Digital Asset Management Best Practices: How to Keep Your Photos and Videos Organized So You Can Reuse and Repurpose Your Content

Does this nightmare sound familiar? A deadline is fast approaching. You need to include that amazing video in your slide deck that illustrates the point you’re trying to make perfectly. The problem? Your files are a mess. Videos, images, and files are all over your desktop. There are no standard naming conventions. You know the file you need is there somewhere, but you’re out of time to find it. 

This nightmare is a reality for many businesses. Organizations are creating so much content for so many different channels. In fact, many organizations have so many digital assets that they don’t even know what they have. You end up spending too much time recreating the wheel, when you could be reusing and repurposing the amazing content you already have.

In fact, according to a survey done by Demand Metric about the state of Digital Asset Management, 40% of marketers say they don’t have a single source of truth, which means it’s difficult to find the right assets at the right time. Further, 61% of businesses store their assets in multiple places, which can lead to, as 54% of those surveyed admitted to, searching Google for their own company’s logo. 

Implementing Digital Asset Management (DAM) best practices empower your organization to do better. In short, DAM refers to the strategy and tools of storing, organizing and finding digital assets. From photos to videos, audio files to documents and everything in between, a good DAM strategy means that everyone can access these assets whenever they need them. 

It means you can consistently use the content that impacts your business, without having to recreate it from scratch. It becomes simpler to reuse content that drives results. It allows you to spend more time promoting and using your content, instead of  simply trying to find it. 

As we continue to be a remote-work culture, this ability for a clear, concise method of easy storage and access has never been more important. The ability to efficiently  find and re-use compelling photos and videos is essential.

In this article, we’ll discuss the best practices for DAM—how to keep everything organized, easily searchable and consistent. We’ll discuss some of the best tools designed specifically for DAM, as well as the importance of searchable transcripts. 

Bring Your Assets Together in One Spot

Here’s one way of storing your assets:

  • Photos in Flickr
  • Videos in Vimeo
  • Files in Dropbox
  • Presentations in Google Drive

While it’s great there are so many tools to do these things, storing different asset types in disparate places leads to confusion. It’s hard to know which things are where, and even harder to keep it consistent across months and years. It’s less important which application you use. It’s incredibly important that you stick to one. 

Use Standard Naming Conventions

One of the most important things to do is to create a standardized way for naming and tagging files. It should be simple, repeatable, and it should make sense to all involved. For example, you may want to name all your video files like this: DATE_NAME_VERSION. Or you may want to do it as YYYYMMDD-AUTHOR-DESCRIPTION. Further, it’s important to tag videos by format and size, as well as by resolution

Make Brand Consistency Accessible

Organizations have their go-to, most important assets. These are the ones that always deliver. Whether it’s logos, banners or taglines, there’s always a number of things that are used consistently. If your DAM practices are shoddy, you can end up using the wrong version of proven collateral. That can lead to an erosion of trust. With DAM, creating that single source of truth is essential. When people access the DAM program, they know what they’re looking for and that they’re using the right file. 

Understand DAM Tools

There are tons of tools out there that help with DAM. Some are the ones you may be using already, like Google Drive and Dropbox. These are perfectly acceptable tools. The key here is to take advantage of metadata. In Google Drive, for example, you can create up to 100 labels to organize your items. Utilizing these labels makes searching for content super simple, and it’s easy to create a system that fits your organization’s needs and workflow. Dropbox works much the same way, but is not quite as customizable

There are several more advanced software programs that will help, including Brandfolder and Widen Collective. Both of these platforms, among many others, are designed to help solve the problem of disparate assets, making it easy for everyone—from employees to contractors—to find the right file at the right time.

Leverage Artificial Intelligence

You can also employ a solution that uses Artificial Intelligence to automatically tag assets. However you do it, the key is that it has to be easy to search for and find. Any employee, whether they’ve been using the system for five years or five minutes, should be able to find what they need seamlessly.

Include Searchable Video Transcriptions

Another way to know what you have at all times is by creating video transcriptions that are searchable. In addition to helping SEO, a searchable index of all your transcripts makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for content you already have about recruitment, for example, searchable video transcriptions would enable you to find the file you’re looking for in an efficient way. 

Every organization will use a slightly different DAM strategy, depending on their needs, size and budget. More than anything, though, a great DAM solution will empower you to reuse and repurpose the assets you already have, so you can spend more time innovating. 

The easier you can find your compelling assets, the more likely you are to use them. And since video is an effective sales tool, as people who watch product videos are as much as 85% more likely to make a purchase, properly leveraging your assets won’t just make your life easier, it will lead to better results. 

References

The State of Digital Asset Management 2020. (2020). Demand Metric

Digital Asset Management Best Practices. (February 2020). The NYU Dispatch

Digital Asset Management (DAM): A Gentle Introduction and 7 Best Practices. (June 2019). Datafloq

Digital Assets Management (DAM) System. (April 2021). OHSU Library

Digital Asset Management for Video: Tips & Best Practices. MerlinOne.

Best Practices for Video in Digital Asset Management. (April 2017). Extensis

Manage Drive labels (beta). Google Workspace Admin Help

How to view metadata for a file in Dropbox. Dropbox

Checklist & Examples to Develop Your Digital Asset Management (DAM) Strategy. (April 2021). Nuxeo

Video SEO 101: why video needs transcription. (August 2018). Trint

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