Files, assets, collateral; these words all essentially mean the same thing in a marketing world but are often treated very differently in business!
Files is a basic name for digital assets, from images, videos, ads, word documents – and absolutely anything you may want to store digitally. They adopt the name of ‘assets’ because they may hold a level of importance and value to your organization. Due to their significance, it’s equally as important to store these files securely, or to implement a system where others can easily access your files. So, as you may have guessed, digital asset management is a way of handling those files effectively. But why is digital asset management (DAM) beneficial to your organization and in turn, it’s marketing strategy?
- Streamlining efficiency
There are many different time saving factors that can be achieved by using a DAM. For example, your marketing team no longer have to waste days helping people find assets, they themselves can find files quicker, marketing teams across your organization can reuse and edit existing assets rather than having to start the whole process again. Say goodbye to those time-consuming emails asking for an EPS of your logo because it’s easy to share your asset and even edit! You can also create pre-sets of assets for the popular sizes and formats used within your organisation, such as hero images for your website or social media backgrounds. The list just goes on and on.
- Better control of brand usage
In terms of controlling the usage of your brand, many DAMs have flexible user permissions so you can control who has access to your assets, whether that’s allowing people to view-only or even download or upload files. You can also introduce an approval process whereby your marketing team can check and then give permission for said uses. Additionally, you can protect pictures with image rights and watermarks. Overall, the quality of your marketing improves as you can use your DAM system to educate your staff and partners on how to communicate your brand. You can ensure they use approved assets, reduce errors by tracing back mistakes and amending them at the source, provide approved templates for them to create high quality marketing materials and even set-up workflows to approve the upload, download, and usage of assets.
As with any business system, you need to monitor usage in order to make improvements and grow further. Your asset library should provide a means of reporting on who is using your assets, which assets they’re using and how they’re are using them. You can then use this knowledge to enhance the user experience. Most organizations will have a range of different users such as staff, partners, and media. As said previously, it’s likely that you will want to monitor and vary which assets certain groups of users can see, or have access to. The addition of an approval system could prove quite useful for quality control.
- Controlled public visibility
Many DAM vendors offer an e-commerce module so you can make your DAM publicly available and allow people to pay to use your assets. This way, you can make money and even save money by reducing postage costs via distributing your work electronically. If you have a public facing DAM, it can be useful tool to aid your SEO performance. Using the right SEO meta tags and keywords can help users find your asset. This is especially relevant if you want to make money from your assets.
- Seamless sign-offs
As you probably know all too well, digital assets go through a rigorous draft system. With DAM you can improve the sign-off procedure when developing new creative – some DAM systems offer a work-in-progress module. This allows you to develop creative work, quickly and easily securing feedback along the way, until it is ready for approval. All previous versions of your work are stored in your DAM so you can revert to them at a later date. Plus, with access to all of your assets, it is likely that your marketing team won’t always need to start from scratch when developing a new creative campaign. They might be able use an existing ad template and it should be easier for them to find an image to use if required when an asset is ready to distribute, your partners can get instant access.
- Added security
You often hear of organizations utilizing Cloud file systems such as Google Drive and Dropbox for the collation and sharing of marketing assets, both with clients, internal teams and with external stakeholders, but these tools can pose their own risks in terms of security, reliability and general functionality. DAM systems surpass the standard cloud file system in a number of ways, with Digital Asset Management you are able to customize and configure DAM to suit your organizational needs, including integration with other systems including Office, Adobe and more. Furthermore, where searching through your Cloud storage is possible, but not always efficient, with text search. DAM takes this to a whole new level with an advanced search system across specific attributes, date ranges and so on.
So, if your business utilizes a lot of complex digital assets, or perhaps you have a large organization where file management becomes a little trickier, it might be worth looking into a DAM system. While cloud storage might be great for personal use or on a short term basis, it doesn’t offer the comprehensive features that any growing business needs. It will also help streamline your entire organization as your employees, clients, contractors and anybody else who needs access to your assets can log in and retrieve the files that they need instantly. DAMs can be a great tool for working with partners such as agencies or the media, as they can get quick access to all your assets. If you make things easy for people they’re more likely to enjoy working with you. Plus, coordinating work and campaigns across international offices just became a whole lot easier!