Digital assets are essential for most companies today but organizing and managing all of those assets can be difficult. This is particularly true for growing companies that are creating more and more of these assets. Quality DAM systems can help companies to organize, become more efficient, and collaborate easily. They are a benefit for marketers, designers, and many other types of content creators that need to keep their assets in place.
Why is Digital Access Management Important?
Having quality content that is consistent and branded is important for any business to thrive in today’s world. Managing the content is easier with a DAM platform. You will find a host of benefits to using one of these systems.
No More Lost and Misplaced Work
If you have ever had to deal with missing content that was created but has somehow vanished into the digital ether, you know how frustrating it can be. Hours or days of hard work could vanish. When you have more files in your growing business, it becomes even easier to misplace them, which will cost you time and money. If you are lucky, you will be able to find them. If you aren’t lucky, it would mean you need to remake them.
DAM solutions will eliminate these problems. Once the work is stored in the system, they are secure and will be easy to retrieve when needed. A system that offers an easy search option, which is discussed later, will make it even easier. Naturally, this will be better for your company’s bottom line.
Maintaining your company brand is essential. When using a DAM system, you can be sure that all of your team members are working from the same files and that they reflect your current brand. For example, you wouldn’t want a new piece of marketing material to use the logo that you had three years ago if you have a slightly updated logo. When everyone is working from the same repository of files and have the same search tools and versions, it will make it easier to ensure consistency.
Although brand consistency might seem simple enough, it can become more complex once you start to have more assets. It’s easy for the wrong elements to be used, which could create brand confusion. Even if the quality control department catches the problem before it gets into the hands of customers, it would take time and money to fix. A good DAM system will help to reduce these types of errors.
One of the biggest benefits of using a quality digital asset management tool is how much it can help to speed up the process of asset creation. You will find that it’s also possible to reuse assets and resources if they need to be repurposed. This can save more time and money.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your DAM Platform
It’s easy to see why you need to have a DAM system. However, with the various DAM platforms available, it can be difficult for buyers to know which system to choose. Before opting for a digital asset management platform, consider some of the most important elements that you will need. Below, you’ll find important features you should look for when you are choosing a DAM system. Put in the effort to find the best quality platform; it is well worth it.
File Formats and Integration
One of the first things to consider will be the integrations offered through the platform. Will the system work well with the other pieces of software that you use for creating marketing materials? Will it be possible to import and export files from Adobe software, for example? What other systems will work with the DAM platform you choose? Always take the time to explore the various file formats that are compatible with the platform.
Fortunately, you will find that most of the quality DAM systems available today make it a point to allow for integration and use of a wide range of file formats for documents, audio, video, and images. However, some companies utilize files that may not be as popular or well-known. If your workflow features any specific needs or file types that may not be as common, check with the vendor to ensure that the DAM will work properly for your needs.
Another element to look for when choosing a digital asset management system is a permissions management feature. Consider the way content is created for your business. There’s a good chance that it requires several departments. It may even involve outside agencies or freelancers who are contributing to the content. If you have a system that doesn’t have a permissions management system, you might have to allow all of these people and groups to have access to the entire system. This has the potential to pose a problem. Namely, it will reduce the security of your assets.
Instead, a DAM system with access and permissions management will ensure that you can choose who gets access to which areas. People will have access to the assets they need, but they won’t have access to the entire system. Choose a system that has easy-to-use and flexible permissions management.
Metadata and Search
Your company probably produces a large number of digital assets and content that will need to be used, reused, updated, and worked on regularly. When you have lots of assets, it can quickly become difficult to find what you need when you need it. Even if you have excellent naming conventions for all of the files, it can become a hassle to find the right asset.
Naturally, this would mean a slowdown for your marketing team or for anyone else who needs to use one of your assets. To make things much easier, you will want to utilize metadata on the pieces that are created. This can make finding them easier. However, you also need to be sure that the DAM system offers a robust search system. A great search feature will make it easier for you to find what’s needed quickly after it’s been filed away in the system.
You will find that many of the providers today integrate AI in some capacity to help with image and video tagging and recognition. This could add keywords automatically, which can be a benefit. This doesn’t have to be included with the system you choose of course, as it’s more of a luxury. However, it can make things faster and easier. If the system you choose doesn’t automatically add keywords to all of your assets, your employees will have to do so manually. This can take additional time.
When it comes to the search feature, you will want to check to see if it requires an exact match, or if it will also include synonyms. Sometimes, when inputting keywords to try to find an asset, the user may not remember the words that were used but will put in similar search terms. If the system can identify those similar words, it can make it possible to find what’s needed faster.
Explore the search features that will be available with the system you are considering, so you can ensure it’s a good solution for your company’s needs.
Tools for Managing the Workflow
What type of sharing and distribution options are available with the DAM system? The workflow should be streamlined in an ideal setup. The system should make it easy for you to allow for collaboration with people on the internal team, as well as any external teams or freelancers that might be working on the assets. Providing a simple means of sharing content and working on projects can help everyone working on the project to be on the same page regarding the development or changes to an asset.
You should also check to see whether the system offers version control and history. This allows you to see the evolution of the asset, and to ensure that everyone is working in the same version. In the past, companies that weren’t managing their assets properly would run into the problem of different employees or teams working on different versions of the asset. This slowed things down incredibly once the problem was discovered, and it’s something you will want to avoid going forward. The right DAM platform will help.
A good system will also make it easier to get approvals from brand managers, the legal department, and anyone else who may be involved in the assets. If the system doesn’t have an effective means of managing the work on the assets, it serves less as a management platform and becomes more of a storage space.
Reports and Analytics
While this may not be the most important feature to consider when you’re searching for a DAM platform, it’s still something you will want to consider. If the system offers a range of reports and analytics, you can get a better understanding of the ROI on the digital content being developed by your company. Having this information can let you have a better understanding of which types of materials are working well and should continue to be pursued, and which avenues might need some changes to perform better.
Ultimately, when this information is used correctly, it has the potential to help your company save money and increase profits.
Storage and Security
How will the content be hosted and how much storage space will be available? You want to be sure that you have enough storage space for all of your assets now and into the future as more are developed. If you need to have more room later, will it be easier for you to add the extra storage space? Even though you might not be at a point where you feel like you’ll need to have more space now or even in a few years, you want to choose a system that can grow along with your company.
You must also consider the security of the system you are considering. Today’s digital world is filled with potential dangers. Whether it’s hackers who are trying to delete files, change assets, or cause other problems, you need to be sure that you keep your information safe. The platform that you choose should be highly secure. You shouldn’t have to worry about outside forces wreaking havoc with your system. Imagine what would happen if someone were to delete your assets. Even if they only deleted part of them, it could cost you days, weeks, or months of work to replace.
It is also a good idea to have backups of your assets if possible. This way, even if the worst were to happen, you wouldn’t have to start from the beginning.
Ease of Use
As with any type of software you are considering for your company, you need to think about how easy it will be to use. This includes more than just the integrations. It includes the actual interface and how quickly your employees will be able to learn the system. While you want a powerful DAM platform, you also want to be sure that it is as easy to use as possible.
Difficult to use, convoluted systems will cause problems. Your staff won’t be using them to their full capability, and it becomes easier to make mistakes that could become costly. It may even be difficult to get your employees to use the system, and even more difficult to get any other agencies or freelancers to get on board.
Ease of use of a DAM platform is essential if you want to increase your company’s efficiency and capabilities. Ensuring that the staff knows how to use the platform also reduces the number of potentially costly errors that could occur. Take the time to look at the interface and to get an idea of how the system works before you commit to it.
Performance Over Price
While it is true that companies always want to save as much money as possible regardless of the purchase or investment being made, quality is far more important. You need to find a digital asset management platform that can provide you with all of the features you need. Do not simply choose the cheapest platform available, as it will likely be something that you come to regret. Take the time to find the system that provides you with all of the features your company needs to handle your digital assets and thrive in the modern world.
Make Your List of Essentials
These are some of the most important things to think about when looking for a DAM platform for your company. Of course, all companies are different. You need to be sure that you have a platform that will work well for your company’s needs, whatever they might be.
When you are getting ready to choose a DAM platform, make a list of the things that you need from the system. Consider all of the elements mentioned above and make those part of your list. Find the system that will be the best match for your company’s needs, and make sure the system can grow with your business as your needs grow.
Interested in learning more? See how FuseBox One can help you take control of your marketing operations.