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Improving Your Digital Asset Management: 10 Qualities To Look For In A DAM Platform

October 6, 2021

When you launch a marketing campaign, you'll often create the campaign using your company's digital resources. These may include things like logos, photos, videos, documents, and more. 

Due to the importance of these assets, it's essential that the company manages them appropriately. Experts call this practice digital asset management (DAM), and it's a vital part of almost all business operations. Not only will it make operations like marketing and sales go more smoothly, but an excellent DAM platform can also boost productivity and collaboration in the workplace. 

But as beneficial as they may be, it's worth noting that these platforms tend to be quite expensive, with prices ranging from USD$350 to USD$250,000, depending on its specifications. 

For that reason, it's advisable to take your time selecting a platform or software. But before that, it might be best if you have a basic idea of what a digital asset management platform entails. 

What Is A Digital Asset Management Platform? 

A digital asset management platform is a system that allows you to store and organize digital assets in one place. If you don't know, digital assets pertain to any content you can find in the digital world. These may include photos, videos, infographics, documents, spreadsheets, and more. Note that the list is only bound to get longer due to the ever-increasing number of file formats. 

Of course, you have to remember that not all content can count as a digital asset. The moniker only applies to files that provide value to your company, its employees, or the users. 

So, while one may argue that a DAM platform is no different from a cloud storage solution, you can rest assured that it's not. One specializes in storing any file, while the other focuses on storing and managing digital assets. DAM platforms may also provide the following benefits: 

  • You can share and distribute digital assets among your employees more efficiently. 
  • Your employees can find a specific file faster through advanced search features. 
  • It's possible to insert metadata in each file to embed more information about the file, including its technical specifications, copyright data, origins, and more. 
  • You can select which of your employees can access specific files. 
  • Files stored in DAM platforms are typically more secure due to encryption. 
  • Content will always have a backup ready in case of data loss. 

After looking at these benefits, it should come as no surprise why many people are advising in favor of these platforms, including marketers and sales experts. However, as stated earlier, DAM software doesn't come free of charge. In fact, it's the opposite, especially considering their price range. On that note, here are ten qualities you must look for in a DAM platform. 

Explanation on digital asset management platform

1. The Interface Must Be Intuitive and Customizable 

Since you and your employees will spend a lot of time using the platform, you should make sure the interface is at least appealing. It's also ideal if the buttons are responsive and intuitive. But most importantly, since branding is always essential, it'd help if the interface is customizable. That way, you can adjust the theme, color palette, and font styles to better suit your brand. 

2. File Management Should Be Organized 

The main reason why you're using a DAM platform is to store and organize files. Naturally, you'd want a platform that does an excellent job at it. So, what does it exactly mean by being organized? 

For starters, the interface must allow you to sort files according to specific filters. For example, it should be possible to sort the digital assets by date modified, type, or name. There should also be options on how to display the files. Examples of display options include thumbnails and lists. 

3. Downloading Should Be Seamless 

Apart from storing and organizing files, you may have to download the digital assets now and then. For that reason, the downloading process of the DAM platform must also be seamless. 

More precisely, there should be several download options. You can either download files in bulk, or you can download each one individually. It'd also help if the platform allows you to set the directory of the downloaded digital assets, so you know where to look at every time. 

4. Files Must Be Easy to Share 

Sharing is yet another feature that you'll often find in DAM platforms. It's a vital feature since your employees will have to pass around all sorts of digital assets across the team. 

That's also why your DAM platform must have advanced sharing options. For example, there should be an option that allows your employees to share the assets in whatever way they want, be it via automatically-generated links or through direct email. You must also ensure that when transferring files, the assets would remain secure as if they're still inside the platform. 

5. Security Measures Must Be in Place 

One of the primary purposes of DAM software is to ensure that your digital assets are safe from prying eyes. While it's relatively easy to maintain the security of files within the platform, the moment they leave, whether it be due to downloading or sharing, they become highly vulnerable. That's why the DAM platform must have a feature called encryption. 

Encryption refers to the practice of locking a file so it can’t be read or modified without the necessary authority. If your DAM software has this feature, you can rest assured that even if a hacker gets their hand on the digital asset, it'll remain safe due to encryption. 

6. It Must Allow You to Assign Permissions Accordingly 

Specific DAM platforms have this feature where you can assign permission or access to a file to particular users. This quality can come in handy since you can ensure that only people who require the specific file can access it. Suppose you have a file that contains the banking details of your employees. Rather than allowing anyone to access that file, you can instead limit access to the financing team members. By doing so, you can reduce the possibility of data leakage. 

7. Metadata and Similar Information is Available 

You may also find DAM platforms that make use of what experts call metadata. Just so you're aware, metadata refers to a set of data that provides more information about a file. 

For example, when you look at a file, you'd typically only see its file type, date created, date modified, and file name. However, when you go to its properties, you'll find all sorts of other info, such as its technical specifications, file size, attributes, and in the case of graphics, you can even see their exact dimensions. These pieces of information would make it easier to find specific files, so a DAM platform should have a metadata tagging feature or quality. 

8. Integrable to Other Software 

Every business uses different types of platforms. Examples of such platforms include customer-relationship management (CRM) software and payroll system. If you're working with all sorts of software, you should know how beneficial it'll be to your company if you can integrate each of them with one another. Unfortunately, not all platforms are capable of integrating with other software. So, when looking for a DAM platform, you must look for one that's integrable. 

9. Version History is Accessible and Controllable 

Version history and control is a feature that's rarely touched upon by experts when discussing DAM platforms. For your reference, version history allows you to see the previous versions of a specific file. For example, if you first created your company logo in 2020 and its appearance has changed six times ever since, you should be able to see all these seven versions in history. 

On the other hand, version control allows you to revert the file to one of its versions. So, say you prefer the fourth version of your logo; you can revert it to that version with this feature. 

There are several ways to make use of the version history and control, especially when it comes to your digital assets, so it'd certainly help a lot if this feature is available on your DAM platform. 

10. Customer Support is Satisfactory 

Much like any other product, customer support is a must. After all, if this is your first time using a DAM platform, you most likely have several questions regarding its mechanics and usage. And in this situation, reliable customer support would come in handy. But of course, there's no way of knowing whether the platform's support service is top-notch apart from trying it yourself. Since that's the case, your best bet is to look at reviews from their past customers. 

These individuals should be able to provide you with insight into how well the company handles customer inquiries. Also, it'll help significantly if the company offers customer support 24/7. 

Closing Thoughts 

Digital asset management is essential for many business operations. Take marketing, for example. Whenever you launch a campaign, you often use your digital assets such as stock images, logos, infographics, and the likes as promotional materials. Similarly, when you engage in sales activities, you need to use documents when establishing a contract with a supplier. 

Since these digital assets are extremely valuable, it's only fitting that you treat them with the appropriate level of care, hence the reason for digital asset management platforms.

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