The Quick Look at Understanding Digital Asset Management
As an online business, you likely have many digital assets that need to be protected at all costs. This is known as Digital Asset Management (DAM), and there are many solutions that can offer you the help you need. However, finding the ‘right’ option can seem overwhelming.
The top DAM solution will provide you with all the tools your company needs to not only organize and store your digital assets, but also to collaborate and streamline asset sharing. These will benefit your business immensely, as your team will be able to work together more effectively.
In this post, we’ll introduce DAM and talk about what it looks like for businesses of all sizes. We’ll then share how it can be used to improve your current workflow, as well as the various DAM features to keep in mind as you search for the best solution. Let’s get started!
What Is Digital Asset Management?
Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a set of processes that encompass the organization, storage, and retrieval of rich media (such as photos, videos, animations, sound recordings, etc.). These processes are used by small businesses, non-profit organizations, large enterprises, and everything in between.
At its most basic level, you can think of DAM like a folder on your computer. Within one folder, you have subfolders that contain the different categories of rich media, which can be easily searched and sorted through.
Digital Asset Management Solutions
There are many companies that offer DAM solutions. Each option has its own pros and cons, and some will work better for certain company types (such as enterprises or creative agencies).
A few of the more well-known DAM solutions include Box, Libris, Webdam, and Adobe Experience Manager. These tools enable you to organize and search through your digital content easily, while also providing easy workflow management. Some, including Webdam and Adobe, also include added benefits such as cloud-based storage.
Of course, you’ll need to consider which options are best for your particular business. For example, Adobe Experience Manager is an ideal solution for enterprise-level companies, while Box and Webdam are great for creative and marketing agencies.
Benefits of DAM Solutions
When choosing the right DAM solution for your company, it’s important to know what type of features you’ll need. Let’s take a closer look at what those features are and why they matter.
One of the more obvious features to consider is organizational capabilities. These can make or break a DAM solution, and the best tools will offer extensive options in this area
The top DAM solutions will provide intuitive organization and storage features, which often includes simple folders with an easy-to-follow hierarchy. It’s also important that the tool you choose enables you to add extra details – including file names, metadata, and more – so it’s easier for you to find the files you need quickly.
Speaking of finding your files easily, the search function of a DAM solution is crucial to how useful it is. After all, if you can’t find the files you’ve uploaded, the software won’t be of much help.
Beyond searching for keyword terms, a quality solution will enable you to filter your search results by status (active, inactive, expired, etc.), folder location, and file type and size. The more advanced solutions will even enable the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to filter searches via smart tags.
Downloading and Sharing
If workflow management is important for your company, then downloading and sharing features will play a key role in the day-to-day use of your chosen DAM solution. The better solutions are based on cloud platforms. This means that all digital files are automatically uploaded to the cloud, and are therefore accessible on any device from any location.
With the right permissions, your team members can then download and share the files they need with their colleagues. Some software solutions, including Box, even offer a centralized workspace that makes sharing and collaboration easy.
Whether collaborating with your colleagues or working solo, it’s important to have instant access to a file’s version history. This will enable you to retrieve ‘lost’ data, and see what changes have been made to each media file (and when).
The importance of this feature cannot be understated. It will not only save you from the loss of data, but also protect you against unlicensed media file usage, as you’ll know you have access to the latest versions. For simplicity and efficiency, some solutions will even automatically detect duplicate versions of files, and delete them to save space.
Another way to restrict the use of unlicensed media files is to tightly control access to them. This is known as access control, and this feature enables you to pick and choose which devices and colleagues have access to the various files in your workspace.
Access control mainly protects the integrity of your company’s digital assets. However, it can also prevent accidental changes and deletions, as well as improper licensing.
While it’s not an absolute must that your chosen DAM solution integrates with WordPress, this is a beneficial feature to have. There are a few options for adding digital files from your DAM software to your host’s back end (such as the WP Engine User Portal) or your WordPress website.
For example, many DAM platforms provide embed codes, which means you can simply add the code to the back end of your website and have the associated features appear on the front end. You can then track shares and downloads via your DAM platform, and even automatically update your files without having to re-upload them to your website.
If you’re a photographer, there’s a good chance you use Adobe Lightroom for editing and storage. This is an excellent example of software that combines the benefits of DAM with niche-specific features, resulting in a highly-useful solution for creative asset management.
Adobe’s digital asset management in Lightroom includes intelligent image search. This enables you to easily locate shots by searching for relevant keywords, even if you didn’t add those keywords yourself. Additionally, ratings, flags, and other organizational tools help make your most important photos easier to find.
Looking to Enhance Your Customers’ Digital Experience?
Once you’ve chosen a DAM solution with all the features your company needs, it’s time to consider whether your other solutions – including your website host – are up to par.
WP Engine is a WordPress host that offers agency, enterprise, and small- and mid-sized business solutions. Our reliable and knowledgeable support team, as well as our focus on providing the best possible digital experience, make WP Engine a top WordPress hosting solution.