Understanding Digital Asset Management & Why You Need It

The majority of business owners understand the basics of marketing and what it means to their long-term success. They use a slew of complementary tools to ensure their efforts are on the right track. But just as you would manage a team by leveraging software like the Reed Group leave administration tool, manage your product with inventory software, or leverage social media with a scheduling platform like Buffer, you should do the same with the branding segment of your marketing efforts.

Many business owners don’t fully understand the concept of branding and how it relates to digital assets. Branding is important for businesses because it creates an overall image of your business. It gives your company a voice and persona, and evokes feelings in consumers. Together, these attributes combine to create a unique experience.

However, there’s much more to building a great brand than simply having a nice logo. Even small businesses have dozens of marketing materials, and a digital asset management platform is necessary to keep each of those materials in order. Here’s what you need to know about digital asset management and why you need it:

Digital Asset Management

What is a digital asset?

A digital asset is any type of media or text that is formatted into a digital file and includes the legal rights to use it. In modern times, even print and broadcast files are converted into binary sources that can be accessed online. Because of this, digital assets have become increasingly important, and major technology solutions providers have developed platforms to manage those Web-based repositories.

The everyday role of digital assets

As you know, digital media has become a big part of our experiences with brands. Each day, we consume large amounts of media—even when we don’t necessarily realize it. From photos to advertisements to videos and experiential marketing, we are bombarded by digital assets on a daily basis. Walk into a local coffee shop, and you’ll find several pieces of branding across space. And furthermore, the average person sees 5,000 ads per day. Essentially, there are hundreds of businesses vying for your attention simultaneously at any given moment.

Digital asset management

With Digital Asset Management platforms, businesses are better able to control the pile of assets that sit under their brand umbrella. This makes navigating digital media easier than ever, for everyone from growing startups to large enterprises. These comprehensive platforms come with a slew of benefits. First and foremost, they can sort and find their assets without much confusion.

For example, if your business wanted to launch a holiday marketing campaign, you would turn to your management system to locate and pull the resources you need. This might include logos or variations of your logo, postcards, holiday taglines, illustrations, or audiovisual content. To produce any product, you’ll first need to gather each of those smaller components and assemble them into a fully-formed finished product.

But it’s not just about the ability to find all your digital assets each time you need them. As your business grows, certain digital files will have restricted access and monitoring control. For instance, not everyone in the company should have access to a pitch deck built for investors, complete with detailed financial data and projections.

In this case, you’d restrict access to upper management. Even as a small business, this is something you need to keep in mind if you want to scale in the future. As you grow your database of digital assets, it can become increasingly difficult to organize and hold on your own servers.

With that in mind, you’ll also want powerful reporting and sharing tools. Many businesses will inevitably work with another company to achieve their goals. For example, you might hire a marketing agency to spearhead an influencer campaign.

Understanding metadata

Digital assets aren’t just about the core media file in questions, but the metadata that comes with it. Think of the metadata as a virtual caption for every piece of content you have. If you simply had a folder of images on your desktop, it would be very hard to determine what rights each photo had, what year it was created, what use case it goes towards, and other vital information that helps you create projects over time.

Essentially, this metadata describes how any digital asset might be described by using terms that are associated with it. This metadata helps determine how any particular asset will be displayed to users and provides your company with valuable insight into each file.

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