Since its release in April 2020, Clubhouse has been steadily growing. Having secured around 10 million users in less than a year, the app’s rapid growth has attracted a ton of new users and businesses alike.
Social Audio was unheard of before Clubhouse, pun intended. That is partly what made the app so appealing; it offered something no other app did. Add to that the fact that Clubhouse operated on an invite-only basis in its initial days, and we can understand why millions of users were excited to be on the app.
This begs the question, is Clubhouse a promising platform for businesses looking for emerging marketing opportunities? If yes, then what’s the best way to position yourself as a brand on the platform?
In this post, we discuss what sets Clubhouse apart from other marketing platforms as well as a few tips to maximize your ROI while marketing on Clubhouse. But first, let’s understand what Clubhouse is.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse, for the uninitiated, pioneered a rather new and fruitful genre of social media apps: audio-social apps. Just as Instagram is built around images, Clubhouse is built around live audio.
Users can join or create ‘rooms’ that offer an experience somewhere between listening to a podcast and joining an audio-only zoom meeting. On joining a room, users can either listen to the speakers in the room or raise their (virtual) hands to be made speakers themselves.
Most rooms are moderated by their hosts, and one can play around with the settings to come up with the desired setup that works best for them. The format is fairly straightforward but interesting.
For a detailed breakdown of how Clubhouse works, check out HubSpot’s guide to Clubhouse.
Though Clubhouse popularised a new genre within social media, the real hook with the app has always been authenticity.
Live audio feels a lot more ‘real.’ It feels like you’re a part of something dynamic and living as the conversations unfold in real time. It fosters a sense of connection because users on Clubhouse aren’t texts and images on an endless feed; instead, they come across as real people with voices, opinions, and emotions.
This is relevant to you as a business because users are increasingly turning towards platforms that value their safety and privacy and offer a sense of authenticity and connection. In many ways, Clubhouse fits the bill perfectly here, which to some extent explains its rapid growth and popularity. Businesses can leverage an emerging platform like Clubhouse to unlock new ways of connecting with their audience and building trust on a personal level with their customers.
Clubhouse sessions are as close as we can get to real conversations, and for businesses, these are conversations they could be having with their customers and interest groups. It gives businesses a better way to know their audience directly.
But more importantly, Clubhouse allows customers to see that brands are ultimately run by people. It humanizes your digital presence, giving a face and (quite literally) a voice to your business.
And this is where Clubhouse shines. It is a great way to build a community and trust around your brand. In a world where most companies invest in saturated and competitive marketing channels (that most customers have started distancing themselves from), an app like Clubhouse can be your way of building a genuine connection with your customers.
That’s what app developers and businesses are on the lookout for, platforms that can leverage technology to connect people in ways that weren’t possible before, and Clubhouse can do just that.
That said, let’s uncover how businesses can leverage Clubhouses’ marketing potential.
Tips for marketing your brand on Clubhouse
Let’s start with the basics.
Start a room!
It can be overwhelming to start with a new platform, especially if it’s one that you have never worked with before. But every journey begins with the first step, and with Clubhouse, that can be as simple as starting a new ‘room.’
There is a lot of control available regarding who gets to be a part of your clubhouse room. The room can be private, public, or limited to your social circle. However, as a brand wanting to reach a wider audience, you’ll almost always want your conversations to be open for ‘Anyone on Clubhouse.’ If you join as the host, you’ll be in control of the conversation and who gets to speak.
Pick a topic relevant to your niche and let the conversation unfold!
A few more customization settings:
Apart from picking the right settings, choosing a standard format for your conversation can help as well. Pick a format (Debate, Q&A, or just a friendly discussion) and stay consistent with it until you start seeing a following. That doesn’t mean you can’t mix and match things once in a while; just ensure that your audience is clear on what to expect from you. As long as the conversation is fruitful and engaging, users will come.
Collaborate with influencers
Currently, the most popular (and perhaps the easiest) way to get traction from Clubhouse is to get in touch with Clubhouse Influencers.
Clubhouse has a dedicated influencer program to help a select few individuals succeed on the platform. That tells us that they are serious about building an influencer-based culture which is a good sign for companies relying on influencer marketing.
As of now, brands can pay influencers to participate in their rooms or host discussion rooms around topics related to the brand or the general industry in question.
But the truth is, influencer marketing on Clubhouse doesn’t necessarily need to be limited to brand deals. As mentioned above, Clubhouse is an organic platform with a lot of growth potential. Even major Clubhouse influencers are still looking for growth opportunities, which means brands can secure mutually beneficial collaborations. Provided your brand is recognizable enough or you’ve got great value to add to the conversation.
To quote an example, I’ll mention Neal Steaphonson’s (you may know him as the guy who invented the term ‘Metaverse’) appearance on Science Fiction Talks, Clubhouses’ oldest and largest community of Science Fiction Lovers. This was a great conversation, but the point here is that the collaboration was a win-win for both parties.
Stephenson got to speak at length about his upcoming novel, and the Club got to host a great writer for their audience. That’s marketing done right!
Join popular and growing clubs
The next tip is about joining popular clubs on Clubhouse.
If you are just starting out on the app, it will be tricky figuring out what type of content works and what doesn’t.
Growing a sizable audience might take a while as well.
You can always join popular clubs and rooms within your niche to get around this. Not only are these populated with users deeply interested in your niche, but they’ll also give you an idea about what your target audience is talking about.
Being a regular contributor within such groups can really put you and your brand under the spotlight within your community.
Collaborate with other businesses
Competition isn’t always bad, is it? Joining teams with other businesses within your niche can be a great way to freshen up your content, share audiences, and discuss previously unexplored ideas.
Invite guests over, ask them about their work and share what you’ve been doing. Clubhouse is an amazing space for networking, so make sure you connect with as many people as you can, making full use of the opportunity.
Don’t think about marketing on Clubhouse (or any other platform for that matter!) as a zero-sum game. The more people we know, support, and interact with, the better it is for all of us.
Optimize your bio
On Clubhouse, there aren’t any images, posts, or videos that brands can use to reach out to their audiences. Some conversations may not even have replays, and thus, the only way your audience can know more about you is via your Clubhouse Bio.
Clubhouse bios can be linked to your Twitter and Instagram handles for interested users who wish to know more about you.
The trick is to write a clear, concise, and interesting bio that intrigues and informs.
Building and running brand accounts is also a possibility. Although some brands like Hubspot have experimented with brand accounts on Clubhouse, there isn’t a clear path set in stone down this route.
I personally like what Hubspot is doing with Clubhouse. Their bio is clear and precise, and their clubs target exactly the type of audience they are hoping to capture.
In my opinion however, it’s better to be a person than a brand on Clubhouse, even for businesses. Although some businesses may not be comfortable with a select few faces representing them, and that’s okay; you can always opt for a business profile if that’s the case.
The only Clubhouse marketing strategy you’ll ever need
I’m sure you must be on your toes by now, excited to talk about your business at length on Clubhouse. But bear in mind, everything I’ve said so far about marketing on Clubhouse is just generic advice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still essential; but just hopping into rooms and talking about yourself, I’m sure you can tell, is not going to cut it.
What you need to do instead is elevate your conversations to be more than just about you. The secret ingredient to clubhouse success, or success on social media for that matter, is adding value to your audience.
As a brand, you almost always know something that your users could benefit from. Sharing your knowledge and expertise or even just promoting inspiring conversations around topics of your interest can go a long way as opposed to simply promoting your company.
Consider the example of Barista Ella. Ella is a robot barista developed by a Singaporean startup named Crown Digital. Ella comes with a tiny retail footprint and can serve upto 200 cups of gourmet coffee an hour, entirely cash and contactless. The reason why that’s relevant here is that the story of Ella makes a good example of how founders can promote their business on Clubhouse.
I stumbled upon a clubhouse room featuring Keith Tan, founder and CEO of Crown Digital, a while back.
Keith described at length what their company had been up to and even explored tangents around how their brand secured funding and expanded to be an international startup. The fun part was that the room wasn’t a promotional event from Crown Digital, but rather Keith was invited to share his experience and advice around building a robotics company.
I hope you can see how this is a win-win; the CEO gets to talk about their company at length while other entrepreneurs, market experts, and regular clubhousers like me get to know about the industry and the innovations various companies are bringing in.
This is what you need to master as a business on Clubhouse; you need to talk about yourself but in a way that adds value and meaning to your listeners.
Is Clubhouse right for your business?
Is Clubhouse meant for everyone? Certainly not. Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
If you are an emerging company that seeks to carve out a new space for itself, then Clubhouse marketing can be a great option for you. Provided you do it in your spare time without investing too heavily into it. Clubhouse is still a young platform, so you don’t want to invest in it more than what you can get.
Clubhouse as an opportunity is important for marketers because it represents an upcoming shift in the marketing world that will draw consumers towards transparent and conversational brands. Any brand that understands this and acts accordingly will surely reap the benefits of this change.
So, all things considered, give Clubhouse a try. But do it in a way that adds value to your listeners. Focus on building a community around your brand and position yourself as a transparent and authentic brand. Live audio marketing on Clubhouse can be challenging at first, but it certainly has the potential to pay off in the long run.
Guest Author Bio: Darren is a writer passionate about Technology, Business, and the evolving relationship between the two. He often tries to bring intriguing perspectives to otherwise familiar ideas, striving to help his audience reimagine the ever-changing tech landscape. He works as a blogger and content marketeer at GoodFirms—a leading review and rating platform built to help brands pick the right service providers for them.