Are you struggling with the “dark side” of content marketing? Are tasks like getting your content to scale, fully leveraging your technology, and seeing the proper return on your content investment as elusive as Boba Fett?
These were just a few of the topics that were addressed at the 2016 Intelligent Content Conference — although our presentation was probably the only one talking about Boba Fett.
During our presentation, we shared a lot of good information about digital asset management (DAM) and visual content, with a few tidbits about Star Wars for good measure in celebration of The Force Awakens. We thought it would be good idea to share this info with you on our blog, too, in case you weren’t able to attend the event.
Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- What are “content marketing wars”?
- Understanding DAM
- How DAM can make you like a Jedi
- Hexagon Geospatial case study: Where DAM meets intelligent content
- Using analytics instead of Jedi mind tricks
What are content marketing wars?
As your “rebellion leaders,” we’re here to help fight the good fight against what we call content fatigue. Our purpose is to help you build your brand with intelligent content tools.
If you’re experiencing any or all of the following challenges, you’re right in the middle of content marketing wars:
- You’re challenged by scaling content initiatives
- You need a plan and process to enable intelligent content
- You need a better way to organize structured content
- You want data about content performance that you can actually use
- You need better efficiency, easy-to-find content, and automated workflows
In addition, scattered assets, siloed teams, disparate systems, slow response times, turf battles, content misuse and abuse, duplication of efforts, and many other daily struggles leave you thinking…
“There’s got to be a better way!”
The DAM Awakens: Understanding digital asset management
Before we dive into how DAM can make you like a Jedi, let’s quickly define what visual content and DAM are. We’ll also look at how a DAM system’s efficiencies can tremendously cut down on wasted time, money, and content.
Some DAM backstory
Digital assets, also referred to as visual content, make up the world of content marketing. These can be photos, logos, infographics, videos, documents, and more. Visual content is not just an array of digital files.
These are all pieces of content that are valuable to your business and have a high replacement cost if lost. Visual content helps engage with potential customers and drives revenue when used appropriately. In other words, it’s a critical component to the success of any organization. And, since many assets can be reused and repurposed, they need to live (and be easily accessible) in a content marketing hub.
This is where DAM comes in. A DAM solution helps you manage and publish content in ways that simply aren’t otherwise possible, even with a whole squadron of X-wing pilots.
There are a lot of system components that make up your publishing arm, but few technologies can act as a single hub to organize and share all your visual content marketing initiatives.
Beyond your marketing team, your DAM software can also be used by creatives, sales staff, affiliates, media, agencies, vendors, freelancers, and more. And, as we’ll see, each of these groups have access to only the visual content they need, when they need it. The rest of the assets in your DAM system are protected.
The price of wasted content
Companies in the midst of the content wars are losing valuable resources with time, money, and content waste.
A 2015 SiriusDecisions study revealed that only 35% of the content created is actually used. The rest is hard to find, unknown — or irrelevant. It’s literally very expensive space trash!
According to Gleanster Research, the average mid-to-large B2B firm wastes 25 cents of every dollar spent on content marketing on inefficient content operations. That’s nearly $200,000 in waste per company.
While we’re assembling massive content armies for our front lines, we’re ignoring many of the things needed to drive meaningful content engagement — consistently — over time.
Visual content overload …
In other words, many organizations are dealing with poorly managed content; they simply have too much!
The average marketing organization we serve has 25,000 active digital assets and 500 users that need access to this valuable information at any point in time. The great thing about DAM software is that 500 users can easily be handled, so team members can put your well-crafted visual content to work.
The DAM Awakens: A global view of the DAM solution
We like to refer to DAM as the force — a path to the “light side,” where content wars are a thing of the past.
With DAM as your content marketing hub, you have a “rebel base” that’s your central command to organize, track, and distribute content across the galaxy.
DAM software helps you do this in many ways, including:
- Allowing you to easily store and retrieve assets, so your team can use and reuse visual content more efficiently
- GIving you 24/7 access to visual content
- Empowering brand consistency across digital and analog platforms, and throughout the world
- Savings on marketing costs and improved time to market
- Helping you focus on being creative or working on the next big thing instead of searching day after day for assets
- Increased engagement with customers — as well as increased revenue
- Serving as a single source of truth, because everything is housed under one roof
- Enabling intelligent content, giving form and structure to the intelligent content process
As you can see, DAM software is not a “parking lot,” or a Jawa Sandcrawler for that matter. Instead, it’s an integral part of your content creation, management, and distribution process.
How DAM software can make you a Jedi
It is quite simple, really. To become a DAM Jedi, you must first master the six elements of intelligent content. Why? Because intelligent content is built on the framework of your DAM content marketing hub.
The six elements of intelligent content are:
- METADATA: Structurally rich content comes with good metadata, which gives assets meaning.
- CATEGORIES: Semantically categorized content comes with good catalogs and taxonomies.
- GOVERNANCE: Automatically discoverable content comes with good governance.
- COLLECTIONS: Reusable content comes with collections that are centrally managed, including managing versions and iterations in one source.
- TRANSFORMATIONS: Reconfigurable content is made modular via automatic transformations.
- WEB ENABLEMENT: Adaptable content comes with web enablement and repurposing from the central source.
Need more info regarding these topics? Get in touch with one of our DAM content marketing hub advisors for a no-strings-attached discussion. You can also take a look at our Resources page for demos, white papers, and more.
The Hexagon Geospatial case study
The following case study shares some of the major ways that Hexagon Geospatial uses their DAM system. Their content marketing manager, Jay Pongonis, was kind enough to co-present with us at ICC, and all of the following are real-world examples.
Jay leads a team of two that oversee their blog, social media, communications, PR, newsletters, website content, online community, and DAM system.
How can they accomplish so many things?
In many ways, it starts with their DAM system. Kind of like the Millennium Falcon, it might not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, and it’s one of the ways they accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.
Hexagon Geospatial is a global B2B technology company, with 300 employees in 19 countries. In essence, they work with location components on anything from smartphone geotags, to streetlamp latitude/longitude, and much more. Every purchase happens somewhere, and they write the software that converts that remotely-sensed (and location-based) data into information, including images, land cover maps, road maps, tax parcel data, and 3D terrain models.
They are a partner-driven enterprise with direct sales only in the U.S. and Australia. For the rest of the world, they rely on partners and their DAM software for regionally customized visual content that’s also consistent across all continents.
According to Jay, life before their DAM solution was like Mos Eisley — a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
Before DAM, Hexagon Geospatial had to:
- Crawl through shared network drives
- Guess at file naming conventions
- Run random wildcard searches
- Define how people who left the company three years ago organized their workspaces
- Searching 27K+ assets became easy
- With proper visual content implementation, the size of the data and the number of the assets simply didn’t matter — because they had the right tools to manage it all
Let’s take a look at some of the tools Hexagon Geospatial used to transform their visual content from a parking lot to intelligent content.
Since the process of creating intelligent content is people-driven, not software-driven, we’ll be examining people-driven (but technology-assisted) components of DAM software.
Metadata makes content structurally rich. It gives assets meaning. Metadata is critical to the intelligent content model, and supporting content use across the enterprise. It’s how you define, describe, and protect your IP assets.
Taxonomies semantically categorize content. In many systems, categories are a popular form of classifying assets in different sets — in limitless ways. They represent a hierarchy for content organization.
Governance enables discoverability to find, retrieve, prepare, and publish visual content. Roles and permissions play a big part in solid governance. By segmenting users into specific roles, we can ensure that everyone gets access to all the content they need, and ONLY what they need.
Collections offer another intelligent way to make content reusable. Use collections to curate groups of content for campaigns, events, promotions, products, brands, media kits, and more. They offer a cross-check of contents different than hierarchies.
Transformation enables re-configurability. The power to transform an image, audio, or video asset across forms is one of the top specialties of DAM software.
Closely related to transformation, web enablement makes your DAM software a true content marketing hub that’s an integral component to scaling your content. It makes content adaptable to go omni-channel.
Using analytics and insights instead of Jedi mind tricks
Content insights and analytics offer a great supplement to your enterprise data and web analytics platforms. They give you the ability to you track, measure, and report content performance across channels.
DAM analytics and insights also provide an understanding on how visual content is being used across websites, users, AND geographies. This makes it easy to identify top performing (or underperforming) assets to guide future planning decisions in creation, promotion, and distribution.
When working in a robust DAM system like the Widen Media Collective, the Dashboard allows you to create a variety of analytics to get exactly the slice of data you need to understand what is going on with your visual content.
You can also connect your DAM to Google Analytics for even more data on user interest and behaviors.
There has been an awakening.
DAM software empowers you to deploy the right visual content to the right channel, in the right format, at the right time, for the right audience.
We hope this article has shed some light on how DAM software can create Jedi-like results with your visual content marketing.
Whether you have questions or are ready to have a deeper discussion about our DAM content marketing hub, feel free to contact us anytime! We’re always happy to help.
May the force (of DAM) be with you so you can focus on creativity and content quality, delivered consistently, to build your brand!