BEST INSTAGRAM GROWTH TOOLS
Having a strong Instagram strategy involves many moving parts, and one of those is consistent, high-quality content creation. Instagram tools for planning and scheduling are quite common these days, but which one is best?
In this post, to help make your decision a bit easier, we’re going to compare two of the most popular Instagram schedulers — Planoly and Later.
We’ll discuss how they perform and what you can expect when you use each one, as well as a few other things.
We will compare the following elements:
After reading, we hope you have a better idea of which one suits your needs and preferences more, helping you to decide which Instagram scheduler can add the most benefit to your Instagram strategy.
Let’s take a quick look at what an Instagram content scheduler is.
What is an Instagram Content Scheduler?
An Instagram content scheduler is a third-party tool that helps you to schedule and (in some cases) auto-post your content to your Instagram feed as well as Instagram stories.
The majority of Instagram schedulers work via a notification system; you’ll plan all of your content into the calendar, often with captions and hashtags as well, then setting the time you’d like to post it.
The scheduler will send you a notification when it’s time so that you can easily post your content to Instagram without having to go into the app and set everything up all over again.
Scheduling tools offer a variety of other features, some of which we’ll explore in our Planoly vs Later comparison. They are a valuable asset to your Instagram strategy and can save you the time and headache of trying to put Instagram content together in the best possible way.
Let’s see what we can expect from Planoly and Later.
Planoly is a service that comes with three sub-services, including StoriesEdit, IG Planner, and Pin Planner (which is for both Instagram and Pinterest).
A relatively straightforward and simple Instagram scheduler, Planoly offers suitable features with an agreeable interface, according to client reviews. That said, users desire more from Planoly in terms of the analytics and advice offered by the platform.
Planoly isn’t as rich as some Instagram schedulers in the way of offering analysis of content and how effective your strategies are. We’ll dive into that more later and see how valid the claims are, as well as what type of support Planoly offers.
Functionality of Planoly
In this section, we’ll discuss the features and functionality of Planoly based on pros and cons.
- Posts can be scheduled for both in-feed content and IG stories.
- Filters can be added to images (paid plans only).
- Hashtag groups for quick copying and pasting into captions.
- Browse simple post analytics, including followers, post, and story engagements. View likes, comments, impressions, reach, saved, viewed, and replies. All information is available via view insights.
- A Discover feature allowing you to search using hashtags for popular posts, free stock photos, and other business profiles.
- Create a shop link for adding shopping tags to your posts.
- View and respond to comments from directly within the app.
- Manual and auto-posting are only available via the mobile app.
- Auto-post is only available to accounts that have been verified.
- Branding that includes a planoly hashtag and a sent via tag.
- No auto-posting for carousel posts.
- Detailed analytics for audience and engagement only available for paid plans.
Usability of Planoly
The web service and the app are well-developed, but it’s clear that the goal is to have users interact with Planoly through the mobile app as that’s where scheduling can be done.
The interface is pleasing to look at and is on-brand with their pastel color scheme. It’s also user-friendly and you can figure out how to use the features with just a slight learning curve.
Accuracy of Publishing
As far as we could see, all auto-post functionality was up to par and there were no delays or unpublished posts.
Planoly is available for free, but it only includes scheduling photos, comment inbox, as well as basic analytics. If you want additional features, you’ll need to choose a paid plan to gain access.
The free plan only includes 30 uploads per month, which allows you to post only once per day. If you’re scheduling for both Instagram and Pinterest, that will present a problem. Check out the full pricing and features to decide what could work for you.
The cheapest paid plan, Solo, is $10/month billed annually; if billed monthly, it will go up to $11/month. The Duo plan increases to $18/mo billed annually and $23/month billed monthly. Their custom plan starts at $28/month billed annually and increases to $35/month billed monthly.
Later, previously known as Latergram, is an Instagram partner, which makes it one of the most effective and established Instagram schedulers that works seamlessly with the platform. You can schedule and auto-post content with Later as well as do many other things.
Later goes above and beyond with a multi-faceted platform that allows you to plan and schedule posts and stories, get Instagram analytics, create links-in-bio for your Instagram profile, discover Instagram hashtags, track user-generated content, and more.
Functionality of Later
Here are the pros and cons of the features and functionality of the Later platform.
- Drag-and-drop image upload.
- Schedule posts, carousels, video posts, as well as IG stories.
- Preview separate posts as well as your whole Instagram grid.
- Schedule the first comment to your post.
- Get analytics for posts and stories.
- Edit your content.
- Add mentions and tags to your posts.
- Share your content plan with others and collaborate as a team.
- Find and share user-generated content.
- Access the Unsplash database.
- Auto-publishing unavailable for personal accounts. Notifications are available to alert you when to post the content.
- Auto-posting isn’t available for carousel posts.
Usability of Later
Later is an extremely well-developed platform that offers users a seamless interface to plan, schedule, and manage their Instagram content. It’s simple to use from your PC or laptop, and there’s also an app that allows you to use it on the go.
No matter your skill level, you’ll be able to start publishing with Later in minutes. The visual post planner is extremely useful in understanding how your content will look as a whole, and the drag-and-drop interface is comfortable to use.
There are many standout features that Later makes incredibly simple and accessible for even those without a lot of tech experience. If you do have a lot of tech experience, you’ll be able to enjoy it even more so, as it will significantly maximize your productivity and save you time.
Accuracy of Publishing
The accuracy of Later is perfect— we didn’t experience any delays or unpublished posts. This is what we also experienced with Planoly.
Later offers a free plan as well as four paid options.
The free option will offer you up to 30 posts per month and one profile on each social platform supported by Later. You’ll gain access to the visual Instagram planner, unlimited media, lite Linkin.bio, and Instagram analytics lite.
If you want more features, you can access their other plans at these costs:
- Basics: $6.67/month billed annually, $8/month billed monthly.
- Starter: $12.50/month billed annually, $15/month billed monthly.
- Growth: $20.83/month billed annually, $25/month billed monthly.
- Advanced: $33.33/month billed annually, $40/month billed monthly.
Check the Later pricing page for a detailed description of features.
Why Do You Need an Instagram Scheduler Tool for Posting and Auto-Posting on Instagram?
You may be wondering why you need an Instagram scheduler at all. You can certainly post your content without one, but there are many benefits to using an Instagram scheduler if you’re looking to increase your content quality and consistency.
Here are three main benefits:
Your Instagram profile looks unified
using a visual schedule planner allows you to see what your posts will look like when they go live on your Instagram grid. This is extremely valuable in helping you to produce a cohesive aesthetic for your profile as well as decide on posting order. If you shoot your content in advance and plan it all out at once, you’ll be able to see what your content will look like as a unit, making your content strategy more effective. This can lead to more followers and engagement.
Your content will come out consistently, boosting audience engagement:
Posting regularly has been known to increase engagement levels because your audience will see your content more frequently. This is where engagement and posting times come into play; if you know when your audience is online and encourage them to engage with your content through captions and calls-to-action, your content will get more reach. The Instagram algorithm will show it to your followers with priority, helping to boost engagement and get your content seem more frequently.
Save time and focus on other tasks
Creating and posting content for Instagram isn’t the only thing on your task list, and setting up your content in advance through scheduling and auto-posting can help to streamline your workflow and focus on other tasks that need priority.
Final Verdict: Planoly vs. Later
Both Planoly and Later are respected Instagram planners, and we’re sure that you’ll enjoy either of the two options. Both offer multi-platform scheduling, but Later offers a larger suite of tools to help your overall content strategy.
Another key determiner will be the interface— which one do you feel more comfortable using? Which one saves you more time and offers the features that you love? Which pricing plans are in your budget?
We personally prefer Later based on their interface and features, but the great news is that they both offer free plans, so you can try it out for yourself and see which one feels more comfortable to you!