As if creating great content was not already hard enough, in today’s businesses, the pressure is on to create and distribute content on a more frequent and higher volume basis. The role technology can play in managing this plethora of material is detailed further on, but first, here are seven questions you should know or seek to know the answer to in order to help inform your digital content marketing strategy;

1. Do you know what marketing assets and collateral you have in order to minimise the effort to reuse or repurpose the content you have already invested in?

2. Where are your assets and collateral are located? Even if you know what you have you also need to know where it is

3. Can you access your assets quickly? Studies show that an average of 37 minutes or 8% of a work day is spent searching for a single piece of content

4. What format is best for your audience and channel? This needs to be known ahead of time to be able to react quickly when needed

5. Are the rights associated to your assets current? If not, you can expect costly license infringement and royalty payments

6. Are your assets and collateral approved? You don’t want to be using old, or unapproved assets so make sure the approved assets are at your creator’s fingertips

7. What is your approval process like? How long approvals will take? If you do have a need for new content make sure you build these timelines into your process and try to make it as efficient as possible

All the above sounds great but how do you go about achieving this? Well, one way is to implement digital asset management (DAM), which is a combination of policies, processes and technology.

Here are six additional steps to help your organisation prepare for and reap the benefits of a DAM solution: 

1. Get Buy-in - First things first, get organisational buy in. It’s a culture change and it can’t be successful through simply implementing an expensive software solution. You need to have a team in place that can drive the initiative forward (including executive sponsorship). They will be the ones that need to drive the culture change down through the organisation.

2. Plan and measure - To ensure success, careful planning is required to determine scope, manage expectations and help set the boundaries of the initiative. The business will require return on the investment and this should be mapped out with realistic goals. Determine the pain points of the organisation and the user scenarios that will be affected by the new policies and procedures. Do this with the people affected so they can be engaged from the outset.

3. Adopt one central source - Having a central repository helps you know exactly what marketing assets and collateral you have and where they are located. This is a large step forward for the organisation once they can feel confident their assets are accessible and secure. Statistics show that utilising a centralised repository where assets can be searched by metadata, can improve staff productivity by 30%

4. Make finding the content easier and ensure it’s the right content - Having a big bucket of assets is not useful unless they are discoverable. Proper tagging helps your users locate your assets quickly. Digital assets are often duplicated or re-created due to the inability of users to find what they are looking for. Once users are finding assets, you need to make sure they are finding the right assets. They need to be guided to the final approved assets instead of assets still in an approval process. Clearly display assets that have usage rights and restrict access to assets that have expired. There are many stories of customers reducing the cost of license infringements by tens of thousands of dollars.

5. Use the right keywords - To ensure search-ability use a controlled vocabulary of keywords to maximise discoverability. Understand the types of keywords that users search for and tag assets appropriately. Most search engines today also do synonym matching so that users searching for ‘car’ will also find ‘automobile’, and ‘vehicle’ this further aids discoverability.

6. Appoint a content owner - Having someone in charge of classifying and cataloging assets is the most common approach to ensuring asset discoverability is maximised. Where possible, incorporate an up-stream collection of metadata during the creative process, which can then be extracted and added to the keywords of an asset to further aid discoverability. All of this decreases the time it takes for your users to find what they are looking for.

These are some of the steps to take that will help to make your business more effective. Having a well-defined and accepted digital asset management process in place will increase a company’s ability to create compelling marketing content and allow creative people to focus on creative tasks, rather than the dreary administrative tasks that distract them.


By Tim Shaw, North Plains

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