Smart businesses of every kind know that they need a content strategy to create a stellar customer experience and succeed in today’s information-overloaded world. They need a guiding beacon, a grand vision that’ll steer the development, delivery, and management of their content.
Your digital asset management (DAM) solution is one tool you can use to support your content strategy. Here’s how!
1. Inventory your content to identify gaps and redundancies
Today’s marketers are not only working with images, they’re also managing videos, infographics, 360º view files, and so much more in order to meet consumer demands. Often, teams have the knowledge, skills, and creative talent to deliver the experience customers desire, but they lack the robust tools to manage all of these materials. So instead of creating, they waste time searching — or worse — recreating lost files.
Rather than hunting down your organization’s digital assets across servers, shared drives, and (dare we say) drawers full of CDs, use your DAM system to get a comprehensive understanding of your content library. With one central location, you can quickly catalog your assets and identify gaps and redundancies across content categories — like format, topic, brand consistency, and message. Establishing a baseline will help you define the direction of your content strategy by answering questions like:
- Do you have the kind of content your audience needs?
- Are you communicating your intended message?
- Does the look, feel, and sound of your content align with your brand?
- Do you have duplicate content? Are duplicates intentionally serving a different audience?
- Are you overserving one persona or neglecting your primary target?
2. Learn from past content wins and loses
Analyze the quality and effectiveness of your existing content to understand how you can make your future content more useful and usable for your audience. Conduct an audit, or systematic review, to organize, evaluate, and measure which assets and initiatives have or have not worked in the past. Audits can take on a life of their own, so focus your efforts by identifying specific hypotheses to prove or disprove with quantitative data. At Widen, our Insights app helps our customers make data-driven marketing decisions about their content via analytics like:
- Cross-platform stats: Track content performance across its entire lifecycle, from inside the DAM platform to out in the digital universe through retirement.
- Engagements: Monitor user interactions like asset downloads and orders, embed views, share views, and video retention.
- Intended use: Learn why assets were downloaded or shared by activating intended-use tracking.
- Search patterns: Gauge asset popularity and findability by observinging how your internal team searches for assets in your system.
- Microdata: Track activity by visitor, website, global region, time, and more.
- ROI: Integrate your DAM solution with other marketing technology (martech) tools to deepen your optimization capabilities.
3. Get into the mind of your audience
When you make blind assumptions about the wants and needs of your audience without the data and research to back it, your content strategy is doomed before it’s even left the parking lot. Using your DAM system as a discovery tool can facilitate audience research and user testing that’ll help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your content, as your audience sees it. We recommend using our Portals app, a turnkey solution for sharing curated subsets of assets with control and flexibility, to test audience perceptions of content characteristics like:
- Essence: Create a mood board by curating brand assets and ask a sample of your target audience to explain how the content makes them feel.
- Findability: A/B test landing page variations to understand audience navigation and search patterns. Consider pairing tests with a website optimization tool, like Visual Web Optimizer (VWO), to harvest deeper visitor research.
- Comprehension: Populate various assets, such as instructional videos and downloadable guides, then issue a survey to compare which format is easier to understand.
- Favorability: Create competing landing pages with unique messaging to test which version converts better.
4. Identify people and process challenges
When talking about content strategy, we can’t forget the folks that make it all happen. Creating, delivering, and maintaining excellent content requires a variety of skills across departments. The more in-sync your people are, the better the chance of delivering a coherent customer experience.
Use your DAM system to inform and refine best practices for workflow, collaboration, processes, resource needs, and governance. Here are a few ways to leverage your DAM system to identify people and process areas that need a little love:
- Identify interviewees: Evaluate user-specific stats, such as login data, to identify your power users. Interview them to discover broken processes, communication and tool gaps, and pain points.
- Insights: Evaluate activity stats, such as downloads per search, to understand how your content library meets user expectations and how efficiently your team can find what they need.
- Microtests: Methodically test and measure how quality control is impacted by workflow changes, like admin approval settings.
- Tools: Review every touchpoint in your content lifecycle to identify other software apps and tools that you can integrate with your DAM system to improve the flow and management of content throughout your organization.
Scaling for the future
Your DAM system contains a bevy of data and use cases that can inform your content strategy and help it scale with time. But you must establish guidelines and processes to control how your team manages and uses your DAM system to maximize its value.
For more guidance, check out the DAM Admin Playbook to kickstart your planning today or to learn more about using DAM to inform your next content strategy!
Note: This article was published in December 2017 and has been refreshed to include additional information.