With the new year in full swing, many of us resolve to exercise more, eat healthier, and stay on top of things. This applies to our work lives as well. We’re planning ahead and putting processes in place to be more organized and efficient.
Part of staying organized at work means having an effective digital asset management (DAM) platform in place and implementing best practices, from defining folder names to all of your metadata. This way, an organization can: achieve more brand consistency; spend less time searching for files, and more time creating fresh content.
Create a Metadata Strategy
This strategy takes time, but it’s worth it. The strategy should clearly define what metadata to add, when to add it, and who should add it.
When defining what metadata to use, keep your users in mind. These are the people who will ultimately rely on metadata for searching.
A good starting place for determining what your users search on is to review past photos or art requests. If you do not have that information, get together a team of people, who regularly request files and brainstorm. For more on defining the strategy, check out the Metadata Strategy Worksheet on DAMSuccess.
Define Processes for Managing DAM
Assign someone to be responsible for adding files, updating the metadata schema, and managing user access. DAM solutions are always evolving. Plan to notify users of changes that impact them, such as folder structure updates.
Use Intuitive Folder Names
Most users will look for files by searching. Make sure your folder names are meaningful to all users and try not to use acronyms or business jargon. For example, if you refer to your Social Media Team as SMT, only your SMT team and possibly a few other teams within your organization will search for that term. Plus, you’ll have to train new employees on all of the acronyms.
A general rule of thumb is to use intuitive, universal, folder names. After all, a primary benefit of DAM is you can make files available across teams inside and outside of your organization.
Design and Deploy a Training Plan
In order to gain user adoption, create a training program to go over the basics and familiarize employees with DAM. Divide your training sessions between those who contribute content and those who consume content. For those contributing content, you will need to make sure they have a solid understanding of where to put new files and what metadata to add.
For your consumers, the focus should be on locating files through search and special distribution tools. For example, many DAM solutions have integrations with social publishing channels like Facebook. Make sure your consumers are aware of these tools and know how to use them.
Don’t Duplicate Assets
Just don’t do it. Duplicating assets, or files, is the fastest way to eat up storage space. More importantly, duplicating assets leads to brand inconsistencies. Approved brand assets change and if you upload the same asset into multiple folders, how will you remember to go back and update that logo in all of those folders?
The process of duplicating assets does not scale in the long run. It causes teams to waste even more time managing those duplicates.
Schedule Time to Monitor and Maintain
To make sure employees derive value from DAM, keep an eye on the number of user logins and downloads. If these numbers decrease over time, you’ll need to determine why. Do you need to define your naming conventions and metadata? Do you need to train teams? Lack of metadata leads to ineffective searches and usage decline, so make sure those responsible for adding metadata, do it.
Just like you’ve committed to your New Year’s resolutions, make organizing your files and folders a priority this year.
Do you have DAM resolutions this year? Feel free to share your resolutions in the comment section below.