A review of content marketing software DivvyHQ
There are different steps, processes and tasks in implementing and managing a content marketing plan after having defined your content marketing strategy. One of the tasks that’s usually done while defining a content strategy, is putting the proper workflows and team dynamics in place and developing an editorial calendar (or several ones) to enable these dynamics and workflows. Or in other words: to enable the collaboration required in the content marketing process in a planned way.
An editorial calendar is typically reviewed and updated on a more or less frequent basis (monthly, quarterly, etc.). Most professional (enterprise) content marketing software platforms come with an editorial calendar feature and often even are built around it.
However, there are also solutions that mainly revolve around the editorial calendars and content flows as such and focus mainly on them. They allow you to move away from spreadsheets and go a – collaborative – step further. One of the best-known players in this regard is DivvyHQ. Not all editorial calendar tools are created the same and not all content marketing software tools revolving around editorial calendars and/or processes, are the same. So, let’s take a look at DivvyHQ and this particular niche of solutions in our series on content marketing software reviews.
Beyond editorial calendars and content collaboration in spreadsheets: evolutions and tools
DivvyHQ belongs to the category of what we call “Content collaboration and calendaring software”. Collaboration is tightly connected with an integrated content marketing approach and collaborative possibilities are – obviously – present in most content marketing software tools. The use of content for marketing is by definition teamwork. The number of solutions, focusing on collaboration will continue to grow, each with a slightly different approach but most of them with calendaring and content ideation features on board.
An example of a collaborative content solution that’s coming soon (at the time of writing this on invitation only), is Editorially, a platform to write, collaborate on and talk about a text. An example of an existing collaborative content platform is GatherContent, focused on the planning, structuring and collaboration regarding website content.
DivvyHQ calls itself a spreadsheet-free editorial calendar application and comes in different versions, depending on desired features but mainly on the number of calendars and users. DivvyHQ predefined 5 types of ‘typical customer segments’, each with a suggested number of calendars and users. Obviously, you don’t need to follow this suggested model. The only criteria that really matter are your goals, resources, needs, context, goals and target audiences, regardless of the type of content marketing software you look for.
DivvyHQ works with a monthly pricing plan and is really affordable for most organisations and individuals. A more important question is what you can do with it.
Main possibilities of DivvyHQ
Essentially DivvyHQ enables collaboration, planning and workflow follow-up based on the ‘production cycle’ of content, editorial calendars and teams.
- You can add the people and teams who are involved in content planning, calendaring and creation, each with their own profile.
- It allows you to define one or more editorial calendars. For instance: one for your email campaigns, one for your blog, one for a specific team in a niche or another country, etc. Or just an overall one for your content marketing program. For our review we created a calendar called ‘Global blog’, a ‘UK team’ calendar and a ‘US team’ calendar. The types of editorial calendars you want depend on your context.
- You can set the permissions of different team members and connect calendars with different contributors. By connecting content items, calenders, roles (3 to be precise) and team members, workflows can be organized.
- Team members can add content or content ideas to the platform, attaching files with the content, depending on their roles. Or they can get a more specific task, again depending on their role.
- Finally, the main goal is to get the workflows going, assign content, update the product status during the flow (in production, in review, approved, published, etc.). From idea to actual production and finalization of the project.
The possibility to add ideas for content, add actual content and create collaboration flows, is one of many reasons making a tool such as DivvyHQ far more interesting than just a spreadsheet. In fact, the description “spreadsheet-free editorial calendar application” is maybe not the best possible as it might people think it’s just about calendaring. DivvyHQ is more than that. As said, there are possibilities to add content, collaborate, etc.
How DivvyHQ works
A quick look at how it works (you can sign up for a free trial yourself). When logging in to DivvyHQ, all users see a personalized (depending on their roles, tasks and assigned editorial calendars) dashboard with, for instance, upcoming tasks, recent activity, the master calendar, an overview of “their” (assigned) content and the status of each item, the possibility to add and/or “park” new content (ideation), etc. They can narrow down specific items by filtering.
The main navigation is pretty self-explaining as you can see below.
You can easily create the profiles of other team members by clicking “Add New > Team Member” from the main navigation and adding the members, while picking one of 3 possible roles. These 3 editorial roles (not jobs but tasks) are:
After having created the profiles of team members (which can of course include external partners) this way, you can grant them access to specific calendars via the ‘Calendar Admin’ tool as shown below. Each time you assign a calendar to team members, everything that matters for those members is added to their personal dashboard.
The calendars themselves are created via the calendar tool as well that is accessible in different ways. When creating a calendar you can define a color, etc. On top of the calendars you create (maximum number defined by subscription), everyone has their “My Calendar” and there is a “Master Calendar”.
The content (collaboration) process of course is essential. To give you an idea of how it is used we made the small video below. Essentially what you do, when creating new content items, is entering a headline and a description of the content (or if it’s written content you can enter it completely as it maybe exists already or if you want or update it in a later stage as an editor, for instance). You can upload files, add the different dates that are typical in content production, describe the buyer persona/target group, add some keywords, assign the content, pick the type of content and the category and much more.
The initial status of a content item is “the parking lot”, which can be used for ideation as well. If a suggestion is approved or a ‘task’ is accepted, the content status gradually changes (to be done by the assigned persons or administrators for instance, depending on how you work easiest). Status updates, tasks, etc. are sent by mail to concerned team members.
The video below shows a very simple example. Obviously, the process can be more elaborate for larger groups and processes with multiple contributors, approval flows, reviewers, etc.
Conclusions and some predictions on content collaboration and editorial calendar tools
Among the strengths of DivvyHQ are the price, ease-of-use, collaborative features, etc. Even for an individual blogger, for instance, who wants something smarter than just Excel, it’s affordable and it offers far more than just calendar. It’s also scalable (multiple formulas in the cloud) so it can certainly handle more advanced processes and flows.
As said, the positioning could be better as it’s really more than “just” an alternative for the good old editorial calendar in a spreadsheet. But that’s of course not a weakness of the product, it’s an opportunity (and probably a right message for now as most people really still use spreadsheets). As the software allows adding content (in the form of text, using an editor) and attaching files, DivvyHQ could evolve further when connecting with some content management and blogging platforms. It could also allow administrators to predefine specific fields that are now entered manually such as the topic/category, buyer/audience profile, promotion fields etc. And it could connect with other collaboration platforms. However, then it would probably become more expensive.
On the other hand, some content marketing platforms we reviewed already offer this but much more too at a pretty competitive pricing as well. Marketing.ai (see our review) is a good example of this. Nevertheless, there is still an important pricing difference so it’s wait and see. For now, DivvyHQ is certainly a good option to professionalize the content marketing calendaring, ideation and workflow process.
We expect it will further evolve and integrate with SEO, publishing, collaboration and more, when looking at the overall evolutions in the market. Partnerships with other vendors of related applications are possible too. That’s not just the case for DivvyHQ of course. Integration will be a key driver in the content marketing software market that’s still relatively young.
DivvyHQ is a user-friendly and easy to use solution that goes beyond pure and simple editorial calendaring for a more than affordable price and good collaboration features.
If you structure the processes well within your team – including external contributors – you really have no excuse to stick to Excel or whatever spreadsheet anymore, even if used in the cloud for collaboration purposes.
So, take a look at it if you are a bit serious about planning, calendaring and collaboration in your content marketing.
Before you consider buying content marketing software: read these tips to select a content marketing software and vendor.
DivvyHQ does what it promises and more. It's a great application for smaller teams and organizations that are using content marketing in a staged approach and/or without the need for an enterprise-level solution, connected to marketing automation tools, for instance. Good price/quality and probably the best stand-alone editorial calendar and workflow platform out there at the time of the review. Full review below.