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ContentCal compared to Hootsuite

Kirsty
9th December 2020

If you’re investing real time and effort into your social media strategy, you’re likely thinking about which platforms will efficiently grow your social presence. Do you go for something simple, like Hootsuite? Or is it worth looking into a tool that can do much more than just schedule content for you?

We’re taking a look at Hootsuite and ContentCal, to give you an idea of which one would be better suited to your needs.

About Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the biggest names in the social media management world, having launched in 2008. Loved for its simplicity and with over 18 million users, the Hootsuite marketing calendar allows you to schedule, track, and analyze Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and YouTube.

The company has a good range of plans available: Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise.

Hootsuite screenshot 1

About ContentCal

ContentCal has been on the market since 2016, created by a London social media marketing agency. While relatively new to the game, ContentCal comes with brilliant reviews, an excellent support team, and a whole host of tools to streamline your marketing strategy. You can connect Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and many more apps thanks to Zapier.

You can choose from a selection of plans: Pro, Company, Premium, and Enterprise.

Content Hub

Ease of Use - Hootsuite

One big plus about Hootsuite is its usability. The free version is a Hootsuite social media calendar, giving you the ability to schedule your posts. It’s a simple scheduler; add your content and select the date and time.

Once you’ve upgraded to a paid version, you’ll have access to a few more tools, such as Assignments and Analytics. When you first sign up for the Hootsuite social calendar, you’ll be walked through each step with a handy ‘Get Started’ feature. From here, you can easily connect your accounts. You can then upload your own images or choose from a content library, and select your date and time for publishing.

Your social media accounts are organized into Streams, similar to Tweetdeck and Trello. You can curate these however you like, giving you the freedom to work the way you want. There’s also an overview on the Publisher tab.

Content can be reused via the duplicate button, saving time with evergreen content, although it doesn’t yet have the technology to edit and repost your content automatically. You can drag and drop content if you need to quickly change your schedule.

Marketers have the ability to respond to mentions, comments, and DMs within the platform, repost content, and engage with accounts that have a large following. There’s also a useful search feature so you can check hashtags and specific search terms on each network.

Hootsuite’s Analytics gives you a range of metrics to check across different date ranges, plus create customizable and shareable reports. They are easy to generate and read, so will make light work of report generation.

It’s a very simple calendar and users will pick it up quickly, although it does require some time to tweak everything to your liking. Once you’re all set up, it should make scheduling your content across the different platforms more efficient.

Hootsuite screenshot 2

Ease of Use - ContentCal

ContentCal is easy to get your head around, as everything is pretty self-explanatory. There’s also a huge Help Center to walk you through every element, with tips on how to get the most out of the platform.

Once you’ve added your accounts, users, and assigned permissions, you can create content in a visual Calendar layout.

Each post will be color-coded, so you know the current state - Draft, Pending Approval, Approved, and Failed. You can add color-coded tags to your posts to group them into topic types, as well as save your most valuable hashtags. The drag and drop function is also a time-saver when it comes to reorganizing content quickly.

As well as scheduling content, ContentCal gives you the opportunity to centralize your marketing activity - so say goodbye to multiple spreadsheets and logins. Apps such as Google Sheets, Slack, and Trello can all be integrated with ContentCal using Zapier. You can even publish to Pinterest, too.

ContentCal Respond gives you one inbox that lets you see all conversations and reply as necessary.

The top toolbar lets you navigate the social media tool efficiently, plus select the account you want to work on - which is ideal for those with a long list of clients. You can also drop ideas into the Pinboard, create draft posts to come back to later, and plan content outside of social media, such as newsletters and blogs.

ContentCal help center screenshot

Platform highlights - Hootsuite

Shared inbox

The unified inbox makes it easy to respond to messages, comments, replies, and visitor posts across Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Assignments

Upgrading to one of the top plans gives you access to Assignments, which can help organize your team’s workflow. If you have a lot of messages from customers that require detailed interaction, for example, you can spread these across your team to spread out the workload.

Analytics

As far as analytics go, Hootsuite’s offering is impressive compared to some others in the market. The reports are fairly detailed, offer lots of different metrics for comparison and you can create your own reports with the stats that matter to you.

Social media monitoring

Hootsuite has basic social media monitoring capabilities, allowing you to track hashtags, keywords, and phrases.

Cost-effective

The price point is just right for a professional or a small business, although you aren’t able to access all of the tools. If you’re looking for a simple scheduling tool to make life easier, the Hootsuite social media calendar will do the job well.

Hootsuite screenshot 3

Platform weaknesses - Hootsuite

Limited access for lower tiers

The Hootsuite marketing calendar promises a lot, but ultimately, it’s expensive to get your hands on all of the tools available. The features in the free and Professional version are quite limited, giving you only a little more than some of the other free-to-use platforms out there.

The unified hub can be overwhelming

If you’re a small business just managing your own accounts, you’ll be right at home with Hootsuite’s one-screen hub. However, if you manage many clients, it can be overwhelming and feel crowded as there’s no way to separate them out.

It soon adds up

The Hootsuite social calendar is affordable on a small scale, but adding extra users, upgrading for more features and further analytics can be very expensive.

Annual billing

Users who’ve signed up for the free 30-day trial have been stung by an annual bill, rather than a monthly one. If you do sign up for a free trial and decide Hootsuite isn’t for you, be sure to downgrade and then delete your account to avoid a hefty bill.

Availability of support

Hootsuite has a huge customer base, so it’s rare that you’ll receive support in a timely manner. There are video tutorials and plenty of walkthroughs to see you through, though.

Platform highlights - ContentCal

A unified marketing hub

Your team will be able to work on Calendars, share content from the Content Hub Library, plan for future campaigns, plus tackle social media responses in one place. This makes ContentCal ideal for agencies, freelancers, and social media teams.

Content reuse

Love sharing your evergreen content? The option to easily duplicate your posts means timeless content can be reused time and time again with just the click of a button. You can reuse content from the Calendar, or from the Content Hub Library where you can create and store template posts.

Plan for all content-types

Custom Planning Channels allow you to plan and generate content outside of your standard social media channels, creating a complete marketing hub. The Articles feature also allows you to fully prepare and store more long-form content such as blogs, newsletters, and press releases.

Responses made easy

The Respond feature lets you reply to comments, mentions, and direct messages all in one place. You can split the workload between different members of your team through assignment, plus keep internal notes on conversations to follow up on.

Collaboration features

The Contributions feature is brilliant for larger teams, enabling you to create forms for colleagues to submit content ideas and suggestions for the marketing team to follow up on.

Availability of support

The ContentCal team prides itself on its customer service, with queries responded to within mere minutes during working hours.

On-boarding and team training

With custom plans and a team ready to set your business up, you will quickly become experts in using ContentCal.

Easy-to-use analytics

The Analytics tab lets you check your progress overall, per social media platform, and across a variety of date ranges. Get information on your audience, find out the best times to post, see your top-performing posts, and export to PDF to share with colleagues and management.

Seamless content integration

Anything and everything your marketing team wants to work on can be stored in ContentCal, meaning spreadsheets, documents, and shared folders are a thing of the past.

Pricing

Pricing is affordable and payments are made on a monthly basis.

ArticlesPlanningChannels

Platform weaknesses - ContentCal

Simple analytics

The Analytics tool from ContentCal is simple and doesn’t go into too much detail. Marketers who enjoy visual reports that are more in-depth than the free-to-use tools on the market, though, should be happy enough with the offering. ContentCal is, however, currently working on improving its Analytics offering. Keep an eye on our product roadmap to see what’s coming up and when.

Conclusion

As a free tool or for small businesses, Hootsuite will take the stress out of everyday life, allowing you to schedule your content easily. To take advantage of all the features, you will need to pay for it, but ultimately, experienced marketers may be left underwhelmed with what Hootsuite has to offer, even on the top tiers.

The number of negative TrustPilot reviews is worrying regarding payment issues, and the lack of support for paid plans doesn’t bode well.

ContentCal is an all-in-one-tool with no hidden costs, which can elevate your business to the next level. The availability of support is refreshing, with a dedicated team to assist you every step of the way.

Experienced professionals will be in awe of all the features, allowing you to delve deeply into your social offering and streamline your marketing workload.

Want to discover more about ContentCal? Book a demo now and our engagement specialists will show you the ropes.


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