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How to manage digital assets

Explore how to leverage the full potential of a cloud-based Digital Asset Management (DAM) system and get the most ROI from your content


Start improving content ROI and efficiency

Wondering why some brands excel in managing their digital assets more effectively than you do? One reason may be because they leverage the full potential of their cloud-based Digital Asset Management (DAM) system.

While many organizations use DAM, only a few of them implement best practices. In this article, we will look at the most essential tips that will help you get the most ROI from your DAM.

Before we get to that, let’s cover some basics.

Chapter 2

What is DAM?

DAM refers to a system that allows organizations to store, organize, retrieve, and distribute digital assets efficiently. Digital assets can include images, videos, documents, audio files, and other media types.

A DAM system provides brands with a centralized repository where digital assets can be stored, tagged with metadata, and indexed for easy searching and retrieval. It helps businesses manage their digital assets throughout their content management lifecycle, from creation and editing to archiving or deletion.

According to a recent Facts & Factors report, the global digital asset management (DAM) market size hit approximately $4.12 billion USD in 2022 and is projected to be about $9.12 billion USD by 2030.

Chapter 3

Why using a DAM makes managing digital assets easier

A DAM system can significantly help your brand improve your workflow processes and enhance your overall marketing ROI with its key functionalities:

  • Centralized storage: With DAM you can easily access all creative files thanks to a single storage location.
  • Organization and metadata: Assets can be organized into categories, folders, or collections, and enriched with descriptive metadata, such as keywords, tags, and copyright information. This enables efficient search and retrieval of assets.
  • Version control: DAM systems often include versioning functionalities, allowing users to track and manage different versions of assets, ensuring that the latest version is always available.
  • Collaboration and workflow: Thanks to DAM’s various collaboration features it’s easier for various departments, like sales or marketing teams, to work together on assets, share feedback, and follow specific approval workflows.
  • Rights management: With the help of DAM, you can manage rights and permissions associated with digital content, ensuring compliance with copyright laws and licensing agreements.
  • Distribution and publishing: DAM systems can facilitate the distribution of digital files to various channels, such as websites, social media platforms, or marketing materials while maintaining control over access and usage rights.

Chapter 4

DAM software best practices

Managing digital assets involves organizing, protecting, and maximizing the value of your digital possessions such as files, documents, media, and more. And there are ways to make the best of it. Here are some steps for effective content asset management:

  1. Conduct an asset audit: Conducting a comprehensive evaluation of your brand assets enables you to discover the various files within your organization, understand the file formats employed, and gain insight into their utilization throughout the entire content production process.
    Regardless of whether you are contemplating the implementation of DAM software or already have one in operation, performing an audit holds equal significance. It allows you to pinpoint potential causes for challenges in managing digital assets and determine the most effective solutions.
    This assessment may involve enhancing the existing system to better accommodate new file formats or refining tagging and metadata procedures to enhance file discoverability across the business. 
  2. Leverage roles and permissions to streamline the process: DAM supports a comprehensive brand strategy that involves multiple departments working together to handle and oversee assets concurrently, fostering remarkable collaboration among team members. However, there is a drawback to this approach as well. With unrestricted access for everyone, errors can occur, such as file overwrites, misplacements, or incorrect labeling.
    Fortunately, most DAM platforms offer the capability to assign roles and permissions, enabling precise control over access privileges.
  3. Collaborate within your DAM: Utilizing a DAM solution offers a significant advantage by enabling contextual collaboration. Instead of depending on lengthy email exchanges, leverage the inherent collaboration features of your digital asset management system to engage in real-time discussions regarding assets throughout their development, editing, and utilization stages.
  4. Set up naming conventions: The way you name your files within your digital asset management system can greatly impact team productivity. With a structured naming convention and unified process utilized across the business, your DAM can help alleviate content bottlenecks and serve as a valuable resource for teams by enabling visibility and efficient asset retrieval.
    Your specific file naming convention should align with your workflows, the types of content you create, and naming practices utilized across other systems. Nevertheless, it should primarily prioritize the clarity and comprehensibility of file names. This will ensure that it is easy to understand which asset is the most recent and relevant for any given project.
  5. Create standards for metadata: The importance of metadata in any DAM system cannot be overstated. It is the crucial element that can determine the success or failure of your entire asset management strategy. When assets are appropriately tagged, they become easily discoverable and accessible to your teams.
    However, even a minor mistake in defining metadata can render a file untraceable and create problems for projects that rely on it. To avoid such issues, it is necessary to establish standards for different metadata fields. This includes specifying the metadata requirements for various file formats and determining the appropriate language to be used when filling in those fields.
    By implementing these standards, you can ensure consistency in all metadata. Consequently, teams will no longer need to employ different approaches to locate assets, streamlining the process for everyone involved.
  6. Regularly review and declutter: Periodically review your digital assets and remove or archive any unnecessary or outdated files. This helps keep your digital storage organized and reduces the risk of data breaches or cluttered storage spaces.
  7. Manage copyrights within DAM: While not all assets necessitate licensing, it is probable that your organization will utilize certain visuals, such as rights-managed stock photos, or other files that require licensing. If these assets are accessed and used by other departments or incorporated into campaigns without the proper rights, it could result in potential legal problems. Fortunately, numerous digital asset management platforms offer the capability to directly manage copyrights within the system.
  8. Save time and eliminate errors with automation: Numerous challenges in digital asset management stem from basic human mistakes. When a file is misplaced or incorrectly tagged, the entire system starts to deteriorate. However, errors are inevitable, as it is simple to overlook specific metadata or misname files during the upload process.
    Fortunately, there is a solution. By automating various aspects of digital asset management and content production, you can minimize the risk of human error. Additionally, the utilization of DAM can enhance your team's efficiency by automating tasks such as image conversion to different file formats or distributing content across multiple channels, resulting in further time savings.
  9. Stay informed: Stay up to date with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in digital asset management. New tools and services emerge regularly, so it's essential to stay informed to optimize your management processes.

Chapter 5

Unleash the power of digital asset management

Remember, the specifics of managing digital assets can vary based on your individual needs and the type of assets you possess. It's important to adapt these general guidelines to suit your circumstances.

DAM is the missing member of your digital marketing team. Learn more about Sitecore Content Hub DAM today.

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