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Top 10 tips for a DAM-centric path to intelligent content

by Jake Athey, June 1, 2016

Intelligent Content and Digital Asset Management

How successful is your organization at creating intelligent content?

Whether you’re a savvy digital asset management (DAM) software user or just getting started, the following 10 tips can help you make improvements in the creation and sharing of your visual content in an intelligent, efficient way.

Before we get into our list, let’s quickly define what intelligent content is.

“Intelligent content is content that’s structurally rich and semantically categorized — and therefore automatically discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable and adaptable.”

— Ann Rockley, Founder & President of the Rockley Group

Intelligent content does not happen by accident. It’s very intentional, and it needs a lot of help — which is where DAM comes into play.

Through the use of DAM and an intelligent content philosophy, you can squeeze every ounce of value out of your assets, while ensuring you deploy the right visual content to the right channel, in the right format, at the right time, for the right audience. Simply put, without a DAM content marketing platform, this is impossible, even with a large team. With a DAM system, it can be managed by just a couple of team members.

Let’s take a look at 10 tips to guide your DAM-centric path to intelligent content.

  1. Have a governance plan

Draft a purpose, vision, and set of guidelines for how your DAM software is to be managed and used across different groups of people over time. As you identify internal and/or external customer needs, you can create a clear governance plan for your DAM. Your governance plan should answer the question, “Why does our DAM system exist?” It also needs to be documented. Why? Because it sets the standards and processes that guide, direct, and control how your DAM system is to be managed and used. Since it’s a “living entity,” your DAM rules can change and flex as your organization evolves.

  1. Create a lifecycle policy for visual content

As you examine your content lifecycle, you should create a lifecycle policy to determine the appropriate level of access to your content over time. In other words, this policy will help you set release and expiration dates and act as a guide regarding the removal of old, irrelevant, or underperforming content. You have the power to be in control of your visual content at any point in its lifecycle; it just requires a strategy.

  1. Do a content audit

Use your content audit to guide the structure of your DAM system — from governance, to metadata, to categorization, and more. You can also use your DAM structure to audit your content over time. After you have a DAM system in place, you can more easily audit what you have, what you need, and how your content should be used over time.

  1. Identify your DAM story

As you develop an intelligent content strategy and create content models, be sure to map out your DAM story. A good way to do this is to answer these questions:

  • Where are the assets coming from?
  • Where are they going?
  • Who is doing what with them?
  • Where do they go next?
  • Where might they go again?
  • Where do they live?
  • Do I keep them forever?

The more clearly you define the DAM story of your visual content, the easier it will be to manage it in intelligent ways.

  1. Set a repurposing goal

Tie every asset created into your strategy to help you realize its full value across your supply chain. In everyday terms, don’t treat a fine porcelain plate (a valuable asset) as if it were a paper plate. You’ll want to use it over and over as long as it still has value — unlike the paper plate that gets discarded after one use. The funny thing is, many organizations spend a lot of time and effort creating valuable visual content, and then only use it once or twice. This is the opposite of intelligent content! The good news is that a solid DAM content marketing platform, like the Widen Media Collective, makes it easy to repurpose content wherever and whenever you like.

  1. Connect content dots

We typically refer to this process as a design workflow, where you connect your “content dots” across the lifecycle of your assets, as well as with all the people that use your content. Once you have a design workflow in place, you can easily account for all the links in your content supply chain — and begin to automate tasks and triggers from concept to distribution. This includes setting up steps and responsibility for review and approval.

  1. Make metadata matter

Use metadata to define, describe, and protect assets for appropriate use and optimal performance. As you design metadata, make it relevant for you, your users, and the machines that connect your content across the lifecycle. With the help of your DAM marketing content platform, you can successfully use metadata to define, describe, and protect assets for appropriate use and optimal performance. Once a well-oiled metadata process is in place, you’ll never have to find a digital asset in a haystack again!

  1. Have a DAM champion

As you prepare to implement a DAM solution or manage change within an existing system (i.e., implementing an intelligent content strategy), you must have a champion. In other words, you need a team of one (or maybe two individuals) who is in charge of all aspects of your DAM system. If possible, it’s also helpful to rally together a cross-functional steering committee to help implement your DAM strategy, and also guide growth in your organization so your DAM remains relevant across departments.

  1. Get a digital librarian

This tip is a natural extension of tip #8. Yes, you need at least on DAM champion, and what better person to fill those shoes than a library science pro who already has a deep understanding of DAM? A digital librarian can make great strides in ensuring your content can be easily found, used, and repurposed. As you evaluate your team to understand what DAM roles they will take on, we encourage you to consider adding a digital librarian to the mix.

  1.  Integrate your tools

In the world of computer applications, the “us vs. them” mentality is quickly being replaced with a collaborative philosophy. This is good news for DAM users, as integrations with applications like WordPress, Drupal, Salesforce, and Amazon Web Services are easy to implement within the Media Collective. DAM integrations like these support efficient marketing operations, intelligent content, and engaging user experiences. As you research DAM content marketing platform tools and technologies, be sure to consider how they integrate with other applications you’re using.

Interested in learning more?

Have questions? Ready for a deeper discussion about the Media Collective? Feel free to contact us anytime! We’re always happy to help, with no strings attached.

For more on intelligent content, check out our recent article Content Marketing Wars: the DAM Awakens.

Topics: Content, Marketing, DAM

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