Article

Cory Schmidt
Cory Schmidt 29 August 2019

Digital Content: How to Unlock Your Team’s Full Potential

Not having a central system for content and brand assets results in a lot of confusion and wastes countless hours searching for the right files. How are top-performing teams tackling the content challenge?

How much content do you produce in a week, a month or a year? If you’re a typical digital or marketing team, you have an ever-growing volume to manage. Campaigns, projects and launches as well as regular day-to-day output all require numerous visual assets to fuel multiple channels.

Not only do you have to contend with the storage and organisation of thousands of files, you also have to collaborate with colleagues in different locations as well as freelancers and agencies. 

This adds extra pressure: provide access to the right people; maintain version control; align consistent ways of working and saving; and centralise files for future use. And all this regardless of where everyone is located!

But hold on – “I didn’t choose this creative career to spend all my time wading through folders and files!” – I hear you say.

So how are teams tackling the content challenge?

Simple file sharing tools like Dropbox, Google Drive or Box are quickly outgrown by most teams, being limited in storage capacity, functionality and performance. Typically, images and files created and shared are high-quality so you run into the problem of having too much content for one of these smaller general systems. In a professional environment, storage capacity and ease of sharing and access can quickly become an issue.

It’s the sheer volume of digital content now produced on a weekly basis – as well as the need to easily find previous files – that means content sharing and storage requirements go way beyond basic functionality.

Digital asset management (commonly referred to as DAM) is an increasingly popular cloud-based solution to the problem. 

Put simply, DAM software helps you consistently store digital assets in a central location so they can easily be found and shared. It makes life easier for colleagues and enables fast, secure access for outside parties.

Dedicated DAM uses the likes of Amazon Web Services to offer ample storage capacity. It keeps assets in one central location, with automatic tagging so they can easily be found and shared. If your files contain metadata, that’s searchable too and if any of your imagery contains people, facial recognition allows you to search for all files featuring that individual.

Furthermore, this type of management requires everybody within your organisation – even outside suppliers or freelancers – to work the same way so that the security, organisation and searchability of digital assets are consistent.

Consider the productivity impact from this – it empowers employees, helping them quickly find tagged assets, saving them from long searches or taking up the time of colleagues to track down what they’re looking for. “Who knows where I can find…?” is a common cry in many teams. Eliminating this helps everyone spend time focused on what matters.

Not having a central system for visual brand assets and project files can result in a lot of confusion and wastes countless hours searching. Plus, project owners run the risk of outdated, off-brand and unlicensed imagery being used.

DAM software also integrates with InDesign and Photoshop, which enables faster editing for designers, particularly where quick and simple changes are required. New file versions are automatically synced with the centralised DAM storage system so there’s no danger of updates being saved to a local destination inaccessible to others.

How can DAM improve working relationships with external parties?

Often your files for a particular project are all saved in a master folder location. It may not be appropriate to grant full access to the entirety of that content to a third-party. Nor is it desirable to have to regularly split files into multiple folders. With DAM, admins can allow an approved individual or team access to only the assets you require them to have.

Version control can cause headaches too, particularly when working on collaborative projects. Different parties can unwittingly be working concurrently on different versions of a graphic, a video edit, a presentation or document. DAM helps to solve this with clear version control. It manages updates to all types of files – ensuring all versions of digital assets are the very latest.

Brand managers need to be able to provide a portal containing prescribed assets for external parties to use. This is vital for design consistency. For example, organisations are likely to have guidelines and their own templates which they want to give secure access to, and through one familiar centralised system. With DAM access can be granted in a matter of clicks.

So next time file frustration hits your team, or you need to share externally without a sweat, ask yourself: are we working with content in the most effective way? Have we unlocked our full potential?

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