How To Manage Digital Assets

Does the thought of having to find yet another digital asset make you cringe knowing you’re about to spend a good chunk of time looking for the exact piece you need? Or maybe your company didn’t have a strong digital presence before 2020 and now there’s so many pieces of digital content that searching takes longer than it should. How useful is a virtual filing cabinet if it has about as much organization as a paper shredder, anyways? 

As brands continue to shift towards more digital experiences for customers, and the collection of digital pieces grows by the minute, the time for digital asset management is now. 

What is Considered a “Digital Asset”?

Almost any digital piece created or distributed by your marketing or sales team is considered a digital asset. The most common digital assets include images, videos, files, Word docs, graphics, PDFs, fliers, brochures, etc. 

What is Digital Asset Management?

The answer here is two-fold. The process of digital asset management is exactly what it sounds like; it’s the constant controlling, organizing, and categorizing of digital assets. 

A digital asset management system, or DAM, is a content hub that the entire company can access. Simply put, it keeps all of your content in one place that’s accessible by all employees. Beyond operating as a storage system, DAM systems are a powerful source of data and insights, too.

Why Is DAM So Important?

In today’s fast-paced world where companies want marketing pieces created yesterday, DAM helps teams double down on efficiency and accelerate asset discovery and creation. The time saved both in creation and in sorting maximizes the ROI of implementing a DAM solution as opposed to a filing system. 

The benefits continue when distribution is expedited and redundancies in workflow are mitigated. Plus, your customers want a seamless online and offline experience. Companies that routinely keep up with their DAM strategy and best practices can always deliver the latest and greatest marketing materials so the message conveyed is consistent. It’s a win-win for your company and its customers.

How is DAM Different From a Filing System?

Unlike an internal filing system, DAM is built to be an organized, user-friendly, efficient, and safe way to store digital content. DAMs allow you to share content to a wider net of employees within your organization as well as with external vendors or agencies like a PR firm. DAM software allows administrators to restrict user permissions, automate manual tasks and establish approval workflows. Rather than being a large catch-all for every file in your organization, DAMs are a structured library of resources for your company. 

What Are the Benefits of a DAM?

In short, having a DAM helps your internal teams operate more efficiently, which saves the company money in the long-run and prevents any bottlenecks in the digital asset creation and distribution pipeline. In a time where 83% of marketers use content marketing to generate leads, having an organized system has never been more important. More specifically, DAM software allows businesses to:

Streamline Content Creation.

Having an effective DAM system in place can help your internal processes run smoothly. As your organization grows and more marketing resources are needed, a DAM will help your team run optimally.

Collaborate Across Teams.

With the enhanced user permissions offered by DAMs, your content repository is no longer limited to your closest coworkers. Instead, you can grant anyone inside or outside of your organization access. 

Organize Your Assets.

Strategically categorize your assets at the start of your implementation to offer better user experiences and searchability. You can also archive any old files with outdated branding, messaging, or sales that are no longer relevant to where your company stands today. That means better brand management and increased brand recognition in your target market.

Use Metadata for a Better User Experience.

Including accurate metadata in each file will save time down the line as your team tries to find the exact file they’re thinking of. A few extra minutes during the creation will save hours of searching later in the distribution phase.

Keep Your Digital Assets Secure.

Use access roles to increase the security of your digital media and minimize the risk of lost data.

Use Data to Use Assets More Effectively.

Gain greater insight into which assets perform best. DAM platforms deliver analytics for marketers to identify their most effective assets and deploy them more effectively in multichannel campaigns. 

Of course, to maximize the benefits of a DAM, you’ll need to implement internal procedures and expectations to keep your content optimized. For a best practices guide to data governance and change management, check out the 2021 Strategy Guide.

How Does DAM Improve My Brand’s Reach?

DAM is just as great for your customers as it is for your internal teams. From the external perspective, effective asset management helps your brand have a more cohesive, seamless look and experience for all customers. DAMs also help to ensure that all teams are using the most up-to-date digital assets so customers are given accurate information every time. This leads to improved brand consistency across every channel.

How Should I Organize My DAM?

In order to get all the benefits that a DAM system can bring, you first have to have a DAM strategy set up. Your DAM strategy planning should be integrated into your company’s overarching digital strategy. (Need help with your overall business roadmap? Strategy practice lead Mousumi Behari walks you through how to create your own roadmap in this webinar.)

Think of what your brand goals are, then align your DAM to help get you there. For example: Do you want to increase your homepage conversion rate, decrease bounces, or speed up internal processes? Make sure you communicate with the teams who will be using the DAM system the most so you can build the best strategy possible. 

Prior to implementation, discuss the expectations and processes with your team so all digital assets remain compliant with your company’s established system. You should teach your team how to:

Create workflows. 

Think through the structure of your organization and who needs access to the content in your DAM system. Customize the roles for the various members of your team to give them access to the content they would need for their everyday work. Roles can range from an admin with total access to a user with a very specific set of access. You can also monitor who can add content to the DAM. 

Optimize Search Features.

If you work in the digital marketing space, you probably know the importance of metadata for SEO purposes. Since your DAM has its own search engine built in, it should come as no surprise that metadata is crucial for searchability. 

To make locating assets even easier, use a taxonomy structure as you migrate assets over. If your older folder structure worked, carry that to your DAM system. If not, this is your opportunity to start fresh!

To learn more about DAM and how it can grow with your business, check out our white paper, “Content Velocity at Scale: Launch Your Enterprise DAM Solution.” If you’re ready to start your journey to a better Digital Asset Management Solution with Avionos, check out our DAM Accelerator for Adobe.

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