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What’s Hot in Influencer Marketing: Clubhouse
You’ve probably heard about it. Heck, maybe you’re tuning into a room right now. Or perhaps you’re still waiting for your invitation.

Whatever your situation may be you’re likely asking the question, what exactly is Clubhouse? Is it a social network, a podcast, a modern-day AIM, or a space for brands to play? The answer is yes… to all those things. But fear not, we’re here to share why it’s not only a great social networking app but also gold mine for brands and influencers.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is a social networking app that lets users join audio chat rooms to listen and take part in conversations around different topics. Whether you want to get up to speed on global politics, need a lunchtime comedy break or are eager for professional advice, Clubhouse has it all. The catch is you have to be invited by an existing member and be an iOS user to download it, but rumor has it the app will be available to all users, including Android devices, by Spring/Summer 2021.

What’s fascinating is Clubhouse’s exponential growth. In September 2020, the app had 2,000 installs… now, it’s over 13 million. For an invite-only app that just celebrated its first birthday in March, it’s obvious why consumers are intrigued and brands are hungry to learn more.

What makes Clubhouse unique is that it’s simply audio. While the more familiar social networks are visually enticing and cater to short, digestible messages, Clubhouse enables live, longer-form and truly authentic conversation. As sessions flow you can hear speakers’ phones buzz from email, a dog bark in the background or participants laugh at a joke. It’s a live, unscripted and raw experience that contrasts much of what we’re used to on social media today. This is what makes it such a great platform for brands to connect with consumers on an entirely new level.

How are Influencers Using It?

For as quickly as the app gained popularity, influencers were swift to find ways to leverage the platform. As Business Insider reports, influencers are currently making money through sponsored rooms, event planning and tips through third party services like Venmo. This will certainly evolve in the coming months as Clubhouse just closed applications for its “Creator First” Accelerator Program. Designed to help aspiring influencers, Clubhouse will provide services including creative development, show promotion, equipment stipends and even match them with brands looking to partner.

To get a feel for how it works, take influencer Lissette Calveiro who recently hosted a sponsored room on Clubhouse. Titled the “Value of Influencer Platforms,” Calveiro spoke about the ins and outs of the creator economy. With a starting rate of $1,000, Calveiro hosted a 60-minute room on the topic, secured up to five panelists and mentioned the brand at least four times during the hour-long talk.

While the app is new and users can easily drop in and out of rooms, there are ways brands and influencers can still guarantee results. Unless you are the host of a popular, recurring room, a high number of listeners aren’t necessarily guaranteed on Clubhouse – especially for up-and-coming creators. However, influencers like Calveiro are finding ways to increase reach by promoting a sponsored room across social media (such as Instagram Stories) for an additional fee.

Should Advertisers be Nervous?

Is Clubhouse a safe space for brands? The short answer… TBD. No platform is a 100% guaranteed safe space for brands. Cinnamon Toast Crunch surely didn’t anticipate the PR nightmare that ignited from a user tweeting about a shrimp tail in his cereal. But that doesn’t mean the brand should be afraid of or steer clear of Twitter altogether.

Clubhouse is an excellent social network for brands who are willing to let influencers take some creative control. That requires extreme trust, which can be scary. Having the right tools and resources to make sure creators are genuine advocates of your brand and true partners will be critical for this next phase of influencer marketing.

When it comes to measurement, brands must remember that in this early stage awareness and brand affinity are the primary KPI. Since sessions aren’t recorded and can’t be accessed afterwards, we envision things like live mentions of coupon codes or exclusive discounts will be a strategy brands test over the next few months. According to Social Media Examiner, Bite Toothpaste sponsored a room where executives shared the company’s founding story and gathered approximately 30 new customers. Success metrics look different for everyone, but for now brands shouldn’t get hung up on the app simply because they can’t immediately measure sales or track new customers.

Our Recommendation?

Get in while the getting’s good. The app is only going to continue soaring in popularity over the coming months as it becomes available to more users. So, if you’re a brand who is looking to explore new channels, don’t hesitate to take advantage of this platform and all it has to offer. Here’s how.

First, drop into rooms that you think might fit your brand’s message or purpose. You can search for relevant rooms, members or upcoming events all through a simple keyword search. Then, connect with influencers you already work with or want to work with to get their thoughts on incorporating a sponsored room to upcoming plans.

Whether it’s vetting an influencer, pinpointing the right room or brainstorming ideas for engaging conversation, Empower has the tools and resources to help make it happen. There is no better time to take advantage of Clubhouse’s growing popularity than now, and influencers will be the way for brands to shine on the app.