In today’s technologically advanced world, it isn’t easy to imagine a company that doesn’t use its digital assets and content to promote its services or sell its products. Images, videos, infographics, presentations, articles, and so much more are the digital assets that define your identity as a company.
While these digital assets can help in your brand efforts, they can easily become a nightmare if you don’t know how to maintain and manage your collection. Outdated documents lost and corrupted files, or images that are difficult to find in a complex web of folders can make your life unnecessarily difficult.
The good news is that a digital asset management (DAM) system can help with this problem. In this article, you’ll learn more about it, its benefits, and who uses it. More importantly, this article enumerates the basic and advanced must-have features that can make digital asset management much easier and more convenient.
Digital Asset Management Software: What Is It?
Digital asset management software brings coherence to the media-focused aspect of your brand. DAM systems are used to store, organize and share all digital content and files in a centralized and secure location.
DAM platforms come in all sizes and shapes, depending on the specific needs of an organization. For instance, a worldwide nonprofit charity organization may use DAM to store and share updated documents within its internal teams. On the other hand, a retail corporation may use it to manage its marketing and branding assets primarily.
That said, today’s DAM systems are no longer just about having centralized storage for digital assets. Most software, like Brandfolder DAM software, offers comprehensive features like asset workflow management and creative tools and templates.
Why Use A Digital Asset Management System?
A reliable digital asset management platform offers so much more than just a simple repository for your brand’s digital files. Here are some of the many benefits it can provide:
- Organize digital assets
- Improve brand consistency
- Ensure compliance with usage rights and minimize legal risk
- Boost external and internal collaboration
- Support marketing and sales channels
- Provide a high-quality customer experience
- Reduce operational costs
- Automate repetitive tasks
- Streamline media and content lifecycle
- Measure the performance and return on investment (ROI) of digital assets
- Keep digital assets secure and safe
These benefits can help drive efficiencies across the entire digital content lifecycle.
7 Must-Have Features Of The Best Digital Asset Management Platform
Choosing the right digital asset management platform for your business can be challenging. While there are numerous factors you need to consider, taking a look at the included features can help determine if it fits with your current processes and workflows. Below are some of the must-have features you need to look for in robust digital asset management software:
At its core, DAM software organizes and centralizes your digital assets in a single, easy-to-access library that authorized people can access. To properly manage your digital assets, the DAM software should have robust capabilities such as content grouping and customization, labeling, and advanced sorting and filtering, among others.
A highly organized system inspires usage and ensures that it’s appropriately leveraged by employees, partners, and clients to maximize each digital asset’s potential.
- Advanced Search And Discovery
Without DAM software, finding the right digital asset can take time, even if you know what you’re looking for. Meanwhile, the best DAM software can make your digital assets more discoverable.
A DAM with smart search-and-discovery features can make it easier for users to find digital assets. Some software even includes extra functionalities such as smart filtering, in-document search, suggested searching, and AI image recognition. These functionalities make it easier to find and pull out the right digital assets.
- Version History
One of the biggest challenges for brands working with hundreds to thousands of digital assets is revision tracking. If a single asset goes through several iterations, then you’ll have multiple altered copies of the same file.
For example, suppose you have a complex infographic that you need to update constantly. Multiple iterations mean more files to keep track of. Without digital asset management, it’s easy to lose track of the most recent version. Hence, altering a single file may take significant time and effort.
The best digital asset management solution can keep revisions organized. DAM systems can store and save all versions of a single file under one thumbnail. This means you can open an image or document and see all revisions as a list on a specific panel or menu.
Moreover, most systems allow users to comment on a specific version and compare revisions in real-time to help them decide if the changes make the cut. Otherwise, the right software can also revert to a previous version at any time.
- Quick Sharing
What’s good about a digital asset if you can’t share it? Suppose you need to share it with a co-worker, distribute to customers, or send it to social media channels. Proper DAM software should enable you to share finalized digital assets with others in a few simple clicks.
Most digital asset management systems allow you to share assets directly from the platform with teammates and outside collaborators. You can share them via email, shared links, social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, or even file storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
Some may also allow you to place embeddable asset links to insert digital assets from the platform directly into your website or social accounts.
- Access Control
Even though your digital assets are stored in a central location, you don’t want everyone to have the same access and usage permission. You want to have control over who sees and changes what and when.
On the other hand, a robust digital asset management system can be used by both internal and external users. Internal users include teams within your companies.
- Marketing And Sales Departments: Marketers and sales reps use DAM to store and organize branded material for presentations and marketing pitches.
- IT Professionals And Developers: Technical teams can benefit from streamlined storage for assets and asset data such as software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) and help connect solutions.
- Creators And Designers: In-house creators such as graphic designers and photographers can upload and use branded content as well as access creative tools.
- Legal Experts: A DAM system can help your legal team to ensure compliance with asset rules and regulations, for instance preventing the use of outdated or expired assets.
Meanwhile, here are some examples of external users of your business that can benefit from DAM software:
- Clients: Your clients may need or want to access digital assets of specific projects.
- Contractors And Partners: You may need to collaborate with external partner agencies or contractors to develop product designs as well as strategize and implement marketing campaigns.
Comprehensive access control and management structure are the most crucial features a digital asset management platform should have. The best DAM platforms allow you to create user groups with different permissions for uploading, viewing, editing, downloading, and sharing abilities. This ensures that your digital assets are only accessed and used by the right people.
- Seamless Third-Party Integrations
Even the most comprehensive DAM software may not cover everything your business needs regarding digital asset management. Hence, you may need to connect a different type of software, like a customer relationship management system (CRM), into a DAM platform to ensure a seamless exchange of digital assets for effective marketing and branding.
In this case, it’s best to have a digital asset management solution that offers integration options with a wide range of third-party tools. The best software features an open application programming interface (API) technology to easily integrate the platform into your existing software solutions.
For example, some software provides seamless migration of your digital data from cloud storage platforms to creative design applications like Adobe Photoshop and analytics tools like Google Analytics.
- Privacy, Security, And Compliance Requirements
Your brand and digital assets are valuable. Hence, choosing the right digital asset management software that takes security and privacy seriously is essential. In addition, it’s best to consider a DAM system provider with secure asset storage facilities that uses modern encryption methods for both at-rest and in-transit data.
The best providers should regularly test their platforms and infrastructure for security vulnerabilities. Hence, some platforms have compliance requirements built into the software itself, as well as the internal processes of the provider.
This feature is beneficial if your business is in a specific industry with strict compliance requirements for managing and storing digital assets. Some notable regulations to consider are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (ATIPP), and other privacy laws.
As companies continue to create a digital presence and more digital content, the need for a platform that can manage the thousands of digital assets—from their creation to distribution—has never been more critical than today. If you’re ready to make your life easier, choose the right digital asset management platform with the necessary features mentioned above.