One of the beautiful things about our digital world is that anyone and everyone can contribute to the creation of content.

If you’re a larger organization, you might have teams from different regions creating articles for your company blog. Or you may distribute communications to multiple geographies. Even small businesses create incredible amounts of content nowadays, but not always in the most efficient way.

The more digital assets an organization has, and the more customers or employees it has to reach, the greater the risk that content won’t be properly managed – and the greater the financial burden.

A solid strategy that revolves around centralizing content can be key to solving this issue. It can reduce admin and redundancy, and help content managers take control of what can quickly become chaotic.

A digital asset management (DAM) platform is an essential tool for your centralization strategy.

The challenge of decentralized content

If content isn’t managed centrally, it is easy to get into a real unproductive mess.

Siloed content processes lead to a lack of visibility over what has already been created, and by whom. They can also make it difficult to find what assets are available for use, which assets might need tweaks or updates, and which need to be scrapped entirely.

Think how quickly version control can spiral out of hand when emailing documents as attachments, rather than editing them in a shared drive or cloud storage folder. You can end up duplicating efforts, tying up resources, and even losing assets.

It can even become difficult to determine the definitive version of an asset, leading to potentially costly errors or low-quality content sneaking through.

The benefits of data centralization 

These barriers fall away when content creation, storage, and management are centralized within a DAM.

Using a DAM exponentially increases your content velocity – that is, the amount of useful content you're able to deliver in any given period. If you've gone from delivering web pages through a simple content management system to a headless architecture backed up by a DAM, you’ll feel like you’ve accelerated from zero to 100 at breakneck speed.

That’s because of one simple fact: more oversight means less overshoot.

In other words, if you know exactly what content you have on hand, understand the channels it is currently being published on, and how it is being used, then you’ll have to spend less time creating redundant content to fill gaps in your omnichannel strategy.

Take this example: You’ve created a short PDF guide that you have published on your website and promoted on social media. And simple analytics reveal that it is getting a lot of attention. Fantastic!

But after the initial rush has faded, a change in direction or new event in the market requires you to bring the guide (or something similar) to the attention of a new segment.

A business with decentralized content infrastructure will likely waste time and marketing budget to recreate this guide and associated pages from scratch. They might have to search for new images, pay for more rights, and spend time organizing new cross-channel promotions.

Businesses with a centralized content infrastructure will be able to find this guide and related content on their DAM (perhaps even with the use of AI-enhanced search), implement small tweaks where needed, and then republish the updated guide in no time at all.

No more worrying about version control or digging for old assets in clunky folder systems. It’ll be this centralized business that gets its update out faster, keeping up with customer expectations.

This business will also benefit from greater control over messaging. When everyone in a business has access to approved assets, everyone can stay on board.

All in all, a DAM enables businesses to deliver more consistent messaging, faster, and likely cheaper. It eliminates content bottlenecks that so often frustrate content delivery. And the customer ends up with a better experience in the end as well.

What to look for in a DAM

A truly powerful DAM will be able to provide

  • Asset information (including author access, edits, and so on)
  • Usage rights and permissions management
  • Content analytics (to reveal the strength of published content)
  • Integrations with headless CMS
  • AI tools such as auto-tagging and search improvements.

Naturally, there is never going to be a one-size-fits-all solution for every business. Be sure to select the right technology partner for your organization’s size, content strategy, geographic reach, and future goals.

Examples of a DAM in action

Recently, a leading European car manufacturer implemented Sitecore Digital Asset Management, a key component of Sitecore Content Hub™.

This manufacturer produces thousands of assets every day, for a customer base that spans several geographies. By implementing Sitecore DAM, not only did this business create one centralized asset repository and project management solution for content-oriented marketing, it was also able to:

  • Manage over 1 million assets between 860 active users
  • Cut app processing time from 83 days to 33
  • Cut print processing time from 58 days to 40
  • Cut translation costs by 60%
  • Improve customer satisfaction

This success story just goes to show how a DAM can centralize and simplify all manner of content processes, and deliver savings where they matter most.

Beyond the DAM

Centralizing digital assets is really just the beginning. Taking this approach provides a wealth of benefits, but by going beyond the DAM you can magnify the impact.

For example, you can use Content Hub for content planning, production, collaboration, and management, further optimizing workflows to increase content agility.

In any case, eliminating siloes and bringing assets and processes under one roof will only serve to eliminate redundancies, increase content agility, and save on costs.

Jose Santa Ana is Product Marketing Director at Sitecore. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.