Digital Signage Content using Customizable Templates

Customizable Templates simplifies the task of creating eye-catching Digital Signage Content including displaying LIVE News and Weather.

Digital signage has been around for years and covers everything from advertising signs in Time Square and Las Vegas to displays in small mom and pop businesses. Digital Signage has developed in to a relatively low cost marketing and advertising medium and has been steadily growing in usage in all segments of business. While large corporates can easily afford to hire graphic designers or outsource their content design to specialized advertising agencies, small businesses with limited budgets are at a loss when it comes to designing content for their screens.

Most small business owners make futile attempts at purchasing graphic design software and trying to learn the skills needed for developing content. Software like Adobe’s Creative Suite and Corel Paint are sophisticated and capable of delivering exceptional results provided the user knows how to take advantage of the built-in features. Business owners are good at what they do – which is running their business. They cannot expect to be ‘Jack of all trades’ and get up one day and start designing eye-catching digital signage content - But, this is exactly what happens.

Almost all small businesses will try to save money by doing this design work themselves or at best outsource it, at the least possible cost. The end result in most cases is visually disappointing and discouraging; compared to what the business owner visualized, but fell short due to inferior or inadequate content.

Customizable templates for web sites, PowerPoint presentations, business cards, greeting cards and other such applications have been around for some time. These templates have taken the guess work out of design and creativity, allowing just about anyone to create a successful presentation; without offending most design critics. Similarly, digital signage content can also be designed using customizable templates that have been designed by professional graphic designers, who take in to consideration, the end users requirements.

Digital signage templates let amateur designers create attractive content by customizing these templates with their images and text, to generate a personalized display. These templates are typically available in multiple color combinations with options for either single or multiple products displays. Templates are designed using Flash and typically use animation with transitions and colors to highlight the product being displayed and are available in horizontal and vertical screen orientation, in varying sizes and aspect ratios.

Customizable templates provide flexibility to change product images, description and prices as and when the business needs to, while maintaining a uniform design concept. This works well for restaurants that have distinct menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner or happy hour; allowing the restaurant manager the flexibility of using the display sign to change information depending on time of day. This is similar to the technology known as ‘dayparting’ that is used by large fast food chains, who use their menu board with changing menu items and prices, at different hours.

Offices, schools, places of worship and other businesses can use these customizable templates to display current and upcoming event schedules and other pertinent information. Creating this content with templates is easy and requires the manager to merely update the template and schedule for display. Most template based software also allows the user to re-use the templates and schedule content in advance for future dates.

Displaying live news and weather is easy using templates, as the live information is periodically updated and automatically injected into the templates for display. This process is seamless and typically requires a one-time setup by the user. Most templates for news and weather are available in multiple color options and include the ability to display icons and pictures along with text. This type of active content keeps the screen fresh and makes the viewer seek current information and in the process view marketing messages designed to increase business.

A successful digital signage sign depends on the content that is being shown. It is well known that viewers are oblivious to dull or repetitive content and tend to ignore screens that show boring information. This is true whether it is watching TV at home or a display screen in a store. Advertisers on TV spend millions of dollars trying to create the most eye-catching commercial, with the hope that they are able to cut through the clutter and get the viewer’s attention. Similarly, customers in stores need to be convinced to make a spot purchase decision and this cannot happen unless the content is attractive and convincing to the audience. Most amateur created digital signage content falls short and misses the mark – and in the process, wasting an opportunity.
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