Social Audio is on the rise and looking to take over the market share and buzz that Clubhouse has created. This article will help you understand your marketing efforts and how to use them for your business in the podcast and live audio/Clubhouse space.
Welcome to part three of how the Clubhouse app can raise your brand awareness series.
- Clubhouse is an audio-only social media app.
- Think live, on-demand podcast with multiple rooms.
- Mirrors more of a live conference or exclusive-curated dinner party and furthest from a Zoom conference call.
The goal of this series is to keep asking the question “Is Clubhouse really something that your small-to-medium-sized business should look to use?”.
In this article, we’ll start with defining social audio, then move to where Clubhouse is now and what to expect moving forward with future articles.
Social audio – the new kid on the block?
Even though Gen-Z loves the 90s, these aren’t the fun singing and dancing New Kids On The Block. These are big platforms that are taking no prisoners.
Clubhouse has so many new competitors there’s a new buzzword that is attempting to encompass it all – SOCIAL AUDIO.
What is social audio?
Social audio is similar to social media (videos, photos, gifs, text etc.) but focuses mainly on the audio side of things with very little of the other stuff that social media does.
Jeremiah Owyang, a tech industry analyst describes social audio the ‘Goldilocks’ medium of the 2020s, since it “represents the opportunity for social connection and empathy without the downsides of video”.
A bit of a history lesson. Podcasts are the gold standard of the audio content medium in today’s world. The problem with podcasts is that they are a one-way channel. It’s like the internet in the 90s.
Podcasts came out before social media (2003-ish). The medium’s DNA hasn’t changed much so it’s like a cave person adapting to our modern life. It’s archaic, clunky and awkward at times. Having two-way communication with audio has been a goal of many podcasts and brands since social media became the priority for marketing and reaching customers/clients/followers.
What is social audio compared to Clubhouse? Well as stated before, it’s audio only, but it’s not live. Clubhouse (at the time of writing) is mostly live. It’s the Snapchat of audio. It’s not on-demand and goes away (ie: if you don’t live in a timezone when something is going live, you can’t consume it. This excludes a lot of potential listeners and potential customers).
Who is doing social audio?
In part two we’ve spoken about the copycat syndrome of Clubhouse. A lot of direct competitors to Clubhouse have come out, but with social audio, it’s more nuanced and complex.
Established platforms like Facebook and Spotify are coming out with specific tools and features to cater to social audio users – mainly podcasters but anyone that wants to use audio to reach their audience.
Where is Clubhouse now?
With all this talk about other apps, we’ve strayed away from Clubhouse and tracking its progress. Clubhouse has hit some bumps in the road with user growth declining. But it’s made some interesting plays by finally releasing an Android app to the two billion Android user market cap inMay/June 2021.
Clubhouse has also hired some big names to help grow the app. One notable is 17-year veteran, TED Talk’s head of conference Kelly Stoetzel. This is paired with a $4 billion valuation and the hiring of former Google veteran Justin Uberti with Netflix Executive, Maya Watson. This all means it’s not looking to be just a match in this social audio game, but more of a long burning gasoline-fuelled fire.
Clubhouse has also had some interesting partnerships like the one with the NFL in the April 2021 draft. But that seemed to be a one-time deal as the NFL is now signed onto the social audio app Twitter Spaces for the upcoming 2021 NFL season.
A few issues Clubhouse currently has is around its privacy and security. The app gains access to your contact phone numbers. For most, this isn’t an issue, but as a marketer, I’d suggest you think about the safety of your brand and your own personal information before going onto Clubhouse.
Moving forward with Clubhouse
Back to our original question from part 1 with Clubhouse, is it still relevant for your business?
I’d say, like most things in life, it all depends.
Your biggest asset as an SME is your time and usually followed by the money you have to spend (we’ll call both of those things resources). Jumping onto a new platform you’ve never been on is a resource investment. There is a risk involved with time and money. When the platform is not only new to you, it’s new to an industry, which makes things more tricky and complex.
I’d say to be smart about how many resources you put into Clubhouse and social audio. Maybe look to put 10-20% of your resources into it. Then as you get data back each week and month on the return, look to scale up or scale down your efforts.
You could be a one-off business that thrives from social audio and obtains 95% of your leads from this hot new medium. But more than likely, it will be a grind as most things are in the business world. So treat it like that and learn from your efforts.
Moving forward with this series, I’ll be focusing on the social audio space rather than just Clubhouse. This should help keep things fresh, interesting and relevant to your small-to-medium-sized business.