Digital content managers and Clubhouse - should you join?
Clubhouse hit the European news in February 2021 as one of the hottest apps in App Store. Digital content managers and web marketers are used to constantly having to deal with the new martech, apps and other web and analytics technologies they have to quickly identify and adopt, in order to keep up with the industry and optimise the work of their digital teams.
The famous innovator’s dilemma is, however, to be able to find the time and resources to explore the new technologies and at the same time to successfully exploit and build on the business as usual operations. In order to save digital content and marketing managers some time, I decided to investigate Clubhouse and give an overview of the new platform in this blog.
What is the Clubhouse App?
Clubhouse is an invitation-only audio-chat iPhone app launched in April 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth of Alpha Exploration Co. that offers room for discussions between two or more speakers. In May 2020, the social networking app was valued at nearly $100 million. On January 21, 2021, the valuation reached $1 billion. This is also when the exclusive invite-only app hit the European enthusiasts.
Clubhouse launched on iOS in April 2020. The app gained popularity in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic—especially after a May 2020 $12 million Series A investment ($10 million in primary capital and a $2 million purchase of existing shares) from venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. As of December 2020, the app had 600,000 registered users and remained accessible only by invitation. Clubhouse today is an iOS only app, although in January 2021, the company announced that it would begin working on an Android application "soon".
How does it look inside?
I was fortunate enough to get the invite from a friend, so let me guide you through some of the key elements of the app’s interface.
You start your Clubhouse experience by creating a profile, like on any other social media. The key difference now is that the main component of your user profile is your interest's profile. Those you carefully map out by selecting some of the suggested tags right after you activate your invite. Your selected interests will help Clubhouse algorithms to define which rooms are more relevant to pop up on your feed, that you might be interested to take part in.
Once your profile is set up, you will see the feed full of discussion rooms on different topics, matching your selected interests. These rooms are open for anyone to join and listen to the conversation or join as a speaker and share your experiences instead.
Finally, once registered you also have the possibility to create your own room, which can be open to all, closed or private.
Benefits for digital content and marketing managers
I have now been using the app for about 3 weeks. As a passionate marketer myself, in addition to enjoying the conversations, I was constantly on the lookout to get a better understanding of how I could use the app in our B2B marketing plan. The questions I had were:
- Is it potentially an effective marketing channel to share about our brand or engage wiht other B2B professionals (or prospects)?
- Is this a tool that will maybe help us share thought leadership in digital?
- Is Clubhouse another social medium that could help us amplify our website content, such as blog posts, insight reports, information about the upcoming webinars and so on?
My conclusion is that at the moment Clubhouse will not be worth investing my time in as a B2B marketer. There are some reasons for it:
- Firstly, the age of Clubhouse attendees is 20-30 years old (https://www.zippia.com/clubhouse-attendant-jobs/demographics/ ), while the average age of the B2B decision makers in Ireland starts at 35. This affects the targeting, making it impossible to reach our target audience through the app.
- Secondly, the app only covers iOS users as of now.
- Thirdly, the psychological aspect of Clubhouse attendees. Having joined both professional and personal themed discussions, it seemed to me that people were joining these conversations to get away from work and business. Even the more professional rooms ended up with people sharing personal life stories and such. It made me think that maybe sharing more business-related insights, from your latest research for instance, would not be of interest, as people see Clubhouse as a fun thing to do on their free time, and rather as a pleasant escape from their work life, not a continuation of one.
- Reason 4, Clubhouse does not provide a simple way to find geography-based interest’s rooms. The “Explore” section of the app allows you to search for people to follow and conversations to join, but both are based on your interests and not the geo-location. Most of the rooms I have been joining were global, which was great fun for me personally, but not fun for me as a marketer with quite a narrow target audience in mind.
Additional value add
There are, however, some additional benefits to joining Clubhouse. I have searched and found several interesting digital marketing conversations and followed a couple of industry influencers. I would usually join to listen to some expert panel, talking about the importance of a website (or similar) early in the morning, during the workout or while cooking after work. It feels like listening to a podcast, but from the actual people, your colleagues, working in digital all over the world. It is live and not scripted, which makes it genuine and engaging. I have learned a good few things from it that I have already applied to our marketing strategy at Arekibo.
I have collected my favourite digital content management themed that you could also join here:
Should you accept the invite?
In conclusion to all the above, I would not recommend spending much time looking into Clubhouse if you are a B2B digital marketing professional or digital content manager, simply because it won’t help you amplify your content nor reach the desire target audience. I would only invite you to join Clubhouse if you are an early adopter and like myself can’t stay away from marketing innovations.
For the digital teams representing B2C brands, especially with global representation, Clubhouse would definitely be an interesting marketing channel to engage with their younger audience, get honest customer feedback and opinions on various topics, and even promote your brand through unique invite-only events. As the app is today, you can’t place ads there, but you could for example (just an idea) create your own room where an expert from your company or industry would share their best “How to” with your most loyal customers.
Oh, yes, the invite. You can contact me on LinkedIn, if you would like to join Clubhouse, I have 8 free invites to share.
Arekibo are always eager to learn and share our take on the changes and best practices in digital. Our excellent team of digital strategists, designers, developers, analysts, marketers, content and project managers, hosting and support experts will be happy to work with your business on creating your bespoke digital platform, get in touch today.