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Digital signage has revolutionized the business industry and its ability to connect with its target audience through quality content that is interactive and impactful. The key to using digital signage efficiently is understanding how to master the content management system (CMS). Without appropriate use and alterations of the CMS, any delivered content falls flat and ineffective in engaging audiences.
To use digital signage with content management, you must tailor content to the desired audience to increase impact and achieve business goals. Essential factors here are the chosen CMS software for your digital signage and masterful use of its tools, including scheduled uploads, customized messages, and a unique visual brand aesthetic.
To appropriately utilize both digital signage and CMS, it is vital to understand each piece of equipment and how they are intertwined. It is then essential to understand the tools that most CMS software possess and how to use them to create the most effective content that yields the greatest results.
How Digital Signage Works with Content Management
Digital signage is a form of electronic signage that allows the user to display information in an interactive and engaging manner on any screen, such as a television or kiosk. Through digital signage software and CMS, this information can be constantly altered to suit the user's needs and reap maximum benefits for the company.
For instance, interactive digital signage can depict the analytics of customer use through its software that can then be utilized by the company as constructive feedback for potential improvement.
The use of digital signage has increased exponentially over the past decade. They are frequently found in hospitals, hotel lobbies, waiting rooms, movie theatres, malls, restaurants, and so many more locations.
Whether a business is privately owned or run by one of the largest corporations in existence, the effectiveness of their digital signage ultimately comes down to its CMS.
Types of Digital Signage and How This Affects CMS
There are a few different types of digital signage, and each one affects content management in its unique way. Knowing the ins and outs of each will help you narrow down the decision to help you find the best option.
Indoor Digital Signage
As the title quite easily demonstrates, indoor digital signage is, well, a digital sign found within a building or structure. These will often come in television screens, monitors in the ceiling corners, and kiosks. Locations you are likely to find these are in the lobbies of banks, hotels, restaurants, movie theatres, and health care facilities.
Indoor digital signage should dramatically change the tactics and content displayed and monitored through CMS. The reason, the consumer is already inside if they see this sign. Therefore, it is much more likely that they are already consuming your product or are highly considering it.
As a result, your content should be tailored to being personable and leaving the consumer with a strong positive impression of the company.
Take this time to display credentials for your company and why they are making the right choice in choosing you. Or display future promotions or events that are likely to convince the consumer to return.
This is also an opportune moment to display any social media or company apps or websites to increase the consumer's probability of following your company.
Outdoor Digital Signage
As you might have guessed, outdoor digital signage is found outside of a facility, typically somewhere in their parking lot or even lining the street. It is also common to find these near busy public transportation hubs, such as bus, train, or metro stops.
Because these are expensive pieces of equipment outside of the owner's private property, they are often protected with LCD enclosers.
The difference between CMS and content of an outdoor sign versus an indoor sign is that there are higher foot-traffic and lower rates of brand familiarity for outdoor signs. Content displayed here needs to be eye-catching and concise.
You need to draw in potential consumers and succinctly promote the details of your brand, what you offer, and why they should choose you.
Because outdoor signage is subject to all demographics, the content displayed here must be inclusive. Businesses indeed tend to have the desired target audience, but it is unwise to intentionally alienate potential consumers.
By ensuring your content appeals to a wide range of individuals, it is more likely they will consume your product or recommend it to another.
Digital poster displays can be found indoors or outside and will typically display one stagnant imagine on a kiosk. Popular locations where these are found include college campuses and city streets. Although digital posters can be tricky due to having limited CMS control, they can be highly effective in the right locations.
Because digital posters typically only display one media or image, they are best used for promotional purposes.
This means that your CMS and content should be focused on displaying a particular product you want to be sold or an upcoming event with information regarding what it is and how to participate.
Although they are limited to one visual, adding other media elements with assuredly make your content more attractive and interesting. Try to include moving visuals or a video playing on a loop.
Digital Menu Boards
Digital menu boards typically display products for sale within a retail business, most likely a restaurant. Frequently they are interactive and allow the customer to place an order and pay solely through the menu board without customer-employee interaction.
Because it is becoming increasingly more common and preferable for consumers to buy products without face-to-face interactions, it is likely that implementing a digital menu board in your building will increase company sales exponentially.
Content for digital menu boards should be solely tailored to selling products. CMS can help by providing analytics that shows what sort of colors, keywords, and accompanying visuals are more likely to promote and buying reaction from a consumer.
This is also a great opportunity to promote a new product or display a sale or coupon code to help entice consumers to use the board or buy a product that isn't performing and company goals intended.
What is Content Management and CMS?
Next up, we'll discuss how content management and content management system software work so you can efficiently use them with digital signage.
To start, content management and CMS are two intricately linked but different concepts. Content management is a series of processes taken to create, publish, and maintain any form of content of information through a form of media.
In terms of digital signage, this would be considered digital content. This can range from videos to blog posts, to analytics, and so on. Typically, content management is supported through different forms of technology, such as the CMS software.
Content Management System (CMS) Software
Content Management System software allows the digital signage user and content creator to alter content more effectively and its sourcing and output.
It is an essential partner in the management process and can often help with analytics to make future content more impactful.
CMS also assists with digital signage changes in displayed content without the immediate influence of a user.
Alterations can be scheduled and performed through the software with prior approval, so users aren't responsible for the displays on every single digital sign every minute of the day. This is especially helpful to companies that have multiple digital signs in various locations.
Another benefit of CMS software is that it is not required for the user to have specialized knowledge of digital software to utilize this management tool. While you focus on creating exceptional content, the CMS will ensure that all content is being displayed and protected properly by being responsible for the basic infrastructure of the system.
Although it is typically referred to solely as CMS, there are actually two elements to the software. The first component is the content management application (CMA). This interface allows users to create, edit, manage and remove content.
The CMA will typically provide templates and other tools to make content creation easier, especially if some elements are repetitive.
The CMA is typically supported by a content delivery application (CDA) that helps make the content you create visible to your audience through distribution. It will also compile your content and ensure that the network is properly updated for protection and functionality.
Why is CMS Necessary and Important?
The ultimate purpose of CMS is to make content management easier, safer, and more time-efficient for the user. CMS software controls numerous behind-the-scenes elements of your digital signage content so that you don't have to, especially if you lack the technical prowess to control it yourself.
By installing a CMS software, you can effectively cut the time and effort it takes to create and distribute quality content in half.
The templates, widgets, and other tools allow users to create pages, videos, and other media content faster than if they'd had to create it all independently. This means that you can increase company productivity and outreach twofold and rise above any industry competitors.
By using templates and other visual tools provided by a CMS, companies can create a uniform brand aesthetic that is both distinguishable and reduces the workload of employees.
Without these templates, users would have to constantly change the font, color palette, and media elements of every piece of content to ensure it matches the aesthetic and is immediately recognized by viewers.
CMS also ensures that all of your equipment, content, and company information is safe. There are several encryptions and security measures when installing CMS software that limits any potential risks once the content is created and released to the public.
Lastly, CMS is an essential tool when it comes to SEO and customer analytics. One of the primary purposes of digital signage and CMS is to understand your targeted audience and what type of content, phrases, and media are effective.
This information allows a company to determine what works and what doesn't and maybe even determine when and where certain content types are effective and why.
Goals of Content Management
There are a few different goals in content management. Deciding what you ultimately want out of your content management solutions is an important step in choosing the right digital signage option.
Now that we've discussed the nitty-gritty of what content management and CMS are, as well as how it works, it is important to discuss the ultimate goal of creating and distributing content through digital signage.
Ultimately, the goal of content management is to create an engaging message for your desired audience through impactful content that is then tactfully distributed and further enhanced with other mediums, such as photos, statistics, videos, etc.
Businesses will use digital signage to make a lasting impression on viewers and invite them to take some form of action to persuade them to perform.
This might be something simple as an interactive “touch here” button on display, or it might be a prompt to buy the company's subscription or follow them on social media.
Regardless of the specified company goal, the use of CMA and digital signage should provide statistical and analytical results to assist with company growth.
An essential element of this process is the content. CMA software and its supporting components will ensure that whatever content you create will be efficiently distributed between digital signs and managed while it is on display. What is on display is the element that will make a real impact.
A digital sign can catch the eye of any passerby, but if the content falls flat, there odds of this passerby actually stopping to investigate the sign further is significantly diminished.
To start, make sure the content is inclusive and doesn't use language or media that wards off the desired audience.
Make the content personable and engaging as well as clear and concise. Unless the digital signage in use allows vast touch-interaction possibilities, you only have so much room to make an impact. Once you have a clear and impactful message, support your content with media visuals to catch the eye and keep viewers engaged (photos and videos are great options).
Is CMS Difficult to Use?
Not usually. Most efficient CMS software is created with the everyday user in mind. Therefore, it is equipped with tools and features that ensure you can create and distribute exceptional content with ease. With an intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard, you can quickly navigate your CMS and digital signage software to understand the extent of its capabilities and what elements of the system you can control, and what is best left to the software.
It is important to note that some CMS software is more user-friendly than others. So if you are in the process of choosing which CMS best suits your digital signage or what digital signage to purchase based on the CMS it comes with, take the time to research how they work and what customer feedback they have received in terms of easy use.
The last thing you want is to use a CMS that requires 10+ hours of training to moderately understand the system.
Popular CMS Features
So far, we've discussed what content management and CMS are and what should be their ultimate goal.
To truly utilize CMS and become a master of content management, it is crucial to understand the common features of CMS and how they work to properly utilize them when necessary.
By having the general knowledge of what is included with a CMS, you can have a better grasp of the vast possibilities available to you and the potential of company content.
Depending on the type of CMS software you have available, some of these features may or may not be included, particularly because CMS software use is not limited to digital signage.
Remote or distanced CMS Access
Depending on the type of CMS software your digital signage has, it could allow one or both of these options. Remote access is performed through a desktop download system performed from your content management dashboard.
Distanced access is provided by your content management dashboard through a web-Based/cloud-Based system. This means that your CM dashboard is hosted on your provider's website and allows you to save all content and data in the cloud.
Customizable Packages or Apps
CMS allows you to create customizable content through various packages or apps filled with templates, graphics, videos, and more to ensure your content meets the brand aesthetic and effectively draws-in the targeted audience. Wizards and other tools are typically included that allow easy content modifications.
This allows users to easily search and retrieve any previously created and displayed content according to organizational methods such as date of publication, keywords, display location, and more. This allows for easy access to data when a business wants to review to the previous success of a particular piece or analytically discuss potential content for the future.
One of the greatest assets of CMS is its ability to assist or control when content is released. Once you have created content, you don't have to upload and display it immediately. This feature allows the user to schedule when and where they want the desired content to be visually available.
Depending on if your management is cloud-based or remote, this could allow you to display content on one digital sign in one location but not in others. This is especially effective for displaying content with specific variations that allow it to be more effective to one demographic than another.
Businesses will also use this feature for their employees to release notices, schedules, and promotions that are essential for overall business functionality. CMS ensures that internal business communication is made easy.
Network Health Monitoring
Whether you have one digital sign or hundreds scattered across a city, it is essential to be able to constantly monitor the network health of each sign and the overall system.
Not only because these pieces of equipment are expensive, particularly to repair, but also because a digital sign with complications is unable to perform its goals of customer impact and interaction, and so, valuable opportunities are missed.
The right CMS should be able to easily display the status of every sign in the network on your dashboard in a straightforward and organized manner that concisely conveys if they are fully functional or experiencing malfunctions.
This feature should also be able to alert users to the potential of a software issue, so it may be addressed before it progresses and causes system complications.
Automated Software Updates
The best way to avoid network health issues is to have a CMS system that automatically updates all digital signage within the system. By constantly updating software as it becomes available, you avoid the risk of potentially shutting down or experiencing malfunctions due to outdated software.
Having automated software updates will also limit the possibility of hiring or contacting assistance to fix a digital signage issue that could have been easily solved with a simple update.
Data Security and Customer Support
In accordance with the previously mentioned features, data security is one of the most vital features in the CMS system because it ensures all digital signage, as well as its content and any sensitive network information, is protected against potential threats.
These might come in the form of viruses that could ultimately compromise your system or software hackers. A quality data encryption supported by top-tier network monitoring will ensure the overall safety of your system.
Should issues arise, either due to technical difficulties or merely a lack of understanding of CMS functions, most CMS will offer resources to assist customers and provide solutions.
This could be as simple as a web page that troubleshoots common issues and answers frequently asked questions, or they might have a contact number for further support.
Social Media Integration
In the past five years, social media has risen to play an integral role in the personability and range of influence for businesses worldwide.
The ability to integrate your company's social media in created content or its form of publication can have substantial returns for company success.
A CMS that can utilize social tools increases the probability that the target audience with interacting with information displayed on any digital signage and potentially follow or add the company to their media.
Best CMS Software and Platforms
There is plenty of CMS software and platforms to choose from. Here are some of the available options.
Novisign is a digital signage software company with CMS that is well-reviewed for its reliability and ease of use.
Novisign CMS contains many of the common features discusses, such as social media integration, content scheduling, content customization with widgets, templates, and other tools, as well as website integrations, interactive polls, and more.
Everything about Novisign has been built around, making the CMS easy to understand by any user without mass training.
It is easy to update the software, and the user dashboard has a simple but professional setup. The Novisign Team is also available for assistance whenever complications or questions arise.
Many of the most prominent companies, such as Google and Best Buy, turn to Enplug for their digital signage and CMS software. This company provides high-end templates and tools for a wide range of content options in their App Market.
Not only does Enplug include popular features such as advanced security, user activity analytics, and social media integration, it also allows users to access the content at any time, even if the system is offline.
Enplug also allows cloud-based access so that you can control content from any computer. They also have user control features that allow you to provide access to anyone in the business or a select few individuals.
Regardless of user experience, Enplug is highly intuitive and easy-to-use, ensuring any user can create and promote professional content with minimal training.
If you're looking for a CMS platform to create on your desktop and plug into any digital signage, WordPress is the most popular and reliable option. Typically used for blogs and company websites, WordPress provides a wide range of templates and widgets that allow users to create a unique brand aesthetic and control content scheduling.
This is an exceptional option for small companies to utilize digital signage and only have one remotely set up in their office or waiting room.
WordPress is also great for individuals trying to start a business, create an aesthetic, and then display this at promotional meetings or conventions on available digital signs.
Digital signage and the content displayed on it is severely inhibited without effective CMS software. Typically, any digital signage that you purchase will come with its own CMS, so it is important to thoroughly research your potential product and what it can do for you and your company.
Content management is all about creating, displaying, and utilizing content in a manner that is impactful, time-efficient, and advantageous to the company.
Remember, you could have the best CMS software on the market, but without compelling content that persuades the viewer to take some form of action and then to utilize the information this provides, the CMS becomes useless.
True growth and success come from a personable connection with consumers and learning from their feedback to improve.