How Digital Asset Management Can Make a Big Impact on Your Content Marketing

Content marketing is more and more a team game. The wide variety of skills involved – from web designers to videographers, editors, photographers, and copywriters means that there are lots of moving parts.

Whether you organize your content marketing around a monthly or quarterly schedule or by topic, it’s important that the players on your team – whether they are staff or freelance – know exactly where to find the brand components they need and to place their completed material which can then be fed into your roster of blog, video, podcast, and social content.

This means potential chaos as hundreds, if not thousands of elements in any given month are being distributed by cloud storage, email, messaging services, and Slack. To put order on all of this, it’s clear that what’s needed is one source of truth. One place where all of the elements can be accessed in an orderly way. A safe cloud storage, with proper access controls and storage where anything that’s needed can be found in seconds. Not at the mercy of lost passwords or dropped laptops.

Too many online storage locations

Another productivity killer than crops up is technology itself – many freelancers and agencies like to use their own system to share with clients – because it’s convenient. However, that means that as a Content Manager or Marketing Manager you’re chasing around a dozen different external sources with different logins to get access to what you’ve paid for. So, it makes real sense to set up rules of engagement for working with freelancers and agencies;

  1. Here’s how you name your files
  2. Here’s where you put them
  3. Here’s how we will confirm they’ve been accepted
  4. Scan and upload our Intellectual Assignment contract with each batch (This is a really important point to avoid disputes and litigation

What’s needed is a digital asset management solution which allows the organization to know that, regardless of what happens any team member, that it knows that every element that is needed to continue with the business, as usual, can happen.

Digital asset management solutions provide a sustainable platform for growing organizations to manage digital assets at scale. This is what is needed by businesses needing to manage large numbers of assets, which are essential to the business and which will be regularly re-used.

Here are some considerations that might be important when setting up a DAM system

How should files be named?

Rather than everyone just taking generic names created by the capture devices like 12345.IMG, it’s worth setting up a naming convention that everyone follows when sending you files. This might indicate the project, creator, campaign or genre. Obviously, they must be unique. (Most DAMs will alert you to duplicate files, not just based on a name but other internal metadata which is hashed).

What sort of folder or collection structure should be used?

It’s worth whiteboarding all the different genres of content or campaigns you’ll be working on and deciding on where items should be stored. You may choose to set up collections for each month or quarter or organize content by type, genre or campaign. How you do this should be clearly communicated to all DAM users.

How will you manage the status of assets?

It’s important to know at a glance whether an asset is approved or not. Some DAMs provide a ‘waiting room’ which means you get to approve any assets being uploaded – or reject them which alerts the contributor. You can also user star ratings, color coding or favorites to indicate assets which are at a certain stage of lifecycle. You may even keep a collection for ‘retired’ or archived assets so that they’re not cluttering up what your team are looking are

How can I control who sees which assets?

Can I avoid freelancers seeing more than they need?

Many cloud-based DAMs have ‘contributor only’ roles, which means that the contributors cannot see anything except what they’ve uploaded.

How do I control what people do on a DAM?

Most DAMs have great controls over user groups. You can create as many user groups as you wish – and some users can be in many groups. You can there share different ‘views’ of content to each group. It’s also possible to define what users can do with the content they see – just view it, download or share with others. All of this activity is logged in your DAM and it gives valuable insights into activity and the value of your assets.

Shared content can also become visible to those users when you decide – and expire when it needs to. This is useful for upcoming campaigns and for assets which have a legal or practical reason to expire.