Marketing departments are creating more digital assets than ever before. From images and photos to videos and other documents, organizations are amassing large amounts of digital data. While this content is incredibly valuable, too many businesses don’t have a structure in place to manage, share and edit it effectively.
This is where digital asset management (DAM) becomes an important part of your company’s workings. Accepted processes that are easy to follow will ensure your brand assets are accessible and easily available to fulfill their potential. Despite the idea of creating order in such chaos often feeling overwhelming, there are some simple strategies to adopt to tackle this challenge.
1. Prioritize your most useful assets
Marketing DAM can seem almost impossible when you have campaigns and other operations running constantly. While you can’t stop these activities while you’re sorting out your content DAM or digital assets library, you can use the ongoing processes to inform your reorganization.
Start by managing the creative assets you use the most, as being able to find these quickly will immediately demonstrate the benefits of digital asset management. If, for example, another department constantly requests the same types of content, build a custom portal to give them access to pre-approved assets, saving everyone’s time.
Put your assets into the different formats that are most commonly requested to save time. These may include the predefined dimensions for social media posts or high-res images for specific campaigns. Creatives will then be able to find what they need without putting in multiple requests for format adjustments.
2. Determine your folder structure
Your digital assets library must be searchable, otherwise your chances of finding what you’re looking for will decrease as it grows. Despite such functionality, your files should be organized within a comprehensible folder structure to make them easier to browse.
This system shouldn't be chosen by one person but a result of discussion throughout the team to find the most logical way of categorizing your folders. The best solution for one company will be different for another, so think about your digital asset uses and your products or services before determining how to divide up your content.
3. Use metadata to label images
Create a process for labeling images with metadata that covers everything from color to subject matter, liberally applying keywords to your files. If you produce new products every season then establish a protocol that logically keeps a collection together but differentiates between items.
This is where automated asset management can be particularly useful, as DAM software can recognize features of an image and apply tags. Then, when it comes to finding assets, they’ll be easily searchable within your folders.
4. Implement ways to distinguish between versions
Most assets undergo a number of changes before their final version and it’s important to keep a record of these stages. You may wish to revisit an asset and develop it in a different way in future or multiple versions of a file may have been created for use within the same campaign.
Metadata is the best way to ensure these versions are associated with each other yet easily identifiable in their own right. This will enable you to find the asset translated into a foreign language for an overseas market or a file made for a specific audience that you’d like to replicate for a new campaign.
5. Set up download presets in your media asset management software
One solution to the issue of saving multiple versions of the same asset lies in the software you use. Create download options that include presets to give you any content in the most useful format without storing endless alternatives within your library.
This allows you to cut down on storage space but still means you and your colleagues can access images cut to the right dimensions for different social channels at the touch of a button. It also means that should a new specification be required, it can be set up as an action as opposed to manually creating more versions of files.
6. Diversify storage options
Utilizing different approaches to storage for varying needs means you can put your assets in the most appropriate location. Sensitive material or that required when the internet is unavailable could be stored using offline hardware, for example.
Moving away from physical storage solutions, systems based on the cloud have a number of benefits, including immediate access from multiple locations. Business-focused DAM cloud storage can be organized to ensure easy retrieval for future projects.
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