Visual communication is key to nearly every organization’s marketing efforts in a social media-fueled world. Whether your focus is print or electronic usage, here are a few pitfalls to avoid:
1. Can’t locate asset
In medium to large organizations, it’s common for the marcom duties to be spread amongst a team, and thus many people can be involved with the procurement of images and video for various campaigns.
Without a centralized library for your photos and videos, these licensed assets end up in email, individual hard drives, disparate online storage and more. The inability to find certain assets also frequently leads to unnecessary re-licensing of content, which can be costly to an organization.
While a cloud library doesn’t prevent people from storing photos and videos in obscure places, it does provide a readily accessible means for a department to access and download content. Adding metadata to these assets make them easier to find and increase the utility of the library to an entire organization. Creating and enforcing a policy for photo and video assets is a requirement for every organization that realizes the importance of visual communication.
2. Assets already used
There is nothing wrong, per se, in using a photo or video more than once – that is, if you do it intentionally. But imagine posting the same image multiple times to your social media, or using the same image on your homepage years apart. Your audience often has a better visual memory than you might, and using the same photo or b-roll footage over and over again is sort of like wearing that bright pink tux shirt to every party (don’t do it).
A modern image library not only makes images and video easy to find, it also tracks how and when the assets are used to give you an accurate accounting over time.
3. No rights to assets
Unless you’re regularly dealing with licensed content, the nuances of copyright might be a mystery to you. It’s common to believe that paying once to license a photo or video gives you unlimited rights to use the asset in perpetuity. While this is true of royalty-free content, it’s certainly not the case for many other types of content.
For example, when your company hires a photographer to shoot a products or employees, you’re rarely “buying out” the images (e.g. a transfer of copyright and the ability to unlimited use). More likely, you’re paying the photographer a shoot fee, and a restricted license to use the images in a specific way and for a specific duration. If you licensed the images for online use, and then want to use them in print, you’ll need to get an additional license, or you can be sued.
Your image library should be segregated by usage, and ideally will track expiring licenses for you to avoid any embarrassing and costly gaffes.
An efficient policy, workflow and tool can help your organization better manage your photos and video while saving time and money in the long run.