Social audio platform Clubhouse has gained global traction in just a few months. In response, Facebook, Spotify and LinkedIn are also planning to launch Clubhouse-like audio room function, which implies that fierce competition is coming to the social audio market. Many articles have been analyzing the reasons behind Clubhouse’s record-breaking popularity, e.g., hunger marketing and celebrity branding, etc. In this article, we will discuss the 3 key challenges that Clubhouse is facing and the key elements in designing a successful social audio marketing strategy.
Challenge #1: Many social media apps are diving into the emerging social audio market
Twitter has recently launched voice chat functionality in Twitter Spaces, similar to Clubhouse’s live audio room, Twitter’s users can open an audio chat “Space” for other users to join. LinkedIn will provide multi-user chat room for professional exchanges between users. Spotify is also planning to launch live chat functionality, allowing artists to have live interaction with their audience, to promote new releases and even have a live performance.
These movements post a major threat to Clubhouse. Clubhouse is only available to iOS users (Android version is being developed now), but Facebook, Spotify and Twitter already have many active Android and iOS users. Also, celebrities and social media influencers have already accumulated a large fan base on Facebook or Twitter, they could easily move back when these social media apps can support audio room function, thus taking away the celebrity support for Clubhouse. Remember that it was Elon Musk’s talk show that boosted Clubhouse popularity at the beginning?
Challenge #2: Clubhouse’s “invite-only” model is a double-edged sword
Clubhouse is an invite-only app, every referrer has two invites only. This “hunger marketing” strategy has created a sense of secrecy and curiosity towards this new social platform, which motivates people to join. But there is also a downside to this model as it limits user growth. Celebrities and influencers may switch to Facebook and Twitter as they can reach out to a larger audience.
Challenge #3: Ephemeral content is another double-edged sword
Ephemeral content has a limited display time and will be automatically removed (just like IG Story). People can chat freely on Clubhouse, but calls/sessions are not saved. Although people tend to spend more time on Clubhouse as they don’t want miss out on a conversation, this ephemeral characteristic also makes it easier for users to miss meaningful conversations.
Clubhouse’s content creators cannot establish an audio archive as Youtubers can for their videos. The only way for them to grow audience is to invest more time in chat rooms. However, competitors like Spotify and Twitter are planning to add recording feature to live audio chat, allowing audience to go back to the creator’s content anytime. This no doubt will be welcomed by many creators and listeners.
These are some of the current challenges identified for Clubhouse. Clubhouse is also trying to maintain its competitive edge by retaining creators and users, through the introduction of new functionalities such as allowing users to provide funding for creators and developing Clubhouse Android version, etc.
3 key elements for successful social audio marketing
1. Intelligent content is key to effective content marketing
Clubhouse audio room’s title emphasis on intelligent content and speakers should be subject matter experts in in their own respective fields. When designing content marketing strategy for a brand, marketers can invite experts to create valuable content, which has a positive effect on their brand. Clubhouse contents are ephemeral and audience can only get into one room at a time, so it is critical to have a catchy room name, relevant speaker and a topic that strongly resonates with your audience.
2. Return on investment from Clubhouse audio room can be questionable
Clubhouse does not offer advertising options, making it difficult to reach out to a large group of audience. Promotion through a Clubhouse audio room can be less costly than video production or advertising on Facebook, although there is still a cost for KOL or expert. The traffic of Clubhouse’s audio room largely depends on factors like brand popularity, alternative marketing efforts (social media, email, etc.), the popularity of KOL. Also, as recording function is not available, the marketing content in Clubhouse cannot be re-used. Therefore, if you decide to run a promotion through a Clubhouse Room, you must get it right or your investment will be wasted.
3. Taking attendees in the room to other platforms for conversion
Capturing audience attention in a Clubhouse audio room is only the first step. After the room chat, we need to redirect attendees to your official website or social platform, converting them into customers. In Facebook, you can direct the audience to other online platforms by adding a Call-To-Action button in the feeds, but this is not available in Clubhouse. An alternative solution is to encourage the audience to find out more details from your social platform and website during the Clubhouse event. Also, though Clubhouse has no recording feature, you can turn the content from the discussion into blog, social media feeds and emails for further marketing efforts.
Major social media players are now developing social audio platforms and other functions besides live audio chat, like recording. At the same time, Clubhouse is optimizing and adding new functions to maintain its competitive edge. The future landscape and usage of audio social media are full of possibilities. We will continue to release new updates on audio social media. Connect with our WhatsApp account at the bottom-right corner to stay tuned.
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