Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chronicles of a Digital Signage Newbie: Scheduling Content

As I said in the previous post, content is king. But how well you take advantage of that content will determine its success. If you have a great message but aren't broadcasting it to the right people at the right time, that perfectly-crafted message you spent hours creating might just get lost in the shuffle.

With the content manager software, you can easily customize the schedule for your content based on several variables, like time of day or day of the week.

The lingo can be a little confusing, but once you understand the terminology, getting your sign set up to play the right content at the right time just takes a few clicks.

In the content manager, once a piece of content is dragged and added to a sign region, it is scheduled to play. The play order determines the order in which items in a region will play before restarting and playing through again. I have 3 items of text to play in one region of my sign, so I can switch them around to change the play order.

By selecting the duration of content items, you can choose how long each will play before cycling-but make sure the duration box is checked! I leave my duration at the default of 30 seconds. Those regions that have only one piece of content will continue to "loop," regardless of the duration setting.

If you want to play a particular item at a certain time of day only, for example, a promo for a café over the lunch hour, you will need to change the recurrence setting for that item. You can also coordinate multiple templates to play at different times, one on weekdays and another on the weekends, by changing the recurrence settings to reflect those days.

The range indicates the number of times an item will repeat and can be set to end on a specific date, possibly the day a promotion ends. Pattern controls which days the content will play, for example, a meeting reminder every Monday.

You can also schedule interruptions, which will literally "interrupt" the normal sequence under special circumstances. If I have to let my co-workers know that a meeting has been cancelled or that a hurricane is headed our way, I can set up an interruption on the screen, regardless of what else has been scheduled.

So you can tailor not only what content will appear on your digital sign, but also how and when that content will play. And these adjustments can be set up in advance, so you won't have to worry about repeatedly changing your content.

You don't need to feed the same content to all people at all times-and frankly, depending on your setting, you shouldn't! Pushing breakfast items to morning commuters can be a great use of digital signage, but at 6 pm when the Krispy Kremes are gone, your sign would be much better served by a picture of chicken fingers than some doughnut holes.

Newbies, stay tuned to the Digi-Know blog and keep improving your understanding of digital signage with me!

Check out ConnectedSign for more information: and read more tips, tricks, and general knowledge about digital signage:

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