We recently shared some ideas and insight into content creation tools sometimes integrated within digital signage software.

Many of the best networks don’t use any software content creation tools at all. In this case software is just meant to be a means to upload assets, lay out zones (or lack thereof), manage playlists and remote players.

If this sounds like you, we’ve compiled a go-to list of tools and cheats for creating ongoing content assets for your Digital Signage network outside of your software.

By Steve Glancey, VP of Business Development, Screenfeed

From freelancers to free assets, use this list as your go-to when it's time to crank out some custom content

  • Outsourced & Competitively Priced: Post projects on freelance platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, 99designs etc. You may, or may not, get what you pay for. Hey, we all gotta start somewhere.
  • Envato Marketplace - If you have a basic understanding of Adobe After Effects, Envato is one of my favorite spots to find editable motion graphics-based templates.
  • PROMO - If you need a more guided template situation, Promo’s platform can be a fantastic tool to cover your needs to build quick video ads.
  • Canva has established itself as a massive storehouse for easily-customizable, well designed static graphic design templates. They do a good job curating their design options to ensure typography, layout, and design elements are on-trend.
  • Can’t code but have some design skills? Platforms such as Bannersnack or Google Web Designer will help you build code from scratch using their tools built for banner ads which allow you to export via HTML5 and then upload into your software. Works great for basic messaging.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud - For a very reasonable $60 monthly fee, you can set your team up with the most powerful content creation tools in the business including: Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, After Effects, Premiere Pro and more. They even have mobile versions of some apps designed to kick out content designs on-the-go.
  • Create templates for KPIs and power them visually with Google Sheets (visuals lacking) or a provider like Geckoboard.
  • Feeds - Pull in licensed, automated feeds from a provider like us (Screenfeed). Our feed configuration tool even allows you to change the look and feel of some of our most popular content like News and Weather to match your brand and layout in minutes.
  • Interactive Polls - Try a service like Popin, Pusher, or Poll Everywhere with a CTA to participate plus a live display of the results.
  • Stock Assets - Used with extreme caution (see Coach Content’s advice), this can be a great way to save time and resources -- with discretion. There are paid options like iStockphoto, Shutterstock and Getty Images. And, free options like Pexels, Unsplash and Pixabay.

If you create custom content with any sort of regularity, what workflow and tools have you found to be the most helpful? We’d love to hear about it - email or tweet us what you think!