As a natural step-up from static displays, digital signage has bridged the gap between our society’s obsessions with technology and visual communications.
Beginning with the retail sector, a multitude of industries now harness the technology to display content to their target audience. Eye-catching visuals or motion videos are guaranteeing businesses attention-grabbing displays, and studies suggest that digital signage can increase sales by 49%, compared to static advertisements.
Digital Signage: No Longer Just A Trend
Businesses are increasingly recognising the competitive advantage of digital signage as we move in to an age of digital dependency. We’re likely to see digital signage become even more prominent in upcoming years, and industry experts predict the technology’s rise to global dominance by 2025.
If you’re preparing to follow suit and introduce digital signage into your business, the management of your digital displays should be a priority.
The first step towards this is a smart content management system (CMS).
What is a Digital Signage Content Management System?
A digital signage CMS allows you to schedule, monitor, manage, and publish digital content onto your displays, all from one central platform.
Content is key for an effective marketing strategy, and a CMS is essential for the flexible delivery of content, scheduling, and customising displays.
For example, a retailer about to begin a flash sale can use a digital signage CMS to instantly update multiple displays and remotely update promotional content. This catches the eyes of shoppers and increases impulse-decision sales as and when it's needed.
Or, a restaurant could immediately update their menu signage, removing the need to change hefty billboards across multiple locations, and roll-out changes instantaneously.
What Qualities Should You Look for In A Digital Signage CMS?
Not all digital signage content management systems are created equal!
Optimum management is vital for effective content display, so it’s important you choose a CMS that provides faultless functionality.
For example, certain digital signage platforms today require tedious manual management and set-up, or don’t allow users to automate their content playlists. If you’re investing in digital signage, choose a system that's likely to deliver ROI and avoid common pitfalls.
Here are a few features to look out for:
Installation and configuration should be simple and fast. Many digital signage CMSs require expert installation, with multiple components or layers to their set-up.
If you choose a CMS with fast implementation, you can easily roll-out digital signage across multiple locations and avoid the hassle of requiring trained personnel for each separate installation.
Looking into the future, this quality can allow you to easily scale your digital signage displays, without continuous external intervention or time-consuming training for your staff.
Scheduling is essential for content management, to help save your business time and push out more content to your audience. It can help you anticipate key events in your upcoming calendar, and plan content around specific dates or campaigns.
Choose a CMS that allows your employees to schedule multiple displays, across departments or networks, to enable the smooth roll-out of all your content. For example, certain team members or departments may need to publish relevant content instantly, while others may need to schedule it for later.
Digital signage CMSs should allow you to automate your content delivery, with smart rules for when content should be delivered. This gives you the power to schedule content, and have the system do the rest for you – allowing you to re-prioritise more important tasks in your business.
For example, a CMS can enable your digital signage to automatically start up and shut down, reboot, display content with a timer, or automatically change in response to trends. I.e. product price changes, company news, or exclusive deals.
Ensure your content is up and running whenever you need it, by choosing a system that allows you to manage and control assets remotely. This tool is essential for industries/organisations that may need to update or change information quickly.
Additionally, ensure your chosen platform lets you customise user controls and permissions. This allows essential alterations to be made by the right people from anywhere, cutting down your travel costs or unnecessary excessive team coordination.
A central, easy-to-use dashboard
Before choosing a CMS, ask for a trial period so you can test functionality of your new CMS dashboard. Content management shouldn’t be overcomplicated, so ensure your chosen CMS allows you to complete all your essential tasks from one centralised platform.
A central dashboard saves your business time flicking between applications and reduces confusion, enabling speedy publishing and real-time changes across the expanse of your business. Additionally, this will reduce the need for lengthy staff training, or external intervention.
How to Get Started with Digital Signage
If you're looking to get started with digital displays, ensure that first you choose a CMS that is fast to set-up, efficient, and functional. From there, it's time to focus on providing your target audience with relevant and informative content which boosts your brand awareness and informs your audience.