Many companies produce great content at a steady pace. However, they soon face a problem: these companies have so much content that they do not know or remember everything they have, cannot track down content assets efficiently, struggle to collaborate with others involved in the process and/or are not leveraging existing content for reuse.

Digital asset management (DAM) focuses on how you manage your broad collection of content assets. This ranges from the way assets are annotated, cataloged, and stored to methods of retrieval and distribution. Its aim is to have your team use and reuse content more efficiently while minimizing errors and inconsistency.

This sounds promising, but does this make DAM useful for every entrepreneur? In this blog, I will explain what Digital Asset Management is and find out if it is useful for every entrepreneur. After that, I will list its benefits as well as questions to consider before implementing a DAM solution.

‘Is Digital Asset Management Useful for an Entrepreneur?’ Digital asset management (DAM) focuses on how you manage your broad collection of content assets. Is DAM useful for every entrepreneur? In this blog, I explain what DAM is and find out if it is useful for every entrepreneur. After that, I list its benefits as well as questions to consider before implementing a DAM solution. Read the blog at http://budgetvertalingonline.nl/business/digital-asset-management-useful-for-entrepreneur/

What is DAM?

Jill Talvensaari summarizes DAM as “a centralized repository in which organizations can efficiently store, organize, manage, access, and distribute large numbers of digital assets such as images, graphics, layouts, PDF files, documents, web pages, video clips, social media posts, and audio files.”

DAM can help your organization master the challenges of modern content marketing. It brings together people, processes, and data to make many essential content marketing workflows more streamlined and efficient, such as creative collaboration, content review and approval, brand management, version control, and license management.

Cathy McPhillips agrees because she feels DAM software offers much more than storage; it automates tagging, storage, and retrieval, meaning that when team members and clients request articles, images, logos, and other pieces of content, the software saves time by removing much of the manual, hunt-until-you-stumble-upon-it efforts. In fact, finding a particular asset or collection of assets by date, type, or topic (or some combination) only takes seconds.

McPhillips does note that using a DAM technology is not as simple as buying the software and running out of the starting gate. Using DAM means you and all of your employees have committed to organizing and tagging your content in a predictable, consistent way. It may take time, effort and training to have everyone use the same organization and tagging of content.

By allowing your team to create content once and then customize it for delivery across multiple media channels, Talvensaari thinks a DAM helps you reach more customers on more platforms with more targeted content so that you can be more effective at making sales. In addition, the best DAMs can interface with your existing marketing automation solutions to provide a single view into all of your marketing data, analytics, and resources.

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DAM solution too big for small business owners

DAM sounds like a comprehensive content marketing solution. Is a DAM solution too big for small business owners? McPhillips says that for many, DAM entails a mix of free and low-cost options (such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Excel) pieced together into a makeshift solution.

Nevertheless, once you have reached a certain scale, an enterprise-worthy system is needed — both for continued growth and increased efficiency.

It, therefore, seems as if DAM is not for every entrepreneur. If you own one or several larger companies, you might want to use DAM to streamline your content marketing workflow. If you own a small business, the makeshift solutions will do just fine.

4 triggers for DAM solutions

McPhillips has found that companies tend to invest in DAM solutions when they face one of these four triggers:

  1. Rebranding

Updating all of your identity materials and related assets is a massive headache during a rebrand. With a DAM tool, something like a logo change automatically cascades those revisions through all content assets that use the old logo.

  1. Merger/acquisition

A merger or acquisition is the perfect time to get a handle on the assets you have as well as to determine how you will leverage existing assets into new projects.

  1. Leadership change

Investing in a DAM tool usually comes after a company has committed to structured content, a transformation that often comes about with a change in leadership.

  1. Digital transformation

As organizations embrace digital as a source of innovation and growth, adopting a DAM strategy is a critical step.

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10 benefits of DAM

Talvensaari lists 10 benefits of DAM once your company is large enough for an enterprise-worthy system.

  1. By making internal processes more efficient and enhancing team collaboration, a DAM frees staff to spend more time on the core creative work that brings in revenue.
  2. By making it easy for team members to access the digital assets they need, a DAM speeds review, approval, and delivery of final files to get content to market faster, giving you an edge over your competition.
  3. By offering permissions-based access to digital content as well as digital rights management controls, a DAM helps avoid common problems such as publication of outdated, off-brand, or unlicensed creative assets. This helps improve the quality of your brand communication to protect brand investments and even mitigate business risk.
  4. By giving authorized users quick, easy access to the files anytime, anywhere, a DAM eliminates time-intensive, costly file searches and recreation of missing assets.
  5. A DAM eliminates the need for staff to post and deliver files to multiple locations. In addition, it eliminates the costly errors and inefficiencies caused by different versions of the same file in multiple places.
  6. A DAM can be integrated with your marketing resource management (MRM), product information management (PIM), content management system (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM), or other marketing automation solutions. It acts as a single source of truth that helps you better manage projects, allocate resources, personalize and target content, and understand which assets are performing best across different channels.
  7. A DAM makes it significantly faster and easier to repurpose content across devices and platforms, opening up possibilities for new revenue streams. For example, some agencies make asset distribution a profit center by charging for every upload or download.
  8. Agencies can use a DAM to create secure, private web portal sites customized for individual clients, partners, or teams.
  9. A DAM can help the sales team centralize proposals so that the entire team can easily review and collaborate. Efficient digital asset management also can be a value-added service that can help win business.
  10. The best DAMs also track the traffic for timely reporting and, if applicable, client billing.

10 questions to ask before you adopt DAM

As mentioned, DAM is a comprehensive content marketing solution. This means that the decision to go for DAM is a big one. Acquiring a system requires significant up-front work as you need to ensure that it meets your brand’s needs – think of content volume, existing internal programs, implementation requirements, and support. Here are ten topics for questions that Talvensaari urges you to ask and answer before you consult with solution vendors or systems integrators.

  1. Overall requirements

What types of file formats must it support? What volume of content does it need to handle? What types of capabilities must it have (security features, job tracking, remote proofing, etc.)?

  1. Integration

How will the DAM integrate with the software tools and workflow solutions already in place so that you can make the most of your existing IT investments? Can it interface with your marketing resource management, product information management, content management, or customer relationship management systems to provide a single view into all your data, projects, and marketing campaign results?

  1. Hardware and network infrastructure

Are your hardware platform and network infrastructure robust enough to handle the DAM software and data transfer needs? If not, what will upgrades cost?

  1. Disaster recovery

How will you ensure the security of your digital assets in the event of a system failure or another catastrophic event?

  1. User licensing and privileges

How many people will use the system and what access do you want to permit? What types of user authentication will be required? Do you want your system to offer a variety of access levels for granting and restricting access to file formats, delivery methods, groups of assets, and administrative functionality?

  1. Vendor selection

Who will be the key stakeholders in charge of the vendor selection process? How will they manage vendor consultations and the RFP process?

  1. Implementation management

Which stakeholders will manage the system implementation with the vendor from start to finish? How will the stakeholders work together?

  1. Internal adoption

How will you avoid resistance to adoption and get your whole organization on board with using the software?

  1. Training

How can you ensure that key employees are thoroughly trained on the software so you always have experts on staff, not just on call?

  1. Support requirements

Do you need phone support vs. email support? What is your expectation for response times and escalation processes?

‘Strong Corporate Branding.’ In this blog, I explain corporate branding for starting entrepreneurs. I write about a brand platform, brand activation and the difference between corporate branding and product branding. Read more here: http://budgetvertalingonline.nl/business/corporate-branding/
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Solution for the entrepreneur

If you are an entrepreneur wondering whether your company requires a DAM solution, I hope that this blog has helped you. It is not a decision related to the industry in which your company is active; it really just depends on the size of your company and its content volume. Small business owners will do just fine with makeshift solutions, and bigger companies will want to reap the benefits of streamlining their content marketing efforts.