A brand needs to keep its message unified, its procedures consistent, its output transparent and accessible to multiple stakeholders and team members. In short, it needs a master calendar system that brings all content into one manageable console. Social media scheduling tools like Buffer can have a major impact on engagement, but they’re not enough, and they can be abstruse to some stakeholders who don’t need to look at too many moving parts. CoSchedule brings a brand’s content together so a team can create, manage, and evaluate it easily. In fact, it works in conjunction with Buffer and other tools to do that.
Transparent to Stakeholders
A content marketing team consists of multiple roles with distinct responsibilities. The most critical roles are:
- Brand Visionary (Owners/CEO, Thought Leaders, Primary Stakeholders)
- Project Manager (Marketing Director/Strategist/Planning)
- Content Writer (Blogger & PR/E-mail Writer)
- Social Implementer (Social Curator, Reporter & Audience Builder)
- Social Image Designer (Ongoing Graphics)
You can combine a couple of things (e.g. implementer & designer) if the SKILL SET is really there. But, if you pull OUT one of these roles, the marketing plan will be EXECUTED haphazardly. Each part depends on the other, and each needs access to a shared system.
We use Trello to manage overall planning, Slack to streamline team communications, a blog platform (usually WordPress) to create blog posts, and Buffer as our go to social platform. But none of these tools lets every member of the team see, at a GLANCE, what we’re posting, when, and where. That’s where CoSchedule comes in.
WHAT IT IS: CoSchedule is a content and distribution calendar and post scheduler that integrates with both your social networks and your blog, bringing all content posting and scheduling into one internally visible place.
One enormously useful feature is the ability of stakeholders and strategists to make COMMENTS or add INSTRUCTIONS (tasks) right within the editorial calendar. This invites feedback and input around the content without separating that advice from the content scheduling/posting process itself.
We’ve written about what brands must measure to have an effective content marketing plan. If your fan appreciation campaign isn’t getting fan appreciation, you need to know.
It isn’t likes and follows that matter nearly as much as SHARES or re-shares. We care less about the pats on the back than when someone is actually telling someone else (or many someone else’s) about our brand! That’s what CoSchedule tracks.
It should NOT serve as your only metrics solution, which is why it integrates with Google Analytics and Buffer (which MadPipe also adds to a central dashboard for each client). Sometimes, though, you just want a quick look, at a glance, on how you’re doing. You just want to know things are going forward smoothly and effectively.
Unified Social and Blog Content
A blog is the centerpiece of a content marketing campaign. You can use CoSchedule without a blog, but its true power becomes really apparent when you add it with your WordPress site. The idea is to keep blog posting and social posting together. Regardless of whether content is going to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, or your Blog itself, you can see what’s going out, move or reschedule it easily, edit it before it goes, or even yank something you have a concern about!
HOW IT WORKS
For Blog Content: Create posts the normal way in WordPress, and add social scheduling at the bottom of each post. Alternately, create posts directly in the calendar, and schedule them socially. The tool is very flexible.
For Micro-posts (e.g. a tweet) or Curated Content: Add content directly to the calendar.
My workflow: involves creating a blog post, adding the social schedule at the bottom, then going to the calendar to refine it. That way, I can see the whole schedule as a big picture. I then drag and drop posts to ideal slots on the calendar, so my content is going out consistently and in a balanced way.
CoSchedule actually helps drive my content creativity. The juices flow, because of the direct relationship between content creation and social posting. I’m actually creating more posts of different types than ever before.
Scheduling Curated & Original Content Campaigns in ONE Place
A solid marketing plan will break your content output into individual campaign areas. Effective content management includes both curated content and original content.
You can further break down the campaigns by theme (e.g. #FanFridays or #TrendingTuesdays) or by type of content you post.
- Entertainment / Humor
- Meaning / Personal Image
- Fan Appreciation / Internal Reporting
- Trends / News & Information
- Causes / Advocacy
- Contests / Deals / Events / Giveaways
WordPress has post types and taxonomies (e.g. categories and tags) that can be used to differentiate campaigns and content types. CoSchedule actually works with these to allow you to see the big picture, but also break it down for easy understanding, planning, brainstorming and discussion.
WHERE WE WANT COSCHEDULE TO GO
It would be ideal to bring e-mail content to the same editorial calendar. Integration with Mailchimp would be ideal. Also, we’d like to track Content that isn’t necessarily integrated, such as press releases, physical mailings, or anything else we want to put in as content output. We don’t need an API for everything, but it would be nice to have a 360-view of the total content output of a brand in any medium.
If you’re a company leader or stakeholder and have ever felt like you had only a general, birds-eye view of what your team is doing with content – if you’ve only been able to be reactive instead of proactive in guiding or adjusting the trajectory of brand output – CoSchedule is a critical tool in the arsenal. We’ve used other WordPress-based content management calendars, but nothing is as helpful, simple, smart and sophisticated as CoSchedule.
To go beyond just filling the toolbox, and get help leading the content strategy and guiding the actual *use* of these tools, lease a Marketing Director from MadPipe. No mahogany desk, company car, or 40-hour executive salary – just the parts you need, without the overhead.