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Digital asset management (DAM) software automates the management of media assets, such as advertisements, product images, sales collateral, audio files, and video files. Digital asset management tools let users develop, organise, distribute, and manage digital asset access permissions across locations and business sectors.
The benefits of digital asset management software
- Faster image and document search: As most businesses use a variety of tools to work with their media assets—such as graphics editors, cloud storage tools, marketing solutions, and desktop files—it can be difficult to organise and find individual assets. Digital asset management system provides a repository for media assets and a portal for combined search. Digital asset management solutions let users add customisable tags to each asset, facilitating keyword search for even faster discovery.
- Easier management of licences and user agreements: Media assets are subject to a variety of licensing agreements, copyright restrictions, and user agreements. Managing compliance for each media asset can be overwhelming. Digital asset management system allows users to set expiration dates for media assets, helping businesses reduce instances of user agreement violations.
- Efficient content reuse strategies: Content reuse—which helps users improve content asset quality and ROI—is time-consuming. Content marketers need to search for assets across a variety of sources, find the best performing content to reuse, and ensure that the most recent version of each asset if available to content writers. Digital asset management system offers multiple features to address these challenges, including version control, which provides marketers with the most recent version of an asset. Content analytics functionality helps users compare the performance of different assets and decide which is the best asset to use.
Typical features of digital asset management software
- Asset categorisation: Tag and organise assets into folders and subfolders. This feature also lets users define their file hierarchy.
- Asset control: Upload, download, or delete files. Users can also set expiration dates for assets based on licensing and user agreements.
- Asset library: Store and organise all assets, including images, videos, and other multimedia files.
- Asset sharing: Grant individuals or groups access to files within the system.
- Access controls/permissions: Define authorisation levels for access to specific files and folders. Access permissions include read, edit/write, or both.
- Metadata management: Manage and track file reference data, including tags, title, comments, creation date, and size.
- Search/filter: Search and filter items using names, keywords, descriptions, and tags.
Considerations when purchasing digital asset management software
- Integration with existing marketing platforms: To make the most of a digital asset management system, ensure it integrates with your business' ecosystem of other marketing tools (e.g. campaign management software, email marketing software, and marketing automation software). Integrated solutions let users directly import/export files from a digital asset management tool's asset library into their marketing software, saving the time and effort required by manual searching, downloading, and uploading.
- Data analytics: In the age of data-driven decisions, the breadth of analytics functionality has become one of the most important considerations when purchasing any software solution. This trend is also applicable to digital asset management software. There are a number of data analytics advantages related to digital asset management software, including reports on the number of content downloads and keyword searches. These reports help marketers understand asset demand trends and make informed decisions regarding the purchase and creation of new digital assets.
Relevant digital asset management software trends
- Machine learning will drive automation in digital asset management system: Adoption of machine learning by SMBs is growing faster than ever before. This technology is transforming all software markets, and digital asset management software is no exception. Machine learning algorithms help businesses automate metadata management processes by identifying tags based on image attributes, such as colour and objects. This increases the number of relevant search results and reduces the need for searches using multiple keyword variations.
- Data security and content ownership needs will fuel the adoption of blockchain in digital asset management software: The increasing number of cyberattacks is driving demand for stricter data security protocols. This is also pushing SMB software vendors to adopt the latest IT security technologies, previously only available at the enterprise level. Blockchain is one such example; it not only secures digital asset management system, but also provides proof of document ownership. For example, smart contracts powered by blockchain can ensure that image ownership/use rights are transferred from photographers or media companies to the purchaser.