In the world of digital asset management (DAM), embed codes are often an unsung hero. While DAM systems get a lot of praise for storing, organizing, managing, tracking, and analyzing your digital assets; embed codes quietly make publishing content easy.
Embed codes are asset-specific HTML that allow you to publish visual content across multiple platforms with ease. Whenever updates are made to the master file in the DAM system, the new version is automatically updated everywhere it’s embedded.
This approach is known as COPE — or create once, publish everywhere — and focuses on repurposing assets across multiple systems, channels, and websites to extend their value. Let’s take a look at three major types of visual content that can be shared with embed codes.
Using embed codes with images
Our DAM system, the Widen Collective®, uses dynamic image embed codes; which are links that automatically provide custom image sizing when you share an image on a website, blog, e-commerce site, mobile device, or other digital channel.
The same code for an image can be used anywhere — on one webpage or 100 retailer sites. And this same link can be used to manage versions and gather analytics across platforms.
The anatomy of an image embed code
So, what does an embed code look like? Each embed code is actually a URL, or link. And many of these elements can be customized to control or alter specific file attributes. Let’s dissect one of these URLs (i.e. embed links)…
Customer spotlight: Harvey Performance
Harvey Performance is a leading provider of specialized cutting tools for precision machining applications. They create and manage a tremendous amount of product imagery — each of their 30,000+ products have multiple associated files, and roughly 5,000 new assets are added each year.
Through integrations between the Collective and other solutions in their marketing technology (martech) stack, they’re able to control how this imagery is published across their digital ecosystem, marketing channels, and customer touchpoints. And many of these integrations use embed codes to automatically distribute content to each system. In the last three months alone they’ve had over 38 million embed views!
Using embed codes with video
An embedded video consists of two things: the video file and the video player. A video player allows the viewer to control the playback of the video file, with controls like play, pause, volume, full screen, and color.
A video file also optimizes the playback of video files — which are much larger than image files — based on the viewer’s internet connection speed. The video player in the Collective creates multiple versions of a video with different degrees of resolution quality. Files with a high resolution will be larger in size and require a faster connection speed to view the video without skipping. Our player detects the viewer's connection speed and then presents the appropriate version of the video to optimize their playback.
The video embeds in the Collective are also powered by Amazon Web Services CDN, or content delivery network, which delivers web content via a globally distributed network of servers. So for example, a video being played online in Australia will be served locally, to decrease the amount of time it takes for the video to start playing.
And finally, embedding videos via a DAM system also offers advantages over using YouTube.Videos on YouTube will have YouTube branding and links to their website that may pull viewers away from your content. Videos embedded using a DAM system are more likely to keep your viewers on your website and immersed in your brand.
Customer spotlight: igus
igus is a global manufacturer and distributor of polymer-based products ranging from ball bearings to 3D printing materials, industrial cables, smart plastics, and more. All of their images, videos, and other digital content are published from the DAM system via a share link or embed code.
Their use of embed codes for video files keeps customers in digital environments that they can control, such as their website. This eliminates the distraction of other YouTube videos that could take visitors’ attention away from igus and their products. They have over nine million embed views in the last 12 months!
Using embed codes with documents
Document embed links can be used for infographics, whitepapers, e-books, product literature, or any other file that would be useful in your community support center, knowledge base, sales enablement resource portals, or email marketing campaigns.
A robust DAM system provides multiple, easy-to-use settings for document embed codes. And like with images and videos, when you change the master document (asset) in your DAM system, the embed code automatically replaces the old document or PDF with the new.
Customer spotlight: Alliance Laundry Systems
Alliance Laundry Systems designs, manufactures, and markets commercial laundry equipment in over 100 countries. They use the Collective to share up-to-date product imagery, product specifications, and brand assets with internal teams and external partners around the world.
Their Creative Services Leader shares, “Every image that’s on our website, it’s not hosted by the website but...on the DAM [system], and published out. Same with our literature.” If a new version of a product document is uploaded to the Collective, it’s automatically updated everywhere it’s embedded on the web. Embed codes make this publishing workflow possible, even without software integrations.
As you can see, embed codes take on some of the heavy lifting when it comes to publishing visual content in your DAM system! And beyond publishing, embed codes also streamline and automate the time-consuming tasks entailed in uploading and downloading assets — which frees up your team to create new content, connect with customers, and build your brand.