11 tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of your DAM.
Whether you’re in the process of choosing a digital asset management (DAM) system, or are already using one, the following tips, tricks and takeaways can help you get the most out of your DAM. Implementing these recommendations can get you out of the minutia, and into leading your marketing and creative teams with more excitement and enthusiasm — not to mention empower them to find the digital assets they need themselves with the assistance of a well-oiled DAM solution.
Since we wanted to give real-world examples of how to best use your digital asset management system, we partnered with one of our customers, Amy Clerget of Brooks Sports, to share what her creative team does on a day-to-day basis. Brooks uses the Widen Media Collective to handle tens of thousands of assets, so you can be rest assured that their tips and tricks to success are well tested.
Tip #1: Make your digital asset management system the source
Treat your DAM system as the single source of truth where team members — both internal and external — can access and share every single asset. To effectively accomplish this, identify process gaps in your organization, and design your DAM solution to support each team’s workflows and needs.
Tip #2: Communicate the benefits of your DAM system upfront
Share relevant benefits, things that will actually make your coworkers’ lives easier, to get your team members onboard. By involving them, you can build excitement around the DAM project — not to mention build a customized DAM system that caters to your coworkers’ exact needs. Once your team has embraced the system and process, the repurposing of assets and ROI will come.
Tip #3: Know your audience
In this case, we’re talking about your internal and external audience of coworkers, freelancers, vendors, media, etc. Knowing what each team member needs makes decisions around permissions, metadata schemes, taxonomies, searching methods and access expectations easier to manage. Once again, we’re encouraging you to get team members involved. Ask questions and really dig in to better understand each person’s particular needs.
Tip #4: Make using your DAM software a habit
Beyond migrating your digital assets under one roof, change leadership is required to make “going to the DAM” the norm. In order to make your DAM software the “new habit,” you will need to gently redirect people from their old way of doing things. When they ask you for an asset, your response needs to be, “have you checked the DAM?” If they say no, probe and ask them why. In some cases, it will be because the team member needs some one-on-one training to refresh their memory on how to use it. If they have checked the DAM and were unsuccessful, this is also a learning opportunity — both for the team member, and the DAM admin — that can result in a smoother process.
Tip #5: Have a digital asset management software champion
It’s imperative to assign a digital asset management admin early in the process — preferably before your DAM software is implemented. As an organization, you need to be prepared to let someone commit the necessary time to setting up and maintaining your DAM system. A basic metric to keep in mind is that your content ROI is equal to your DAM time investment. A digital asset management champion also takes the lead with formal and impromptu trainings to help coworkers acclimate.
Tip #6: Create collections
One of the many benefits of a digital asset management system is the ability to create collections — which is the curating and grouping of assets. Collections give people an identifiable “big bucket” to look for when seeking out assets. For instance, with Brooks Sports, they might have a collection for each major marketing initiative. So if a team member needs collateral for their Bright Lights, Big City Adrenaline GTS 16 campaign, all of those assets would live in one collection. This makes people more self-sufficient, giving them easy access to what they need in order to do their job.
Tip #7: Sharing is caring
Use your DAM software to share links and embed codes to publish, embed and syndicate assets across other resources your teams are using everyday, including your website and blog. Since you’re sharing approved digital assets from your DAM system, you’ll ensure a level consistency, brand integrity and tracking that just isn’t possible without DAM software.
Sharing on various platforms and mediums is a great way to extend the value of your assets to all the people and systems that use them, maintain version control, and collect a valuable bit of usage data for tracking and reporting.
Tip #8: Love thy metadata
The easier it is for users to find assets, the more they’re going to use your DAM software. The best way to make assets easy to find is through including clear metadata in each asset. Meta-data is essentially a package of keyword phrases that define, describe and protect your digital assets. It’s all the information you have about the asset, attached to the asset and searchable within your DAM system. So, when someone at Brooks searches “Bright Lights Big City,” they’ll find relevant results that are directly associated with this particular sneaker campaign.
Tip #9: Know the importance of user governance
User governance gives you complete control to determine what groups have access to which assets, when they can access them (design phase, review phase, approved phase) and how they can use them (web, print, social, blog, radio). User governance includes defining the appropriate level of permissions and access levels. It also includes a lifecycle policy that determines when assets should be released, expired and archived.
Tip #10: Track and measure performance and usage
Track performance and usage to make better decisions about your content marketing. From creation to distribution, proper tracking and measurement gives you a 360° view of your content strategy and DAM ROI. This can help you determine how to better capture, create, position, promote, share and distribute digital assets across all channels in the future.
Tip #11: Set a repurposing goal for your digital assets
Tie every digital asset you created into your strategy to realize maximum value across your supply chain.
In other words, set a repurposing goal for your assets so they get allocated through many channels. The easiest way to do this is to create a content campaign early on that ties every asset to an appropriate audience and distribution channel. For instance, this blog post you’re reading originated from content created for our C3 Conductor event in New York. Each of these tips could easily be a Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter post, video short, its own blog post, print collateral for a trade show, a webinar, and so on. In other words, make your work, work for you.
We hope these digital asset management tips and tricks help!