Visual content is nothing to cut corners about, especially not when conveying to shoppers the full breadth of a product. However, as nice as visuals look on the product page, getting them there is a whole process behind the scenes. One that, without a proper strategy, can make or break the impact of your visual content. So what’s the secret to scalable visual content? A PIM that supports asset management.
Every tiny investment made in the ecommerce realm should be able to work parallel to the demand. Eventually, having an automated system that can grow or respond to your brand’s growth is necessary. The same applies to managing digital assets. As product quantity and variety grows, so too does the complexity of the visual files. That’s why it’s vital to plan for when this happens, with a scalable foundation that organizes all brand assets.
Read on to learn some major reasons why ensuring you have a holistic method of organizing and applying your digital assets.
But first, what exactly does it mean to create visual content at scale?
What is visual content at scale? Managing digital assets alongside business growth.
It’s no secret – people remember what they view more so than what they read or hear. Product visuals result in a boom of engagements, product interest, and ultimately, conversions. Images and associated metadata are likely to result in high traffic to your product pages and brand sites.
The question isn’t concerning the importance of visual content. Rather, it’s about learning to update and optimize the process. After all, managing rich media and various assets doesn’t come easy. For that, PIM asset management is key to making it easier.
In ecommerce, digital assets might include photography. However, the requirements for raising competitive value and charming potential customers have increased. Today, product photographs are the bare minimum.
Of course, just dealing with basic product photos for a business with a thousand-product catalog can already be challenging. Upwards growth or continual improvement over time needs quirky brand assets and extra files to enrich product page details. Between two products of similar characteristics, the page with more visual content will win hands-down. It’s not just about aesthetic pleasure. Product pages with visual instructional guides, enhanced content pages, infographics, videos, and multidimensional product photos and spec sheets over win.
Traditional processes are not enough.
The problem lies in how to maintain operational efficiency while managing all this visual richness. As a business embarks into the future, so too does its library of digital assets.
To unlock the full return-on-investment of rich media for ecommerce, PIM asset management drives efficiency. It furnishes the basic structure to support visual content complexity. Over time, it grows as product quantity and business teams increase. PIM asset management ensures the business can get a handle on time length and workflows. It creates more streamlined operations with proper interdepartmental communications. With all digital assets and resources in one place, it allows for a central database made to uphold visual content quality.
This is what it means to oversee visual content – at scale. As digital asset management becomes more complicated, there’s less risk of losing that initial simplicity. Products grow, demands grow, and revenue grows – but risks of errors, sales losses, and quality of visual content marketing strategies remain low.
With PIM asset management, scalability is harnessed by centralizing all company assets. Alongside essential product data, they create a powerful combo for rich product pages. With the right system in place, businesses are better able to automate tasks and plan for the future. Thus, it establishes an environment wherein digital assets can be better utilized for their highest potential, resulting in consistent long-term revenue.
Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.
What is the difference between DAM vs. PIM with Asset Management?
We talk a lot about DAM, not just as a helpful system, but as an essential feature for any organization. There are a plethora of DAM systems out there, but for our purposes, DAM in respect to e-commerce is critical, especially as a feature tacked onto PIM software.
On its own, it’s still helpful, but product information is best paired with associated product digital assets. This saves time down the line when both are set to publish on the same product page anyway.
PIM asset management capabilities allow for all business assets – all documents and digital objects necessary for a brand’s success – to find a home. There’s no need for scattered asset files across computers and systems. Instead, DAM is empowering, leading to increased conversions due to its organization of all digital assets on a cloud-based PIM system.
Doing so is essential for scaling the business visual content strategy. Most challenges arise from the disorganization of a company’s assets. Subsequently, it’s harder for teams to find and make those digital assets actionable. Unnecessary wastes of time occur when gathering images or files to create visual content. This dampens productivity, leading to
Who needs PIM digital asset management?
There is no limit to what sorts of businesses require PIM asset management. The benefits apply to businesses at any stage. In fact, the sooner an organization implements a PIM or DAM for asset management, the better.
Any business, be it mall, medium, large, B2B, or DTC, can appreciate the advantage of organizing product digital assets by metadata. It makes for easy findability, allowing teams to search for the exact asset they need, regardless of size or type.
7 Reasons to Invest in Visual Content at Scale
While there’s no debate about the importance of visual content, there are a few reasons for ensuring there is a scalable process of creating and managing that content. No matter the tools in which you invest, it’s essential that they are conducive to long-term revenue growth, keeping up with business demands. Here’s why.
1. Create a central storage on PIM for asset and metadata management.
Firstly, investing in visual content at scale will mean using a system of centralization. Normally, organizations use a mix of spreadsheets and folders, files, and scattered documents. Over time, the mess will only become worse. A database rife with errors and unnecessary assets will only cause problems as a business attempts to scale, perhaps hindering any progress whatsoever.
Protect digital asset metadata accuracy
Imagine trying to catalogue books in a library when the books are scattered in different storage boxes, rooms, or even locations.
With a PIM’s asset management system, all marketing resources are stored in one place. From that place, you can pull digital asset data that is accurate and complete. Only when there is only one source of product data can there be any sense of organization. PIM asset management makes files more findable as the repertoire of assets grows. Using the consolidated and preapproved metadata, businesses can better maintain organization.
Over time, this accuracy ensures efficiency, even as the volume of assets and products grows. If you know only the most up-to-date digital assets exist on the PIM, the organization is better able to trust its own data.
Maintain brand voice
All departments need to be on the same page. All employees need access to one single view of resources to create content that consistently portrays the same message. When it comes to a brand voice, or in this case, a brand’s image, digital assets are highly influential.
Trouble occurs when every brand image varies in style and voice. Inconsistency kills custom trust on a subconscious level. When digital assets are free-for-all for creative teams, it’s an environment for misplaced and varied brand messaging.
Furthermore, consider that digital assets must also be on par with business information and overall brand image. For instance, product images should embody the product data or information given. Various PDF documents and videos should offer a similar copywriting style. Infographics, spec sheets, and other informational visuals or guides should display the brand image appropriately. To do this requires a holistic view of all assets so that even teams who aren’t in charge of the design or photography elements can draw from the same source.
Take control over organic traffic
The major benefit of gathering digital asset metadata in one place is that it propels more views. Metadata is key to driving more shoppers to product pages. Having fine-tuned control over your digital assets makes them more findable for potential shoppers as well.
Metadata encompasses everything from the asset file name, type, format, dimension, intellectual property rights, keywords, and other tags. All of these metadata impact the technical SEO value of an ecommerce site.
2. Simplify creative processes while maintaining quality and consistency.
Work as a team
User roles have access to most essential assets in order to do their jobs properly. But just as all files and data are in one place, so too do team members need to work like a well-oiled machine.
For fluid teamwork, a workflow keeps everyone together in the highest stakes of projects. With clarity of roles and tasks, teams can go from one step to the next in a project flow, to reach the finish line promptly. This makes for optimal efficiency as the business moves higher up in the ranks or grows in project complexity. When collaboration works like clockwork, creative operations can continue with quick time-to-market, allowing the business to take control of their market share.
Managing tasks is not the same thing as managing communication amongst a team. While each employee knows what they need to do, it’s difficult when there is a group effort involved. A lot of waiting between attempts at communication is necessary. Miscommunication and delays lead to a lack of productivity. The last thing an organization wants is slow operations in publishing a new or updated product, especially not due to a relatively insignificant issue.
Implementing PIM asset management allows for quick notifications alongside task management. Triggers prompt users to respond immediately. The clear visibility of users and tasks increases the sense of responsibility that all employees have. With all assets in one place alongside all team members on board, it makes for swift communication and collaboration.
Oversee creative processes
To maintain visual content quality, a business must have full supervision of various workflow processes. Along with having a 360-view of all PIM data, there must also be a view of all projects. Creating visual content is a creative process that is most optimal when multiple images are managed at once, and the business can monitor for any missing assets or present errors.
3. Review and approve assets all in one platform.
Centralizing means all work processes are also concentrated in one place. That includes business operations. Creating content isn’t a one-time thing – it’s a process, a series of collaborative efforts, approving and rehashing assets.
PIM asset management oversees the uploading and approval of all assets so that no one has any doubts about what files to use or not. Previously, businesses faced the challenge of dealing with multitudes of asset variations. It could get to the point where there were 10+ product photos of different sizes, and employees would have to manually check the metadata and dimensions and other specifications coincided with the requirements of the projects.
Otherwise, if a project needs a specific size or file type, they would have to manually transform the digital asset. As you can imagine, this leads to the amalgamation of variations of digital assets. At any given time, an employee might have product photos on their database or personal computer from a long time ago. As such, this results in not only wrong information but also confusion and inconsistency.
That’s why pre-approved assets ensure employees can only utilize the most up-to-date files.
4. Version control streamlines efficiencies on a cloud-based PIM.
The cloud is most conducive to a scalable business operation. Cloud-based storage systems are able to securely hold an expansive set of company files wherever you are. It has really revolutionized the efficiency of managing files and assets. The internet-driven SaaS has changed how businesses maintain their data without losing any work or edits.
PIM asset management perpetuates the same advantages of cloud-based storage of product data and digital assets.
Benefits of Cloud Storage on PIM Asset Management
- Easy to share
With a cloud-based system, version control is possible. Previously, long-established means of holding and sharing business files made updates an ineffectual process. For instance, one employee would have to edit a copy of a master file, sending it back and forth with other employees or with executives for approvals. With each person making edits, the result would be many versions of the same file at varying levels of editing across multiple members’ databases.
The same applies to digital assets. It’s common for marketing and design teams to hold a mess of thousands of files in varying stages of developing and editing on their computers. When it comes to digital asset metadata, this can be a nightmare.
With cloud-based PIM asset management, the concept of version control gets rid of these inefficiencies. One digital asset can have multiple versions in its history of edits, allowing you to not only take control over tracking updates but also be able to restore a previous version automatically. In the case of inevitable error-fixing, this vastly reduces time-to-market.
Because one file or asset is available to all employees with access to the digital asset database, version control ensures everyone sees only the most up-to-date, approved version. Naturally, this eliminates annoyances like reuploading digital assets to replace a corrupted file, or having multiple copies of one asset to manage updates.
Businesses can stay on top of any mistakes or asset corruptions before, during, and after editing. As such, version control on cloud-based digital asset storage is conducive to smooth workflows no matter how convoluted storage becomes.
5. Upgrade your marketing strategies and plan for the long-term.
Investing in a PIM with asset management capabilities helps with critical marketing decisions. Like any other content, visual content needs a strategy. For the most part, businesses underestimate the value of planning content. Many are happy with just getting out the basic requirements for product photography and putting things together for other visuals as needed (i.e. spec sheets or infographics).
However, to truly have a scalable process, there comes a time when a good marketing strategy is essential.
Ecommerce product content is not enough without strong storytelling. If you think about it, a product page is not just a showcase for a product. It’s a short story that promises customers a resolution – the ultimate value that the product will have in their lives. It sounds dramatic, but the impact of storytelling marketing tactics is surprisingly strong. People remember details better if it’s involved in a narrative, allowing them to tie a brand with positive emotions.
And since it’s no novel, a good short story needs a strong balance of visual elements. It requires strategic visuals alongside product descriptions and text. Marketing and design teams must truly think out and systematically devise a plan for portraying products through various digital assets.
When organizing visual content with the help of PIM asset management, it makes seeing the whole picture much clearer. Seeing first what you’ve got to work with is the first step for any strategy. Marketing needs to take into account all potential resources, which is challenging when files are mismanaged across systems.
When organizing on DAM, it’s easier to see the whole picture and find new ways of reusing content.
6. Vary your visual content assortment and reuse digital assets with ease.
One key part of scaling visual content is the ability to recycle it. Reusing and repurposing an asset many times over is one of the most optimal ways of marketing. The better you can manage how you repurpose your images, the more of a brand powerhouse you can become.
With PIM asset management, you can see what digital assets you have at your disposal and what you are lacking. Business assets stored in one place make room for more opportunities to try not visual content avenues.
Today, the potential for visually portraying products is endless. With videos that drive engaging customer behavior and conversion, you can hit a variety of angles: unboxing videos, instructional guides, informational content, videos based on blog post topics, customer testimonials, get-to-know-us videos. It’s possible to reuse various banners, logos, and photos within the videos.
Best of all, these various forms of visual content can be reused and reshared across as many platforms as you can think of. From brand websites to social media, blogs to paid ads.
7. Share files securely with PIM asset management.
One of the biggest caveats to using a PIM’s asset management is the ability to share digital assets. Usually, third-party tools are necessary for sharing and uploading digital assets. As a result, it can take a lot of time to finally get assets uploaded, formatted, and published to market. Furthermore, there’s always the risk of losing digital assets. As secure as a tool might be, the more bridges there are between points A and B, the more trust you’re putting in systems out of your control.
Most organizations have also used a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site as a bridge to share media files. Doing so allows for bulk digital asset sharing, which is a struggle on other platforms. While not strong in security, some FTP platforms might be good enough to ensure that losing data doesn’t make you a goner. However, this method comes with a slew of disadvantages, from difficulty in tracking data to limited authentication and encryption measures.
That is no longer the case with PIM’s digital asset management. Now, organizations can go directly from A to B. With the storage platform, all digital assets are ready for publishing directly onto the desired channel. It’s easier than ever to export across many platforms all at once. Since a channel may have its own requirements, a PIM asset management tool like Catsy draws upon the conventions of some of the most common platforms. Sharing many images and assets in bulk simultaneously is a time-saving feature.
Even more, businesses can publish digital assets onto product catalogs directly as well. There’s no need to download and format and populate a catalog document with images. The bottom line: PIM prepares digital assets for any project.
To ensure your visual content is up to the standards of the current online climate, it’s important to broaden your horizons. In other words, focus not just on how to store your digital assets sufficiently. Now, it’s necessary to make your asset actionable to best match your business ambitions.
When it comes to PIM asset management, the slew of advantages comes from being able to organize and manage a plethora of files and quality data without losing any, risking errors, or wasting time. Everything from product photos to brand images, videos, and PDFs, hi-resolution 360-spin images to logos; PIM asset management is a safe haven for all brand visual needs.
Digital assets are supposed to help drive business growth. If the way you manage your assets is not conducive for revenue, later on, it’s worth rethinking your strategy.
With Catsy PIM and DAM, your asset management requirements are better able to handle your potential to scale the business. Product launches are quicker, visual content is more effective, and there’s a major load lifted from the shoulders of your hardworking teams. Check out Catsy’s digital asset management features today, by signing up for a live demo or visiting the website at www.catsy.com/.