Why CoSchedule Is My Go-To Content Marketing Calendar
I recently discovered what is arguably the most powerful content marketing calendar I’ve used so far. Thanks to Pat Flynn’s podcast, I am now obsessed with CoSchedule, an all-in-one marketing calendar that brings your content and social media in the same place.
Running a business and growing a blog for entrepreneurs keeps me moving in a lot of directions at once. I need quick and easy. But I also need effective. CoSchedule is the first content marketing calendar to help me move beyond just scheduling. It’s helped me develop a solid content strategy. Here’s why I love it.
Drag-And-Drop Content Marketing Calendar
Like any blogger, I need to share the content I’ve created in order to serve and grow my audience. CoSchedule’s drag-and-drop calendar makes it really easy to do that. From one content marketing calendar, I can schedule social media shares, future blog posts and any other events I want to add to keep me on task.
I’m a big picture guy, so I personally love the month view. I don’t get that with Buffer. And even though HootSuite shows a month view, it’s too small. With CoSchedule, each row expands in size as you fill it up with more content.
Drag-and-drop makes it wicked easy to rearrange social shares and blog posts. Plus, you can color code anything to see your overall content marketing strategy more clearly.
While you can schedule social media posts on CoSchedule, you can also create the bones of a blog post directly from the calendar and then convert it into a WordPress post using their plugin. I don’t know of any other content marketing calendar that can do that. More on the WordPress plugin in a minute.
Easy Social Media Scheduling
The heart of any good content marketing calendar is its ability to schedule social media posts. CoSchedule has developed an idiot-proof system for getting this done. And as you’ll learn below, they’ve taken it a step further to help you become a content marketing wizard.
Starting with the basics, you can schedule a social media post from the CoSchedule calendar, from inside WordPress post using their plugin or from the “Top Posts” page. You can share on the following social media sites one-at-a-time or all at once:
You get a live preview of what your post will look like on each site as soon as you begin typing your message. You can choose to share a text post, link post or image post. And you can upload your own images if you don’t like the one that’s pulling from your blog.
But the most game-changing feature of CoSchedule’s social media scheduling interface is the built-in multiple share workflow. As you can see in the image above, when scheduling social media posts, you’re prompted to schedule multiple messages about your content: Today, Tomorrow, Next Week, Next Month, In Two Months, etc.
As you’ll see below, using the Social Queue feature has already paid off in terms of building my audience and increasing traffic to my site.
Easily Re-Schedule Old Blog Content
This feature was one of the best surprises for me. Honestly, I never re-scheduled any of my old blog posts because I thought it would annoy my audience. Holy cow was I wrong!
By using CoSchedule’s “Top Posts” page, I grew my Twitter following by 17% in one week! And guess what? No one complained to me that I was bugging them.
Here’s how it works. As you can see in the image above, you’re given a quick overview of how many social shares your posts are getting. You can filter for different time frames, but so far I’ve kept mine to show “All Time”. Using this information, you can then re-schedule your top performing posts to be shared again…and again…and again.
The theory behind this is that, especially on Twitter, your posts have a very short life span on social media and should be shared more often in order to reach more viewers.
I’m a prime example of how well this feature works. I used to have almost zero traffic to my website from Twitter. LinkedIn has always been my social champion. After my first week rescheduling old blog content through CoSchedule, 32% of my social traffic is now coming from Twitter. And because I also scheduled those posts to be re-shared on LinkedIn, I got even more traffic from there in the process. Not too shabby for something that took me about 5 minutes per post.
Awesome WordPress Plugin
I already mentioned that you can start a blog post from CoSchedule’s online content marketing calendar. But cooler than that is using their WordPress plugin to convert that outline into an actual editable draft post that opens in WordPress.
What this allows me to do is go through my Google Spreadsheet of titles, choose the ones I want to start working on, and then copy/paste those into new blog posts on my CoSchedule calendar. At the same time, I’m creating actual drafts of these posts to work on in WordPress. So, in a matter of minutes, I can go from having a bunch of blog ideas to having those ideas scheduled for the next few months as blog posts that are ready to edit.
Besides converting outlines into blog posts, the WordPress plugin also allows you to:
- Schedule social media posts right from inside the post you’re writing (even before you publish your blog).
- View your CoSchedule content marketing calendar.
- View your CoSchedule activity dashboard with upcoming posts and top performers.
- View your Top Posts.
- Collaborate with your team.
Easy Workflow Management For Your Marketing Team
I have a Digital Marketing Assistant who works on our insurance agency’s content marketing calendar. Sometimes I get her involved with Big Time Small Business. But as of yet, I haven’t added any team members to CoSchedule. I’ll say that it looks not only useful, but pretty intuitive.
The main things I can see being incredibly useful are:
- Breaking larger goals (ie: publishing a blog post) into smaller activities.
- Assigning those activities to team members.
- Commenting on ideas and changes that are made during the blog editing phase.
- Filtering the content marketing calendar by team member to get a quick glance at who is working on what.
Lots Of Integrations To Simplify Your Life
CoSchedule has some pretty handy third party integrations that make working with your content marketing calendar even easier.
- Buffer: Link your Buffer account if you’d rather schedule some social posts via your Buffer Queue.
- Bit.ly: Connect your own Bitly account, and CoSchedule will automatically create short urls for your messages. With bitly you can also track your links from the bitly account center.
- Google Analytics: Automatically adds UTM tracking tags to all of your links shared via social media. Results can be visualize on custom analytics dashboards.
- Evernote: Attach your Evernote notebooks to CoSchedule and share access to them with your team.
- Google Docs: Convert your blog drafts saved in Google Docs into WordPress posts.
- Google Calendar: Get a birds-eye-view of your WordPress blog posts and corresponding social media messages. Add your CoSchedule content marketing calendar to your Google Calendar with a single click. No need to push your scheduled posts to your Google Calendar using IFTTT!
Free 14-Day Trial
Like most online services, CoSchedule offers a FREE 14-day trial with complete access to all of their content marketing calendar features. If you try it and you like it, come back here and tell me about your experience in the comments below.