This week I made an amazing discovery in a new IOS app called Anchor.fm. The app allows you to make audio recordings of up to two minutes, post them to a community and receive responses. Anchor offers strong integration with Twitter making it seamless to tweet your anchor post at the same time. The interface is very intuitive with a big red record button. Holding the button starts a two minute countdown while you are recording. After you’ve completed your recording you can add a short description include any hashtags you may want to include to target your message before publishing it to the Internet.
Then the magic happens your mobile device starts to give you notifications that you have received responses to your anchor post. Replies can be up to 60 seconds in length. In one thread started by Steven Leaney “What’s famous thing in your city?“, Steven describes Adelaide, and the Barossa Valley wine region in Australia. A few anchors later Stephen Gordon, a Golf Pro based in Northern Ireland replied to talk about the Belfast shipyards and how Titanic was built there.
Watch my first-impressions video.
Here I combine audio taken from a real anchor interaction to incorporate into a short video.
You can also just embed anchor conversations onto a blog post by using the provided embedding code.
During this interaction with Steven in Australia and and then Stephen in Northern Ireland it became apparent that there could be a good personal connection. I responded to let Steven know that my great-grandfather was a carpenter who built furniture for Titanic, and his son also worked in the shipyards and I have family ties to Belfast. Stephen and I exchanged messages on Twitter thereafter and I discovered that he knows my Uncle because they both play golf at the same club in Northern Ireland, 7,000 miles away. In fact, Steven’s number is in my Uncle’s phone. So within seconds Stephen and I went from being complete strangers separated by thousands of miles to mutual friends of my Uncle with plans to meet for a drink later in the year. That is incredibly powerful when you think of the distance Anchor was able to remove in a matter of seconds.
I think this is awesome because social media can be a very cluttered place. When you log on to Twitter there are millions of tweets and because there’s so much going on it’s easy to miss important connections through inflection. And this is where Anchor gets it right. I see Anchor as a room full of strangers all discussing different topics and you can dip into these conversations with your own perspective or find conversations about topics that interest you. Or crowdsource help from your community.
So how would you use anchor for content marketing? I see it working in several ways and here’s the workflow that I’m using presently. If there is a conversation I find interesting or pertinent to a topic I’m writing about I will save it to Pocket – tagging it for follow-up. I may choose a series of tags like “anchor-content gardener” or “anchor-social media”. Whenever I work on my article, I listen back to the anchor post and either type out what they had said or use an audio editing application like Audacity or Adobe Audition to clip parts of the audio into a short soundbite. If the post stands on its own without any editing I can use Anchor’s embedding feature to drop the entire clip into my blog post as I did above, or just include a link to the post.
If you are creating video, and video is huge these days, you could create a video and include audio clips which originate in Anchor and place still images on top of the audio to support what you’re showing in your video. So for example if were talking about Titanic and Belfast I might include a few photographs of the shipyards and the recording of Stephen talking about Belfast, and this adds context to the article and makes the content more compelling.
Want to learn more about Anchor and using it for business before diving in? Check out Mike Delgado’s post Anchor Analysis: How to Repackage Waves for Business – lots of great recommendations.
I’m planning on spending a lot of time listening and participating in conversations with an eye on incorporating Anchor into my content marketing efforts.