There’s a lot of hype around the new audio-only social networking app Clubhouse. So what’s in it for fintechs and fintech marketers?

For the uninitiated, Clubhouse is basically a kind of virtual conference with speakers and panels that you can hop in and out of. The topics range from the personal to the political to professional and business. The startup and tech communities, as you would expect, have embraced it in a big way and fintech is no exception.

The app has exploded since it’s launch last March, hitting 600,000 users by the end of 2020. Not even two full months later, downloads total 10 million, with 2 million weekly active users. For an app that is still apparently beta and was only available to iPhone users until mid-May 2021 – that’s pretty impressive. Andreessen Horowitz thinks so too. In late January, they added a further $100 million to their investment in the app, bringing its estimated post-money valuation to $1 billion.

So why should fintech marketers care?

It’s obviously still early days. Is the attraction inflated by our current “stay-at-home” lives or is there lasting appeal in this style of less formal, easy to consume “throw away” content (see Snapchat)? Podcasts are great (and yes blogs too) but there is something to be said to be said about jumping into a “room” and listening live to industry and community leaders as you continue on with whatever else you’re doing.

From a fintech perspective, there’s already a bustling community of clubs, industry leaders and fintech marketers having conversations on everything from payments, to insurtech, crypto and proptech. Search for other fintech marketers and a community of your peers will appear. Here’s a small sample of some of the clubs:

  • The Fintech & Payments Club with over 27,000 followers runs Fintech Fridays – a weekly room offering interviews with founders and discussions on some of the latest topics and funding rounds.
  • TED Talks Payments And Fintech Live recorded podcast covering the hot stories & opinions from Fintech/Payments industry insiders⁣
  • Search in the app for Women in Fintech/Blockchain – a space for women working or interested in fintech, crypto and blockchain.
  • Other clubs to search for include Inside Fintech, Insurtech, Future of Fintech and Fintech Africa.

The above are “clubs” which, in order to create one, currently involves a manual process and joining a waiting list. So the best way to find interesting events or people to follow is to join and pick your areas of interest. You’ll be notified when spontaneous rooms are started or you can access a daily schedule of events aligned with your interests.

But what’s the opportunity for fintech marketers?

The opportunity right now is to experiment. It’s currently free to all users and there’s no premium plans, paid sponsorships or ad platform. What we think it does well is curate very specific “audiences of interest”.

One clear way to build your brand already is thought leadership. Set up your own club or rooms around topics of interest to your customer base and host discussions with your own SME’s or industry leaders. You might even connect with other influencers as they find your club or room. Invite them to participate in the discussions. Brand it by topic, your own brand or even by SME.

Road test new ideas by hosting a room to get feedback on, for example, a new feature, marketing idea or sales strategy. Even launch a new product or make a major announcement. Refreshingly, members need to participate under their real names which might help avoid some of the less than helpful comments from anonymous trolls, if you would like to have a public discussion.

Private rooms are also an option to explore. Invite just the members you want to get feedback on an idea. Or use them to bring together buyers or other stakeholder groups for client success programs, education, networking or announcements.

Finally, it’s a great chance to mingle with your peers or find talent (or job opportunities). Particularly as we are likely to have a few months more of WFH life. Clubhouse is a great way to meet other fintechs, share ideas and expand your network. With remote working looking more and more like a permanent fixture this might just be a way to find new talent. Who knows who you may uncover as you listen in on and participate in conversation specific to fintech and/or marketing!

So jump on, take a look around and we will see you there!

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