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Opinion

Joining the Social Audio Club: How Brands Can Effectively Implement Influencer Campaigns on Clubhouse and Similar Platforms

Social audio platforms have gained popularity over the past year, allowing people to connect while remaining socially distant.

From recent news on Facebook and Reddit planning their own roll outs, to Clubhouse being named as a disrupter in Time Magazine’s inaugural 100 Most Influential Companies list – this type of platform is on track to stick around for a while. Which makes sense, as the engaging, educational space these types of apps created have proven to be one of the stickiest types of platforms in terms of user time. 

More and more brands are now starting to notice the adoption rates of these types of platforms and analysing how they can play an effective role in their overall media mix. Given the authentic nature of social audio channels, it’s imperative that any type of partnership or advertising comes through organically. 

When looking to create an effective social audio influencer campaign, brands should keep the following in mind: 

Managing monetisation: What creator partnerships could look like 

Clubhouse in particular has already begun implementing direct monetisation strategies where users will be able to send money through a creator’s profile. In addition to these types of payments, another major stream of revenue for these Clubhouse and social audio influencers, will be from branded partnerships. 

One way brands can utilise a creator is inviting them to be a special guest moderator in a sponsored room. Or, it could be a longer term partnership, where influencers are asked to work branded messages organically into their regular content/discussions. Here, deliverables could look like ‘dropping into X amount of chat rooms during a designated time frame’. 

For these types of ads in particular, where the partnership may not be branded as prominently as with a sponsored room, it’ll be very important that creators still disclose the sponsorship as a verbal mention. 

Crafting the creative: How to make activations as engaging as possible 

One of the most important aspects to keep in mind when putting together a social audio influencer campaign is that this channel should not be looked at as a direct sales tool. The platforms are too educational in nature so any brands that lean too heavily on sales tactics will be rejected by listeners. Brands should not look to simply ‘sticker’ the platform through advertisements. 

Some baseline best practices when hosting a room is to keep the number of moderators between five to 15 people. Ideally, rooms should stay between five to seven moderators to help create an active conversation while avoiding having too many people who end up talking over each other. With this in mind, it’s also important to establish general room rules and rotate through speakers. 

Any speakers that are brought up ‘on-stage’ should try to keep opinions or questions to two or three minutes. This way, it’ll give more people a chance to participate. One of the most unique factors of Clubhouse that has really added to its popularity is the real-time engagement and discussion. When hosting a chat, companies shouldn’t be afraid to lean into this ‘real-time’ aspect. So, when moderators may join late or jump off early to work around their own busy schedule, this should be utilized as a way to rotate the conversation and keep things fresh. 

Now, aside from the basics, there is also plenty of opportunity for brands to get creative in their social audio campaigns. Conversations don’t have to be structured as one creator leading a seminar or lecture. Instead brands could set up a live panel, where they’ll host an open format discussion among multiple creators. For example, Chevrolet recently announced a Clubhouse chat focused on reasons “everyone should consider making the switch to electric vehicles” with a moderator lineup that included Nick Cho, iJustine, Jenna Ezarik, and Kelly Helfrich. 

For brands who may be looking to create a more interactive experience, they could instead host a live Q&A with an influencer(s), where listeners could be invited ‘on stage’ to ask a question themselves. Brands could align on key messages and points ahead of time, with the creator, that they could then work into their responses naturally. 

Celebrities and high-profile influencers have also flocked to these types of apps, with Clubhouse in particular being home to Drake, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and even Mark Zuckerberg himself, just to name a few. This presents an exciting opportunity for companies to invite these types of famed influencers to live discussions as a way to draw-in listeners and create their own very noteworthy moment in time. Regardless of the specific activation brands decide to go with, making sure they are creative in their approach will help them stand out amongst competitors. 

Reporting results: Ways brands can measure success 

As of right now, Clubhouse doesn’t offer any type of trackable insights, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to still measure results. As part of an influencer’s partnership, brands should make it mandatory for creators to promote across their other channels. This way, brands will then have a way to track key metrics. For example, by promoting a discussion on Twitter, now marketers will have access to retweets and shares, click-through-rates, and link clicks. 

Similarly, with an Instagram story (or in-feed post), brands will be able to track metrics like swipe ups, reach and impressions that are directly linked to discussion promotion. Being sure to leverage insights that are already trackable will help marketers better understand their engagement rates, in addition to just the number of listeners who may join a room. In the future, when social audio platforms do begin providing more insights, it’ll be imperative that companies choose an influencer marketing platform that’s integrated with these channels, so all key campaign metrics can be recorded and managed in a single dashboard. 

Regardless of whether companies decide to take advantage of Clubhouse or a new social audio app, making sure they keep these tips in mind will help them authentically break through to new audiences they may not have had access to, while harnessing the power of social media influencers.

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