If you’ve talked to any of the Don’t Panic Team lately about managing editorial content, you may have heard one of us ranting and raving about our new favorite tool for managing every type of digital marketing content under the sun. It’s called CoSchedule. And at the risk of sounding like an *infomercial, it really might change your life.
In a nutshell, CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop editorial calendar for WordPress that puts your blog posts and social media messages on the same schedule.
To give you an idea of why this editorial calendar is so revolutionary, here’s a look at how our internal blog calendar used to look:
This lovely system was Becca’s design. Don’t get me wrong—it works just great, and I love Becca’s mind for all things organizational. But while this little spreadsheet kept all the balls rolling forward and everyone in line, it involved a lot of manual labor, emails, and updating on Becca’s part. And if you only knew what this girl does all day for all of our clients, I’m sure you’d agree that she could use a time-saver.
By comparison, here’s a sample of what an editorial calendar can look like using CoSchedule:
Beautiful, don’t you agree? And the aesthetics aren’t even the best part.
Before I go on explaining why we at DPM love using this amazing tool, let’s let the experts themselves explain exactly how CoSchedule works:
So far, DPM uses CoSchedule for four of our editorial management clients, and we’re adding more all the time. Here are a few of the ways we love using CoSchedule to keep our clients’ content marketing calendars sparkling clean.
Operates As a WordPress Add-On Or Stand Alone App
At its core, CoSchedule is the content marketing calendar that WordPress is missing. It was originally designed as a WordPress add-on, meaning you can install and operate the calendar from within your site’s WordPress dashboard, just as you would for any other aspect of your blog.
But I have a confession: Sometimes the WordPress dashboard stresses me out. There are just so many options, and I can get easily distracted. So while I do sometimes use the CoSchedule calendar right within WordPress, I appreciate having the option to go directly to the CoSchedule site when I’m specifically focused on managing the editorial calendar.
Seamless Integration With Social Media
The best thing about CoSchedule for our social media team is that we can handle all of our social media promotions of blog or other content from right within the CoSchedule Dashboard.
They can connect our clients’ Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ accounts; draft and schedule messages; view analytics; and even draft and schedule additional social content that doesn’t relate to a particular blog post.
And if we decide to reschedule a blog post after the social team has already scheduled their content? No problem. When we move the blog post on the calendar, all associated social content automatically moves along with it.
Quick and Easy Team Communication
For each content marketing calendar that DPM helps manage, we coordinate an array of writers, guest bloggers, editors, social media managers, and more. These include other individuals within DPM, within our clients’ in-house teams, and third party agencies, freelancers, or guest bloggers. That’s a lot of different people to keep up with.
To keep all those different contributors in the loop and on task, CoSchedule offers easy team communication with every person you’ve set up with a CoSchedule account. Usually this would be all the same people to whom you’ve assigned WordPress accounts.
From CoSchedule’s dashboard, I can assign topics to writers, set deadlines, prep social media managers to promote blog content, and even communicate content edits. Individuals involved with the post or task are automatically notified via email of any action or communication related to their content, and they can respond to communications straight from their email, without even logging into the dashboard.
Map Out Your Entire Editorial Calendar in One Place
The majority of our clients’ content marketing efforts aren’t limited to blogging and social media. From newsletters to webinars, podcasting, and more—the number of eggs in any given client’s content marketing basket is constantly growing. In an ideal world, all of those content pieces should work together to cultivate prospects and convert leads in an integrated fashion.
That’s why I love that CoSchedule’s latest update allows us to schedule and manage many different types of content beyond the standard WordPress blog.
By seeing all the different marketing pieces mapped out in a single calendar, we’re better able to plan blog content that best fits within the overall marketing plan.
Works With Our Favorite Tools
Our DPM team primarily uses Google Docs to write, edit, and deliver content, both internally and for our copywriting clients. But several of our clients (and Jess) prefer working in Evernote. Recently, CoSchedule added the option of drag and dropping both Evernote files and Google Docs to create new blog drafts (rather than creating a new blog draft, then copying and pasting the content).
That may seem insignificant—but for a team that can manages dozens of pieces of content per week, those seconds add up to a lot of time saved.
My CoSchedule Wish List
I hate to jeopardize my status as the ultimate CoSchedule fangirl—but in the interest of an objective, honest review, there are exactly two features CoSchedule doesn’t currently offer that I’d love to see in the future.
- There’s no easy way to export a PDF of a client’s content calendar to send via email or dropbox. Some of our clients don’t want to get their hands dirty with their own CoSchedule account, but need to give final sign off on the weekly or monthly editorial calendar. So far we work around this issue with screengrabs, but we’d love a prettier solution.
- Every time you schedule a new blog post in CoSchedule, it automatically creates a new WordPress draft. Sometimes I’d like to be able to dream up content plans far in advance without gunking up the client’s WordPress drafts folder. Right now I do this with the notes feature, but would enjoy a more seamless solution.
How do you manage your content marketing editorial calendar? If you don’t love your current system, we highly encourage you to check out CoSchedule—or, better yet, let the Don’t Panic team help out with your editorial management needs.
*In case you were wondering—no, this is not a promoted post. We’re just big fans of sharing things we love. Though I recently learned we may get a small discount on our own account for writing a review, that had no bearing on my love for the product or our decision to share it with you.