Recently, I told you why launching a podcast is a great way to boost your brand’s profile. That’s because a podcast is an excellent tool for establishing brand awareness, providing crucial support for your content marketing strategy and establishing your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

If recorded audio can accomplish these important objectives, then live audio should be able to do the same, right?

Let’s look at the relatively young medium of live audio and explore whether or not it can benefit your brand.

Join the Club(house)

Arguably, the biggest catalyst of the live audio movement is Clubhouse, the app that caused a commotion when it launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clubhouse is a voice-based social media platform that allows users to drop into rooms and participate in on-the-fly audio discussions. Celebrities like Elon Musk, Drake and Oprah Winfrey have all popped into Clubhouse for impromptu chat sessions.

The app, which was initially invite-only, had nine million monthly app installs at the height of the pandemic. More recently, the app’s popularity (and the buzz it generated) has dropped considerably. However, Clubhouse announced at the beginning of August that there are 600,000 daily rooms created on average, seemingly contradicting writers who announced the death of the app.

Once considered niche and, at best, a passing fad, is live audio starting to become a legit social media contender? Will people continue to tune in to apps like Clubhouse to learn new things, share ideas and connect in deeper, more meaningful ways? Judging by the number of companies creating Clubhouse clones, the answer could be a resounding “yes.”

Everybody’s Talkin’

Clubhouse is far from the only game in town when it comes to live audio:

Never to be one-upped by an original idea, Facebook announced a suite of audio tools and technologies in April 2021 to “connect people with the things they care about.” In addition, the company said they would be testing Live Audio Rooms in Facebook and Messenger, bringing it to public figures like NFL star Russell Wilson in the hopes it will catch on big, like Clubhouse once did.

In June 2021, Spotify launched its answer to Clubhouse, Greenroom. It’s a mobile app that enables users to host or join live audio chat rooms. And similarly to Facebook’s audio offering, Greenroom allows users to record conversations which they can spin into podcasts.

In July 2021, Twitter announced it was doing away with its ill-fated Fleets feature in a move seemingly to make more room for Twitter Spaces, which enables live audio conversations between Twitter users. As of now, Spaces is open to anyone with 600 or more followers.

With all of these live audio options available for individual users, how has it gone for brands who have gradually dipped their toes into the live audio waters? More importantly, can your brand benefit from the live audio format?

Can Live Audio Work for Your Brand?

No stranger to publicity stunts to promote its culinary offerings (see: IHOb), IHOP supported the launch of its new steakhouse premium bacon by going live on Clubhouse with just the sounds of cooking bacon. Yes, for the entire day on April 13, you could tune into Clubhouse to enjoy the dulcet tones of the sweet sizzle of bacon.

In a completely different type of use case, Pernod Ricard teamed up with marketing strategist and digital content creator Karen Civil to celebrate Black History Month on Clubhouse and bring attention to Black female entrepreneurs.

So, what about your brand? It’s hard to argue against extra brand awareness, additional content marketing support and a boost to thought leadership efforts, and all those things can be accomplished through live audio:

  • In terms of brand awareness, think of sound in the same way you think about the tone you use in your messaging or the color scheme of your logo, website and communications. These sensory elements are crucial to building your brand identity, and you can leverage live audio to create a positive association between your company and your consumers.
  • Not only is live audio a great way to generate your own content, but you can also skim plenty of user generated content from it that could be beneficial to your brand. And as mentioned above, several live audio formats offer the ability to record conversations, opening the gates to serious support of your content marketing
  • Is there a better way to establish thought leadership than direct communication, in a live setting, with consumers and active participants in your industry? Live audio provides a way to cement your brand not only as a subject matter expert, but as an entity that is receptive to open and honest conversations.

It remains to be seen if live audio will be nothing more than just a passing fad, but why not use it for good while it’s here?

Cindy Baker, Brand825’s co-founder and chief creative officer, has been spitting creative fire for more than 25 years. She has created visual solutions that drive business strategies for Mercedes-Benz, Comdata and Asurion, to name a few. When she’s not building websites or designing unforgettable logos, Cindy can be found enjoying life on a motorcycle.

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