My Rating for CoSchedule: [usr 5]
This month I’m going to review the CoSchedule marketing calendar tool. I’ve been using this calendar for almost a month. I began using it to help me manage the massive amounts of content I publish on a regular basis. This calendar is chalked full of extremely useful, time-saving features. I’ll begin this month’s review by providing you with an overview of CoSchedule’s features and then I’ll demonstrate how I use the calendar to schedule all my content and corresponding social media messages. I’ll end with discussing their pricing and give it an overall rating. So, let me stop wasting time and let’s get into the review.
What is CoSchedule? When I first heard of this application several years ago, it was just a way to schedule your social media messages, like the tools HootSuite and TweetDeck. At the time, I couldn’t reconcile paying for something I could get for free, somewhere else. However, as I began to produce more content, I needed a tool that would allow me to schedule my tasks, schedule my content, and schedule my social media posts. I was very disappointed in the lack of understanding by some of the tools available on the market, and then I remembered CoSchedule. I visited the website to see if the application had evolved in any way, and to my surprise it had. CoSchedule is five products in one.
CoSchedule provides a birds-eye view of all content to be published by your company. This can include everything from blog posts to newsletters to podcasts and more. The content calendar allows you to schedule your content week after week, month after month. This way, you always know what’s being published when and you can stay on top of things.
CoSchedule allows you to setup a workflow for each content type; associating the necessary tasks that must be completed before content can be published. After your workflow has been created for a content type, you can associate that workflow with all future content pieces.
Social Media Scheduler
CoSchedule can schedule social media messages across the major social media platforms. You can create one-off messages or establish a scheduled workflow based on content types. Content can be scheduled as far out as you like. CoSchedule also offers a social automation tool, that can breathe new life into old content.
As with your content, you can also add marketing campaigns to the calendar to keep better track of what is launching when. If you’re running a paid search campaign to highlight an upcoming webinar, add it to your calendar and watch the whole thing come together.
In addition to the paid features, CoSchedule also offers an extremely useful knowledge base and blog. The support offered through CoSchedule to keep your campaigns and content strategy moving in the right direction is insane. They offer tools, articles, webinars, videos, and guides on how to do everything from planning social media campaigns to creating content people will want to consume. This is an added benefit available to anyone, even if you don’t sign-up for the platform.
For more information about CoSchedule’s features, check out this overview video:[video_lightbox_vimeo5 video_id=”166544659″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”https://academy.level360.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/CoSchedule_Overview-e1503057481501.png”]
How I Use CoSchedule
Now let’s get into the part of the review, I’m sure you’ve been waiting for, how I use CoSchedule. As I mentioned previously, I’ve been using CoSchedule for almost a full month and it has absolutely become an integral part of my content strategy. Without this tool, I’d never be able to release a weekly audio AND podcast, weekly blog post, weekly newsletter, monthly video and monthly webinar, in addition to running my business and all the extra, incidental things like eating and sleeping.
CoSchedule integrates with WordPress, which is the content management system I use for my website. This makes life so much easier for me, as I am creating content in WordPress, I’m able to manage the tasks in my workflow and implement a social media marketing workflow without ever leaving my website. This is a huge time saver.
I will begin by saying CoSchedule is not as intuitive as it looks. I say this not because it is hard to use, I say this because it is so versatile, you really won’t know how you’re going to use it until you get in there and mix it up a bit. CoSchedule offers a 14-day free trial, and you’ll need each one of those days to get up to speed on everything it can do for you.
I’ll briefly mention the dashboard. Here you can see that upcoming content is listed in the left column and the top content based on social media shares is displayed in the middle column. The right-hand column lists all my upcoming tasks in order of due date.
Next, let’s head over to the calendar. As I mentioned, I have the option to manage my calendar from within WordPress, but I can also manage everything on the CoSchedule website. When I first turn on my computer in the morning, before I make my first of many cups of coffee, this is the first place I go.
Once your calendar has been filled out and is in working order, it can get crazy, pretty quickly. CoSchedule provides filters to enable you to only show those things that are most important to you at that time. The main section of the calendar lists all the content that is going to be published, associated tasks, other tasks that I’ve setup, and the social media message that will post to promote my published content.
My content is broken down by content type. I usually schedule my content three months out. When I want to create a new piece of content, I just click the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner and that brings up a dialog screen allowing me to select the type of content I’d like to create. A key feature of CoSchedule is that you can create custom content types if you don’t see all the types of content you create.
From here I simply click on the type of content I want to create. I give it a generic name at first. I go in later and change the title to the best headline I believe will encourage the most engagement with my audience. On this screen, I can also enter a description of the content and select tags, so I can find my content later. I use this description and tags section to house the content excerpt and keywords used during the promotion process.
You can change the content type if you need to, under this option. My label structure is setup to mirror the content type, so I can color code everything on my calendar. However, you can setup your labels to mirror whatever process works best for you.
If you have multiple employees working on content, you can select a content owner from this option and next you’ll select the date and time at which the content will be published. A nice feature is that the publish date and time does carry over to WordPress. You finish the initial setup by clicking the big Create Blog Post button.
The next screen lets you select how you want to edit your content. As I said, my account is connected to WordPress, so I usually select that as my editing option. However, you can edit content inside of the CoSchedule tool or upload a file or Google Doc.
After selecting my editor, I move over to the tasks section. I’ve setup task templates for each type of content I create. From here, I can simply select the template I want to attribute to this piece of content, and I have a quick and easy plan, ready to implement.
I want to briefly touch on a nice benefit to using CoSchedule. They’ve thrown in this nice little headline analyzer that you can use to analyze your content headlines. It will help you identify the best headline for your content. You can type your headline in the box and click the full analysis link to be directed to a nice analysis tool. The headline analyzer will score your headline and give you feedback on what you can do to make it better.
Every time I publish new content, a social media plan is implemented. This plan was setup as a social campaign template within CoSchedule. I set this template up after several days of research, much of which was conducted on CoSchedule’s blog.
The template allows you to send social media messages a certain number of days after your content has published to any one or all your social media platforms. The template consists of social helpers, which is like reusable content for your social media messages. I setup parts of my social media message and then pulled everything together within the template.
For example, I write several headlines for each piece of content I publish. I also create different images to share for each piece of content I publish. Each headline and image has a different purchase and is used on different social media platforms. Once I’ve setup each piece of the social media message, I can pull the template together.
Begin by selecting when the social media message will go out, and then build my message like you would build a Lego house. The message can be sent to any one of my social media profiles. I select the text that will go in the message and then add an image or a video to the message. Lastly, I choose when and what time to send the message. CoSchedule can also send the message for you at what they consider the best time.
Once a template has been created, it’s just a few clicks to associate the template with your content. Next, you’ll need to add content specific information. Remember this was just a template, so you still need to add content.
The last thing I’d like to show you is the WordPress implementation. When I create new content on CoSchedule, it is also automatically created within my WordPress website. This is done because I have installed and connected the CoSchedule WordPress plugin. When I go into the content I’ve created, you can see I have all the CoSchedule features available to me on the CoSchedule website. This provides flexibility to move between the tools based on what I’m doing at that specific moment.
As I mentioned earlier, CoSchedule offers a 14-day free trial, however, their packages begin at $30 per month, paid on an annual basis. If you have multiple employees managing your content, you will need to upgrade to the team plan which runs about $60 per month, paid annually.
In my opinion, this is a necessary tool for anyone publishing multiple pieces of content on a regular basis. If you simply have a weekly blog, this may end up being overkill for you. However, if you publish three or more pieces of content a month, this tool will be beneficial to you.
The ReQueue add-on is a nice idea, but I have not used it yet. It runs an additional $30 per month, which is a bit too steep for me. CoSchedule is well worth the cost and provides extreme value to me and my company. I give this tool five stars and I am excited to see what additional features will be added. Hopefully, they won’t make everything an add-on, to allow smaller companies the ability to afford cool feature too.
As a quick reminder, my reviews are never sponsored. I create these reviews, to help you sift through the noise. I want to help you narrow in on the best tools for your needs. However, in full disclosure, I have attached a referral link, if you purchase CoSchdeule using my link, I will get a discount on my own account. If you sign-up for CoSchedule let me know. I’d love to hear how you’re using it. Stay tuned for next month’s product review, and until then, enjoy CoSchedule!!