You know what happens when digital signage is seen as being difficult to use? No one uses it. Simple as that. Anyone working in digital signage knows that this is the most common cause of screens that sit blank and empty.
We can see that the screens need updating but traditional digital signage is so difficult to use, that the task is perceived as more painful than it is important. As a result, the same content gets left on loop for say, 365 days.
Or, the content management system is so complex that the IT manager doesn’t trust anyone else to update it without breaking something, so it sits in a backlog behind 10 more important tasks.
In fact, here’s a little graph we made that shows exactly where digital signage sits in the perceived importance vs perceived difficulty stakes.
But here’s the thing, digital signage is actually incredibly simple. To set it up, all you need is a TV screen that’s smart, or a dumb TV screen with a $49 Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast with Google TV, or a more robust device that is purpose built for digital signage like our ScreenCloud OS device, the Station P1, and you’re ready to begin adding content from your laptop or PC. Add the content to your playlist and voilà, it appears on screen.
This does not require any technical expertise. We’ve had customers who’ve set ScreenCloud up in five minutes on their TV screen at home, so simple is it to use.
Changing the content at any time is just as simple. Adding new content to ScreenCloud is as simple as adding an image to Instagram, uploading a new blogpost or sending an email campaign. Which are things pretty much any marketer (or intern for that matter) can do.
So there goes the first boundary: difficulty to use.
Then we come onto perceived importance. While many will jump on the bandwagon of a new social network, or switch to the hottest new blogging CMS, digital signage has historically been slower to catch on. Which seems crazy to us when you look at the stats in every industry that show the effectiveness and therefore importance of digital signage as a marketing method.
When you think of it like that, it’s a wonder every marketing manager, store owner and IT leader isn’t putting the case forward right now for excellent digital signage that gets updated on a weekly basis.
What if digital signage was easy?
As we’ve mentioned above, digital signage is easy. And not in an “easy when you know the answer” way either. But if in doubt, here are a few ways it’s notably familiar and manageable.
Content that updates itself - when you use social media apps, website links, travel boards or anything else that pulls in data from other sources you already take away half of the effort. The API updates the content for you, so you have one set up process and yet an endless stream of real time, relevant content.
Channels you already communicate with - need something up on your digital screens in seconds rather than minutes? Use channels you already communicate on. Slack app lets you send messages and team chats direct to your screen. Google Slides updates can be made at any time, from anywhere and will send new slides directly to your digital screens.
One central management system - if you have one digital signage screen it’s likely you’ll have two or more at some point in the future. This is why one central management system is key, regardless of how many screens you have or where they’re positioned. Back in the old days when everything was managed locally by a media player or USB stick attached to the back of the screen, it was difficult to update content. Changing the content on five screens meant five literal visits and manual editing. With cloud-based digital signage, all edits can be made in one system and rolled out across individual screens as required.
New ways to manage content - we believe the future of digital signage is all about having a fresh stance on content management and how things get sent to screen. Something we’re already quite far forward with is voice-activated screens where by saying a few words, you can tell the screen to change content and bring up something more relevant.
There are also other methods like changing content via email, Slack command and so on which will make the future of digital signage management easier and more accessible to all.
So in a nutshell, digital signage is simple. Managing content, uploading new stuff, it can all be done by anyone with no training needed. Don’t take our word for it though, see for yourself at https://screencloud.com.