Clubhouse: How Content Marketing Was Intended

By May 10, 2021

What do MC Hammer and Malcolm Gladwell have in common? Unless Gladwell’s been hitting the karaoke bars recently to share his unique spin on “U Can’t Touch This,” there’s really just one thing: They’ve both hosted events on the Clubhouse app.

Great. Another social media app.

If you’re like most people, you fall into one of two categories. You’re either paralyzed by the choices available and can’t decide between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the rest of them. Or you’re established in one or more platforms and exhausted by the idea of another possible has-been (RIP Myspace, Vine, and Google Plus).

But Clubhouse is different. It might even be too legit to quit. (That’s definitely the last MC Hammer reference in here.)


What Is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an invite-only social media app. Initially, the rollout was only made available to celebrities and influencers. But as account restrictions have loosened, we’re finding out more about how it works and why content marketers should care. And seriously, marketers should care.

Getting into Clubhouse for the first time can be a bit jarring for those familiar with the ins and outs of social media. There’s no traditional feed of organic posts littered with paid ads. There’s no wall of text, images, and emojis.

In doing away with the typical social network fluff, Clubhouse breaks things down into “rooms.” Think of these as dropping in on a webinar or video conference call. Except there’s no video and there may only be a handful of unmuted participants. At any given time, people around the world are communicating in thousands of rooms covering different interests, industries, and ideas.

Attendees can join or exit a room any time they want, entering (or dropping in) as automatically muted listeners. If they’d like to speak or ask questions, they can tap the “Raise Hand” icon in the lower right corner of the room page. Room moderators will then be notified of the hand raise request and can ignore it or unmute the attendee.

Pretty organized. There’s a clear demarcation between the speakers and guests. Conversations happen all the time.

But none of that is really why content marketers should bother.


The disappearing act

There are no recording options on Clubhouse. No pause, no rewind, no fast-forward. For content marketers and brands, this built-in FOMO (fear of missing out) is pure gold. Clubhouse is an itch that needs constant scratching.

The major expectation that drives engagement on Clubhouse is that there’s always some exclusive and valuable information being shared. Somebody somewhere is unpacking Pandora’s box, and it would be silly to miss out.

Marketers need to take advantage of this demand without taking advantage of the humans behind the screens. There are some smart ways marketers can use Clubhouse now:

Be real. Like any good content, it’s better if you can take the audience under the hood with you. Show them the nuts and bolts of what you know. The wins and failures. Your industry knowledge and expertise should shine—but not at the expense of sounding a bit human.

Don’t overpromise. Attendance is great, but annoying your audience isn’t. Don’t promise Mars and Jupiter and give people Pluto. Pluto’s not even a planet anymore. Like any good content marketing asset, use Clubhouse events to promise some real value. And then go above and beyond.

Above all, don’t be afraid to get creative. Brands are starting to realize the power of Clubhouse as a post-event conversation forum. By inviting some users to Clubhouse rooms after an online event, brands can host exclusive live Clubhouse rooms to dive deeper or take questions from their audience. (It’s one way to get around the no-recording-ever limitation.)


Think like a marketer … but more human

It’s not just recording that’s barred from the platform. There are no ads on Clubhouse, either. That means no pre-roll ads. No mid-roll ads. No pop-ups bombarding users with messages from sponsors dressed up to look like they’re not messages from sponsors.

And a lot of it's by design. Pair exclusiveness with FOMO and sprinkle in a little headspace (the kind you get when you don’t have to fight through an ocean of ads to get to your content). It’s a recipe for the app’s rocketing success. More than 80% of its six million users joined since the end of 2020. And that number’s only growing.

For marketers, it’s important to see Clubhouse as a content distribution channel that functions differently than the other major players in social media. While other networks pride themselves on engagement, Clubhouse is all about the conversation. Are people joining rooms? Are events on the calendar? Are conversations growing virally?

Think of the Clubhouse app as your brand’s handshake moment. Imagine every interaction on the platform is the first impression you’re leaving with the audience.

  • Let your leaders shine. When your organization’s thought leaders have the chance to speak, allow them to go deep and wide with their expertise.
  • It’s about them, not you. If your product is the perfect solution for a problem, talk more about the problem instead of your product. The focus should always be on your audience and not on your brand.
  • Time is valuable. Just like meeting somebody in person for the first time, take every opportunity to acknowledge how powerful people’s time and attention are. They could be literally anywhere else, but they’re tuning in to hear what you have to say. Make it worth their while.


What you need to do next

The reality is that a sizable chunk of your audience is already on Clubhouse wading through the waters and learning what’s out there. Marketers should dive in with them to take advantage of opportunities for authentic conversations in places their audience is already looking. There are rooms for everything—from financial literacy to options trading. But 63% of businesses don’t have a clear content strategy, and that’s where your brand has an edge.

Use Clubhouse as an extension of your content marketing programs, giving your brand and content some digital legs. By aiming for authentic conversations and driving value, you can begin to build trust with your audience. Even if you’re not making the sale now, the trust and authority you forge can drive results down the road.

If you haven’t already considered adding Clubhouse to your social media arsenal, maybe you should. To start, think strategically about setting up your social media campaigns. With the right goals in mind, you can reach your audience right where they are. And that’s the point of content marketing, anyway.