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I’ve been a fan of CoSchedule for a long time, always reading their blog posts and taking their excellent free downloads that are always included. I’ll admit I had tried their software once, back when I started and thought it was great but I didn’t understand just how much it can do. But recently, I went through their Marketing Strategy Course (with the certificate to prove it) and came to realise that CoSchedule is a lot more than just social media scheduling. Here’s my full review of the software.
Who are CoSchedule?
If you have never run into their software before, you will have doubtless encountered the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. This is a brilliant, free tool that helps you assess the power and impact of the headlines or blog titles and is great for making the most of that critical first impression. It even works on emails, Facebook ads and much more.
But who are CoSchedule? The company was founded back in 2013 by Garrett Moon and Justin Walsh who came up with the idea for the calendar while on a plane from Atlanta to North Dakota. The calendar launched in September that year and customers were quick to sign up. In less than two years, the company had over 5,000 customers and a blog following of 100,000 subscribers by July 2016. At the same time, the company now offered their product to over 100 countries worldwide.
To date, the company has 170,000 blog subscribers, 8,000 customers and employs a team of 41 people from their base in North Dakota.
How the calendar works
When I first ran into CoSchedule, I was impressed by their ideas about sharing your content multiple times. But their calendar is definitely about more than just sharing on social media and this is what makes it stand out versus other, still very good pieces of software.
For starters, you can put a number of different things onto your calendar. There are blog posts, social media campaigns, email marketing campaigns, newsletters, promotions, website content and more. You can even have ‘idea’ settings where you jot down something you might want to do at a later date.
So on my current calendar, I have my regular blog posts scheduled and I have the social media campaigns associated with them as well as the Old Post campaigns I’m running (more about that in a bit). I also have projects such as redesigning my content writing services to launch through the website and the work I need to do around them.
Within each item, you can set up tasks. For example, for each blog post, I have a template of tasks I use. The day before I write the post, I research keywords and phrases as well as looking for some ideas for research to feature in the piece. On the day of posting, I have tasks to create the graphics to accompany the piece and also set up a social media campaign.
You can also add extra tasks to the template that you have created so if you want to add a copy to curated content sites such as Reddit or Flipboard, then you can remind yourself to do this.
As you create blog posts, you can create a social media campaign for it and you can also create standalone campaigns, say if you are introducing a new product or service. Again, templates are invaluable for this.
For example, I have two different templates around blog posts, both based on CoSchedule’s ideas of how often and what to share on social media. I can then just populate the messages I write into the template, add graphics for the different sites and add it to the calendar. I have a similar template for Old Posts that reshares new messages on a lesser schedule and use this for posts that have been published for a while.
The third template I have is for my brand awareness sharing – each week I share a variety of quotes, pictures and tips without any links associated. I have a template for this where I can upload the graphic and add the message then have them go out on the right day – for example Tuesday Tips goes out at the best time on Tuesdays on both Twitter and Facebook.
CoSchedule is really a marketing calendar that allows you to plan every aspect of your business. Maybe you are promoting a new product you are launching such as an eBook or a course. Maybe you are working with another blogger or business on a project. You can add other people to the calendar and assign them tasks within it.
You can also use simple Note or Task options to remind yourself to do something. Say you need to reorder ink for your printer on a certain date, then set a task. You can also send standalone social media messages so if you want to share an update, you can. You can even add events, say a company anniversary or a new starter and share news across social media.
CoSchedule works hand in hand with lots of other important pieces of software. WordPress is a perfect example. You can view your calendar on your blog and even create the social media campaigns at the bottom of the blog post as you are creating it.
You can also sync Evernote with your calendar and then add notes you have saved to your events. So, if you have research you want to use in a blog post, you can add it to the event along with your tasks and other related items.
You can also integrate Google Analytics to find out what posts are getting the most attention on social media and also Bitly, the link shortening service to make all of your links neat and small. You can even integrate your Google Calendar if you want everything to appear there as well as on CoSchedule.
Another feature I’ve just started using is the ReQueue feature. This does cost more on top of the standard subscription but allows you designate content to be reshared. You set up post groups and add messages to them then set up rules about how often and how many items from each group should be shared. The software then finds the best time and adds them to your calendar.
Currently, I have one group for blog posts, one for curated content that I think worth sharing again and a third for some of my social media graphics such as quotes that aren’t specific and can be shared again at a later date.
There are a variety of different prices to suit your budget and what you want to do. There is a basic plan starting from $15 a month (paid annually) but I currently have the Solo Marketing package. This is $39 a month (you can save around $100 by paying annually on this figure) and this allows me:
- 10 profiles
- Social message analytics
- Google Chrome extension for curating content
- Premium integrations
I also have added ReQueue with increases the cost by an addition $40 a month. This makes it a decent investment but I have already seen an increase in blog traffic that makes me think it is worth it. But if I ever can’t afford it, you can cancel the subscription at any time.
If you have more users involved in your business, you can have various profiles including 5, 25 or even more users and an increase in the number of profiles corresponding. There is a host of benefits that are designed for teams and larger companies including marketing campaigns, sub-calendar views and top-level analytics.
My CoSchedule review
When I went through the Marketing Strategy course, I came to realise the full benefits of CoSchedule. It is more expensive than say Buffer (which I also have and rate highly for social sharing) but it is more of a business or blog organisation tool that incorporate social media sharing, curating content, organising marketing and anything else you want it to do.
I can wholeheartedly say it is worth a try and if you would like to, feel free to use my referral link (thank you!)
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