Digital asset management (DAM) used to be limited to a small club of people. It was owned and understood only by IT. But the club is growing. Brands across industries, from higher education to travel to professional sports, have adopted cloud storage. And as photos and video have become essential to daily communication, employees across departments need access to assets on a daily basis and in real time.
As more and more people need access to your brand’s visual assets, it’s increasingly important that your DAM system is intuitive and easy to use. DAM solutions should be designed with the people who use them in mind. The machine should fit the people, not the other way around.
3 Ways to Help People Get More from DAM
1. User-Friendly Account Management
DAM is moving away from IT and becoming a tool everyone in your company needs to use. Every day, teams ranging from marketing to creative to sales are sourcing and sharing visual assets, which means your brand needs a system that works for everyone. We’re all using cloud-based apps at home and on our phones to manage our personal digital assets, and your brand’s DAM needs to be on par with the intuitive, user-friendly interfaces we all use on a regular basis.
DAM needs to empower users to easily organize assets, manage users and set access permissions. The easier the system is to use and the more value it adds, the more likely your team members will be to use it (making the whole system more effective). If account managers can quickly add keywords, the media library will be more searchable in the long run. If they can add new users and set specific permissions in a few simple steps, they will be more likely to encourage new people to take advantage of the organization’s digital assets. The DAM system should solve the workflow challenges people are facing, and make everyone’s job easier.
And when your team needs help, they need to have a place to turn. Outstanding customer service is crucial. DAM is becoming more mainstream, but it’s still a new tool for most of your staff members. Choosing a system with reliable customer service can shorten the learning curve.
Spotlight: The Purdue University Athletics Department uses DAM to centralize its photo library and share assets across teams. As sports information director for the men’s basketball team Chris Forman says, “It is fantastically easy.” Learn more about how a simple, user-friendly DAM system helps the Purdue Athletics team streamline their workflow.
2. Simple Stakeholder Experience
On the other side of the process is the stakeholder experience. Users should have simple and fast access to visual assets. Your stakeholders, whether they are internal or external, will use the DAM system more if it makes their jobs easier. It must be convenient and simple to grasp from the start.
Access to assets should be permission controlled. Brands should be able to let people have access only to media that’s on-brand, rights cleared and ready for distribution. When stakeholders choose content from a pre-approved pool of visual assets, they can rest assured that content is approved for use. Meanwhile, the people managing the DAM system know that any confidential, off-brand or reserved content is protected.
Metadata is key to helping stakeholders find the content they need quickly and easily. The people managing the DAM system should use tags that these people will understand. Think about how they speak and the terms they will search when they are trying to find a specific piece of content. The sooner they are able to find what they need, the more likely they will be to use the system again and to adopt DAM into their regular workflow. Once you have found the terms that people search most frequently, add them to your brand’s metadata policy.
Spotlight: Pandora’s photographer and digital asset manager Michael Baca uses his DAM system as an internal stock site. He uses his cloud-based visual media library to store, organize and deliver photos to the people across the organization. Learn more about how he helps his stakeholders get the visual assets they need.
3. Customer Contributions
Customers are producing content that can be highly valuable to your brand. User generated content (UGC) provides authenticity and is often seen by your crowd as more trustworthy. Sometimes a customer produces a video with more heart than a brand could ever hope to create in a studio. DAM needs to enable customers to easily contribute.
It’s important to note that approval to use UGC is critical. When a fan tags your brand’s hashtag on Instagram, it doesn’t necessarily mean they want you to take their photo and put it on your website or a billboard. Getting the proper permissions to use user generated content minimizes risk and builds a brand’s reputation as honest and respectful.
User generated content is not only for marketing. It can also provide visual history that has a longer term, deeper value for institutions like universities, travel destinations and entertainment companies. It’s critical to have an organized visual media library to store UGC and preserve copyright information so that content can continue to provide value for your brand well into the future.
Spotlight: Brands that don’t have a system for sourcing and preserving UGC run the risk of copyright infringement. Learn more about how to avoid copyright battles.
People: A DAM Feature in Progress
The number of people who need access to an organization’s DAM system will continue to climb. Visual storytelling is a must for brands of every size and every industry, both for external and internal communication. More and more people need access to visual assets, sourced from a variety of sources. As employees across organizations become more familiar with DAM and its benefits, these people will become a powerful feature for effective digital asset management.