Marketers: Are you ready to join Clubhouse?

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An intro to marketers on Clubhouse.

Exclusivity has always been important in marketing.

We all want to be the first person on the block with a certain game or look.

Clubhouse, the social networking audio chat app, is taking advantage of the desire for exclusivity by making its app invite-only. This means that Clubhouse can’t just be downloaded from the app store. Each user must be invited by an existing user to join Clubhouse.

Though most apps look to generate as many users as possible at launch, Clubhouse is pulling a page from Gmail’s launch plan. The leading email client launched in 2004 as an invite-only offering and remained invite-only until 2007.

That said, the requirement for an invite is scheduled to end soon.

What is Clubhouse?

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Clubhouse is an app that enables listening to discussions, conversations and even chatting with a broad range of people on many topics. When joining, new users select topics of interest, such as books, tech, or health. The more info provided by the user, the better the recommendations.

While most social media platforms rely on algorithm-driven distribution of content, Clubhouse offers spontaneous virtual rooms hosting real-time conversations on a broad range of topics. The focus is on the quality of the dialogue vs. the production values of the content (think Instagram, TikTok, etc.).

Clubhouse launched in Mar 2020 and two months later, the app had only 1500 users.

But in February 2021, Clubhouse went mainstream after Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk hosted an audio chat on Clubhouse with Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev. The app currently has more than 10 million users.

According to Reuters, the marketing tactic of exclusivity is working so well that there is a market for membership on other platforms including Reddit, Craigslist, and eBay, as well as on Alibaba’s Idle Fish secondhand market in China.

How to use Clubhouse (in less than 150 words)

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When joining Clubhouse, new users should select topics of interest, follow users who interest them and set up their profiles. Then they should start exploring by entering rooms and joining clubs.

On Clubhouse, the main feed is the hallway. This is where users will find active and ongoing chat rooms. The hallway is where users can view additional information on followed Clubhouse clubs or scheduled rooms.

When scrolling down the hallway, users can view each room including its name, some of the people in the room, and the number of people and speakers.

The Clubhouse calendar will show users a list of upcoming rooms.

OK… but why is Clubhouse so hot?

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One reason is definitely the successful use of exclusivity. A second reason is that quite a few influential people have established a presence on Clubhouse, which encourages their followers to follow. And after 15 months of Zoom marathons, there is something refreshing about an audio-only app that you can listen to in your pajamas.

Recently, Clubhouse became available on Android, too.

How can marketers take advantage of Clubhouse?

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Marketers can’t set up a profile for their company – only people can set up profiles. But there are still plenty of ways for marketers to benefit from Clubhouse.

One way for marketers to take advantage of Clubhouse is to use the audio app as an opportunity to strategically engage with relevant people. This should start by engaging with people via a private conversation in a chat room. In that way, Clubhouse is like attending a global conference.

These strategic conversations should lay the groundwork for deeper relationships. One way is by sponsoring influencers who are relevant to your company’s products, users, or community. Another way is through sponsoring a room relevant to your product or users. Whether the marketer just benefits from the branding associated with their sponsorship or actually has an opportunity to tell their company or product story in the intimate setting of a Clubhouse room, the company will benefit from a well-executed sponsorship.

For example, Kat Cole, the CEO of American baked goods chain Cinnabon hosts a weekly chat room offering business advice and support, yet she’ll also engage with attendees and send company freebies to active and participating attendees.

Clubhouse is still a young audio app. Therefore, things on the app will change as it grows and matures. But as Clubhouse and its user base grows, so too will the marketing opportunities on this audio chat app.