Visual and content-based platforms absolutely have their place in brand strategy, but they have also contributed to the short attention span of online followers, who are constantly scrolling to find the next pic to grab their attention. Without a deep and genuine connection, the picture is just . . . a nice picture. The followers may or may not engage further, and they may not even remember what the picture was trying to convey. As a brand, it is always a great strategy to align with influencers who have a diverse strategy of online interaction, which brings us to that elusive, invite-only app that took the world by storm just last year – Clubhouse.

In just over a year since Clubhouse first came on the scene, clones have been created left and right due to the great interaction possibilities that Clubhouse offers. People crave a sense of connection with like-minded individuals who share their interests and passions, and everyone wants in on the action. Most major industry players now either have, or are working on, their own Clubhouse rival app, including Twitter (Spaces), Reddit (Reddit Talk), LinkedIn, Slack, and Spotify (Greenroom). Now Facebook, the original social media star, has joined in on the action with its rollout of Live Audio Rooms.

With Facebook’s new offering, of course they are trying to make their app stand out from the pack with improved features, a user-friendly interface, and of course, more possibilities to facilitate engagement between high-profile business speakers, podcast creators, and influencers. Basically, the best content from a large business networking session with a more intimate feel.

The looming question remains:  What does this mean for businesses with limited marketing funds, trying to navigate their way through the competitive space of social media clones and competitors?

Where To Put That $$$ To Get The Best ROI

With the talent pool of influencers constantly growing, and platforms constantly evolving and adapting, it’s a constant challenge for businesses to know where to invest their limited marketing or advertising budget.

These live audio platforms are built to enhance the appeal of influencers by allowing them to bring their personality to life, share their thoughts, and expand their reach organically through meaningful interaction. If used correctly, these platforms have the ability to showcase the authenticity of influencers, and the brands they promote, for the world to see. The content on live audio apps is organic, never staged or rehearsed, and as a nonvisual medium, reliance on photos, images, or written content is not a factor. Dance moves, viral challenges, and that pose in front of a skyline at sunset won’t get you anywhere here – it is ALL about engaging, hearing, and listening. Ideas replace images; philosophy replaces photos.

Influencers are all in on this new platform style, sharing their most vulnerable selves with their followers, creating intimate connections that are poised to grow along with the popularity of these live audio apps. When businesses seek to align with an influencer on a deeper level, the possibilities that exist with live audio platforms are unlimited, global, and create deep, long-lasting customer loyalty.

Lessons Learned – And The Stakes Are Raised

Learning from Clubhouse’s missteps, the newbies are taking them on directly with new and improved features based on what hasn’t settled so well with Clubhouse members. Greater chat controls to avoid hateful speech or abusive behavior, recording of sessions, expanded room size, and live chat options that can be enabled by the hosts, are all now integrated in various capacities in the industry spinoffs.

And although Clubhouse was (and still is at the current time) invite-only, plans to open access to everyone with no exclusions is apparently set to roll out in Summer 2021. As Facebook, Spotify, and the others have learned, promoting exclusivity may have its benefits for the elite, but having an invite system “invites” more problems than it solves. Access to all is the way forward, as these platforms continue to grow, develop, and give businesses more genuine visibility than has ever been possible. No staged shots, no rehearsed videos, no visual distractions – just authenticity defined.

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