Digital signs software makes it easy to show your content on one or more displays. At its core is the digital signage content management system which makes all of this possible.
One easy way to define what is a digital signage content management system is by looking at what it does. It’s a computer application that allows you to perform four crucial activities seamlessly. These activities involve
- Monitoring content across a network of displays
Think of it as a software application that makes it easy to perform these activities with a few clicks of a button.
How can you access digital signage content management systems software?
This content management system (CMS) can be accessed in either of two ways.
Via a downloadable app
Similar to most software that runs on your computer, your CMS might be provided as a downloadable file that you install on your computer
Via web browser
Here, the CMS is hosted on the provider’s servers (computers). Access to the content occurs via your web browser where you need a unique username and password to access your account. Many providers are shifting to this model. A major advantage of the management system accessible via web browser is that you can log into your account from virtually any location as long as you have an internet enabled device.
The four tasks digital signage CMSs are built to perform
As mentioned earlier, the best digital signage solution is designed to perform four different tasks. Here’s a detailed explanation of each.
Browse, create and customize your content
Your CMS comes with built in content packages which are easily accessible via your accounts control panel. These packages are tailored for different businesses, categories and themes. The typical package will support graphics, text and video as well as themes like weather and news. Through your dashboard, you will be able to browse through different packages as well as create and customize content to suit your business needs.
In many instances, you’ll want your content displayed across the network over a specific period. The MetroClick digital signage software comes with built in scheduling features that will make this possible. Depending on the CMS, you can be able to narrow down your contents display schedule right down to time and the type of content to display.
Once you’ve created and scheduled your content, you will be able to deploy it with the click of a button.
Monitoring network performance
When displaying content across a network of several displays, you’ll want to ensure that each display is working properly. Rather than have someone physically inspect the display throughout the display campaign, you can monitor all of the displays from a central location. The digital signage CMS comes with a built in monitoring schedule that keeps track of every display connected to its network.
5 important things to consider when choosing the best digital signage CMS
The following are indicators that you have chosen a great signage content management system:
1. Intuitive dashboard
One of the common complaints digital signage CMS users have is how difficult it is to use their dashboards. Many often require several hours of training and testing just to get started.
How easy to use a dashboard is will play a key role in determining how fast you can launch a campaign and, how easy it will be to monitor its progress. An easy way to find out whether the software you want to invest in has a user friendly dashboard is to ask for a demo. During the demo period, look at things like number of clicks needed to complete a task, overall look of the dashboard and how easy it is to get started using the system.
2. Ease of control
In some instances, you’ll be running your campaigns across a chain of locations. Being able to control each location individually will be important. However, you’ll need to decide whether you want to control each location and display from its own user account or be able to control all locations from a single account. Your choice of CMS should be based on your preference.
The digital signage CMS should include the option to update automatically. This way, you’ll be sure that it’s always current and secure. It’s recommended that you avoid providers that request payment for updates. Updates are simply fixes and improvements to the underlying software. It’s therefore important that you find out how long it takes your provider to apply new updates. Frequently updated content management systems are usually the best.
Many business owners always assume that every digital signage CMS it totally secure. As such, they risk loss of their data and failure of their campaigns. Always confirm the type of security features provided before investing in it.
5. Customer support and service
Often, you’ll need to contact support staff with a query that needs to be addressed immediately. This means that the content management system providers support staff needs to be available via phone or chat.
Now that you know what digital signage content management systems are, you are in a position to choose the one that best meets your business needs.