The content management system is responsible for the scheduling, monitoring and deployment of content across a network of digital displays.
It is arguably the most important part of any successful digital signage solution; however with literally hundreds of CMS options on the market, choosing the right one for your business can be a complex and overwhelming task.
While each business will have its own unique set of requirements, here are some fundamental features that any good CMS should have.
A cloud-based platform should be the number one feature you look for when choosing a content management system.
A key benefit of digital signage versus a static display is the ability to update content quickly, and a cloud-based system allows you to do this remotely from any internet connected device anywhere in the world via a secure web portal.
Even if you are just trialling one screen to start with, it’s important to future-proof your investment by choosing a CMS that’s built for scale.
This way, if you do decide to expand your network sometime in the future you can continue to use the software you and your staff already know and understand.
A good content management system should give you the ability to automatically schedule content across a network of displays using multiple variables including time, day, date, group and region.
It should also give you the option to display live feeds and update content in real time if required. Real time updates allow operators to respond immediately to market changes such as matching a competitor's sudden unexpected price drop, whilst live feeds can be particularly useful for clients such as banks who need to display up-to-the-minute information regarding shares and interest rates.
It’s vitally important that your CMS also provides visibility and total control of all the devices in your network. Remote device management provides status updates of each device, giving you the capacity to diagnose and respond to any technical issues quickly and easily from the browser.
Device management also allows you to adjust various settings on each player such as time zones, daily reboots and screen activation, as well as the functionality to control aspects of the display like screen rotation, file and cross-fade duration.
Multiple User Controls
The larger your company the more likely multiple people will be involved in the day-to-day management of your digital signage network.
Multiple User Controls allows you to define various roles and assign different user permissions. Restricting access levels significantly reduces potential staff errors and security issues such as unauthorised content being uploaded and scheduled.
A commonly overlooked feature within digital signage software is data security.
A security breach can cause embarrassment and damage to your brand as seen recently in the US when hackers replaced a digital billboard's regularly scheduled content with lewd images.
To avoid a similar situation, make sure your CMS software has high-end data security over all browser communication including encryption and authentication. Checking this upfront can also avoid implementation delays when your IT team conduct their risk assessment prior to deployment.
To deliver optimal performance and bandwidth efficiency a CMS should ideally keep a cached copy of your content and scheduling instructions on each media player.
This also ensures that should your internet connection be lost temporarily, your content will continue to play as scheduled. For example, if your playlist contains a special offer that finishes at the end of the month, that offer will be removed from screens on the correct date regardless of any connectivity issues.
Training & Support
Whilst a good CMS should be intuitive and user friendly, basic training will bring your staff up-to-speed faster reducing both the time spent learning the software and room for error.
Ongoing support should also be considered, particularly when deploying digital signage across multi-location networks. A managed services provider with a 7 day technical support centre can serve as the single point of contact for any technical issues that may arise from any location in your digital signage network.
Your CMS provider should also be able to provide onsite technicians across multi-location networks for any issues that cannot be resolved over the phone.
DAT Media's proprietary content management system Laqorr is a cloud-based CMS that allows you to easily manage diverse and complex digital signage networks via a secure web-portal. Multiple users can manage content on all devices from a remote dashboard to streamline marketing communications, increase productivity and significantly improve operational efficiency. For a live CMS demonstration please contact DAT Media to arrange a convenient time for our content services team to visit your office.