Every successful business acquires a wide variety of digital media assets throughout its existence: brand guidelines, logos, original images, PDFs, research documents, brochures, videos, and diagrams to name a handful.

The effective management of these kinds of digital assets is of vital importance to any enterprise. Organizing, safely storing, and enabling employees to quickly and easily pull necessary media files will certainly help your business reach the next level. This is why so many companies are investing in Digital Asset Management Platforms, or DAMs. 

In this article, we will discuss what DAMs are in greater detail, why you should use one, how this can help you create a more personalized digital marketing and content creation plan for your customer segments, and some tips on how to roll out a DAM at your company.

What Is A Digital Asset Management Platform?

A DAM platform organizes, protects, stores, and enables retrieval of items in a digital library. DAMs are better than traditional data storage solutions (like, say, saving items on your desktop) because they have more memory, load more quickly, and give employees the ability to quickly find a document they are looking for, even if they aren’t familiar with it.

A DAM is great for growing businesses who have an expanding team, with different employees needing to access digital files for varying reasons. Cloud-based DAMs are especially beneficial because files can be pulled from anywhere, and the system updates automatically. Cloud-based solutions also prevent valuable content from accidentally being deleted by ensuring documents are backed up.

If your business is in the eCommerce retailer or real estate industry, there are even more digital assets to manage and therefore more security concerns when you consider product and property photos. This is precisely why it’s a really smart idea to secure your assets by following the 3-2-1 backup strategy, which simply means that you always keep three copies of your assets on two different media forms and with at least one off-site copy for recovery. 

DAM platforms are in high demand lately, as more and more businesses realize the importance of the continual creation of new, high-quality content such as videos that they can use for digital marketing purposes. In fact, studies have found that content marketing produces 3x more leads than traditional marketing, and at 62% less of the cost.

Why Should I Use A DAM Platform?

Creating new marketing content for your business is vital, especially when one considers the power of social media platforms in influencing the buying decisions of consumers. This means having a solid social media presence and engaging with various platforms at least weekly with new posts, articles and videos pushing your product or services. 

As of late, social media marketers have noticed that videos are getting their brands the most attention. In fact, Cisco predicts that 82% of internet traffic will come from video by 2021.

Because of the constant demand for content created by social media channels, and the heavy competition for your client’s attention, it is essential that your creative team have the correct resources. With a DAM platform, your creative team will be able to spend less time hunting for valuable digital assets and be able to quickly churn out excellent content for your brand voice. It will also empower them to be able to quickly craft personalized marketing material for different customer segments.

DAM platforms can be very helpful in keeping info related to specific projects in one place in case of project updates, new ads or other improvements. They can also help achieve brand consistency, as well as track commercial rights and payments. How particular digital assets are being used and whether the usage terms are being met can easily be determined, as well as generating the needed data for royalty payments.

How To Efficiently Use DAMS

Hopefully, your business already has some sort of cloud-based digital library. Here are some tips on how to organize and upload your digital library to a Digital Management Platform:

  1. Audit Your Current Library of Digital Assets, and Understand How They are Used: Speak to employees to see how they use digital assets – this will give you valuable insight regarding the value your digital assets bring to the company, and how to create a workflow that enhances productivity. You must then devise a general method of organization, which brings us to our next topic.

  2. Consider Organizing By Project or By Keyword, Or Both. One of the great benefits of a DAM platform is that digital assets are easily retrieved by using keywords linked to descriptive metadata. For example, a new intern would be able to easily find relevant images by searching for them, rather than have to sift through a cumbersome digital library with badly labeled files.

  3. Discuss DAM ROI Before Implementation. The whole purpose of investing in anything for your business is to either save or make money, right? Develop an SOP regarding the use of the DAM platform to ensure consistency, and invest in training for your employees so they can maximize the benefit of the platform. Create clear ROI goals for your DAM platform. For example, let’s say you expect that with the roll out of the DAM software, you expect your marketing team to be able to increase the amount of new content posted on social media. Quantify what you expect should be accomplished with the help of a DAM as a resource, so you can measure efficiency and monitor employee progress.

  4. Consider Allocating User Permissions and Approving Uploads. Is your problem that you want to prevent that new intern from being able to create sales collateral with your outdated logo? Create permissions that require a higher level of approval before digital assets are retrieved. Is your problem that you have a burgeoning team of remote workers who are bogged down trying to get access to relevant files, wasting time and energy in the process? Give permission to more people on your team to access the DAM when needed. There are a variety of different user levels and user permissions with DAMs that can be engaged to ensure your team is creating high quality work in a timely manner.

  5. After All The Above Are Discussed – Choose Your Software Provider Based On Your Needs. Once you have had a conversation with your employees regarding their use of your digital assets, completed an audit of your files, created quantifiable goals about how a DAM should benefit your company, and discussed needed levels of user access, now is time to choose your platform. The number one question to ask yourself, is how can the DAM you choose scale up to include more storage and more users if your company grows exponentially? This is why a cloud-based solution will be the best choice meaning your DAM system will be hosted on a network of remote services that you access via the web. Cloud-based servers offer a number of critical benefits for storing digital assets, including greater accessibility, distribution, security, and cost effectiveness. 

  6. Consider Choosing A Small Team as a Beta Test Versus a Company Wide Rollout: Nothing kills momentum quicker than a bungled rollout of a new software, even if it is one that is beneficial for the company. Select a group of people from your company to be trained in the platform so they are established as “DAM experts” in your company. It will give time for the people in your company to ease into the adoption of the new software and do their due diligence to avoid an overwhelming situation that may make employees feel like they are being tossed in the deep end without a life preserver. 

  7. Keep Up With System Updates: One of the many benefits of having a cloud-based DAM is that it updates automatically. If, for some reason, your business does not opt for a cloud-based DAM, software updates will need to be tracked and performed manually. 

Conclusion 

If your company has reached a stage where rapid expansion is the main goal, investing in a DAM platform may be your best decision yet. 
Once your team is able to quickly and easily access digital files, operating your business will be a breeze, especially in this era of rapid content creation and personalized marketing.

Dan Fries

Dan Fries

Dan Fries is an entrepreneur, investor, and writer who shows bootstrapped entrepreneurs and investors how to prepare for an exit by making better long term financial decisions. His website is danfries.net