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How To Use Apps To Create Awesome Digital Signage Displays

When content is hard to update, people don’t! Apps are the doorway to creating interesting digital signage content that’s easy-peasy to get up onto your screens.

ScreenCloud Post

There’s a question that keeps us up at night. It’s: Why are the screens you see in many offices, cafés and schools empty? Well we’ve done some research (which means we’ve spoken to marketers and IT and generally anyone who arranges screen content) and the main answer that comes up time and time again is that people don’t know what to put on them.

A screen is a big statement, after all. We’re programmed to allow screens to catch our attention. We give our preverbal toddlers tablets to keep them entertained while we eat. According to studies, the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day with a screen of some form. 

Don’t even get me started on us adults.

It means that we feel a sense of pressure when we’re tasked with a screen and asked to fill it with content. It seems difficult. 

What we’ve come to realize, is that whether you work in Marketing, or IT or are the owner of a small business, we all could use some help getting intelligent, beautiful content onto the screens that surround us. Which leads up onto the power of apps for creating awesome digital signage displays.

Digital signage apps 

Digital signage apps are fast replacing traditional media player hardware, as a way of getting screens hooked up to content. With an app like our ScreenCloud player, you can take a smart Android TV, or a regular TV along with a device like the Amazon Fire Stick 4K or Chromecast with Google TV and easily connect the two, to get videos, images, PDFs and HTML content up onto your screens.

However it's important to understand that these consumer grade media players are built for in-home use and are not designed for digital signage and because of this can be prone to performance interruptions and security risks. If you would like a more business ready device that can withstand prolonged use up to 24 hours 7 days a week, is purpose built to minimize risk and maintain device performance, then we recommend a media player such as our Station P1 Pro device, and Intel NUC or an Asus Chromebox 4.

Perhaps even more importantly, apps such as ScreenCloud are the gateway to App Stores that allow you to populate your screens with rich content without touching Photoshop or PicMonkey. This means that anyone, from business owners, to head Chefs, can get content onto their digital signage displays without needing the support of marketing, design or IT. We see it as an essential step in the ‘let’s make blank screens good looking’ cause. 

(It’s a real cause, we promise).

Digital signage App Stores

Here are some of the apps currently hanging out in the ScreenCloud App Store, ready to help switch your screens on. 

RSS feeds

This really does what it says on the tin. An RSS feed (otherwise known as a ‘Really Simple Syndication’) is a way of delivering regularly changing web content. These are useful for delivering news or headlines to screens in high-footfall areas such as offices and receptions. However, RSS feeds can also be used to deliver a feed of your own blogposts, to pull in the latest tech or start up news, or reads from your favorite sites. 

The benefit of an RSS feed in digital signage is that you don’t need to have your own feed to share content. Using a tool such as Instant RSS Search you can find the RSS feed of any news, blog or site in the world. Once you have the URL, simply drop it into the ScreenCloud RSS app and you’re ready to begin syndicating your screen with the latest industry news and blogposts. 

Social media apps

Our social media apps that allow you to pull in Twitter feeds, YouTube channels and social media dashboards have increased on popularity. Social media has become an integral part of in store experiences, offices and restaurants as a way to increase reach, garner social proof and connect audiences. At an event or exhibition, a social wall is a quick way to build hype, with visitors endeared to tweet or share an Instagram image in the moment.

Some of the social media app options within ScreenCloud’s App Store include:

Twitter wall

With the Twitter app you can choose a phrase, handle or hashtag and use it to stream a live feed of tweets to your screen, iPad or tablet.

We’ve also included additional filters which help to moderate the content within a public space including:

  • Timing - choose how long to show a tweet before moving on to the next one
  • Safe filter - allow us to block profane language to help keep your screens safe
  • Verified filter - choose to see tweets only from those users who have verified Twitter accounts. Great for high-profile events or real time occasions such as awards nights.
  • Exclude replies/retweets - keep feeds clean as only the original tweets are shown

Social media dashboards with TINT

We like to call TINT “the boss impressor”.

That’s because if you’ve ever struggled to think what content to display on your screens, TINT is the answer. It’s an app we’ve partnered with that allows you to create bold and impactful social media dashboards that are incredibly easy to set up and which look seriously impressive.

TINT allows you to connect a Facebook page, Twitter account, Youtube playlist, or Instagram hashtag, moderate which content you like, design it to your branding preferences, and display it on your digital signage screen with a single URL!

The end result is a beautiful social media display, which works in real time and pulls all of your social channels into one dashboard.

Ideal for restaurants, stores, offices, receptions, tradeshow booths and so much more.

YouTube screen app

The ScreenCloud YouTube app allows you to easily stream videos to your screen. You can show playlists, channels, individual videos; or provide a search phrase that will pull through relevant videos.

Ideal for streaming your own YouTube channel or just finding videos to entertain and engage your audience.

News apps

Help customers and employees to stay ahead of current news with our selection of news apps. The news apps we currently support include:

  • BBC News
  • CNN
  • Sky News
  • Aljazeera News

To add a news app to your screen, all you need to do is select it in the ScreenCloud App Store and we’ll do the rest.

Currency app

Now if you really want to show off you can sync your screens up to show the latest currency exchange rates. Perfect for banks and offices that have global offerings. Our currency app directly syncs the exchange rates from so you know they’re on the money (excuse the pun).

Simply choose your base rate and currencies of choice and that’s it! You’re ready to go.

Google slides

You know that incredible presentation you did last month? Wouldn’t it look great repurposed and added to your screens? Often, we have lots of content that we can use to create awesome digital signage content, we just don’t know it. Using Google Slides, you can easily create a presentation or add an existing one to your screens. Our Google Slides app can also be used to frame your latest sales figures, graphs and even to create a series of customer testimonials which will bring serious kudos to your organization.

All you need to do is create your slides, publish them online then copy the url into our Google Slides app in the ScreenCloud App Store. You can set the duration per slide in milliseconds as well as the total duration.

Time to get going!

Use of all of the ScreenCloud apps (Twitter, RSS, Google Slides etc.) are included in the ScreenCloud fee of $20 per month, per screen. This allows you to create an unlimited number of Twitter feeds, presentations, RSS and social media dashboards for different screens and playlists. Because tailored screen content equals more engaged customers.

To start setting up your digital signage displays, hit our free trial.

 SC Gradient

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