ContentCal compared to Later
18th December 2020
Every marketer knows the power of automation. Switching between social platforms to schedule content, endless spreadsheets, and hundreds of saved files is a social media manager’s worst nightmare. To take your business to the next level and organize your social media content, it’s worth investing in one of the best social media management tools available to take the pressure off.
Previously known as Latergramme, Later prides itself on being the first Instagram scheduler on the market, launched in 2014. It has over 4 million users globally and is a member of the Instagram Partner Program and a Pinterest Marketing Partner.
Its main goal is to help you schedule your visual content on platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.
Later scheduling plans mainly cater to freelancers (starting with a free plan), but there are some plans available for businesses.
Introduced in 2016, ContentCal was created by a team of social marketers to ease the workload, automate processes and encourage collaboration. It acts as a seamless hub for all marketing activity, offering some really impressive features to drive your social and marketing strategy.
It’s an up-and-coming platform aimed at freelancers, agencies and businesses, with a growing number of happy customers and positive reviews.
Choose from a selection of plans: Essential, Advanced, Expert.
The Later scheduling tool is exceptionally easy to use, with the ability to manage content from your desktop or your smartphone. Once you’ve uploaded your content into your library, you drag and drop it into your calendar at your chosen times, or you can use quick-scheduling time slots for greater ease.
Once scheduled, if you don’t like the way your grid looks, you can move the images around to fit with your aesthetic.
Later’s ‘best time to post’ feature will show you when your followers are most likely to engage with your content, helping you to plan accordingly.
You can add Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok, as well as publishing to Instagram. Once you’ve ticked all the platforms you wish to post on, you can edit images, text and hashtags to optimize it for each social network.
All of your hashtags can be saved for later use, plus, you can easily discover more while in the platform. You can also post Instagram Stories via push notifications with the mobile app.
The Later scheduling tool uses Linkin.bio to drive traffic from Instagram, and this can all be easily tracked in the analytics section.
You can also reply to your Instagram comments and messages directly from the dashboard.
ContentCal requires a little more setup than Later, but that’s because it can accomplish so much more. Add your accounts, users, assign User Permissions, and create content in a visual calendar layout. You can publish to most social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google My Business) with ContentCal, and additional networks due to its handy Zapier integration. Clicking on the Calendar allows you to create a post, select your profiles, add images, Category Tags, Publish Times and Dates, plus use any saved Hashtags and send it for approval - if need be.
Those who need to work quickly will enjoy the drag and drop nature of ContentCal, allowing you to re-organize content quickly and efficiently. The color-coded post states keep everything in line, and the option to re-use your posts is ideal for those with evergreen content.
The Content Hub is where all your previous posts will live, as well as anything you’d like to add for future content. Marketing teams can also plan out their social and marketing strategies, work on campaigns, and collaborate with people around the business.
ContentCal Engage brings all of your inboxes together in one useful place. You can reply to comments, mentions, DMs and more for all of your accounts. You can also assign tasks to different members of your team to spread out the workload.
While also being an efficient social tool, ContentCal allows you to organize your marketing activity, ridding the need for multiple spreadsheets and logins. Zapier lets you integrate thousands of apps to ContentCal, letting you work from one hub on literally everything; Gmail, Trello, Slack, Dropbox and many more.
ContentCal’s analytics allows you to see your top-performing content, all relevant metrics and learn how to create better content for your brand or clients.
Ease of use
Later is ridiculously easy to use, with the main feature being content scheduling with drag and drop capability. The ‘best times to post’ feature takes the guesswork out of optimizing scheduling times, and hashtag templates and suggestions help you along the content journey.
You can track your links, revenue and performance with Linkin.bio, which can be controlled from your dashboard.
Users can discover content to repost, interact with and follow with the Collect feature.
The grid layout makes it easy to see how your content will look, which is key for those whose main platform is Instagram.
Later is inexpensive compared to many other tools on the market, enabling professionals to use the platform without a huge investment.
Limited social platforms
While the Later scheduling platform is brilliant for Instagram and other visual social networks, it doesn’t have the full capability that businesses need to thrive, such as LinkedIn connectivity.
Later is designed for influencers and freelancers, so the level of analytics is basic. It doesn’t go into the depth that agencies and businesses need to strategize further.
In this day and age, we want everything done yesterday, so users of Later might be disappointed to only receive a response within 24-48 hours of reaching out.
Image-based content only
Later is image-based, so tweeting articles or links without an image is problematic.
Ease of use
ContentCal is remarkably simple to use and balances the visual aspect of planning content, along with many other different types of content.
With one single inbox to work from, you’ll never miss a message or comment ever again. This allows you to stay on top of all of your social media platforms, maximizing the social interaction on your page. Plus, you can split the workload among your team members, to quickly tackle the day’s engagements.
Single marketing hub
ContentCal’s marketing hub lets you work on shared Calendars, store content, plan campaigns and collaborate with the wider business, making it ideal for agencies, freelancers and social teams.
The Articles feature allows you to curate other forms of content used within your business, such as newsletters, blogs, press releases and more.
Instagram Grid View With ContentCal, and you can plan out our upcoming Instagram content and see how it'll appear on the grid. Easily rearrange your content to get the best possible outcome. Once ready, mark your content as approved for ContentCal to autopublish to Instagram!
If you’re a fan of evergreen content, you can really make the most of it with ContentCal’s reuse content feature. Plus, you can create templates to save time.
Get others involved
The Contributions feature allows other people within your team or business to suggest ideas, submit content and collaborate with the marketing team.
Availability of support
ContentCal’s team takes customer service seriously, with a dedicated team to respond to you within minutes during working hours.
You can measure your performance with the Analytics tab, which features easy-to-read reports, date range capability and insights that will help you improve your content offering.
Smooth content integration
As well as being an efficient social tool, ContentCal can become your marketing team’s new base, working as a centralized hub for anything and everything you’re working on.
Pricing is very affordable, with a range of plans available for professionals and businesses.
ContentCal isn't (yet) able to generate content for you, or suggest content topics. This is something that ContentCal is looking to change in the future so keep an eye on the product roadmap to stay up to date.
If visual content is your forté and Instagram is your preferred platform, Later will be a real treat to help you organize your social media content. Its basic user interface and experience will allow Business accounts to essentially forget about Instagram content, safe in the knowledge that it’s going to work. Plus, there are options to post to Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest, too. It’s easily one of the best social media management tools for Instagram content.
The pricing clearly indicates that it’s suited to freelancers and professionals, although there are options for businesses too. For agencies and larger corporations, Later doesn’t offer as much flexibility or opportunity compared to some other options on the market.
For brands who want more control over their social offering as well as to streamline their marketing strategy and workload, ContentCal is a brilliant option. It allows marketing teams to work together on a shared Calendar and content library, reply to all platforms via one inbox and also plan content for the future. It’s a scheduling tool with an edge and can elevate your entire marketing operation, not just your Instagram grid.