- On March 8, 2021
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Digital signage is an investment, but not nearly as volatile as investing in cryptocurrency in this day and age. Digital signage (and its related digital signage CMS) is a solution that every business owner needs and can sustain for years to come. Making it work really comes down to two things:
1. You need exceptional hardware to make sure everything is moving seamlessly structure-wise.
2. Once you turn on the power button of your digital sign, you need an eye-popping content management solution firing away.
Beyond the installation and deployment of your signage solution (digital displays, menu boards, kiosks, video walls, etc), it really is dependent on the right content being displayed for customers and passersby alike who take notice of your brand. Without this crucial piece, you may kiss your investment goodbye!
The digital signage software you use to forecast content is just as critical as the actual content in itself, if not the most important! Opposed to the outdated use of thumb drives to upload your jpg and mp4 files, let’s take a look at a legitimate digital signage CMS or Content Management System.
There are a ton of different flavors of CMS out in the marketplace, some more robust than others. We partner with CMS providers that have an existing platform that allows you to create the simplest of content creations, to the most complex. We can hold your hand and help you learn to walk before you run, digitally-speaking. Many CMS’ come packed with very creative yet intricate features in their software. However, what you really need at the end of the day is one viable and simple CMS to power your entire network, whether it’s one display or 500!
Digital Signage Content Management Essentials
It shouldn’t be up for debate, but the most important component of any digital signage platform solution is the Content Management System. Here is what you need to know, a CMS for digital signage is a computer or cloud-based application that allows for the customization, scheduling, support/monitoring, and deployment of content across a network of digital displays indoor or outdoor.
There are two ways of accessing your CMS, either web/cloud-based or a desktop download. With the web and cloud-based solutions, your CMS interface is generally hosted by your software provider’s website/platform with all of your data or content files saved through the cloud. With a desktop download CMS, your content management interface is a program simply downloaded to run on your desktop.
The most popular and most efficient option is controlling your content via a web-based or cloud-based content management system since you have the capability to login and manage it from more than one computer remotely. It also makes sense for customers who wish to have multiple users controlling their content and want to get started on their own.
Advantages of CMS
Digital signage CMS solutions come with a wide array of functionality and digital advantages. You can browse and create custom content within your CMS platform, and customize your content offerings or applications for digital display. There are many CMS partners out in the marketplace who all specialize in different variations of content. However, the leading partners all allow you to input either pre-made content templates and playlists, or your own graphics, multimedia video files, widgets, real-time news tickers, RSS and social media feeds.
Scheduling the content is a beautiful feature within any system. Once a decision is made on the type of messaging you want to be displayed on your network, scheduling it based on the identity of the display, its location, time, and day is truly a tremendous benefit for the customer. If there is ever a time throughout the year where your business wants to run a Black Friday special, seasonal menu offering, or showcase an advertisement during various operating hours, the content scheduling will manage that.
Monitoring and support is another crucial piece of your digital signage network. Forecasting metrics and overall health through monitoring is invaluable. If I were the customer, I not only want to implement a big, bold, and bright digital signage application, but I’d also want to understand how to maintain it. The end-user or signage partner should be able to effectively locate where the issues lie and so they can effectively troubleshoot the issue. The majority of times, there is an internet/Wi-Fi disconnection, or a power outage which typically involves restarting or servicing the media player and/or digital display. With ongoing monitoring and health reports, minimal maintenance should be needed in the long term.
Save Money on Replacement Costs
Compared to other options in the signage industry, like traditional printed and static signs, it was more or less impossible to update or make precise changes to your sign which is a significant downside. This type of inconvenience would drive retailers crazy! Often times, your back is really against the wall when it comes time to make a change that is unavoidable such as:
- Changes to contact, pricing, business hours, and information
- Promoting brand new products, services, or news
- Worn out graphics or damaged sign
- Total rebranding
These are just several factors that can really make or break your signage applications which you need to understand. Remember, if you can’t change them, you WILL need to replace the entire sign eventually. Avoid this future problem and avoid any burden by investing in digital signage. While digital signs will still need to be replaced, this is usually only the case when they’ve been damaged, or the technology goes obsolete. In all other cases, you can make the changes by simply changing the design of your digital sign through the content management system.
Thanks to the use of a CMS, you can upload new content for the board whenever you want. Doing this will not only save you some money but probably some time and effort too. Depending on the complexity of your software partner’s user dashboard, you may update your digital signs in a matter of hours as opposed to weeks!
What type of CMS does Keyser recommend?
Our experts here at Keyser suggest you invest in a CMS that can deliver your content effectively while providing you an easy-to-use interface. Many customers are beginners when it comes to creating and managing their content, so a platform that is simple enough to showcase dynamic content and to teach others how to operate it is a win-win.
Wanting “the best” CMS in the marketplace is one thing, and there are several partners we recommend however, don’t overcomplicate the system and bring yourself unwarranted headaches if your use cases are simple and the features will go unused.
What brands do we typically use? Our partners over at BrightSign (BrightAuthor) and PingHD both offer exceptional solutions that truly wow clients. Each platform makes creating, publishing, and managing your content simple and highly dependable. It is the central application for all your needs, from building and distributing your presentations to managing your entire network of remote signs via each network. Not only do our software partners offer an intuitive user interface and a wealth of digital signage features, it is also cost-efficient for our customers. BrightAuthor and PingHD are continually updating their applications to keep up with market demands and future-proof your digital signage solutions.
If you’d like our assistance with searching for your next CMS or need Keyser to manage it for you, please contact us to start a conversation.