21 Digital Signage Content Creation Tools
Digital signage content creation is a way to leverage the power of visual content to grow your business and build your team culture. Executing your content strategy doesn’t have to be a daunting task and you don’t need to invest in a graphic designer to get the high quality content you need.
In this article we’ll show you 21 digital signage content creation tools you can use to show static and dynamic content on your displays. Some are tools you already have, and some are free and low-cost applications that you can use to create content like videos, graphics, web pages, analytics, news and social media.
Static vs Dynamic Content
Static content like graphics and videos do not change after they are uploaded to your displays. Dynamic content can change based upon factors like time, weather, location, news updates, or user interaction with your displays.
Static Content Creation Tools
Here are a few tools you can use to get great photos, informative graphics, and videos running on your displays.
There are templates provided for you to get started with making ads, flyers and social media posts. Depending on the size and orientation of your TV screens you can set the aspect ratios of your designs to fit 1920×1080 for landscape and 1080×1920 for portrait.
What makes Canva such a great tool is that anyone can use it. Even if you have no idea about the elements of design, you can subscribe to their Design School and quickly get tips on fonts, colors and grid basics.
2. Powerpoint & Google Slides
Create digital menu boards, graphics to announce special promotions, or celebrate a team member who has gone above and beyond. These slides can be exported as JPEGs, PNGs, and even video files to upload to your signage.
You can get much more creative with Prezi, an alternative tool to Powerpoint and Google Slides. Working in one large canvas in Prezi allows you to pan and zoom, focusing in on each detail and adding emphasis to points in your presentation. You can share your Prezi masterpiece via a link that can be uploaded to your digital signage.
Whether you decide to take your own photos, hire a professional, or use stock images, you may want to manipulate them. Photoshop is a more advanced tool, but if you have someone Adobe savvy in the office, call on them to perform tasks like erasing a label off a stock photo or changing the background color of an image.
If you don’t already have this program and you want to invest in it, you can purchase the Adobe Creative Cloud single app plan for $19.99 a month. Pixlr is also a free web-based platform that resembles the features of photoshop. You can download the mobile app to directly edit photos you take for your digital signage.
5. VSCO for iPhone and Android
VSCO is a powerful mobile app you can use to easily edit photos for professional quality promo images. The filters in VSCO are much more natural than other editing apps and give you more control over the manipulation of your photos.
Tip: Don’t consider yourself to be a photographer? No problem. Iphoneography School is a handy comprehensive beginner’s guide to using techniques like the Rule of Thirds to capture compelling photos for your digital signage.
6. Stock Images
Researching different platforms to find photos that match your branding will require extra time, but this option is a compelling alternative to taking your own or hiring a professional.
With stock images, you purchase the license rights to original photos taken by professional photographers. This way you can use them however you like without having to attribute credit to where you found them. Here is a list of websites to visit for modern high-quality stock images:
7. Place It
Creating visuals that help people see themselves using your product is a convincing psychological marketing tactic. Let’s say you want a photo of a woman on a laptop, browsing through your website.
Instead of staging this moment you can use Place It, a stock image platform that allows you to easily drop your business images inside photos of iPads, iPhones, and Mac screens. You can then export these images for your digital signage.
With Padlet you can collaborate with anyone on your team on creative content for your digital signage. You simply drag and drop images, videos, documents, links, audio and text onto the design board and maneuver them how you like.
Padlet is almost like scrapbooking for the web, and can be used as an incredibly easy tool to make website mockups, storyboards or other team projects for display content.
You can drag and drop content to arrange a static webpage then export the file as a JPEG to appear on your displays. With Enplug, you could copy and paste the HTML code Padlet generates into our Webpage App and display your content this way.
9. iMovie/Windows Movie Maker
Whether you have a Mac or a PC, your computer likely came equipped with a video editing tool that you can use to make simple quick marketing videos. You can add text, logos and even retouch the color on your footage easily with these tools.
WeVideo is a cloud-based software that lets you collaborate with your team on video projects. You can shoot, upload and edit videos from anywhere and your entire team can have access to the files during all stages of your project.
If video editing seems like too meticulous of a task to execute, think about using a tool like Magisto. Once you upload your footage, the software runs a visual analysis to detect facial expressions, speech, and camera motion. After automatically sourcing all of the engaging points in your footage, Magisto asks you to choose an editing style and then brings your brand story to life automatically.
12. Google Drawings
A free Chrome add-on, Google Drawings makes it easy to create charts and diagrams to display on your digital signage. You can use these in conjunction with any data tools you use to communicate metrics to your employees. Plus the flow charts and graphs can be easily inserted into other documents or embedded into a website.
Dynamic Content Creation Tools
Here are a few tools you can use to create interactive and dynamic content for your digital signage:
13. Social Media Aggregators
Social media is free word-of-mouth marketing for your brand. Better yet, it’s content that always stays up to date. Use a social media aggregator like Tint or Enplug’s Social Media Walls to show the latest social media posts on displays in your offices or stores. It’s a great way to connect your employees with your brand.
Many digital signage solutions can display webpages in fullscreen. Beyond simply displaying your homepage, you can use webpages as a more powerful replacement to traditional digital signage graphics. These pages can be animated or update with plugins that pull realtime content like waitlists, weather, stock tickers, and news.
Tools to create web pages for digital signage:
- Weebly: You don’t need any coding knowledge to build a site with Weebly. All of the templates here allow you to drag and drop the features you’d like to include on your site. The themes here are much more minimalistic and there is a free option offered if you only need the bare essentials.
15. Live Streaming
Some digital signage platforms offer a live-streaming functionality that lets you show live video on your displays. This is a great way to broadcast important events, share announcements, or show feeds from conferences or sermons. Enplug’s own live-streaming app will launch in the next couple of months!
Digital signage is becoming an increasingly popular tool for HR directors and community managers to integrate into their communications strategies (see why here). Display content like key performance metrics, Google Analytics and Salesforce data to keep your team informed and focused on goals.
Tools to create dashboards for digital signage:
- Geckoboard: connects to all your data sources (e.g. Salesforce, Zendesk, Basecamp, Excel) and displays your most important metrics in an organized visual. See our tutorial on how to do this here.
- Google Sheets: use the free tools available in Google Docs to create graphs of your most important data and metrics. See how you can create automatically updated graphs like this here.
Keep your customers engaged and your employees informed on breaking news. Source relevant industry blogs like Wired, The Wall Street Journal or ESPN and stream their RSS feeds to your displays.
“The weather” is a classic conversation starter, making it great content for your digital signage. Display the current forecast from anywhere in the world and give your guests a look into next week’s conditions as well.
Many digital signage solutions like Enplug offer a built-in Weather widget or scrolling weather feed, and you can also simply display a weather website for your location.
19. Google Art Project
Set the ambiance with fine art collections from all over the world. You can curate collections from the best museums and build your own galleries of favorite pieces. These virtual collections can serve as free high-quality content to keep your guests engaged with digital signage.
20. Dynamic Interactive Videos
Although these require a touch screen enabled display and compatible software, interactive videos are becoming popular marketing tools. With these, you give the viewer control over what happens in the video and the action unfolds from their perspective. They can choose the experience and get engaged with the storyline you’ve crafted for your brand. See how Target does this in the video above.
For a tech savvy business this type of content would be a great way to show off your products in an innovative way. Give your customers a first-hand experience at using your product or service. Easily create your own interactive video with these tools:
You can poll your employees on workplace preferences or your customers on their favorite products. Customers want to engage with your brand. Using digital signage to initiate polls with your consumers demonstrates that their feedback matters to you. Engagement isn’t the only benefit to using polls as content for your digital signage. You’ll also get insight into what your customers need or like most about your business.
Twitter has built-in polling abilities that you can use to get started composing polls right away. You can use more extensive tools like Poll Everywhere if you want to add features like “text to vote” or data synopsis on a google presentation.
As you outline your content strategy, get inspired by the many options you have to entertain shoppers, set the environment for your office, inform your guests, and drive sales. Consider the above tools to get started creating both static and dynamic options for your digital signage solution.
What content creation tools do you use for digital signage? Tweet us @Enplug and Let us know.
Enplug digital signage software was co-founded by CEO Nanxi Liu and CTO Tina Denuit-Wojcik in 2012 to enable organizations to use customized real-time streaming content to create engaging external and internal communications.