Social media. Email Marketing. Blogging. Video Marketing. You either love it, or you hate it. Regardless of your preference, it is a necessity.
As a small business, you can’t do without them if you have any hopes for success. If a website is your online business address, then social media, email, content, and video marketing are the various telephone lines coming into to your switchboard. Now, as a business, you need a home, but most people will reach out to you via your “phone.” Only those who feel connected to you will visit your home, but they'll get to know you over the phone. The challenge is that those marketing channels require vetting, so you reach the right people. It also means that you will receive calls from people (followers and fans) that aren't necessarily who you want to engage.
That is why it's essential to have a switchboard operator of sorts to help you manage all of your activities. You also want a system that can scale with you over time and handle your marketing strategy and plan. The best way I’ve found to do that is with CoSchedule. It’s an all-in-one online platform that allows you to create all of your marketing content, schedule it, and publish it across various channels in one place. Through a series of integrations, you can curate content or collaborate to create content right in the app. Also, they provide you analytics to track your content's performance and give you excellent tools to improve your content both in real-time and over time. This app is flexible enough for a solopreneur or blogger to a full-agency and professional marketing firm.
How It Works
CoSchedule is a cloud-based, calendar style project management system that enables you to plan, manage, optimize, promote, and publish your content online. From within the app, you can create blog posts, email messages, and social media campaigns. Through the use of integrations you can share your marketing and editorial calendar with WordPress (I have a Squarespace site and still find it quite useful even without the direct connection), the popular social channels, email marketing like MailChimp and ActiveCampaign, and other apps to improve your experience, such as Asana, Basecamp, Evernote, Feedly, G*Suite, Infusionsoft, and more. You can see a full list of their integrations here.
Additionally, within each project or campaign, you can create customized labels, tags, and templates. For instance, I’ve set up a hierarchal structure for my labels and tags. I use the custom labels for each of my channels (blog, email, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), then I tag each of those labels according to the kind of content that it is (e.g., tips, promotion, quotes, new, personal development, business, and/or leadership).
With templates, I can establish a variety of them for content I create regularly. I tend to forget little things as I’m rushing through the day. Plus, it makes life easier for my assistant to see and track all of the items that are needed without having to go back and forth between screens or reach out to me. Our blog template has title, graphics and photos, meta, category, social posts, ads, etc. This template then has dates assigned, those dates are related to tasks that are automatically created when you started a new campaign, which appears on the calendar so you can see at a glance where you are with each campaign and project. I can also assign tasks where needed. To make this easier, I integrate my CoSchedule with Zapier, Google Calendar, and Trello so that everyone is on the same page.
Now, that you know the very basics of using CoSchedule, let’s go over some of the other benefits:
Manage Your Projects
CoSchedule makes it easy for you to see and manage all your campaigns in one place. My favorite part is the detail in the calendar view. It’s nicely laid out so that you can see your campaigns in bold colors, while at the same time showing tasks in a way that doesn’t clutter the screen or make things look overcrowded. The simple drag-and-drop makes it easy to move posts around. If you use the Trello or Asana integration, once you schedule tasks there, they automatically show up on your calendar, too. If you use one of the integrated email autoresponders, your messages (drafts, scheduled, and published messages) will get pulled into your calendar.
Manage Multiple Types of Content
CoSchedule is able to handle multiple kinds of content. Depending on your plan you can plan and schedule a multitude of different content all within the interface. That makes it easier for you to share a blog post to your email list, or promote a product across various social media sites.
One of my favorite features is the task window where you can create content; for me, this is the real magic, it saves so much time and effort. I usually write my blog posts off the top of my head; sometimes it happens in pieces, I may have part of the idea for one today, and the rest in two weeks. There are then times when I can write out several weeks worth of emails in one sitting. Not only does the app make this easy, but it helps me to optimize the content all at once, pull in the content from various out apps (Google Docs, for example) or upload.
CoSchedule also has a magnificent blog that goes deep into content marketing. They apply that knowledge with three free things they’re probably most famous for, they are: Headline Analyzer, Email Subject Analyzer, and Social Media Message Analyzer. Each of these will look over your headline, subject, or message and test it for various things like potential open rate, CTR, and engagement. They also provide free resources to help you enhance your work on your own via download. However, when you get the app, they come along free and are added to your workflow.
Social Media Management
This is probably a big one. Social media is never, yet time-consuming. Finding a solution that can still provide results, but cuts down on time can be quite tricky. The main reason is that many of the other apps only do one thing. The few that do multiple things usually aren’t that good, or they’re quite expensive if you’re just starting out. Fortunately, CoSchedule is affordable, handles numerous platforms, and combines some of the more popular features like requeueing evergreen content, sharing similar messages across platforms, providing deep analytics, and optimizing messages. Even more, they have a “best time” feature that will send out your posts at the best time (this feature works with most of the other content, too.).
I think this is one of the most important benefits. They offer this information for free to anyone, but as a subscriber having their insights with their product makes your marketing much more effective. They provide well-written, detailed blog posts on just about everything you want to know about marketing. Each post comes with downloadable material to help you. Their emails also assist you in improving your marketing based on the level you say you’re at in your business or the type of business you run. Their goal is to help you improve your marketing holistically. The information they provide alone is worth the subscription and what you’ll get from it is invaluable.
What Are The Drawbacks
To be fair, there are a few things that I do wish were better. As beautiful as the layout is, there are times when I’ve got a bunch of different things going through my head, and I remember something that I need to do in that instance or I’d forget. Jumping from campaign to campaign isn’t that easy. Sometimes, it can be hard to remember exactly where you need to make a specific change or what task is related to what particular campaign.
They are missing a few integrations that seem pretty standard at this point. For instance, they don’t have native integration with Dropbox. That’s one of the reasons I run Zapier through it. Dropbox is popular enough that it should be there. I can also get my Dropbox content in through Trello, which I like, but there should be a direct API connection.
There is a bit of sticker shock if you’re used to some of the cheaper options on the market. However, considering that you have an all-in-one feature, the price isn’t entirely crazy. Still, it can seem pricey.
Nevertheless, I’m stretching here for negatives. Overall, I think it’s a fantastic system. I’ve tried several different tools to manage content and social media and even used spreadsheets and planners. Yet, I still haven’t found a resource that is as straightforward and seamless as CoSchedule that saves me time—and ultimately, money.
There is a tiered pricing structure depending on the size of your account and features required. Prices are as follows:
You can try CoSchedule today with a 14-day free trial.
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