things which can help you do your job better.
Once you consistently add value in smaller rooms and gain followers, you may get invited to speak in larger rooms and discussions, which in turn will help you gain more followers. Use the opportunities you get to answer real problems and offer solutions, and not just to promote yourself. Remember that the focus is on content and not the person.
Offer Tangible Value
Clubhouse is a platform with concepts and ideas at the center of the discussions. So when you get a chance to speak, establishing yourself as an expert is the most important thing. Like anywhere else, you do this by offering real value, answering questions, and offering solutions.
If you are creating a room, remember to leave enough time for discussion. Open the floor for questions and answer these questions earnestly. The listeners are giving you time because they think the discussion can give them some solutions or insight.
Engaging with the listeners who ask questions is important. Follow them on Clubhouse, invite them to your other discussions, and bring them into your sales funnel through channels such as LinkedIn. This is one of the ways in which you can use Clubhouse to generate leads for your business.
Set Clear Expectations
Clubhouse is evolving. Currently, it has nothing in terms of marketing tools or support. The best way to view Clubhouse is to use it to build your personal brand and also subtly promote content to drive organic traffic. Clubhouse is also an excellent way to network with peers and your target audience. To reiterate what we discussed above, solving problems and presenting your ideas is the way to grab the attention of your audience.
As an invite-only platform targeted towards B2B audiences, it has advantages that might not be readily apparent: in terms of demographics, for instance, Clubhouse has a far higher density of decision-makers than other social platforms.
When we talk about conversions on Clubhouse, then, we are talking about building a relationship with your prospect or a partner so that you can enable a conversation with them on other platforms as well. Approach Clubhouse in the same way that you’d approach a community leadership role. Rather than being sales-oriented, be conceptual. Concept-selling is the real advantage with Clubhouse. Followers/listeners who are convinced by your solutions will reach out to you organically in case they have problems that need expert help.
When you are engaging with the users, it would also help to clarify what to expect and what not to expect from you and from the discussions you lead. Clarifying this up-front will also help your audience understand the context better and engage with you more effectively.
Clubhouse has real potential when it comes to content-led conversations. The app offers a no-frills experience for its users and this is perhaps key in the popularity it has gained and for the engagement that it offers.
For marketers and experts, Clubhouse is a great channel. See it as an engagement platform where you can network with a high-quality audience that might not be within reach on other platforms. Focus on content, conversations, and solutions when you speak or moderate.
Clubhouse is also working on new features that would help content creators monetize their efforts through subscriptions, ticketing, and more. This would be the next step in its growth. Hopefully, we will also see tools that would be of help to marketers.
This app is a fresh, new take on social media. As is the case with many other platforms, a lot depends on how it evolves and grows. Currently, Clubhouse is only on Apple’s App Store and follows an invite-only model for onboarding. As it becomes increasingly popular, we expect things to open up considerably. It remains to be seen how Clubhouse will handle growth and scaling, but the potential is immense. If you’re on the platform, now’s the time to start thinking about how to leverage Clubhouse from a marketing perspective.
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.