So, you’re ready to implement digital asset management (DAM), but you want to get started on the right foot. Or, maybe you’ve been using a DAM system for a while now but want to streamline and refine your processes so you can maximize the benefits of digital asset management. In either case, following some core best practices will help you get the results you’re looking for. Here’s a look at a few essential digital asset management best practices.
Audit Your Assets
One of the most important first steps in DAM implementation is conducting an audit of your existing assets. You need to know what assets you have, what type of assets you manage, and what they’re used for. An audit will help you define your digital asset management objectives and is a crucial step in determining which DAM solution best meets your needs. For example, if you have a variety of multimedia assets – videos, static images, and the like – that you distribute across multiple channels, a DAM with workflow and approval capabilities and built-in distribution is an invaluable productivity tool.
Collaborate within Your DAM
One of the biggest benefits to implementing a DAM solution is the ability to collaborate in context. So, rather relying on endless streams of back-and-forth emails, take advantage of your DAM’s built-in collaboration tools to communicate in real-time about assets as they’re being developed, edited, and used.
Leverage Your DAM’s Analytics to Inform Asset Production
A DAM with built-in analytics capabilities provides a wealth of information you can use to make informed decisions about digital asset production. Not only does a DAM make it easy to find the assets you need, when you need them, but you can easily tell when an asset was last used, who used it, and for what purpose. So, when it’s time to create new assets, turn to your DAM analytics to discover what your sales and marketing teams use most, and quickly audit your existing assets to identify gaps and determine what’s needed.
Take Advantage of Roles & Permissions for an Added Security Layer
If your organization has multiple departments and roles that make use of your digital assets, roles and permissions can both a) make your DAM easier to use and b) provide an added layer of security. For instance, you can limit access to campaign-specific assets to the team or department working on that campaign. You can also prevent users from accessing assets that are currently in development or not yet approved for use. And, a DAM with versioning capabilities, including check-in, check-out functionality, ensures that you’re using only the most current, approved iteration of every asset.
Avoid Copyright Issues with Access Control & Alerts
If you have rights-managed stock photos procured for a specific campaign, you can restrict access to only those team members who need to use them. Doing so reduces the odds that an asset will end up being used for a non-approved purpose – which can save you the hassle of copyright infringement issues. If your DAM has alert capabilities, configure it to alert the appropriate team members of impending license expiration so they can take action to renew the license if needed.
Save Time with Automated Workflows
Everyone’s talking about automation these days, but did you know you can automate tedious, manual processes with the right DAM solution? MerlinOne’s Workflow Engine can save your team even more time by automating tasks like converting images to various file formats or even distributing content across multiple channels.
Standardize Naming Conventions and Metatagging Processes
Develop a clear, consistent protocol for categorizing digital assets and creating metadata to maximize search capabilities. When every user relies on the same process for categorizing and tagging assets, you’ll put valuable information at your users’ fingertips. For example, if the date a photo was taken is always used in the file name and in a consistent format, searching for photos taken on a particular date (or even a range of dates) is a breeze. Other tactics, such as using the campaign name in the file name, requiring certain types of metadata, and relying on forced lists of keywords and other tags, result in a refined, highly organized, and highly searchable database of assets. (Check out this post for more tips and best practices for efficient metadata tagging.)
Choosing a DAM system like MerlinOne provides access to robust functionality and useful, intuitive features that empowers creative and marketing teams to get more done in less time. Schedule a demo today to learn how MerlinOne’s DAM solution can transform your creative operations.
Want to learn more about whether or not a DAM is right for your business? Download our “Business Case for DAM” ebook below!