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Planable compared to ContentCal

Kirsty10th February 2021

A social media marketing calendar is integral to working efficiently, but how do you know which features would be most useful for your business if you were to invest in a new platform? Would a standalone scheduling tool be sufficient, or could you take advantage of other features to streamline your workflow?

Let’s take a look at two of the best social media marketing tools available; Planable and ContentCal, to help you decide which features can best serve your team.

About Planable

Founded in 2016, Planable is a collaboration tool for social media teams to create, plan, review, approve, and publish content. It’s a visual content planner aimed at agencies and marketing teams to make life easier and save time.

There are four plans to choose from: Free, Starter, Premium, and Enterprise.

About ContentCal

Launched in 2016 by a social media marketing agency, ContentCal is designed to plan and schedule content, improve marketing strategies and streamline workflows for freelancers, agencies, and businesses.

Users can select from a range of plans: Pro, Company, Premium, and Enterprise.

Main Features - Planable

Planable’s main use is to plan out social media content. Users are introduced to workspaces, which house a brand’s social media accounts, plus all the people who can work on them. You can switch between workspaces using the top menu, keeping everything separate.

Connecting your social media accounts is simple, and you can assign user permissions to ensure everyone has the correct access for their role.

As a visual tool, you can mockup posts to see what they’ll look like, adding images, videos, links, GIFs, and albums. The feed view is useful to see how content will look once it’s published, plus your team can add comments and suggestions. You can also select from a calendar, list, or grid view, depending on your preference. The grid view is particularly useful for Instagram scheduling.

Planable image 1

The Media Library is a place to store images, and repost content from the feed, if you want to reuse your evergreen content.

If Instagram is your main platform, you’ll be pleased to know that you can publish to Instagram directly, plus add Stories from within the browser and schedule them to go live via the Planable app. You can’t currently add links, hashtags, or tags from within the platform due to Instagram’s API, so you’ll need to do this manually.

Main Features - ContentCal - Planable alternatives

ContentCal is also primarily a social media marketing calendar, but it also helps teams to be more connected, collaborative and can become a marketing hub for your whole team.

The layout is a visual calendar, clearly showing content, along with overarching marketing campaigns. Adding your accounts, users and assigning user permissions is simple, and the onboarding team is there to help throughout, along with a number of easy-to-read help center guides.

With Zapier integrations, you can connect to thousands of apps, including Google Docs, Trello, and Slack, allowing you to perfectly execute your content marketing workflow and continuing working with apps you know and love. Switching between tabs and folders becomes a thing of the past.

You can publish to most social media networks with ContentCal, and it’s easy to create a post, select your profiles, add images, category tags, publish times and dates, plus use any saved hashtags. You can then send posts for approval if required. Direct-to-Instagram publishing is also available for all single-image and single-video feed posts.

Calendar

The Content Hub is a library where content is stored, such as previous social media posts, inspiration, and ideas. You can filter easily to find what you need, without having to scroll back through your feeds.

ContentCal Respond brings all of your social inboxes together in a single, useful place. You can reply to comments, mentions and messages, providing a social-first customer service experience that is quick, useful, and appreciated by your customers.

As well as handling social media, ContentCal goes one step further with the Articles feature. This is where long-form content including blog posts, newsletters, and press releases will live, allowing you to keep all marketing content in one central calendar. This keeps the marketing team informed on activity, as well as those in the wider business.

If you’d like your whole company to get in on the action, the Contributions feature allows you to do so. Help employees to collaborate, feel valued, and enthusiastic about your company’s content, and taking the pressure off the marketing team when it comes to generating ideas.

The Analytics tool allows you to see top-performing content, relevant metrics and learn how to create better content for your brand or clients.

Platform Pros - Planable

Visual content calendar

If you want to see how your content will look when it’s published, Planable is ideal. The visual layout is really attractive and the different views mean it’ll work for lots of different people.

Super easy to use

You’ll pick it up in around ten minutes - it’s that simple.

Grid view for Instagram

Being able to see exactly how your feed will look after content is published is essential for Instagram-focussed marketers.

Media library

Gone are the days of clogging up your computer - everything you need can be saved within Planable.

Direct-to-Instagram publishing

Publish directly to Instagram using Planable.

Stories publishing

Designing and scheduling stories from within the Planable app is a nice touch, although you will still need to publish them manually at the scheduled time and date.

Approve content

Planable’s content approval workflows greatly reduce the risk of errors and missed deadlines.

Free version

Having a free version on offer (with 50 posts to kick you off) means there’s plenty of time to get used to the digital marketing software and decide if it’s for you.

Planable image 2

Platform Cons - Planable

A scheduling tool - and that’s it

Unlike some tools, Planable is just for content scheduling. While this is great if you want to save some time on planning, interactions and reporting still need to be done via the native platforms.

No analytics

Planable doesn’t have any analytics on offer, so you’ll need to use third-party digital marketing software or log in to each social media account to manually report.

No interaction capabilities

There’s no way to interact with your followers via Planable, you’ll need to do this natively.

No previous post storage

The media library is a great addition, but it doesn’t store your previous posts. While you can reuse posts from within your feed, you’ll need to add the media again each time.

Platform Pros - ContentCal

Ease of use

ContentCal is remarkably simple to use and its visual format is a breath of fresh air (especially for those who are less confident using new software).

Response tool

With one inbox to work from, you’ll always be on top of your social media interactions and won’t need to leave the platform.

Single marketing hub

If shared calendars, Dropboxes and Google Drives are running you ragged, ContentCal can simplify this. The marketing hub enables you to work on shared Calendars, store content, plan campaigns, and collaborate with the wider business.

Direct-to-Instagram publishing

ContentCal allows you to publish single-image and single-video feed posts directly to Instagram.

Designed for marketing teams

Marketing teams are some of the busiest within a business, with lots of projects running simultaneously across numerous touchpoints. ContentCal is designed with marketing in mind, allowing you to streamline your day-to-day tasks, increase communication, and keep on top of all ongoing work.

Long-form content

Create long-form content such as blog posts, newsletters, and press releases with the Articles feature.

Endless integration

As ContentCal uses Zapier, you can connect pretty much anything your team currently uses to make life easier.

Get others involved

Find out what people outside of your team would love to see from your social media and marketing with the Contributions feature.

Availability of support

Receive a response within minutes during the working day, allowing you to get the answers you need and go straight back to work with minimal interruption.

Contributions

Platform Cons - ContentCal

Basic Analytics

Although ContentCal’s Analytics tab features easy-to-read reports, data range capability, and insights on optimizing your content, the information is still very much an overview and not quite as detailed as some marketers may require. However, the team is looking to improve this currently so keep an eye on the roadmap for updates.

Conclusion

Planable is a step up from spreadsheets and native platform social media scheduling, allowing you to save time when planning out your content in an easy-to-use, visual way. However, that really is where the benefits end. If you’re searching for a simple social media marketing calendar (especially one that’s free), it’s a great basic tool.

However, if your team wants to really streamline its work, collaborate successfully, and cut down on admin, ContentCal offers the tools and features to help you do this - and, won’t break the bank.


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