Finding the right image is rarely easy. Often what we’re looking for isn’t searchable – things like mood, color, style. You either get too many results, or not enough.
Sometimes it’s the way assets are organized and managed. And sometimes it’s simply because it’s difficult to remember the title or the location of an asset. The potential for error-ridden search is boundless.
All-too-often this results in a lot of time spent scrolling through page after page of thumbnails trying to find brilliance in piles of BS. Then, just when you finally find the right image, it turns out it’s the wrong image resolution or the usage rights have expired.
There’s a way out. It’s called metadata, and it can change your life.
Metadata sounds complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple and quite powerful. Metadata are keywords and information associated with each file to make it discoverable. It means you can search for assets using words that make sense. It adds context to files, so you can search for something specific like a feeling, color, number or date.
With metadata, asset search is much easier. You can instantly view all of the assets that meet your search requirements – and none of the ones that don’t.
But the value of metadata doesn’t stop there. It also allows you to add information like usage rights, expiration dates and image details like size or resolution – information that helps you and your team find what you’re looking for fast. For example, if a marketer at Elmer’s Glue needs an image of students in art class for a back-to-school campaign, key metadata allows the search to instantly return relevant images and exclude the ones that don’t work (like images of kids crafting at home).
Since metadata helps surface the right images and weed out the wrong ones, there’s less potential for assets to be lost in the abyss, and you’re less likely to spend time re-creating something that already exists.
Imagine a day when creative teams spend more time creating and less time searching. That day is here. With metadata, everyone saves time and accomplishes more.
At Webdam, we begin by creating a metadata model – a list of predefined categories of keywords to add to files that make them more searchable. Depending on your standardization requirements, this can be done piecemeal or in automated batch uploads. Check out our metadata model example by clicking the image below:
While creating a metadata model, ask yourself what specific search words will be used to find specific images and documents? Ask team members from different departments. They are representative of your users. If the model works for them, it’ll probably work out in the wild.
When it comes to adding metadata to your assets, it’s really up to you to determine which information to add. For images, common metadata fields also include photographer, copyright, byline, channel of use, license, language and contact.
If you are a WedDAM customer and new to metadata, here’s your guide to setting up metadata within your DAM. If you aren’t a customer but are interested in learning more, we’re here to help.