Digital signage software is essentially the brain of your signage network–the control system for the content playing on digital signage screens. It allows you to manage and deploy content to a network of displays. Content can include specials or promotions, businesses announcements, company events, social media, weather, news, traffic, and a countless number of other integrations.
We’ve put together A Digital Signage Software Guide for Beginners to help you select a content management software that best suits your needs and will empower you to build a much stronger brand narrative to engage your audience. Read some of the featured tips here, then download the full report below!
Establish a Strategy
This is the first and most important process when investing in digital signage. The goals and objectives of the digital signage project should be clearly articulated even before researching vendors.
Think about what form the content will take – videos, images, audio, etc. – as well as what it will be used for, where it will be placed, and what its ultimate goal is (increase sales, boost brands, or improve customer service). It’s also useful to decide on a department or employee who will “own” the deployment – the Digital Signage Champion – and ensure its smooth running.
Identify Must-have Features
As you’ve already defined your digital signage goals, you now need to match these up with a digital signage CMS.
Do you need it 4K support? Do you need or wired or wireless connectivity? What are the content capabilities: will you get social media, event listings, HTML5 or RSS/MRSS feeds? Do you need a full screen and zoned displays? How comprehensive do you need the content scheduling and reporting/analytics functionality to be?
Once this list is complete, then you can start shortlisting vendors.
It’s also worthwhile to consider specialized content integrations. Your CMS isn’t going to work in isolation. You might need to integrate it with third party data sources, e.g., CAP alerts for emergency messaging: a restaurant may need to integrate their signage with their POS system: a court clerk may need to integrate the solution with a case information scheduling system.
Although these integrations should be determined ahead of time, they might not need to be used right away. For this reason, it’s essential to select a scalable digital signage system. The CMS
should make it easy to start small and scale up.
You’ll find free digital signage CMS, as well as solutions that have a one-time fee or a subscription plan.
Free, open source digital signage content management software obviously sounds tempting, but make sure you do your homework with regards to the running or operating costs of using these a free solution. Many may charge for updates and support and included very limited features.
You should also investigate tools that have a subscription model and those with a one-time fee, as these options could be more cost-effective in the long run.
Choose A Vendor
A vendor can become something like a business a partner, and they should be a force that supports you and ensures their solution is helping you meet your business needs. You need to do just as much research on the vendor as on the solution they offer.
Check out the vendor’s presence in industry publications and ask about their experience. Take a look at their history and the history of the development work. All these factors will give you great insight on the vendor.
Get the Digital Signage Software Guide for Beginners
To read the complete Digital Signage Software Guide for Beginners, download our whitepaper here:
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto.com
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