9 Free or Low-cost Tools to Help You Create Content for Digital Signage
Interested in using digital signage as a communication channel but don’t have the time or resources to spend on digital signage content creation? Do you have a design and content team but want to be able to update content on the fly? Or are you on your own and want to create visually-appealing digital signage content without having to bring in outside design resources?
If you’re nodding along right now, you’re not alone!
Thankfully, there are a ton of free and low-cost tools available you can pair with Skykit Beam to help you create dazzling content for digital signage. Here’s a snapshot of nine of those tools (and there are many, many more) to easily and quickly create your own digital signage content that looks appealing and professional.
Google Slides / Microsoft PowerPoint
Pretty much everyone has created something using Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides at some point, so you know it’s easy to jump in and start creating your own digital signage content.
If you plan to use a Slides presentation for a digital signage display, check out this blog to help make your slides deck more engaging and appealing. Take advantage of the ready-made presentation themes, variety of font options, and limitless number of slides you can add.
Another bonus with Google Slides is the auto integration between Slides and Skykit. As you collaborate on your presentation you can set your Skykit digital signage displays to update with the new slide content in real time.
Shutterstock Add-On for Google Slides
Shutterstock is now integrated with Slides, bridging the gap between your message and the images that bring it to life. Google Slides users with an existing Shutterstock account can access the Shutterstock image library directly from within Slides, making it really simple to create and update presentations. You can download the app from Google.
So what if you want to go beyond slides into graphic design territory?
Canva is a graphic design website that provides design tips and inspiration for professionals as well as non-designers.
Canva couldn’t be more versatile and useful, making it a great pick for creating your own digital signage. It’s like a calculator — you just plug in the information you want and out comes an effortlessly beautiful design solution.
Canva has a huge library of templates ranging from invites, photo collages, business cards, web ads, presentations, the list goes on and on. Simply search for the type of image you’re looking for, adjust colors, fonts and text in line with your branding, and you’re done!
There’s a paid version, Canva Pro, that offers more customization options for businesses to ensure a consistent and appealing brand.
Like Canva, Pixelixe offers an enormous library of complementary digital assets — photos and images, fonts, icons, and more, and design experience is not required. Like Skykit, Pixelixe was born and raised in the cloud, with only an internet connection needed to get started.
Pixelixe APIs lets users integrate a graphic design creator into their website, making it easy to customize content with your existing brand. Plans are available for as low as $9 a month and they scale up to an enterprise level that’s loaded with features.
Design / Photo Editing
PicMonkey is an online service for design and photo editing. It’s a great tool for creating digital signage if you don’t have experience with Photoshop, but need to quickly pull together a unique design.
For just $13 a month, you can get unlimited storage, use custom fonts, and export files as JPG, PNG, or PDF. This is an affordable option for businesses who want to create professional-looking content without taking the time to learn Photoshop, or money to hire someone who has already mastered it.
Digital Menu Boards
For those of you in food services — DSMenu is a digital menu board design program that integrates to digital signage. There are hundreds of menu board designs in the gallery to choose from, as well as a playlist for scheduling menus that change based on time or date.
DSMenu is affordable and intuitive. You simply select a layout from the program’s gallery, plug in your own content, and boom you’re done!
Social Media Feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)
Seenspire has a few different facets to their product, and we love the Social Media functionality. By integrating your various social media platforms into your digital signage, you’re essentially leveraging screens as brand amplifiers. You’re also increasing your social media audience by adding another avenue to share your messages.
Pre-approved social media posts from employees and corporate communications will infiltrate your signage displays, increasing the likelihood that clients and other important individuals will see your social posts.
Seenspire offers a “set it and forget it” approach to using digital signage as a platform for your social media presence, in three easy steps:
- Choose or create your Seenspire feeds
- Schedule the feeds into your CMS playlist
- Feeds update automatically
Skykit and Seenspire have recently partnered. Ask us how you can get started with this platform to seamlessly create content for digital signage.
Copyright-Free Images and Videos
Pixabay is a cheap and effective tool for creating digital signage content, providing users with royalty-free images and videos. All content is released under the Pixabay License, making it safe to use without the need to ask for permission or give credit to the artist.
The best part is it’s a free resource for your Skykit digital signage displays.
Pixabay offers over 2.8 million royalty-free photos and videos that can be used to enhance your organization’s library for digital signage, ensuring you’ll always have the images you require to capture an audience while keeping things fresh.
To sum it up…
These are just a few of the many, many programs out there that can kick your digital signage design up a notch. Whether you’ve got a team but they’re swamped, or you don’t have the budget to outsource your designs — hopefully one of these tools can help take the complexity out of digital signage content creation for you.
Reach out if you’d like to learn about creating your own digital signage with Skykit Beam as your content management system.