Ah, clubhouse versus podcasts – an age-old debate.
Was just a joke. While these two audio tools are relatively new to the business world (Clubhouse is less than two years old), they have both attracted large, engaged audiences.
And while every audio tool is very different, they serve similar purposes.
Hear me out: Podcasts are essentially designed to stimulate and provoke engaging conversations on a wide variety of topics, including crime fiction, celebrity interviews, health and fitness, or business and entrepreneurship (to name a few).
The clubhouse works on a similar principle: it is designed to encourage lively conversation and debate on a variety of niche topics. As clubhouse founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth said, “What we love most is how voice can bring people together.”
This message – of the importance of the voice in bringing people together – applies to podcasts as much as it does to the clubhouse.
Which makes many marketers wonder: which one is worth my time more?
Here we’re going to examine the pros and cons of investing your time and resources in podcasts versus audio chat rooms like Clubhouse. Ultimately, this is a better long-term choice for your brand.
Not being a podcast or clubhouse expert, I gathered the wisdom of various experts on both sides to paint the bigger picture.
Let’s dive in.
Clubhouse Vs. Podcasts: Which Should Marketers Use?
First, let’s examine a recent survey I ran of what audio activities people prefer – listening to podcasts, listening, and engaging in clubhouse conversations, or both:
As you can see, most respondents – 75% – prefer to listen to podcasts or not both. This means that clubhouse is preferred for only a quarter of those surveyed.
To be fair, podcasts have been around longer than in the clubhouse. In fact, the first podcast was created back in 2004. As of April 2021, over two million podcasts will now be available.
Additionally, one of the main advantages of listening to a podcast is that the content is available when I need it, so I can choose when to download and listen to it – it’s not live like clubhouse. In this way, listeners have complete control over which topics they consume and when.
For example, a listener can select a pre-recorded crime series on their commute to work and another episode about parenting on their commute home.
Using podcasts as a brand awareness or lead generation strategy offers several important benefits. Now let’s dive into some of them:
While these statistics help demonstrate the power of podcasts, I wanted to ask some podcast experts to provide more qualitative insight into the clubhouse vs. podcast debate.
Let’s get into that now.
Podcast Experts Weigh In: Why is Podcast Better?
To start with, I spoke to Matthew Brown, HubSpot’s senior podcast producer.
Brown told me, “One of the main differences between live audio and podcasts is the behavior of the listener. Live audio is usually passive engagement, while podcasts are more of an active engagement.”
“Something can happen at any moment in the clubhouse. In a podcast, something should happen at any moment.”
Of course, there is something tempting about listening to live audio – maybe it’s the authenticity or the feeling that you are a frontrunner for a real-time, private conversation between two people, with no option to edit any inconvenience. But similar to watching a long, unedited scene from The Real World, it can get boring too. Fast.
Brown adds, “Clubhouse and other live audio platforms just can’t be equated with highly produced and edited podcasts. They are too different in almost every way.
If you want to test Clubhouse as its own potentially powerful marketing channel, Brown recommends that you consider the requirements of this platform as completely separate from podcasting: “Clubhouse is for podcasts like Twitch is for YouTube. A Twitch streamer the best moments of their live stream and grab it for her YouTube channel. “
“There are serious benefits to reusing content. But every channel – and the expectations of developers and audiences alike – is fundamentally different. You need to understand these limitations and create the best possible content for that platform.”
Podcasting also offers some long-term revenue benefits. For example, I asked Zachary Ballenger, CRO at Casted, if podcasts can ultimately affect a company’s bottom line.
He told me, “Podcasts have the ability to produce real results in terms of leads and revenue. [But] Podcasts need to be fully integrated into your marketing campaigns and expanded across all channels to be effective – including blog posts, social media, landing pages, and ad retargeting. “
Jacob Penn, Corporate Analytics Manager at iHeartMedia, agrees that podcasting is a proven strategy for long-term ROI. He says, “Trustworthiness has enabled podcast hosts to build long-term connections with listeners and make host read ads a very native experience. That’s why 53% of podcast listeners actually enjoy listening to ads.”
“Businesses can use podcasts as a vehicle to reach listeners who are interested in the new news.”
Penn adds, “To date, Clubhouse is still in its infancy and we don’t know how users will interact with this platform in the long term. Podcasts have been around for over 20 years and brands are starting to realize their potential as an advertising platform. For this reason podcasts are expected to generate over $ 1 billion in ad revenue in 2021. “
Put simply, podcasts have a proven track record of growing your business, but only when done effectively. (Want to start your own podcast? Check out everything you need to know about starting a podcast in 2021.)
Holly Shannon, producer and host of Culture Factor 2.0 and author of the book Zero To Podcast, says podcasting is a fantastic opportunity for companies to reach new audiences. She said to me, “The question I ask executives is, are you the best-kept secret in your industry? If the answer is yes,” podcasting can be a way to create content that will serve your business in many ways. “
“For one thing,” she says, “it can make you and your team stand out as thought leaders. This allows you to speak authentically and bring your value to the table so that everyone can hear it globally, leading to other opportunities for keynote speeches as well lead to the generation of leads. ” . “
Shannon is also a fan of podcasting as a content reuse opportunity. She suggests using the podcast transcripts as SEO-optimized blog posts on your website and using parts of this audio for subsequent social media posts.
A podcast is also a great way to create a sense of community – and you can engage with this community offline too. As Shannon suggests, “With podcasting you can create a community of listeners, subscribers, and followers. This community can later be served with virtual or live conferencing, creating a path to monetization.”
Can you say that for the clubhouse too? Next, let’s dive into that perspective.
Clubhouse experts weigh in: Why is the clubhouse better?
Chris Eberhardt, Marketing Manager at HubSpot, is responsible for the HubSpot clubhouse programming for the HubSpot Marketing Club. Hence, he has seen firsthand the power of Clubhouse for Business.
Eberhardt told me, “Clubhouse can be a great option for a company that wants to create a presence in audio but wants to avoid the saturation and production quality of podcasts.”
He adds, “But it’s important to understand that the clubhouse use case is actually different than the podcast use case. Podcasts are on-demand while clubhouse is live social audio. There is an important difference: podcasts can come with Scripts are created and are highly produced while Clubhouse is closer to a live radio broadcast. “
Eberhardt would recommend using Clubhouse for the following reasons:
- You don’t have enough bandwidth / resources to create a high quality podcast.
- You want to differentiate your brand more easily in the clubhouse (since the podcast market is more saturated).
- You want to create a space where you can connect directly with your audience and open the spaces to audience questions and engagement.
- You want one of your executives to build their brand in the room.
Says Eberhardt, “It’s important that you use the clubhouse as a live space for authentic conversations and connections – not lectures. Perhaps you start a reaction space for a big announcement or product launch and develop a format for a live show that you do.” Regularly get guests with big followers early on to establish a presence or start a club that your brand will host. “
Benjamin Shapiro, host of the Martech Podcast, agrees that Clubhouse is a potentially powerful option for brand growth.
He adds, “While the interactive social features are unique for the time, I believe that live streaming audio services will evolve into a medium of content distribution that is most relevant to real-world events.”
Additionally, Krystal Wu, Social Community Marketing Manager at HubSpot, is a fan of Audio Spaces as the host of a weekly Twitter Space, and she sees many advantages in Audio Spaces over podcasts.
Wu said to me, “I run Twitter Spaces weekly to connect with marketers. I love it because it’s a function of improving a product rather than a product itself. random discussions or longer. more in-depth discussions. “
“In any case, it is real, up-to-date content that podcasts cannot otherwise offer.”
Wu adds, “I think podcasts are more of an opportunity to educate and listen to other people’s stories while they engage in other things. Would you like to clean my house for 30 minutes? Great – I will for that 30 minute period play a podcast I can bring it together … rooms, on the other hand, are more of a communication in the moment – you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get and that’s the beauty of it.
If you’d like to try Clubhouse for your own business, check out How to Use Clubhouse: A Step-By-Step Guide.
Why not both?
Of course, there is one other option that we haven’t considered yet: should you try both of them?
Any good marketer knows the importance of testing different channels and using those results to develop a marketing strategy over time. If you’re unsure whether your audience prefers clubhouse or podcasts, try both of them.
You may even find that both tools work well together to create a more coherent and powerful marketing strategy.
For example, Asad Zulfahri, Principal Marketing Manager at HubSpot, told me, “I run a weekly room in the clubhouse and then that session is recorded to create a podcast. Those who are there live can also participate in the Q&A at the end . ” I will then also summarize the clubhouse content in a blog post for an additional distribution option. “
“The clubhouse can be an easy entry point for those considering podcasting. You can practice public speaking and then record the session (with permission, of course).”
For example, look at Asad’s clubhouse living room:
… And then Asad’s post-clubhouse podcast episodes:
You can try this for a few weeks and then repeat it if you think the majority of your audience will prefer one channel to the other.
Shannon agrees and says, “Clubhouse doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game for me. I think it’s very complementary.”
For example, she suggests recording your podcast interview live at the clubhouse so you can have a Q&A interview after the interview and connect with your community. (If you’re not happy with the Q&A portion, you can always trim it after production.) Alternatively, do a pre-show where you speak to your audience to answer questions for your podcast guest .
Shannon said to me, “Today you have to be open to where you can find your target audience. The algorithms within each platform fluctuate and therefore change as your followers see your posts. So if you can jump into new platforms as an early adopter, is it you? I am a huge advocate of peer-to-peer audience consultation and diversifying where your brand is showing up. “
Ultimately, the clubhouse and podcasts serve different purposes and meet the needs of a wide variety of audiences.
Shapiro claims, “There will be scenarios where live broadcasts will be the most relevant way to get a community involved (i.e. interacting with a MarTech conference live from your desk). There are also scenarios where on-demand Content is available most often. ” relevant medium (i.e., get to know MarTech by listening to a podcast on your morning walk). “
“There will be a place in the world for live and on-demand content in audio, just as there will be text (blogs versus Twitter) and video (TV versus Netflix).”
If you’re unsure which one is best for your brand, there are a few important factors to consider – including your team goals and priorities, the amount of resources you have available for audio recording, and whether you’re clubhouse or podcasting in test on a small scale before going all-in with the audio tool of your choice.
Listen, learn, and grow with the HubSpot Podcast Network. The HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals seeking the best education and inspiration to grow a business.