Marketing involves many, many moving parts. They all have to come together to tell a story about your brand — the story that you want and need to tell.
In the old days, it was easy. Your marketing techniques consisted primarily of flyers and phone calls. Now you have to juggle multiple channels, both online and off.
Thankfully, we have tools that can help you transform your brand storytelling.
What is Digital Asset Management?
A vital tool for marketing teams is digital asset management (DAM).
Digital asset management is used to store and track any digital assets you can use in your marketing endeavors. This includes graphics, photos, video segments, and audio files.
This way, you can slot in a previously written blog post and add a new photo of your store, your logo, and so on. Digital asset management stores all of these things in one centralized location.
It also tracks restrictions (like the license on that stock photo you bought), credits/ownership, and other related information. Using a digital asset management platform like Welcome, you can ensure that everyone on your team has access to the assets they need for every campaign, regardless of channel.
A good marketing DAM will output the product you are working on directly to the required channel, whether it’s your website, social media accounts, printer, or newsletter. And never fear — it will also allow for final approval.
DAM is essentially about making sure that you know what assets you have and can use them to create marketing products that sing.
Why Do You Need Digital Asset Management?
Digital asset management can be an incredible tool for marketers.
One of the most significant issues in modern marketing is that you have so much to deal with at once. You’re constantly making digital, multi-channel products that might go out in formats ranging from an old-fashioned print newsletter to a podcast to a social media ad.
Digital asset management can help your brand storytelling by:
- Allowing for the modular reuse of digital material — 71% of marketers say it’s crucial to be able to repurpose and track assets easily.
- Making it easier for your team to generate marketing materials quickly and efficiently
- Avoiding duplication of effort — for example, when hunting stock photos, you can store any relevant ones, which will then be readily available to the rest of the team.
- Sending materials out to digital marketing channels automatically.
- Tracking the origin and history of every single asset so you can keep track of rights and restrictions, track how old an asset is, and so on.
- Easily creating templates to improve efficiency further while encouraging brand compliance.
- Improving collaboration, especially for team members working remotely.
- Tracking the use of assets to determine their effectiveness, thus avoiding over-use.
- Providing advanced search capabilities so you know exactly what you have (and don’t have) and can find assets quickly.
You need digital asset management because you should spend time designing your campaigns instead of hunting for yet another photo or spending hours on newsletter layout.
You need it because it helps keep all your marketing efforts focused and in compliance with your brand’s appearance and voice.
You need it because it lets you track how you use the content and material you acquire so you know what is paying off and what is not.
Populating Your Digital Library
The first step of properly leveraging DAM is to propagate your digital library.
This process is lengthy and ongoing. You’ll always be adding material, but you need to put together your initial “seed,” as it were, from which your DAM tree will grow.
Do this with your brand story always in the back of your mind. Search for assets that take your story back into the past and give it a coherence that makes it look like it is what you always had in mind, even if it isn’t.
Start by thinking about what you already have that needs to go into the system. Here are a few examples:
- Your company’s logo
- Any templates you have used for your mailing list in the past
- Photos of your business, product, and team members
- Copies of past marketing materials from which you may be able to pull content for reuse
- Team bios
- Instructional videos on how to use your product or service
You will probably find you have a lot of digital assets, likely more than you thought. Get your team together and brainstorm to ensure all your bases are covered.
Then look for gaps.
Do you have good photos of your storefront? If not, time to get some more (and always consider hiring a professional photographer unless your team has a very skilled amateur).
Does every key member of your team have an up-to-date bio? Do you have a good newsletter template that isn’t proprietary to the mailing list software you just stopped using?
Always cast a wide net to get as many assets as possible into your system. It’s better to include things you don’t need than to spend time hunting down something you forgot you had.
You may be surprised what will fit your brand story that you didn’t know even existed.
Curate Your Assets
Once you know what you have, it’s time to get rid of what you don’t need.
Some of your marketing materials may be obsolete because they feature the wrong color scheme or wrong phone number. Or, they just might not fit with the story you are trying to tell about your brand right now.
In some cases, you may be able to salvage specific parts of these assets, like photos from an old newsletter. Other assets might need to be gotten rid of altogether.
Make sure that everything you keep fits in with your brand story. Removing elements that are out of place or that fit a story you once wanted to tell will help keep your team focused.
By archiving (not deleting) these assets or simply not including them in the system, you can eliminate the risk of them being accidentally used and thus propagating inaccurate information.
Other assets might be removed from the system simply because of their quality. While old photos can support the history of your business, low-quality images might make it look like you can’t afford a decent photographer — or a decent camera.
Once you have gone through these processes, you will have your initial pool of assets. Now it’s time to store them properly.
Choose Your Digital Asset Management System
The next step is to find the right DAM system to handle your assets. Start by thinking about what you have and what can best tell your story.
Most marketers will have assets in the following categories:
- Images and graphics
Audio is less common, but systems that can handle video can typically handle audio. Make sure that your chosen system can handle all of the media types you need and any you think you might want to use in the future.
Make sure to future proof. For example, you might not have any audio files right now, but podcasts are hot. If you choose to start one, audio clips and snippets will be helpful.
Think about how you will take your brand story into the future and how you will stay both consistent and agile moving forward.
Changing systems can be a pain, so make your initial choice carefully to avoid having to migrate your database. On the same note, look for a system that makes importing your initial set of assets as easy as possible.
Make sure to choose a system that lives in the cloud and can be accessed from your office, home, or booth at the trade show.
Most importantly, your DAM software should be designed for marketers. Your unique needs should be considered at the design and build level.
This means that you need a system that allows proper access for your entire team. Everyone needs to be able to pull the assets they need to complete the task they are working on quickly and easily.
At the same time, the team members and contractors responsible for creating assets need to be able to put them straight into the system, properly sorted and ready for use.
The system must allow you to assign specific assets to specific teams and/or campaigns. It also needs to help you seamlessly insert your assets into products and generate the marketing materials you need.
It needs to track assets from creation onward in order to track utilization and ensure that rights are respected and credit is given where due.
It needs to allow for remote collaboration by being cloud-first and mobile-ready. It needs to provide access control to ensure less damage if a team member’s account is compromised.
Above all, you need to choose a DAM that stores your assets in a way that makes it easier for everyone on your team to tell a consistent story. Your brand storytelling needs a DAM system that properly supports it in today’s fast-paced world.
Welcome does all of that and more. Our marketing software supports all of your marketing needs, including integrated DAM.
Ready to give it a try? Get started with a free account today!