The Importance of Image Management

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Today’s brands run on imagery: logos, company photos, product imagery, social media assets, and more. Together, they tell a unique story about a company’s products and services.

Without these images, this story is a lot harder to tell. That’s why it’s critical to store all of these visual brand assets in a secure and central location.

What is digital image management?

Digital image management is the administration of digital imagery throughout its lifecycle. This includes how this content is created, organized, accessed, shared, and analyzed. There are tools and software — including digital asset management (DAM) platforms — to streamline all aspects of this content curation and distribution.

What are the benefits of image management software?

Your images, videos, and graphics express your brand’s story to the world. Image management software like a DAM solution serve as a central repository for all of these brand assets, and provide reliable and easy access to both internal colleagues and external partners. The benefits of this software are numerous:

  • Organization: Metadata attached to each image allows assets to be organized into categories, or curated into collections for specific users.

  • Security: Roles and permissions control what images are available to different users.

  • Easy retrieval: Search tools provide teams with clear and reliable access to the assets they need, when they need them.

  • Enhanced collaboration: Version control tools identify the most current file iteration, to facilitate seamless handoffs across team members, departments, and regions.

  • Brand consistency: Access to approved, on-brand imagery allows your teams tell a cohesive and accurate story across customer touchpoints.

  • Workflow efficiency: Self-service access eliminates bottlenecks around content retrieval and distribution.

  • Analytics: Tools that track asset usage can provide insights into the value of certain images.

Although functionality varies across different image management software, many have the capacity to manage content throughout its lifecycle — from creation to archival. This could include workflow tools for managing the review and approval process, or templates to customize assets to appeal to specific audiences. And some systems have the ability to integrate with other tools across a marketing technology (martech) stack, so that assets can be seamlessly shared between platforms. 

Image management best practices

Purchasing and installing image management software can be a significant investment of both time and money. Here are some best practices to help maximize its value.

  • Have a dedicated system administrator: Managing content currency and user access to an image collection is an ongoing job. Designating an administrator will help users trust that the system is their go-to source for imagery.

  • Develop process documents: Guidelines for administering image management software are critical. This includes protocols for metadata creation, a policy for archiving expired assets, and a governance document to outline access and sharing privileges for different user roles.

  • Offer ongoing training: Image collections are usually dynamic databases that change with time. Ensuring that all stakeholders understand how to use the software, and are aware of system changes, is important in maintaining user engagement. 

  • Consider integrations: Integrating your image tools like Adobe Creative Cloud can create workflow efficiencies and ensure content consistency across all of your marketing tools. Reviewing commonly used applications will help identify integration opportunities. 

  • Control your vocabulary: Search is only as good as your metadata, so it needs to be accurate. Using controlled vocabulary fields will help ensure keyword consistency no matter who uploads assets. 

Digital image management can help bring clarity, control, and consistency to a brand. And image management software can play a central role in a brand management strategy. Contact us for more information about our DAM platform, the Widen Collective®.

 

Topics: Photography

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