Think of someone who excels at what they do. Perhaps your mind goes to an all-time great athlete like Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, or Serena Williams. Maybe you think instead of a successful businessperson like Steve Jobs or an award-winning musician. No matter where their fame comes from, all top performers have some core qualities in common. Most importantly, they all constantly look for ways to become better. They don’t just want to improve their weaknesses, they want to turn them into strengths.
Now, think of your business. If you want it to go from good to great, you’ll need to have the same mindset organizationally. For many brands, the management of digital assets such as images, videos, and design files is a weakness. The cluttered servers or software platforms that hold these files are unorganized dumping grounds that take hours to dig through when a specific asset is needed. As the organization grows, so does its mountain of assets and the time it takes to search for them. In conversations with over fifty brands, both big and small, Stacks found that employee’s spend over three hours on average looking for specific assets.
If your organization wants to significantly improve this process, you can begin by mapping your content. After that, create and apply standards for file naming, organization, and metadata, and migrate your assets to a platform that meets your organization’s needs. Completing these steps will have an immediate, positive impact on your digital asset management (DAM) process. But what, if anything, should you do next? If like a great athlete, you want to continue to level up your DAM system, there are additional changes you can make. In this article, we outline three things you can do to take your DAM to the next level.
3 Ways to Level Up Your DAM
1. Data, Dashboards, and Decisions
The first, next step once you create standards surrounding your assets is to set up regular data reporting . Along with the key performance indicators (KPIs) you developed at the outset of your DAM journey, reports can tell you many important things about the health of your creative library.
First and foremost, data facilitates the effective governance and management of your digital asset library. It enables you to see whether your basic standards for file naming, metadata tagging, and sharing are being followed. You can also identify areas of need and address them quickly with your stakeholders. In addition, if you use a DAM platform, you may be able to use APIs to pull information about your library directly from it. This allows you to create colorful, easy-to-understand dashboards your team can review regularly. Here’s an example dashboard we use for our clients at Stacks:
2. Artificial Intelligence
Metadata tagging is one of the most important tasks involved in the effective management of digital assets. When you apply the right metadata to your assets and your team knows how to search for them, efficiency increases, costs shrink, and content quality improves. While the benefits of tagging images and other assets with metadata are clear, the effort requires time and energy. Once your library has a critical mass of tagging done, you may want to utilize some form of artificial intelligence technology to help you complete the job. This technology is available from some DAM vendors.
Deploying AI strategically can significantly cut down on the time it takes to tag assets as they enter your library. The technology has limitations (article found here), so AI cannot currently handle all your tagging needs. It can, however, be the first step in the tagging process. This allows your team to focus on applying only brand-specific tags to assets. If your organization uses a DAM platform that offers AI, consider how you can implement it to make the tagging process easier and faster.
3. Create an Archive
If your current library is set up on the right platform and your existing workflows are tuned and working well, it may be time to think about building out a more extensive archive in your library. Many brands use archives for historical purposes, allowing them to quickly reference the story of their brand so they can maintain consistency. Others have built out a large catalog of assets available for purchase and licensing by others. This allows them to continue leveraging value from their assets even after they’re done using them.
There are many reasons an archive can be valuable to you and your organization. While it may not be on the top of your priority list, it’s worth investing in as a next-level expansion of your DAM system.
While these projects are intriguing and exciting, they’re by nature long-term. In the here and now, focus on the assets you use every day, making them more available, organized, and searchable for your end-users. Ask yourself how you can continue to get more value from the content you create every day. Are you stuck trying to get set up on a platform or developing workflows for tagging or renaming files? Stacks can help! We are a team of experienced DAM professionals who work with brands both big and small to solve these and many other problems. Contact us today to get started with a free, 30-minute library assessment.