The benefits of a digital asset management system vs file hosting or an internal server
A Digital Asset Management system makes it easier to store, manage and share your digital assets. You and your users will have a centralised portal where they can find the digital assets they need. When you find the asset you are looking for, there are additional tools within the system enabling you to manipulate the asset as required. This could be downloading the asset in the format that suits best, sharing it direct from the system or making basic edits without the need for third party software or associated design skills.
Search functionality is the most important factor to consider when it comes to your digital assets and a digital asset management system. On average, marketers waste up to one hour a day searching for digital assets. With a digital asset management system that has developed best-of-breed search functionality, that time is cut to seconds.
While that’s great when you know what you are looking for, being able to discover assets that you were not aware of is a very important part of any DAM platform. Having features like hierarchical metadata which allows you to drill down to a set number of assets that meet your requirements, makes choosing the right asset a very simple task.
An internal file server or lightweight DAM system is not capable of delivering anywhere near the same level of functionality.
With a DAM platform, you can set site-wide permissions that control the access your users have to the materials within the system and the actions they can take with those assets. Confidential information stays confidential.
With lightweight DAM offerings such as Google Drive or Box, it is possible to invite others to view or edit a document, but this is done on a file by file basis which is often too restrictive. The default of most users is to make all files public which risks exposing confidential documents.
You have finally found the asset you have been searching for the last 20 minutes, the file name is vague but you think it might be right. Now, without a decent file preview you will be forced to download and open the file to ensure it is correct. With a digital asset management system, all files (images, videos, PDFs, Office files, artwork files) have a large preview that you can use to review the file before downloading or sharing.
User interface and user experience (UI/UX)
Having a digital asset management system that is designed to deliver an intuitive user experience and a visually appealing user interface that reflects your brand has numerous benefits when it comes to brand consistency, usability of the system and engagement. A world class UI and UX makes it easier for users to find what they are looking for, take the actions they want and to discover new materials.
As we’ve said, metadata is data about data. In the case of digital asset management for marketing, this will be the data about your images, videos and other files. The types of data will range from basic file information such as created date and file size to more client specific data types such as which channel the asset should be used in and what audience it is aimed at. Basic DAM and file management services do not have functionality required to manage metadata correctly and this is one of the contributors to why it is so difficult to find what you are looking for without a proper DAM system.