When dealing with large numbers of digital assets, it’s easy for things to get lost or hidden behind mountains of data. That’s where tagging or metadata comes in. Tags and metadata are data that leads you to other data. It could be a title, the date it was created, even the date it was last modified. When you have even the smallest amount of information on an asset, it can be found in no time. But if you organize your asset library with this in mind, you can complete what seems like a complicated search in seconds. If you approach your asset library with a view to it growing over time, you can future proof it easily by having a healthy respect for metadata. When it comes to searching for assets, the best and most efficient way to do this is with a DAM.
What is a DAM?
A DAM is an online library where all of your digital assets live. Instead of using shared drives, physical or on a cloud, a DAM is a single source of truth where all of your stakeholders can find what they need. There’s only one version of each asset, so if a logo gets changed, there is no risk of the outdated version accidentally being used. It has visual previews, so you don’t need to rely on remembering file names when it comes to important assets like photographs, presentations, or videos.
Using metadata and tags
A DAM is also the most intelligent way to search through assets by way of metadata (or tags). There are a whole host of features that incorporate metadata so that you can quickly pinpoint what you need from huge numbers of digital assets. Done properly, this will help you to find them in seconds. You can structure your DAM in any way that suits your needs but keep in mind that when your users need to find what they need quickly without assistance, metadata will get them there. There are a few methods that are preferable when taking this approach.
Future-proofing your searches is by adding custom keywords is a big help too. For all your ‘summer campaign’ photographs, you can add relevant keywords, and then they will appear in the same search result as, say, the brochures for barbecue sales. If you set out to organize your assets in a logical and metadata-driven way, you’ll eventually start discovering assets you forgot you had.
Using Collections & Lightboxes
Custom Collections are a great way to organize specific campaigns and projects. If there’s a Christmas holiday sale coming up, everything to do with it can be nested together in one place. All of the photos, videos, audio, and text documents can be put in one folder to be browsed together. This becomes particularly helpful when Christmas comes around next year, and you’ll find a lot of the same assets can be repurposed with a few text changes. Collections also make sharing those themed images for internal or external users a breeze. With custom ‘Lightboxes’ any number of collections can be shared with people inside and outside of your organization. Just create a link that can have a launch and expiry date, so you know that you've got complete control.
Using color-coding, favorites, and star ratings
Color tagging is another great way to organize your assets. This can be done on an individual basis, along with selecting your personal favorites and star ratings. This way, when a user logs onto the DAM, it curates what they see based on their previous experiences and preferences.