How To Choose The Best Digital Signage Software For Your Business

Last Updated on September 22, 2022 by Vasco Lourenço

Wondering how to choose the best digital signage software? Multiple screens, media formats, and more — this guide has the answers!

Digital signage software is a powerful tool that can be used to increase brand awareness, engage customers and employees, and drive engagement across multiple channels. With so many options available, choosing the best software for your needs can be difficult. This guide will help you navigate the different options and select the right digital signage software for your business.

Whether you’re trying to develop or improve a digital signage network, the software you use will greatly impact how well you do. To determine which digital signage system is appropriate for your company, we will look at some of the major features shared by today’s leading digital signage software.

What Is Digital Signage?

Digital signage is the process of displaying information on digital signs. This technology can be used in various settings, such as corporate offices, retail stores, and transportation hubs. Digital signage can be beneficial in providing context and information to users.

Many digital signage software options are available on the market today. It is important to choose the right software for your needs. There are many factors to consider, including price, features, compatibility, and ease of use. Ultimately, it is up to the user to decide which software is best for their situation.

Related: The Best Digital Signage Software

How Does Digital Signage Work?

You must first comprehend the digital signage ecosystem before digging into the particular features and functionalities.

These are the two components every digital signage system has:

  1. Hardware – The displays and typically one high-quality digital signage player per screen are required pieces of hardware for any digital signage network.
  2. Software – The software is an essential part of the system since it determines which types of media are displayed on the screen at any time and delivers content to your digital signage.

A digital signage software solution consists of two parts:

  1. Content management system (CMS) – This allows you to simply manage and control the entire network from a single location. The CMS is the system’s brain. It’s the primary platform that allows you to manage, deliver, and update content on your digital screens.
  2. Playback software – This is installed on each display’s player.

Today’s digital signage solutions perform various functions in managing your digital signage network, including powerful capabilities for optimizing efficacy and efficiency.

How To Choose The Best Digital Signage: Top Features

digital signage in new york times square

The most effective digital signage platform is accessible to all users, contributes to streamlining your work process, and makes it simple to incorporate the various tools required for success. Put it another way, it makes things much simpler for you.

The following are some of the specific characteristics that we believe should be on your wish list for digital signage and digital-out-of-home software:

  • Essential features.
  • Advanced features.

Essential Features for Digital Signage

Suppose all you want to do is manage a competent digital signage network. In that case, you probably won’t want all of the most advanced and cutting-edge capabilities that the best digital signage platforms have to offer.

At a very minimum, we believe the following items to be some of the most crucial things for you to keep an eye out for:

1. Media Support

Any digital signage program should be able to handle JPG or PNG files if all you want to do is distribute static photos on a digital display. All you need to do is upload the images to the software.

Most applications, like Yodeck, should be able to play videos in MP4 format without issue. If you want to display moving content, such as video footage or 4K videos, make sure that the software you are using can handle it.

Some of the most popular digital signage software platforms support important media formats, such as MP4, QuickTime, Windows Media, JPG, and PDFs. It allows you to easily create content that can be displayed on various devices.

2. Remote Monitoring

Having the ability to run a business remotely can be quite beneficial. It is just simply faster and easier to maintain track of your displays from one centralized spot, and it is also far more convenient to make urgent modifications or last-minute content updates from anywhere you are.

man working remotely on a laptop

Manually updating all of your signs’ software can be time-consuming, and the problem only worsens as your network grows larger and more dispersed. As a result, you should purchase signage software that includes remote updating functionality to save yourself a few difficulties, including support for mobile devices.

3. Scalability

Switching from one platform to another each time you outgrow a given solution results in a significant amount of additional effort. You can avoid this situation by selecting a digital signage solution that can grow with your business.

If you have the appropriate solutions, managing 50, 100, or even 1,000 displays will be almost as easy for you as it is for managing a single display. This means you won’t have to worry about restricting your business from expanding in the way you want.

4. Stability

Both digital out-of-home advertising and digital signage are designed to be viewed by their audiences. This indicates that crashes, errors, and other incidents are quite obvious and very frustrating, not just for publishers but also for clients.

Because of this, we strongly recommend that you make the stability of the software one of your primary priorities while considering your options. A reliable platform will have an almost perfect uptime. It will free you to concentrate on more important aspects of running your company, rather than worrying about whether or not your program has crashed once more.

5. Security

Because everything is digital, digital signage is susceptible to being hacked and used in different ways by people with malicious intentions.

Always take precautions to ensure that your network is not left exposed, and consider making an investment in a digital signage software platform that has stringent security capabilities already incorporated.

If you do this, not only will your customers appreciate how reliable you are, but you will also be able to get a good night’s sleep knowing that your screens are protected from any potential damage.

6. Content Scheduling

In an ideal world, interactive digital signage software would have both content scheduling and workflow management features. These two capabilities allow your team to schedule your content for the entire month in one afternoon.

You can schedule a mid-month discount on your signs if you choose to do so.

Your team may reap the benefits of signs without the significant overhead associated with traditional signage by automating information distribution to numerous digital signage systems.

Furthermore, scheduling material and using workflow management to handle your signage content is significantly easier than having someone manage content regularly.

7. Pricing

What kind of digital signage software do you recommend for a business like yours? It is highly dependent on how much money you have available.

If your financial resources are limited, you will likely need to emphasize cost more. On the other hand, you will find options that come with the following expenses, either singly or in combination:

  • Upfront cost.
  • Recurring fees.

Pricing will vary depending on the supplier, and a growing number of services are moving toward a software as a service (SaaS) model, which eliminates the need for businesses to purchase their own servers to use the program.

Contracts on a yearly and monthly basis are also rather popular.

Advanced Features for Digital Signage

These advanced software capabilities should be on the radar of any network interested in capitalizing on the power of digital signage.

1. Multiple Screens

The use of several digital screens to present your material can create an experience that is much more enjoyable or even more memorable than using just one screen.

This might involve one piece of content using many displays as a larger canvas, or it could involve multiple screens displaying mirror images of the same content while all of them are playing in rhythm with one another.

Digital signage multiple screens

You will need hardware that is capable of driving material to all of these screens at the same time, which requires more power than is required with a single monitor. But you will also need to ensure that your software is up to the task.

You should make sure that your program can manage multiple displays and synchronized playback if these features are crucial to you.

2. Integrations

Some of the greatest digital signage and digital out-of-home material is developed by combining data streams, audience analytics tools, and other capabilities not offered by default.

Make sure your digital signage software can interface with all the tools and data you need to provide amazing advertising, relevant live information, or better understand your audience’s demographics.

3. Multi-user Access

Multiple personnel should maintain your company’s digital signage to make updates and use easier.

Perhaps one individual posts information like “Sale of the Week” while other posts encouraging words, memes, and hilarious videos. It can be overwhelming to allocate all these tasks to one individual, so split them out.

Multiple persons should be able to access the digital signage program from different locations.

4. Content Caching

A connection that is either too slow or unstable could result in the screens becoming blank or content loading at an unacceptably slow rate.

The distribution of content remotely is preferable whenever possible; however, this should only be done if your system can cache the content a few minutes in advance and then play it back at the appropriate time.

You gain the benefit of preventing connectivity problems from interfering with the playback of your content while at the same time keeping the relevance that near-live scheduling may provide.

5. Messaging Features

Digital signage is a wonderful tool for communicating critical information. Because of this, it is important to make sure that the software you use for your digital signage has the capability to send out emergency messages.

With the use of built-in emergency messages, you’ll be able to swiftly replace the regularly scheduled programming with instructions for the audience, as well as directions to exits and other locations of safety. It is the kind of function you pray you will never need to use, but it is convenient to have just in case you do.

6. Content Targeting

Why settle for looping random content? Today, screen material may be targeted to a location’s demographics.

Modern digital signage content must understand a screen’s audience and present suitable content. Don’t settle for less.

7. Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is data-driven. Displaying customized content based on weather, traffic, lottery prize size, and anything else is possible.

Big purchasers demand creative ads to catch consumer attention. Some applications can’t show this material. Be sure that the software you use for your digital signage supports dynamic playback so you don’t miss out on any fantastic chances.

8. Interactivity

The proliferation of interactive digital signage over the past few years is one of the most exciting advancements in digital signage, and it’s also one of the most common.

Touchscreen kiosks are springing up all over the place and even less direct ways of interactivity, including social networking and mobile device integrations.

Woman touching a digital signage touchscreen

Interactive content is a terrific way to grab people’s attention, and many of the marketing campaigns that have been the most successful in recent years have utilized some form of interaction.

You must choose a top digital signage software that is capable of supporting interactive campaigns if you want your network to be eligible for the types of campaigns that are being offered.

9. Proof-of-play Reporting

Knowing if you’re meeting your digital signage content promises is crucial. Invest in a platform with robust proof-of-play (PoP) reporting.

PoP reports can tell you when, where, and how many impressions content was played, among other things. Prioritize this capability if you wish to understand network content performance.

How To Choose The Best Digital Signage Software: Conclusion

The decision of what digital signage software to use for your business is difficult. There are so many options available, and it can be hard to know which is best for your needs.

First and foremost, you need to decide what type of business you are in. Do you have a retail store, restaurant, or another type of business?

Once you have determined this, the next question is what type of display you will be using. Do you want a simple static sign that displays text or something that can also display video and images?

After this, it is essential to look at the features offered by each digital signage software platform. Do you need features like live streaming and social media integration?

If you require software for digital signage either indoors or outdoors, following the guidelines provided in this article will allow you to choose the solution that is most suited for your business.

You may also be interested in our best digital signage software guide.

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Vasco Lourenço

Vasco Lourenço is a digital entrepreneur and created his blog vaslou.com to inspire people to start their online business journey. Besides writing on his blog, Vasco delights in playing the piano and composing music.

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