Before we get into the HOW of choosing a digital asset management system, let’s quickly recap on the WHY.
The increasing push to take up any and every kind of digital channel has fuelled the need to create and manage a huge volume of digital brand content. For today’s brand managers and marketers, organising and managing digitised brand assets — like images, graphs, videos, and animations — is a huge yet necessary challenge.
Digital asset management (DAM) offers a concentrated and centralised platform for efficient digital content storage, management, and retrieval. This helps you effectively use your valuable digital assets while minimising the costs and resources needed to manage them in the first place.
Some DAM systems offer content creation and edit capabilities in addition to storage and centralisation to get even more bang for your buck. So if you’re considering taking up a DAM or already have one and are considering greener pastures, you’ve come to the right place. This blog will take you through the features you should look for when investing in a DAM.
Suggested reading: Do you know about the great ROI you get from a DAM but still struggle to convince your investors why they should take the leap? Use our blog, How to Make the Business Case for Digital Asset Management, as a convincing guide!
1. Easy population
A DAM begins and ends as a virtual storage space for your images, videos, and every digital media file. So, the first and most crucial feature of an ideal DAM system is quick and effortless asset uploading.
A long-drawn-out or complicated uploading process will negatively impact your team’s day-to-day operations and your branding as a result. If your DAM makes viewing assets simple but uploading those assets is a painful task, you risk branding strategies getting delayed and losing opportunities to form even BETTER branding strategies full of new kick-ass content. Think about the great branding ideas that could’ve been devised in the time spent digging for assets that should’ve been available on hand. Not to mention the pain of investing and approving a new bit of software that is then nearly never used. Ease of use = more effective integration in your business.
Well-structured metadata management is key to keeping digital assets organised. Assets are often hard to find without proper metadata tags and remain unused. Your DAM platform of choice should ensure that metadata is applied to the asset right at the upload time so that files can be easily organised and found.
To get really advanced with your tech, some DAM systems use artificial intelligence to scan content and suggest keywords for metadata. This feature only adds to how a DAM can save you time and resources, as less of both have to go into populating your DAM system and making your assets available.
The platform should provide enough flexibility to build your file system according to your work. Features like an added approval stage before the assets are available on the system help to ensure assets are on brand, minimise overpopulation and verify metadata tags.
In this era of hybrid working and relying on tech more than ever to get work done, accessing your digital files from anywhere on the globe is vital to seamless teamwork. A cloud-based DAM can offer widespread accessibility to meet the demands of today’s work-from-anywhere culture.
Your DAM should support greater accessibility of brand assets by letting users quickly download files and effortlessly share them with internal and external partners (as long as everyone involved has an internet connection — and if they don’t, you may have bigger problems!)
For example, Brandworkz’s DAM platform offers features like sharable temporary albums with expiry dates and download control for seamless external sharing. Full reporting on when and what users download makes it easier for managers to track the work done and by whom.
Another useful feature that a DAM should offer is flexibility in file formats while downloading or exporting assets. Considering the variety of marketing channels and file formats you will be working on, this can be extremely helpful in saving time and resources.
3. Brand management compatibility
A digital asset management platform should work alongside the brand management processes you have in place to deliver consistency AND better brand asset creation processes.
Before you decide on a DAM, consider the range of software you already use for your brand management and ensure that the new system will efficiently fit into it. Another potentially more economical option is to take up a DAM-brand management software combo so that you have a one-stop shop instead of loads of tools to sift through. Brandworkz operates by providing DAM and brand management functions like digital and print templates, approval workflows, and reporting analytics.
The really great benefit to a DAM that works in tandem with brand management software functions is that it enables brand consistency, which is essential for a superior customer and brand management experience. Your brand management processes are most likely to evolve over time, and a shift in your brand assets is quite inevitable. The DAM should be FUTURE-PROOF, meaning flexible enough to accommodate the changing needs of your brand management software ecosystem.
👉 To improve your brand management process, check out our free Brand Management Handbook 👈
Though we’re clearly in favour of brand managers and marketers taking up DAMs, we do advise remaining wary about adding too much to your brand management plate. Using a combination of manual processes and several stand-alone software for your work will make the process complicated and most certainly hamper your team’s performance.
A digital asset management system that integrates seamlessly with your existing MarTech stack can even help you eliminate unnecessary applications in your Martech stack. This will simplify the process and save your team from navigating through a web of software.
The DAM you are considering must provide an integrated yet simple-to-use interface for single-point control. The system certainly deserves your attention if your team members can use it efficiently with little to no special training. An integrable DAM will help your team work effortlessly from a single window so that they can find every piece of content they need right when they need it, leading to better work efficiency and time-saving.
The primary goal of taking up advanced technology in business is to simplify complex processes. So, at the end of the day, if your DAM does not make brand management simpler, it is not worth the investment.
An efficient DAM essentially eliminates the hassle of managing your digital content – be it finding existing media or sharing files within or outside the team. It must eliminate the need for time-wasting downloads and multiple link-sharing emails by allowing the users to directly share any asset right from within the system — and all that without compromising security.
Proper organisation of assets right from the time of uploading, helping in version control and offering maximum ease in finding and choosing digital assets through metadata management make brand management effortless.
Suggested reading: Maintaining consistency is the be-all and end-all of your brand. Get it in motion with the help of our Brand Consistency Toolkit.
Choose a DAM that helps AND optimises
A truly efficient DAM can deliver a wealth of benefits for your brand – it’s much more than just a foundational part of brand management. The solution should be considered as a way to improve brand management and take it to the next level. It should help you to take total control of your brand experience while streamlining team collaborations.
A wide range of available DAMs can provide a basic level of help, but you deserve more than the basics. By critically assessing what’s out there in the market, you can stand to make better choices that will ensure maximum ROI in the long term.
That’s why we developed Brandworkz. Our brand management software offers a complete suite of integrated and intelligent tools for everything, whether it’s accessing brand assets, enabling access to those assets, or managing the creation of new content while ensuring consistency and creativity.
Brandworkz provides a single platform for management, workflow, and reporting, eliminating any need to navigate through a web of complex brand management tools that are often incompatible with each other. Our software makes it even simpler by using APIs and connectors that ensure end-to-end integration with your Adobe Creative Suite, Content Management System, MS Office suite and any other applications you might be using.
But that’s enough about us — why not see the benefits for yourself with a demo?