7 Reasons why you SHOULD use ContentCal

 


There are several social media and content marketing tools available.

Why I am writing this?

Despite the fact that there are other solutions available, ContentCal stands out.

It genuinely does something unusual! That's energizing.

 

ContentCal is a tool for managing content. It aids in the production of content (for both solopreneurs and teams) as well as the publication of content.

 

It isn't a full-fledged social media management tool because it doesn't track comments or answers. But that is not the case with ContentCal. I'm quite amazed with how easy it is to manage the content development process. Especially for groups.

What is ContentCal?




ContentCal was launched in 2015 by ASTP, a London-based social media business.

 

I've heard this story before.

ASTP was a busy and prosperous agency. However, they were unable to locate any tools that might assist them in their work. This was used to manage material, have it approved, and publish it for their clients.

 

As a result, they decided to create their own, first as an internal tool. In 2016, ContentCal was born and formally launched.

 

There are several tools available to assist in posting and scheduling social media material. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are two of the most popular.

 

However, most technologies do not assist with team planning, drafting, and content creation. Most technologies fail to account for the fact that agencies collaborate with their clients and require content approval. ContentCal attempts to simplify content planning, development, and publication. At the centre of it all is a single, unmistakable visual calendar.

What Makes ContentCal Different

ContentCal is not a standard social media management platform, such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social. It is capable of posting and scheduling material. However, some Social Media Management Tools outperform ContentCal in some areas. Sprout Social and Agora Pulse, for example, feature more robust analytics and reporting. They also assist you in responding to social comments and mentions.

 

However, ContentCal truly shines when it comes to assisting you in managing the content process. From content concept and creation to approval, scheduling, and publication.

 

As a result, comparing ContentCal to other products like HootSuite isn't really useful. It's a unique type of tool.

 

CoSchedule is probably the closest tool to ContentCal.

 

The content creation process is a nightmare for many social media companies and brands.

 

Some firms manage their customers' social media material using Excel spreadsheets and shared calendars.

They must then send it to their clients for approval. They must also oversee content production within their team. Some people utilize project management software such as Trello, Asana, or Base camp.

 

Once accepted, they'll need programs like Buffer or HootSuite to actually post the material.

 

You can see how things might get extremely complicated, difficult to handle, and disastrous!

 

The main objective of ContentCal is to simplify this procedure. A calendar (surprise!) lies at the heart of ContentCal. There, a team may generate content ideas and create content. They can assign, modify, and transmit to management or clients for approval. It is also in charge of publication.



Who is ContentCal for?

Individuals, agencies, and corporations may all benefit from ContentCal. However, it is especially valuable for agencies and enterprises that have teams of content authors.

ContentCal: The Cons

There is no such thing as an ideal instrument. Let's start with the disadvantages. I believe it is critical to consider both the faults and the pros of a tool in order to have a fair perspective on it.

 

When I first published this post, I indicated that ContentCal was still a new platform that was still in its early stages. The user interface was a little awkward and difficult to utilize. But they've made significant improvements with the latest edition. They also lacked a mobile app and analytics. However, this has been remedied with the mobile app and enough analytics.

 

Not for Managing Engagement

So, there's really just one major thing that ContentCal doesn't do: it doesn't track responses or comments to your social postings. You'll need to monitor them and comment on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Alternatively, utilize other programs, such as Agorapulse or Sprout Social. However, there is some encouraging news: ContentCal is developing on a new integrated solution called Respond that will aid with social monitoring. I'll let you know when it goes live!

ContentCal: The Pros

There are a lot of things, ContentCal does extremely well.

#1 Team Workflow

If you operate in a team or with a large number of clients, you've probably struggled to find a tool that meets your demands. This is due to the fact that most social media management platforms do not handle groups of users. Some tools do not facilitate teamwork well, if at all.

 

You may build up publishing approval procedures with user rights and responsibilities using a team workflow system. As a result, you may have an admin user in charge of the account, the team, and final approval. Then, restrict other users to just creating or editing material and sending it for approval.

 

Hoot suite has this feature, but only on their $150/month team plan and upwards.

 

On all plans, Sprout Social allows you to add team members. The team workflow feature with team roles, on the other hand, is only available with the $500/month team plan and higher.

Agora Pulse allows you to add team members to any of their subscriptions, but the comprehensive team workflow system is only accessible on their $199/month and above plans.

 

A team workflow system is included with all premium ContentCal plans. As a result, it is incredibly cost effective for teams.

 

Of course, there is an issue.

Not all businesses or government entities are the same.

 

When I deal with customers, they frequently tell me that they haven't been able to locate a tool that meets their demands. Many tools want you to conform to their working style.

 

It will never be flawless, but ContentCal allows you to create bespoke approval flows. Businesses and government bodies will get an additional degree of control as a result of this.

 

All paying users receive an account manager, allowing you to collaborate with ContentCal to get things up and running the way you want.

When some posts slipped between the cracks, I've heard some terrifying accounts.

You may use ContentCal to guarantee that all posts are reviewed by a manager and/or a client. This is before the content is made public!

 

The current version has been streamlined, and there are now three major roles in ContentCal: owner, team member, and client.

 

When they are added to a Calendar, they may be assigned certain rights such as creator, approver, view + remark only, or approver + creator.

 

You may create an approval pipeline.

 

For example, when your content creator has created a post, it may be sent to an approver for review. That approver might be a director or a customer.



#2 Content Workflow

 

ContentCal has various useful planning tools, such as a 'Backlog' for storing draught ideas and postings.

 

While preparing content, you may generate placeholder posts. While your team planned and develops content, these behave as sticky notes on your calendar.

 

When you plan content, you construct campaigns to store and manage it.

 

This is how your content pipeline appears when viewed as a list rather than a calendar. The list view simplifies the management of your approvals.

 


Every campaign...

 

To distinguish the campaigns, you may provide a header graphic.

You have the option of defining the campaign's time frame.

A shared folder can include digital assets (pictures and movies).

You can post comments - each campaign has a chat feature where team members may provide feedback.

These campaigns are then shown as 'ribbons' at the top of the calendar, outlining your planned content plans.

You may also see your material over the course of a month. This is really valuable for getting a broader picture of what's going on, as well as for campaign planning and management. And you may now tag your posts to better categories them.



You may also filter your calendar by Post State (draught, authorized, etc.), Channel, Category tags, Post Creator, or select to see just posts with attachments or only posts with comments in the current version. That's a significant improvement, and it makes it much easier to discover the stuff you're looking for.

 

#3 Audit Trails

Things might become tricky when many team members and a customer are involved. Even with a well-planned content system and approval procedure, mistakes can occur.

That is why it is critical to be able to know who created certain information, who authorized it, and when it was uploaded.

 

ContentCal provides a complete audit trail, allowing you to observe all of the phases of content management. You can view all of the tasks completed by your team, as well as who completed them and when they occurred. Not only will this aid in issue resolution, but it will also aid in efficiency audits and the improvement of processes within your team.

 

#4 Content Library

What do you do with your digital assets?

 

Where do you store licensed photos and videos so that you may use them in your campaigns?

 

Some firms and government bodies simply do not save their digital assets.

I've seen individuals spend hours sifting through their emails seeking for that one image they need to utilize.

 

Or perhaps the film is saved in a folder on their computer... but where?

 

Shared network drives will be used by certain highly organized enterprises and agencies. Alternatively, Drop box or Google Drive might be used. However, it may quickly devolve into a shambles!

 

The option to integrate your digital assets to your campaigns is a fantastic feature of ContentCal. That way, they're all accessible to your staff. This will have a huge effect on productivity!

 

However, it is not without flaws. As previously stated, team members can upload videos and photographs to the campaign. To use the image or video, you must first download it and then re-upload it.

 

This will be improved by ContentCal. It will be fantastic to be able to reuse assets that are already in the content collection. And you can do that without having to download and re-upload anything.

 

Image and Video Enhancer

An image and video optimizer has been introduced, which is a pretty interesting feature. ContentCal can now compress files so that they may be published without difficulty. This is a significant issue since publishing would fail if the file was too large because most social networks have a maximum file size.

 

#4 Social Platform Support

ContentCal interfaces with Twitter, Facebook (pages only), and LinkedIn (profiles and pages), allowing you to share your content to these channels after it has been authorized. It also connects with Instagram and allows you to publish straight to Instagram from the ContentCal mobile app.

 

However, ContentCal may also be used to prepare content for other networks. There are no programs that can support all of the networks out there. However, even if complete connectivity is not available, ContentCal allows you to schedule content in the calendar.

 

These are 'planning channels,' and you may plan and generate content for a huge number of networks using them. Instagram, YouTube, Google+, your blog, Pinterest, email, Snapchat, and print media are just a few examples.



ContentCal will not be able to publish to the planning-only channels, but it will be able to assist you in planning content inside your team. Then you may forward the information to the appropriate team to get it posted or published on that platform.

 

Each calendar may only have one of each social platform set up. One Facebook page, one LinkedIn (profile or page), and one Twitter profile, for example. However, depending on your plan, you should have enough calendars in your account to set up.

 

Link Shorteners

You may also use Bit.ly to shorten your URLs. This allows you to track the success of your campaigns using bit.ly. This is a significant benefit because not all social media management systems link with Bit.ly.

Emojis

The world appears to have gone emoji insane. Emojis are now supported by ContentCal. Previously, you had to use the built-in emoji picker in Windows or Mac OSX to copy and paste your favorite emojis, but ContentCal now includes an emoji keyboard.

 

Hashtags Saved

Many of us use the same set of hashtags on a regular basis. In the Setup section of your Calendar, you can now tell ContentCal which hashtags you use the most. What's wonderful about this is that anytime you input the hashtag symbol, ContentCal displays a list of the hashtags you've stored. This feature is fantastic!

 

Recurring Posts

You may now repeat postings in the 2018 edition, which saves a lot of time. Simply pick numerous dates when creating a post for it to display in the Calendar!

 

#5 Reasonable Pricing (including free plan)

 


Tools are not cheap.

 

They are expensive to create.

 

The infrastructure costs money to host and maintain.

 

They must pay their crew (you obviously want them to eat and have a roof over their heads!)

 

What about marketing, tools, and so on?

 

Many tools used to be free or have very little costs, but that is changing.

Hootsuite used to offer a fantastic free plan, however it is now severely restricted. Their entry-level pro plan has jumped from $5.99/month to $29/month in recent years, and it no longer supports teams.


 

The new pro package is just $13 per month (£9). This includes statistics, four social networks, one user, one calendar, campaigns, and much more. However, the pro plan is reserved for lone business owners or solopreneurs. This is due to the fact that you have a maximum of one team member.

 

You'll need the Company plan for teams. This costs $42/month (or £29/month) and includes two users and two calendars. Let's compare it to Hootsuite's Pro package. If you pay monthly, Hootsuite Pro costs $45 per month (or £40 per month) and supports only one user. If you pay annually, Hootsuite Pro becomes a bit cheaper - $29/month (£25/month), but ContentCal are still cheaper AND support more than one team member!

 

ContentCal no longer provides limitless calendars or users, although the plans are still rather generous in terms of what they provide. One thing I like about them is that they are quite open about their price system.

 


If you want real team functionality with Hootsuite, you'll require their Team plan, which costs the equivalent of $129/month if paid annually.

 

 

You may now add more users, calendars, and analytics to any plans (except free) and customize them as much as you like! Finally, you enlist the assistance of a team member to assist you along the route.

 

 

 

If the corporate plan is insufficient, you can always contact ContentCal, who can build a bespoke plan for you. Custom branding and custom planning channels are available, allowing you to white-label or custom brand for your clients or business. Prices must be obtained from ContentCal.

 

#6 Analytics



I'm pleased that ContentCal's metrics have improved. It's an often-overlooked component of any tool, and it's occasionally included as a last-minute afterthought. However, being able to look back on your social media efforts and determine what worked and what didn't work is essential for every social media campaign.

 

One nice feature is that the metrics are consolidated across all platforms, providing you with a useful summary of how you're performing. Of course, you can filter this and examine it on a network-by-network basis as well.

 

 

 

You may see the following information under the Overall tab:

  • best time to post
  • top-performing posts
  • audience growth
  • engagement growth
  • audience breakdown (which social channels have the highest following)

One important thing to keep in mind is that the analytics only show data for posts you've published using ContentCal. As a result, whether you've ever uploaded directly to your platforms or utilized a third-party service, these will be hidden.

#6 Panic Button



Hopefully, anything like this will never happen to you.

 

You've created a content calendar for the coming weeks. Everything is in order. Tweets and Facebook posts with stunning photographs, hilarious and entertaining videos, and compelling connections to your most recent blog entries.

 

But then... There's a terrible international tragedy, perhaps some bad news or scandal involving your company.

 

But you’re meticulously produced and well put together social media posts are still being shared as if nothing has changed.

It's not the fault of ContentCal. If Buffer, Hootsuite, or Agora Pulse had continued to post the material, it would not have been their fault. That's their job, and no matter how intelligent they are, they're not mind readers or adept at reading the news.

 

So, what do you do if a calamity occurs and you need to prevent a tool from uploading all of the content? It's not a quick and easy process using some instruments. You'll have to delete all of the postings or even revoke access to the tool on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Fortunately, ContentCal has a panic button. It might save your life.

It does not remove any posts. All it does is put everything on hold. No posts will be sent if you use the panic button.

 

This might be a little feature that you never use. However, it is a function that many tools lack and one that may truly come in handy!

 

Other Features

ContentCal has added other features

They have now created an iPhone app (Android coming soon). This enables you to browse forthcoming posts (or view overdue ones).

Posts from other programs (such as your web browser) can easily be added to your content management workflow. This is a fantastic feature!

 

Instagram mobile app posting is now enabled. Although Instagram just debuted direct publishing, which allows tools to publish straight to Instagram without using the mobile app, it is only available to a restricted number of Facebook partners.

While ContentCal does not currently allow direct publishing from the desktop software (yet!), it does allow you to publish semi-automatically by informing you on your Smartphone and then uploading straight to Instagram using the official Instagram mobile app, as do most other Instagram posting solutions.

White Label

White labeling is now available for ContentCal. Smaller organizations are unlikely to priorities this, but for agencies and larger enterprises, the ability to custom brand the user interface may be a helpful choice. ContentCal also allows you to establish custom planning channels. Contact ContentCal directly for more information.

Summary

ContentCal will not be suitable for everyone. However, it is an excellent match for enterprises or organization's that have a team of people that create and manage content.

 

No tool can accomplish everything. You see, the One Tool That Rules Them All just does not exist. Some organization's will require an additional tool in addition to ContentCal. One that promotes interaction and provides improved reporting and analytics. Perhaps it might also be used as a listening device. However, ContentCal's capabilities have been expanding, and now that it includes built-in analytics, it may be closer to being an all-in-one application.

 

However, ContentCal will be a fantastic fit for some - and will significantly boost efficiency.

What are your thoughts? Is it worth checking out ContentCal, or are you underwhelmed?

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