Top 10 Strategies for Managing Digital Assets
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In today’s digital age, businesses of all sizes generate and accumulate vast amounts of digital assets. These assets, including images, videos, logos, and documents, are crucial for businesses to operate effectively. However, managing these digital assets can be overwhelming and time-consuming, which is why having an effective digital asset management strategy is crucial.
In this blog, we will discuss some essential strategies for managing digital assets effectively. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a larger organization, implementing these strategies can help you streamline your digital asset management processes and increase productivity.
Digital Asset Management is essential to the overall health and productivity of an organization. A survey report published in Elastic demonstrated that over 81% of American workers often have trouble finding necessary files to finish assigned tasks. They end up wasting significant amounts of time, which diverts valuable resources away from essential areas.
A study by CMOSurvey found that many businesses are switching to digital platforms and increasing their investments in digital marketing. This explains why enterprises are growing their creation of digital assets for use in brand promotion. Unfortunately, the large volumes of digital assets are causing many challenges.
Across the eCommerce space, many are grappling with this question: How do we ensure that our digital asset management practices are consistently effective?
Let’s answer this question.
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What is digital asset management?
Digital asset management simply refers to managing an organization’s digital assets. These assets include image files (including product images), videos, logos, documents, graphics, spreadsheets, animations, and other creative files.
Having a well-structured digital asset management system in place ensures that your employees can find, store, and share files with maximum efficiency. This means that no matter who needs access to a specific asset, they can quickly locate it, saving time and effort. A streamlined system like this can make a big difference in productivity and help your business run more smoothly.
Challenges in Managing Digital Assets
Managing digital assets can be a daunting task for eCommerce businesses. From displaying the best assets to dealing with the messiness of challenges, it can be difficult to do it properly. However, with the right methods and strategies, eCommerce businesses can make sure their digital assets are properly managed and displayed in the best possible way.
Here are the top challenges that businesses face today:
- Quality: Ensuring that all digital assets meet specific enhancements and quality standards can be challenging.
- Accessibility: Digital assets should be accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Efficiencies in ensuring this level of accessibility compliance are a huge challenge for many businesses.
- Globalization: Many E-commerce businesses operate in multiple regions, and digital assets must cater to different cultures and languages. Ensuring that all digital assets are localized and translated is not that straightforward.
- Copyright: Digital assets can be subject to copyright laws, and implementing compliance with all assets can be tricky.
Begin by Auditing Your Digital Assets
Crafting a winning strategy for your products can be the difference between success and failure. But how can you ensure that your strategies are successful? We’ll take a look at the basics and leverage our expertise to pinpoint standout strategies that can help you win the ‘war’. With the right strategies in place, you can avoid loss and ensure that your digital assets are managed efficiently.
The first step is to audit your current assets. This will help you comprehend the scope of your digital assets and even discover some that are never used. Many companies have vast assets unknown to the teams that require them, hence going unused.
Think about it for a moment. Why would your company spend resources acquiring assets and then let them sit there, never to be used? Could that forgotten product photo be why that product is still unsold? Are you ‘burying’ opportunities in your assets?
Furthermore, hidden digital assets are expensive for any e-commerce company. Recreating new assets when you already have them is a waste of time and money.
Create a Strategic Plan for Managing Digital Assets
Once you identify the digital assets that you have in your possession, the next step is to create a strategic plan for their management. The plan will also cover future assets.
The action plan should essentially be one that reflects what your company can afford to do. Some items might be urgent, others can wait, while others will be a work in progress. Combined, the individual components of your action plan will form your strategy.
The total action points will vary from company to company but overall, they need to fall under these umbrella categories, which should then inform your collective strategy. For each category, there are key impactful strategies you can implement immediately to see great results.
1. Get to know your competition and their strategies
While you might have high-quality products, a competitor with not-so-good products but with a clever strategy can beat you. Of course, digital asset management is more internal-facing than external, making it difficult to analyze your competition effectively. But it’s still possible to find out if there is any secret sauce the competitor (s) is capitalizing on to optimize their images better, distribute faster, etc. All these things can make a huge difference.
Employ these strategies to discover your competitor’s digital asset management tricks.
- Conduct competitor analysis: Identify your top competitors and visit their platforms to see how they manage their digital assets. Take note of how they are displayed, organized, and labeled.
- Hire a consultant: If you don’t have the time or resources to research your competitor’s strategies yourself, consider hiring a consultant who specializes in digital asset management.
Remember, it’s not just about copying your competitor’s strategies. It’s about not getting left behind. If your closest competitor rides on some special tricks for long and gets ahead, they’ll soon drive you out.
2. Organize using digital asset management solutions
Every good experience is a product of a high-level organization.
You need not overthink this, though. A dynamic DAM solution like Catsy DAM is all you need, and your struggles with the organization will instantly disappear. Users will quickly locate the exact file they need and ensure that they are using the correct version of that file. Digital Asset Management solutions also provide powerful features for tagging, searching, and categorizing assets, making it easier to find and reuse files across projects.
When choosing digital asset management solutions for your eCommerce company, it is important to consider the size and scope of the organization. An efficient digital asset management (DAM) solution should be able to access, store, and share digital assets within the organization. Furthermore, it should provide data protection, asset organization, and scalability to accommodate future growth. It also should be able to provide tools for efficient collaboration and workflow management, including version control, approval process, and access control. Last but not least, the DAM solution should be able to integrate with existing systems and platforms, such as web portals and content management systems. By selecting the right DAM solution for your organization, you will be able to streamline the management of digital assets and ensure that your business operations run smoothly.
Below are a few key strategies to help you organize better with a DAM solution:
Utilize consistent naming and metadata
When digital assets have consistent naming that accurately reflects their contents and purpose, it becomes much easier for users to locate the specific assets they need among a large collection of files.
For example, instead of naming images with generic filenames like “IMG_001,” use descriptive filenames that include information about the product, such as “Mens_Watch_BlackLeatherStrap_Front.jpg” or “Womens_GoldBracelet_WristShot.jp.”
The metadata can also include the date of asset creation, asset creator, author, or owner, file size, etc. These data points provide an easier way of searching for and retrieving your digital assets.
Besides simplifying retrieval, the capabilities of metadata can include administrative information, such as licensing. This can help users quickly identify the expiration dates, saving the business from getting into a lot of trouble where copyrights are concerned.
Provision of all assets from a single source
According to a report published by Martecube, only 34% of marketing and creative teams use a central system to store digital assets. Instead, most teams keep their assets in disparate sources, from cloud storage to local servers and local storage devices. This often leads to problems retrieving the assets or even completely losing track of them.
Try as much as possible to ensure that all assets are stored and retrieved from a single source. A single-source approach prevents your digital assets from being scattered across several silos.
For example, if an employee needs to use a company logo for presentations, they should retrieve the logo from the official central repository rather than using a version stored on their personal device. Similarly, if a partner requests marketing materials, the relevant department should retrieve them from the same central source, rather than sending them files from a random location.
3. Assign Team Roles
Managing digital assets is not a one-person job. You will need to assign different roles among your team members, including the appropriate privileges.
Some of the crucial roles you need to assign include
- A governance team to plan, execute, monitor, and help you grow your digital asset management system.
- Digital assets manager who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the company’s digital asset environment
- Digital assets creators.
Lastly, you need to train the teams. It will be very costly if your staff cannot use the assets or spend more time than necessary storing and retrieving them.
4. Develop seamless workflows
A workflow defines the sequence of steps that need to be completed in order to move a digital asset through the various stages of its lifecycle.
Deploy these strategies to help you create seamless workflows for managing your eCommerce company’s digital assets:
Define coherent workflows
Before creating workflows, it is important to define the stages of the workflow and the roles and responsibilities of each person involved. Start by mapping out the steps involved. Then, identify the individuals or teams responsible for each stage of the workflow.
A FormStack report showed that managers in most organizations spend up to 8 hours of their work weeks on manual tasks. This is a lot of wasted time, which can be easily recovered using automated workflows.
Automation will help speed up tasks and reduce the likelihood of errors or delays. Look for a DAM solution that offers automation features, such as automatic file uploads, version control, and approval.
Gamification involves adding game-like elements to non-game activities to make them more engaging and motivating. You can use gamification to encourage employees to follow the workflow and complete tasks on time.
For example, you could award points or badges for completing tasks or provide rewards for completing a task within a certain time frame.
Create a governance framework
This framework can help ensure that everyone follows the same guidelines and that the workflows are standardized across the organization.
The framework should include guidelines such as file naming conventions, metadata standards, and access control.
5. Implement a reliable security process
Imagine what could happen if attackers steal or delete important digital assets such as product images or marketing materials. All the work you did and the resources spent on creating those assets will go to the wind. Your company’s ability to sell products and generate revenue will be significantly hampered.
There is also the issue of intellectual property theft. Your product’s design and patterns, for example, are valuable intellectual property. If attackers steal or misuse these assets, it can result in significant financial loss and damage to your company’s competitiveness.
So, what strategies can you employ to secure your processes?
- Ensure that the DAM solution you choose has in-built severe security features such as version control and audit trails.
- Implement password policies that require strong passwords and regular password changes.
- Provide regular training to your employees on cybersecurity best practices, such as how to identify and avoid phishing scams and how to avoid accidental data leaks.
- Regularly back up your digital assets to help you recover quickly in the event of an attack or other data loss incident.
6. Employ effective distribution strategies
Distribution is such a huge element of managing digital assets. The distribution strategy can impact how quickly digital assets reach their intended audience and how effective they are in achieving their goals. A poor distribution strategy can result in wasted time and resources.
For example, if you are creating digital assets for an e-commerce website, you need to ensure that your assets are distributed efficiently to increase sales. If your distribution strategy is not optimized, you might not be able to showcase your products effectively, leading to lost sales.
Employ these strategies for effective distribution:
Consider integrating your digital repository with other platforms via APIs. This will automate the distribution and ensure that the digital assets are always up-to-date across all platforms.
Consider creating brand portals that allow partners, stakeholders, and employees to access digital assets in a secure and controlled environment.
A brand portal can be customized to fit the company’s branding, style, and messaging and can include all the necessary tools and resources for effectively managing the distribution of the assets.
Ensure your DAM system has enough formatting features
This is especially important if you sell products on several e-commerce platforms. In most cases, these platforms have different requirements.
Formatting assets to meet all the varying requirements ensures that your content looks and performs optimally on each platform, improving engagement and conversion rates.
7. Monitor your product's analytics
Analytics is important in the management of digital assets because it helps you track performance and gain insights into how your customers and stakeholders are using them. With this information, you will easily identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize.
Here are some top strategies you can deploy in your eCommerce company to guarantee actionable analytics.
Define your metrics
Before you start tracking your analytics, define the metrics that matter most to your business. For example, you may want to track metrics such as engagement, conversion rates, and revenue generated from thanks to digital assets. By defining your metrics upfront, you can focus your analytics efforts on the data that will have the most impact on your business goals.
Conduct A/B testing to compare the performance of different versions of your digital assets. This can help you identify which versions drive the best results and optimize your distribution strategy accordingly.
Use data visualization tools such as dashboards and charts to make the analytics data more accessible and actionable. This can help you to quickly identify trends and patterns and make fast decisions about the distribution strategy.
Use attribution modeling to understand the impact of your digital assets on customer behavior and revenue generation.
This can help you identify which assets are contributing the most to your bottom line and optimize the distribution strategy accordingly.
8. Make a more scalable business process
In the context of managing digital assets, scalability means being able to accommodate an increasing amount of digital data and users without negatively impacting system performance or user experience.
For example, you can implement automated metadata where your DAM software can automatically tag the assets with relevant metadata, such as keywords, categories, and descriptions. This makes it easier to search for and retrieve assets, even as the digital asset library grows.
Another strategy is to use technologies such as load balancers, auto-scaling groups, and distributed databases to ensure that your system can handle the demands of your growing digital asset library.
9. Conduct continuous audits of digital assets
Conduct regular audits of your digital assets to ensure they are up-to-date, accurate, and relevant. A digital asset audit should be conducted periodically to check for any changes in the asset, any new features that have been added, or any potential risks associated with the asset. This will ensure that the digital asset is up to-date and secure, as well as meeting all of the necessary regulatory requirements.
Additionally, the audit should provide an understanding of the current asset value and its potential performance in the future. By conducting regular digital asset audits, organizations can better manage their digital assets and ensure that they are providing the most value to customers and stakeholders.
The audit should include a review of security processes, access controls, and other measures being used to protect digital assets. It should also store and backup procedures and track changes to digital assets over time. If necessary, the audit should be performed by a third-party organization that is independent of the organization managing the digital assets, to ensure the audit is conducted objectively and any issues are identified and addressed. Finally, the results of the audit should be documented and shared with all stakeholders, to ensure the organization is taking the necessary steps to protect digital assets.
10. Explore new technology
Last but most critical of all strategies: The moment technology leaves you behind, you’re on your way out -that’s a fact!
All the strategies we have discussed here can always get better with new technology. Luckily, we live in a time when technology has become the cornerstone of business. There will always be some new technology rocking your industry. Take advantage of its functionality.
Examples of some of the latest technology you can incorporate into your digital management processes include artificial intelligence and machine learning. According to a PWC study, AI integrations can save up to 40% of the hours spent doing tasks manually.
In conclusion, managing digital assets can be a complex task, but with the right strategies, it doesn’t have to be. Whether using spreadsheets, cloud storage, or digital asset management software, having an accurate inventory, consistent naming conventions, and a centralized system for storing and accessing digital assets can save you time, effort, and money.
At Catsy, we provide a robust digital asset management system that can help businesses of all sizes manage their digital assets effectively. With our system, you can easily store, organize, and share digital assets across your entire organization. Contact us today to learn more about how our DAM system can help your business streamline its digital asset management processes and increase productivity.
If you’re having trouble finding the right digital files, have multiple versions of the same file scattered across different locations, or waste time recreating content that already exists, it’s a sign that you may need a digital asset management (DAM) system. Additionally, if you’re concerned about maintaining brand consistency, the security and accessibility of your digital assets, or the need to collaborate with team members or external partners, it may be time to invest in a digital asset management system.
Consider its usability and customization options to ensure it fits the unique needs of your organization. You should also prioritize features such as metadata management, version control, and user permissions to enable efficient organization, retrieval, and collaboration.
Most DAM strategies fail due to a lack of proper planning and stakeholder involvement and inadequate attention to user experience and training. Poor metadata management, insufficient scalability, and inadequate support and maintenance can also contribute to failure.
Implement password protection, encryption, regular backups, and access controls. It is also essential to regularly review and update security measures to stay current with evolving threats.
Common security risks in digital asset management infrastructure include unauthorized access, data breaches, and malware attacks. These risks can be mitigated by implementing strong password policies, using encryption, regularly updating software, and conducting regular security audits.