ContentCal compared to Sendible
If you’re an agency that’s on the lookout for a social media posting tool that will make life easier for you and your clients, you might have heard of Sendible. But is it the best scheduling tool on the market? If you’re open to a Sendible alternative, ContentCal may be more suited to your business needs and budget.
To help you decide, we’re looking into both platforms, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of each to help you decide.
Founded in 2009 by Gavin Hammar in his spare bedroom, Sendible is currently one of the leading social media posting tools available. It’s specifically designed for agencies, helping them to deliver great results for their clients through automation.
The company has a range of plans available: Starter, Traction, Growth and Large. All plans come with a free 14 day trial.
Launched in 2016 by a London social media marketing agency, ContentCal is a newer platform, but it’s been making waves in the industry ever since. With excellent reviews, a dedicated support team and a whole host of tools at your disposal, it aims to help you streamline your marketing strategy and can support a whole host of businesses, including agencies.
You can choose from a selection of plans: Pro, Company, Premium and Enterprise.
Sendible’s workflow is intuitive and easy to get to grips with. You’re walked through connecting your social media profiles upon login and have one hub for all of your accounts and clients.
When creating a post, you select your chosen account, type out your post, attach your media, then publish, schedule, queue, or send for approval.
The bulk-composer tool will be really useful for marketers who like to schedule a week or month’s worth of content in one go, plus re-use evergreen content again and again.
Each post is marked so you can easily see which client account it belongs to, and you can view all posts in the Calendar view.
There are a number of tools that will impress marketers, such as Suggestions, which will recommend content for you to post. You can share articles directly to your pages, saving time when searching for up-to-date news and topics to post about. There’s also the 'My content' feature, where you can store content ready to be used for updates.
The Engage tab takes you to the main inbox, where you can see all incoming messages and mentions and assign team members to respond appropriately. You can also monitor hashtags, relevant keywords, and competitors with ease.
It’s a simple but effective platform with some cool features to play with, and there are no complicated workflows or excessive button-clicking to get where you need to be.
ContentCal is, as you might have guessed, is calendar-based, which is where you’ll begin when you first sign up. A brilliant Sendible alternative, there are handy tips to walk you through setup, plus a detailed Help Center to answer any other questions you might have. ContentCal’s team is really passionate about great customer service, so as well as an onboarding team, you can check in with them anytime during working hours for help.
Once you’ve added your accounts, users, and assigned any User Permissions you need, you can use the visual calendar to manage your content. Click on any spot in the Calendar to create a post, select your profiles, add images, Category Tags, Publish Time and Date, plus any saved Hashtags. You can then send it for approval if need be, which will make agencies and clients happy.
Each post is color-coded, so you know the current state - Draft, Pending Approval, Approved, and Failed. This makes it easy to see what you need to work on, plus what’s good to go. The drag and drop tool lets you move your posts around quickly, for when clients suddenly change their minds.
ContentCal isn’t just an efficient scheduling tool, though. It also allows you to organize your marketing team in the very same hub, taking away the need for multiple spreadsheets and logins. Plus, using Zapier, you can integrate apps such as Google Sheets, Slack, and Trello, publish to Pinterest, and more.
ContentCal Respond is a unified inbox, available with the Premium plans, which will help tackle the stream of comments, mentions, and messages. It’s a unified inbox which means you don’t have to flick between tabs, can reply quickly, and assign messages to other members of the team, if necessary.
The platform is easy to navigate and doesn’t overwhelm the user, especially those with many clients. The dropdown menu at the top of your Calendar enables you to select which account you want to work on, which is an efficient layout compared to some options on the market.
The unified inbox will make communicating with your followers simple and easy. Plus, assigning specific engagements to your team streamlines the workflow and cuts down response times.
You can monitor your own brand, as well as competitors, plus keywords, hashtags and check what’s trending in the world.
If you share a lot of news articles or want to constantly be on the pulse to react, the Content suggestions feature allows you to do all of that within the platform.
If you’re on one of the higher paid plans, you can run detailed reports on all of your social media channels, plus create custom reports to send to clients. You can also add in their branding or your own to make them more personalized.
Any agency knows that it’s not always necessary to have everyone looking at everything at any one time, and with Sendible, you can change permissions to only give your team access to what they need. This is useful if you have clients who like to collaborate, as they can access the content queue, for example, but you maintain control.
If you have a business account, you can directly post single images and videos via Sendible. Carousel posts must be scheduled via a mobile app, though.
Lack of support
Sendible is a powerful company with many clients, but it seems that support is somewhat lacking. The support articles are basic, and it can take some time to get a response from the support team.
Sendible is expensive compared to some of its competitors, but what it offers doesn’t always warrant the price tag.
It’s clear from the start that Sendible is an agency-focused platform, so it’s no surprise that most of its features lean towards agency life. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and larger companies will find some of the features redundant.
A unified marketing hub
Your team will be able to work on Calendars, store and share content in the Content Hub Library, plan upcoming campaigns, and tackle social media responses in one place. This makes ContentCal ideal for agencies, freelancers, and social media teams.
Evergreen content is a goldmine for most brands, so the option to easily duplicate your posts means timeless content can be re-used over and over again with the click of a button. You can re-use content from the Calendar, or from the Content Hub Library where you can create and store template posts.
Plan for all content-types
As well as organizing your social media channels, ContentCal’s Custom Planning Channels allow you to plan and generate other content that your team needs to thrive, making it a strategic marketing plan template. 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
Reply to comments, mentions, and direct messages all in one place with the Respond feature. Plus, split the workload between different members of your team through assignments, while internal notes on conversations will keep everyone in the loop.
The Contributions feature is great for larger teams, enabling you to create forms for your colleagues to submit content ideas and suggestions for the marketing team to follow up on.
Availability of support
The ContentCal team has received rave reviews for its support team’s attitude and responsiveness, with users receiving a response within just a few 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 ContentCal pros.
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
Everything your marketing team wants to work on can be stored in ContentCal, meaning that spreadsheets, documents, and shared folders are a thing of the past.
Pricing is affordable and payments are made on a monthly basis.
The Analytics tool from ContentCal is simple and doesn’t go into too much detail. Agencies can’t customize the reports within the tool, but it should give them everything they need to create topline reports. Nonetheless, ContentCal is currently working on improving its Analytics. Get the latest updates by watching the product roadmap.
No automatic posting to Instagram
ContentCal doesn’t currently support native Instagram posting, but the platform is consistently working on new features and taking on feedback. You can use the mobile app to push the post live or integrate ContentCal with Buffer for automatic posting. For more information on how ContentCal publishes to Instagram, have a read of this blog.
If you’re an agency, Sendible is designed for you; and could deliver the results your clients are looking for. It’s less suitable, however, for freelancers or large corporations with in-house social teams given the price point and agency-first design.
If you’re looking for a Sendible alternative, ContentCal is flexible and versatile, with options for professionals, corporations, and everyone in between. Along with post-approval, a content Library, unified inbox, and Analytics, you can expect many more tools to streamline your workflow for the ultimate strategic marketing plan template, all at an affordable price.
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