ContentCal compared to CoSchedule
23rd December 2020
Every marketer knows that their day-to-day involves spinning A LOT of plates. With SEO, website copy, press releases, blog posts, newsletters, social media, and much more to think about, it’s no wonder many of us are feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.
The key to optimizing your workload is to lean on tools that can help you to be more efficient, making time-consuming admin tasks a thing of the past and freeing you up to do what matters.
You might already have what you think is the best content calendar template for you, but could your team be working smarter?
CoSchedule came about in 2013 and now has a large number of dedicated users, plus a handful of awards.
The CoSchedule editorial calendar aims to put an end to unnecessary tasks, freeing up time during your workday to do more of the important stuff. Its main job is to organize your marketing team, but you can also schedule social media content, and with the more advanced version of the tool, store brand assets, curate content, and more.
You can sign up for the standalone Marketing Calendar, or the Marketing Suite, which features five tools: Marketing Calendar, Content Organizer, Social Organizer, Work Organizer, and Asset Organizer.
ContentCal was created by a team of social media marketers in 2016 to not only make light work of scheduling social media posts for freelancers, agencies, and companies but to improve the workflow of the whole marketing operation.
There is a selection of plans available for small teams and large corporations: Essential, Advanced, and Expert.
CoSchedule aims to put an end to pointless catch-up meetings, acting as a workflow management system for the marketing department. It takes a little bit of time to get used to, as it works on planning and lots of detail, but once you’ve changed your mindset and signed up to its way of working, you’ll have no problems keeping up.
The layout is clean and simple, with social accounts synced quickly. You can either add a new project or a social post to the calendar, then drill down into a social message (single) or a campaign (multiple, over time).
With projects, you can add custom attachments to your cards, like Google Docs, files and more. There isn’t a place to store all your files on the standard Marketing Calendar - you’d have to upgrade to the full Marketing Suite for the Asset Organizer. That means that you will still need things like Google Docs, shared files, and drives for your assets.
Without color-coding, it looks bland and confusing, so we’d recommend getting everything labeled up as per your liking. You can label your projects via content theme, departments, or per client. You can also select a grid view or list view, depending on your preference.
From there, you can assign project owners, reschedule easily with drag and drop, sync to tools like Mailchimp, Hubspot, Pinterest, and WordPress, and send content as a draft, pending review or scheduled.
You can also share read-only calendars with managers, safe in the knowledge that they can’t edit it or accidentally move things around. For people who love to be in control, CoSchedule is dreamy.
Data-lovers will enjoy the detailed reports, which help you to really prove your marketing department’s ROI.
Working as a visual content calendar, ContentCal’s main focus is around social media scheduling, with some brilliant tools to make life easier for the marketing team. Your social media accounts can be connected quickly, and the ContentCal onboarding team is on-hand to offer training and advice.
After adding your accounts, users and assigning any permissions, you can smoothly add content to your Calendar, select images, add Category Tags, insert saved Hashtags, and more. At this point, your team members can send content for approval or schedule it right away.
Visual users will enjoy ContentCal’s color-coded content calendar format, which shows you the status of each post. The drag and drop tool is a must-use for rearranging your posts at the drop of a hat and you can re-use any of your previous posts with the 'Duplicate post' feature.
Eradicating the need for shared drives, files, and folders, you can store all of your assets in the Content Hub, as well as see all of your previous posts. You can also keep long-form content such as newsletters, blog posts, press releases, and more within the Articles tab. Your marketing team can call ContentCal their new home to create campaigns and see everything on one calendar.
If you’re looking for a way to get more connected with your followers, ContentCal Engage lets you easily reply across all of your social media accounts in one handy inbox. Assign messages to members of the team to ensure that they’re dealt with in a timely manner, and by the right person. Not only will this save you time, but you’ll be able to focus on the exciting social opportunities as they arise.
ContentCal comes with Zapier built-in, so you can integrate thousands of apps and work from one hub on pretty much everything including Gmail, Trello, Slack, Dropbox, and more.
ContentCal’s analytics are simple but effective for most professional or agency’s needs. You’ll be able to see your top-performing content, relevant metrics, and learn how to improve your content for your brand or clients.
Relatively easy to use
The Marketing Calendar is easy to use once you’ve got used to its quirky ways of working. The drag and drop feature is extremely useful and intuitive.
Easily organize your week with to-do lists and topic categories. Plus, let your managers and department heads see exactly what you’ve been up to with read-only progress reports.
Affordable for freelancers
The standalone Marketing Calendar option is affordable for freelancers, although the more users you add, the higher the price is. There is no standard price listed for the Marketing Suite as each plan will be bespoke to your needs.
Optimize your blog posts, articles, and more with CoSchedule’s in-built Headline Analyzer.
Users can automatically fill their queue with their best-performing content and CoSchedule will send them out at the optimal times for all your social networks.
You can sync tools like Mailchimp, WordPress, and Slack to your calendar so that everything matches up.
Drill down into engagement, a specific campaign, top messages, platform analysis, and prove your ROI with CoSchedule’s impressive reporting feature.
A steep learning curve for Marketing Suite
While the Marketing Calendar is generally uncomplicated, it’ll take some time to get into the habit of forward-planning in the way it demands. If you opt for the Marketing Suite, having five separate tools to master on top of this will be an even longer learning process to ensure you get the most out of the platform. That isn’t to say that the change won’t be worth it, though.
No standard content library
There’s no content library with the Marketing Calendar, so you’ll still need to use Google Drive, shared files, and folders to save all of your assets. You can integrate a variety of tools though, which does make life easier.
It all adds up
Agencies and small businesses may find the CoSchedule editorial calendar too expensive as it costs to add on extra users.
Lack of support
Reviews suggest that some of its users are unhappy with the level of support offered by CoSchedule and that onboarding could be better, too.
Ease of use
Our user-experience is second to none - you’ll soon feel at ease with all the inner-workings of ContentCal.
Optimize your social interactions and save time with ContentCal Engage. Plus, you can split the workload throughout the team to ensure peak productivity.
Work on shared Calendars, store content, plan campaigns, and collaborate with the wider business - a great fit for agencies, freelancers, and social teams.
Say goodbye to other online tools as all of your long-form content can live here too Newsletters, blogs, press releases, and more can all be created using the Articles feature.
Create templates to simplify your workday and re-use evergreen content time and time again with the click of a button.
Gather suggestions, notes, and ideas from other colleagues, by using the Contributions feature.
Availability of support
Get a response within just minutes during working hours from our dedicated team, with rave reviews for level of service.
The Analytics tab features easy-to-read reports, date range capability, and insights on how to optimize your content.
Although ContentCal has many features for content collation and gathering inspiration, it's not yet able to suggest topics, hashtags, or generate content ideas for you. This is something that may change in the future. Keep an eye on the product roadmap to see what's coming up and when.
For marketing teams who need a revamped way of working, the CoSchedule editorial calendar can change your behavior and turn you into an organizational expert. It does a little bit of everything and has some brilliant tools, such as the Headline Analyzer, ReQueue and Detailed Analytics.
However, could CoSchedule be doing too much to be truly useful across the board? From the support feedback, pricing grumbles, and complaints of glitches and bugs, it seems as though that could be the case.
While ContentCal doesn’t delve as deeply into your overarching way of working, it can help to streamline your workflow, optimize your social media scheduling, and allow your marketing team to work from a hub that works for them, whichever way suits them best.
CoSchedule and ContentCal are easily two of the best social content calendar tools on the market, so it’s worth checking out the free trials to see which gels best with your business before making your decision.