All companies have digital assets. Some variations you may not even realize are digital assets such as presentations, spreadsheets, and documents. The term covers a range of files that are deemed essential to the workings of the business. They provide a consistent and accessible brand message and have a value associated with them.
So what defines a digital asset? There are a few main elements that make up a digital asset, including:
- Provide value to the company
- Be accessible and searchable
- Be a digital file
Many files are included in this space, such as:
- PDF files
- Audio files
- Word/Excel/PowerPoint documents
- Illustrator files
Of course, a company will have a lot of these files already stored on systems. However, to make it into the digital assets category, it has to provide value to the company. For example, general everyday files that lead to the finished article would not be classed as digital assets.
Why digital assets hold value
While value typically means the cost of something to a company, in digital asset terms, it also means the cost of producing said asset. Another aspect also covers the ability and cost to recreate it. Over time, assets can also become more valuable, as they may be impossible to recreate. In marketing, this may be an image from an event, and of course, a moment in time cannot be reproduced. For other companies such as sports teams, images, or videos from memorable sporting moments will never happen again, so the value is high.
How to manage your digital assets
On the outset, the process of how to manage digital assets may sound easy. In the long term, it is, however, setting it up correctly is the critical part. Making digital assets discoverable is essential as there will be thousands in archives and project folders. This is usually done by adding metadata to the file. This consists of labeling files in a structured format such as using keywords, photographer names, and the image title. You can also use categories to drill down further.
In smaller companies, this structure may be completed manually, however, in larger firms where digital assets are extensive, digital asset management software assists in this lengthy process.
What is metadata?
You may have already heard the term metadata, as it’s also what you use for websites and content production. In short, metadata is data about the data you’re storing. On a basic level, this includes the filename. Still, it goes beyond this for digital asset management to ensure files can be found quickly. There are typically two types of metadata for digital assets:
Technical metadata – this information includes resolution, dimensions, size, and photographer/image details. It usually appears automatically.
Descriptive metadata – this information is used when searching for files and includes title, description, and keywords inputted as file creation.
What if the user doesn’t know what they’re specially searching for?
Sometimes, users will do general searches in the digital assets archives. If individuals don’t specifically know what they’re searching for, taxonomies can help.
What is a taxonomy?
This term describes a combination of data, including categories, keywords, and attributes, to make up a group of digital assets. Assets with this feature have a better chance of being found when the user is unsure what to search and gives options for suitable assets in general searches.
Benefits of digital asset management software
If you’re considering digital management software for your ever-growing company portfolio, it’s an excellent option for efficiency and automation. Some of the main benefits include:
Reduces search time
There’s nothing worse than a project being held up due to the facto you can’t find the most recent version of the project you’re working on. With DAM software, you have access to sophisticated search capabilities to make locating files quick and easy. The system can also be set up so that everyone can use it without extensive training.
Digital asset management software allows you to set permissions on specific content. This helps to maintain the system and avoid unnecessary use. There is also extensive copyright functionality available to ensure misuse does not occur.
Organizes assets effectively and centrally
While some input is needed to ensure data is organized, DAM software can automatically tag and watermark where required. Some systems also use facial recognition. Everything is stored in a central location and easily accessible.
Many digital asset management systems are now cloud-based to give you scalable storage solution for your data. With larger file sizes and more and more digital assets being saved regularly, it’s vital that the system can handle the data storage. Internal servers only have so much capability and could potentially slow all other systems down in the process if they’re overloaded. Cloud-based storage also provides automatic updates and a secure system for extra peace of mind.
If your company uses remote workers, then access to digital assets may be required off-site. With digital asset management software, you can share branded assets externally and ensure consistency throughout your work and deliverables. This will also free up time and resources as external staff and contractors won’t need to request access to materials each time they are required.
Improves productivity and creativity
With a centralized system in place, it frees up time and resources to focus on the task at hand. Automating processes like this improves productivity and enables teams to be more creative as they spend less time on the job’s administrative aspects.
While implementing a digital asset management system may require investment in monetary and training terms. The overall output and streamlined automation will help improve your bottom-line. Every company is different and requires suitable processes according to digital asset storage and accessibility. However, this type of software is scalable and suited to a range of company sizes and styles. If you have scattered storage and have previously lost important assets due to inaccuracies and disorganization, this software is an excellent option for your business.