Digital asset management (DAM) can change your life. It can save you time, save your coworkers time, help you cut costs, reduce headaches brought on by hard drives and frustrating folder structures, and give you the chance to take advantage of every PR and social media opportunity before your story is old news.
DAM… we love talking about DAM. This year on the Libris blog, we’ve gone over how to get your visual media library up and running with DAM expert Peter Krogh, discussed the differences between professional DAM systems and consumer solutions like Flickr and Dropbox, studied the ROI of DAM, and even shared our list of the best DAM movie lines.
But the best DAM news to come out here on the Libris blog were our case studies – stories of real people who are getting more from their photos and videos with DAM. Our Libris clients have done incredible work this year. They’ve also been gracious enough to tell their stories here on the Libris blog so you can learn by their example. Thanks to these awesome, forward-thinking brands for sharing their tips with us!
Check out these 16 DAM case studies to get ideas for improving your workflow and making your life a little easier!
Return on Investment: Get More from Every Asset in Your Library
The Sacramento Kings use their visual media library to source photos from a number of photographers, store a large media collection, and make it easy for team members across the organization to find images for social media, sales, public relations, charitable outreach and more. The new system has helped the team get the most out of their images.
“Before, it was photo after photo being taken and not being used, not being used the right way, or just sitting on a server,” says the Kings’ Creative Director, Ryan Brijs. “I would say 80-85% of the photos weren’t being used properly.”
The communications team at Bates College uses their visual media library to streamline the storytelling process. Photographer Phyllis Graber Jensen uploads photos to the library as soon as they’re taken. She adds metadata that provides context for her team to incorporate when they use the photo on Instagram, a blog post or a newsletter. Having all of their images on a user-friendly platform makes their workflow simple and painless.
“It’s fun to look at pictures, but when it’s difficult to find them, it takes the fun out of it. Libris has brought the fun back to it,” says Phyllis. “It’s so easy to upload, to stay organized, to share to review – it’s made DAM, which can be overwhelming, frustrating, time consuming – much more functional.”
Centralization: Store Everything in One Place
University of Miami Athletics
The University of Miami has nearly half a million photos capturing moments in Hurricane athletics history over the past 30 years. A centralized visual media library empowers the team to easily organize and access the university’s massive collection, generate revenue from imagery and build a stronger brand through visual storytelling.
“Until now we didn’t have a home for all of our photos, so that’s certainly been the biggest benefit up to this point,” says Miami’s Associate AD for Marketing and Digital Strategy, Brian Bowsher.
Adventure Travel Trade Association
Before using DAM, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) used a cobbled together solution of two systems for managing images that made up for each other’s shortcomings (one didn’t support high resolution files, the other wasn’t searchable). Now, the ATTA uses Libris to store and organize all of its high res photos and videos in one searchable cloud-based library. This is extremely helpful for ATTA staff members working remotely all over the world as they try to tell one unified story.
“Before Libris, I think I got a decent amount of flack from our team because our images were stored on hard drives and not easily accessible,” says Marketing Manager for the ATTA, Murray Bartholomew.
Organization: Find Your Assets When You Need Them
Images fuel Applegate’s digital communications, social media (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest), website sliders, ads and point of sale materials (ranging from in-store digital signage to deli tags). With such high demand for visual content internally, the team struggled with different servers, different departments and different file formats. Now, the brand’s photos are organized in collections and galleries for easy browsing, and tagged with metadata for quick search.
“Everybody in our company can go on and view everything and search for things really quickly,” says Holly Sellner, graphic designer for Applegate.
I Love NY
The I Love New York team sources content from a number of photographers and shares visual assets with a wide range of stakeholders. A cloud-based platform allows everyone to access the library, wherever they are. They use metadata to run fast searches and fill image requests in minutes.
“The media library is a great asset. We get requests for images on a daily basis and we’re able to respond quickly thanks to ease of searching the library. Distributing assets is also user friendly. We no longer have to send images via email and then wonder if it failed to deliver due to file size,” says Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism, I LOVE NEW YORK.
Access: Share Content with Everyone Who Needs It
As the photographer and digital asset manager for Pandora, Michael Baca is responsible for servicing every department with the photos they need. He shoots original, custom photography, manages stock photos, and distributes assets to everyone from HR to brand to social media to sales and marketing. A cloud-based DAM lets him deliver content to team members and external partners in an easy and secure way.
“I can’t really see how I could do this without Libris,” Baca says. “The goal is to have it be our internal stock site.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University multimedia team depends on DAM to deliver visual assets to partners across the university. In the past 90 days, they saw just under 40,000 downloads from their visual media library. That means a huge number of people need access to the university’s photos for a wide range of purposes on a regular basis. Plus, Embry-Riddle has integrated Libris with single-sign on (SSO) to streamline access for everyone on campus.
“We need to have some way for marketing people to search and find photos for the web,” says Daryl Labello, Embry-Riddle’s Multimedia Producer. “A DAM is the best way to do that – we put all the images in one place, tag them, and make them easy to search.”
Speed: Keep Up with the Speed of Social Media
Moraine Valley Community College
The marketing and communications team from Moraine Valley Community College has mastered the art of posting high resolution photos to social media in real time by using a combination of a DSLR camera, a cellular hotspot and a DAM system. Publishing high resolution photos to social media in real-time helps the team catch their audience’s attention while events are still unfolding – which is crucial for engaging a young generation of students.
“It’s Instagram, not Inaweekagram,” says Glenn Carpenter, Moraine Valley’s Photographer and Imaging Specialist.
Purdue University Athletics
The Purdue University Athletics team uses DAM to save time on a regular basis but on game day, they really shine. They team uses a lightning fast in-game image sharing workflow to post high resolution photos from the court to social media before the buzzer.
“I grab the photo and Tweet and Instagram it with the ‘pertinent’ information,” says sports information director for the men’s basketball team Chris Forman. “It is fantastically easy. Postgame, the folder is populated with many photos in no more than 30 minutes after the game and we then do our full photo gallery.”
Branding: Keep Everyone on the Same Page
Global Heritage Fund
For nonprofits, visual media is key to demonstrating impact to donors, volunteers and partners. As the Global Heritage Fund revamped its website from text-focused to photo-first, an organized, searchable and accessible photo library was crucial.
“When you’re trying to convey what you do, there’s a million ways to do it with images,” says Matthew Strebe, Media Associate for the Global Heritage Fund. “If you have a thousand images, how do you choose? If you have it organized and you can collaborate with people, it’s going to be easier than having a bunch of folders on a computer somewhere.”
Northern Michigan University
Because so many people need access to Northern Michigan University’s visual assets (from designers to department heads), it’s helpful to have a centralized, cloud-based platform. As soon as photos are uploaded to the library, people who have permission to view the library can access them on their own. The accessible visual media library makes it easy to deliver event photos, staff portraits and, most recently, visual assets for the school’s rebranding effort.
“Especially with this rebrand and particularly with the new logo website, we have all of these resources, all of these photos just waiting to be used,” says Josh LeClair, photo and video producer for NMU. “Our art director can just log on and see all the images easily, much more easily than in Finder.”
External Delivery: Shape Perceptions Around Your Brand
The Waterfall Resort team uses DAM to deliver images to partners ranging from reporters to travel agents. Galleries and collections allow them to grant people view and download permission to specific content, so they can tailor content to each group. The library helps them share their content with a wide array of partners and push their message travel further.
“I think for adventure travel in particular, Libris is a really powerful tool,” says Geoff Stevens, Director of Marketing for Waterfall Resort. “Our job is to build desire and build trust and that’s really what the images help us to do. It might be a bucket list type of experience, a once in a lifetime type of trip, but over time they’re ready to take the plunge and make it happen.”
Visit Greenland sources high quality images and shares them with partners for free through Libris. The team’s goal is to provide stunning, on-brand content to partners and, in turn, shape perceptions of Greenland abroad. Hosting their image database on a user-friendly, easily searchable platform is crucial to fulfilling their mission. It’s easy for partners to access content, which makes them more likely to use it.
“My hope would be that there will be a longer tail on the images used in the database,” says Mads Pihl, who manages photography and market development for Visit Greenland. “The more diversity that we get through the database, the more diversity there will be in the representation of Greenland by our stakeholders.”
Archiving: Preserve History
Municipal Association of South Carolina
The Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) uses DAM as a tool for institutional memory. Over the years, the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) has captured photos of important moments in Palmetto State history and maintained a loosely structured inventory of photos. Now, they have made their historical images easily accessible to their staff and their members.
“As we progressed and got more and more pictures, we looked for years for a solution so we could not only just archive but retrieve pictures for historical purposes or a newsletter,” Mary Brantner, Communications Manager for MASC. “We wanted a way to make sure we didn’t lose that history.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has chronicled Pittsburgh’s rich history since 1786. As the first newspaper west of the Allegheny Mountains, the Post-Gazette has an unmatched collection of the region’s stories. Now, the paper’s deep photo archive is becoming available to the public. In a great example of how DAM can help you repurpose old content to create something new, the team searches their DAM every week for throwback photos for a feature called “The Digs.”
“A series of photographs in the PG archive shows the crowd from several different angles inside Forbes Field, a place where I-beams framed (and sometimes blocked) views of the field. Fans in the bleachers sat on benches that seem little bigger than a 2×4 boards. Crushed paper cups and crumpled food wrappers litter the concrete at their feet,” Steve Mellon wrote in the Digs article featuring the photo above.