• Nikki Ault

The 8 Most Common Mistakes Made When Selecting Digital Signage Software

Digital signage software is the meat and potatoes of your digital signage system. It contains your content management system which is where you create and manage all of the content for your digital screens.

There are so many digital signage software options available to you, it can be quite the daunting task to select one and know that it's the right one.

We wanted to save you some overwhelmed research time and provide you with the 8 most common mistakes made when selecting a digital signage software so you can avoid doing the same.

"My system doesn't align with my goals"

You have to start with what you want your digital signage system to accomplish. Are you trying to advertise, upsell, entertain, educate? Choosing a video wall for your corporate headquarters lobby and running advertisements to buy your products on it for only your internal clients doesn't accomplish your goals for selling to your ideal clients out in the world.

This is the same for choosing a software that specializes in airport updates not helping you with menu board content. Again, it starts with knowing what you want to accomplish. Be sure that you know up front what your goals are and that the software you choose aligns with those goals.

"I tried the free route"

Free is nice if it is coffee, but when it comes to pulling off a successful digital signage system, you often "get what you pay for."

There are some free options that can accomplish very minimal things that might work for you but don't run to it just because it will save you some dollars.

"I didn't keep audience in mind"

Choosing a software that doesn't target your audience will send you down the wrong path from the start. You would not want to choose a software that specializes in corporate communication and key performance indicators if your audience is a mall walker.

Make sure in the early stages you really narrow down your ideal audience. From age groups, to gender, to dwell time (how long they will be looking at the screen), to frequency, to time of day they will view it. Figuring this out in the beginning will help you select a software that can engage this audience.

"It doesn't have the right features I need"

Having an engaged audience is pertinent to a successful digital signage system as mentioned above, but how do I get them engaged? Your content management system will help you create content so choosing a software that supplies all of the features you need is essential.

You wouldn't want to choose a software that doesn't allow for social feeds if you are hoping to engage customers to interact socially with your content.

You also wouldn't want to pick a software that doesn't have interactive capabilities if you are hoping to use touch screen displays.

Studying the features of your top software options will help you make your final choice.

"It's really hard to use"

This would be the winner winner chicken dinner deciding factor for me. If a software is not easy to use, it's not going to get used. The user interface should be, to an extent, self explanatory or come with proper demonstrations or user-friendly directions for use. If it doesn't, you will not get into it and that defeats the whole point of implementing.

Do your due diligence to read reviews and inquire with other users. Get a good feel for the ease of use. Also, be sure the person in charge of using the content management system is on board with it. If they are the primary user, they should be comfortable.

"There is no support"

You won't know how great a software is until it's not working as it should and you need help with it. If there is no support after purchase, this should be a red light.

Support can include warranties, updates, trainings, replacements, add-ons, online support, trouble shooting, and timely reviews. When selecting your software, understand what each of them offer as far as support and evaluate which will serve you best.

"I didn't know the difference between on-premise vs. cloud"

Softwares come in two forms: on-premise and cloud.

On-premise software, in basic explanation, is the content management server and the software sit locally on a hard drive that you own.

Cloud based software or software as a service (SaaS) is the content management server and software are on a hard drive you don't own but you access through the web.

When you decide on a software you will want to know the difference and verify which will be best to accomplish your goals. There are benefits and features of both but the main differences are price, updates, security, and responsibility. Deciding on this is where the next mistake often comes in, not having the right people involved in making the decisions.

"I didn't involve all the necessary people"

The decision to implement a digital signage system can not be made solely with just one person (unless you are a one person show and even then using an integrator is crucial). Here is a list of people that should be involved at least to some extent:

· Facilities

· IT/Network Security

· Human Resources

· Finance/Accounting

· Marketing

· Decision Maker

· Administrative

If you purchase a SaaS software, IT/Network Security will be required to ensure you can get through firewalls and can even access the software. You will need to involve your marketing team to know what kind of branding content you can use. You will want to involve the finance/accounting team so you know where your budget sits for purchasing a digital signage system all together. Facilities may need to be involved so you know where electricity can be ran for the displays so you aren't creating new issues.

When you get all hands on deck, the decision becomes easier to make about which software to choose because it can be vetted. Avoid the mistakes listed above and determine what will work for you.

If you would like a free consultation with an integrator that can help you decide which direction to go, contact sales@coffmanmedia.com. Coffman media is a leading digital signage integrator that assesses your needs and helps you create the digital signage system to get your message across.

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