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Affiliate Marketing Strategist. Owner of Affiliate Insider (An Affiliate Marketing Agency, Media Hub + Training Business).
As an affiliate manager, you’re always on the hunt for the latest digital trends. Clubhouse burst on the scene and it’s exciting to see how it’s taking shape and being used across many industries. Despite it still being invite-only and exclusive, this platform can also be used for affiliate program management.
What Is Clubhouse?
If you aren’t familiar with Clubhouse, it’s a voice-chat-based rather than simply text or imagery-based social channel. In simple terms, the platform allows you to get a community to come join you to chat. Upon joining Clubhouse, you’ll be shown a selection of interests, and when you’ve selected these, you’ll get shown rooms and topics to participate in that match your interests. The beauty of the channel is that it’s easy to start a room and engage new audiences, it takes seconds to start and you need no skills or budget to do it. It’s the perfect tool for busy affiliate managers who want to connect personally with new affiliates or people interested in this topic for lead generation.
The exciting thing to know about Clubhouse is that it is being used by a huge range of diverse people. Affiliates are on there, influencers are on there, entrepreneurs are coming on there — so people you haven’t been able to reach in person could easily be reachable. Influencers and digital marketers are also interacting on this new platform and connecting as a community together to discover how it can serve them.
How can you use it for your affiliate program and partner management?
Despite Clubhouse having been around since March 2020, it is still in its early days of development. People are using it and figuring out how to monetize it and leverage it in their business. Because it’s an invite-only system, people have utilized this as a hook to get silent contacts engaged. I’ve even seen people sell their Clubhouse invitations on other social media channels.
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But what if you used your free invites to invite your top affiliates and they, in turn, agree to use their invites to invite colleagues (other affiliates) to connect with you too? All of a sudden Clubhouse is a super affiliate lead-build for your business. It’s a tool that your affiliate and digital team can use to easily connect, engage, educate and train partners to promote your brands more efficiently and effectively. Best of all, it’s totally free and an uncomplicated platform to use.
For an affiliate manager to grow a program, they need to communicate effectively and nurture affiliates. While many of us believe that emails or texts are the preferred form of communication these days, Clubhouse growth rates suggest otherwise. We are all time-strapped. Tuning in for a 5-minute chat and catchup seems like less of an effort than scrolling through a million emails to digest what’s new and what’s happening in your industry. You can even do it while multitasking (on a walk, as you’re working, etc.).
We also engage differently in person vs. incognito as a voice. So, you may get better insight and better results using this platform vs. trying to host a video conference call (we’ve all gotten a bit sick and tired of Zoom, right?). We can allow each other to speak our minds and have many voices heard.
If you’re not convinced, consider these additional uses:
Host a live Q&A or Town Hall.
Connect with your partners on a human level and en masse, especially now that in-person affiliate and digital marketing events — crucial for program managers to meet and build affiliate partner rapport — are no longer available to attend. This platform is an excellent opportunity to build connections on a personal level, especially with those who are new to your program, and those that can make your partners feel welcome.
Affiliate manager moderators can ensure all your affiliate participants and new joiners get the chance to raise their hand and ask questions. And existing affiliates can be invited to speak about the topic of interest at the same time, providing social proof of your program and product success.
Connect further with engaged prospects.
This is great if you are hoping to give your affiliate recruitment drive a boost this year. Any affiliates who come to your Clubhouse room are already engaged, and so by following them, you can act on a potential lead and expand your network reach and link up with them on Instagram or Twitter to keep the conversation flowing. What are they doing with their communities? Can you learn from them? Is there an opportunity to do new business together?
Teach and train.
Affiliate managers can also leverage Clubhouse by using it to educate affiliates already on board your program about new products, releases, terms changes and more. Why not use your rooms to discuss important topics like program changes, product development or even regulatory changes? You might even be able to offer sneak peeks, which can keep affiliates engaged in your program, and get their buy-in and feedback prior to launches.
Will it become a staple social channel for all?
The jury is still out on whether Clubhouse will become just as popular as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. There have been some mishaps — mods fighting with mods, rooms that are too full, making it chaotic to understand, and even people being temporarily banned (like JT Foxx, who was one of the early adopters of the app).
Think of it as kind of like a teenager at a dance — we’re all just moving around and figuring it out. But in time, we’ll determine the best way to use the platform for our own best purpose.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
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Author: Lee-Ann Johnstone, Forbes Councils Member