Does this sound familiar? You’re about to finish a project, you just need to add a final image to make it perfect. You have the ideal picture in mind too. So you start digging through your computer’s files trying to locate it.
10 minutes becomes an hour and an hour becomes two. You finally find the right image but you spent your whole afternoon searching for it and now you’re behind on your other projects. Sounds like you need a digital asset management (DAM) service! But which platform is right for you and your company?
In this article, we’ll explain what a DAM service is. Then we’ll list the six features any DAM platform worth investing in should have. Let’s get started!
What is Digital Asset Management?
A digital asset management (DAM) system is a centralized database that allows companies to better organize, locate, and share digital assets like photos, videos, logos, and more.
There are a bunch of different DAM providers on the market today. Some of them are free and offer limited feature sets. Providers like Dropbox and Google Drive fall into this category. Other platforms are designed for professional use and require a monthly fee to access.
For this post, we’ll focus on this second group of DAMs. If your company has a media library of thousands of assets, you’ll definitely appreciate the professional features a full-fledged DAM provides.
But not all DAMs are created equal. In the next section, we’ll show you how to select the right DAM service by ensuring it has six essential features.
The Top 6 DAM Features
Ready to invest in digital asset management? Make sure that the DAM service you choose has the following six features.
Since your DAM service will house your company’s most important brand assets, it’s important that it’s easily accessible. This is especially true for businesses that employ remote team members or have multiple offices.
One of the best ways to ensure your team has access to the files they need, when they need them, is to invest in a cloud-based DAM system. When your files are stored in the cloud, you’ll have complete control over your assets and will be able to access them on any internet ready device.
DAM systems can save teams up to 15 hours a week, in large part, because they allow users to organize files in intuitive ways and relocate them quickly. How many times has a quick file search turned into an all day affair? Too often, right?
Make sure that the DAM you use offers robust metadata and tagging options. That way you can organize assets in a way that works best for your business and quickly relocate them with your DAM’s search functionality.
Your brand files aren’t supposed to just sit inside your DAM service collecting dust. They’re supposed to be used and shared. The right DAM service will make it easy for your company to use the assets at its disposal through private download links and public-facing galleries (sometimes called brand portals.)
When attempting to send either large assets or multiple files at a time, email is inadequate. A private download link on the other hand is incredibly easy to send and gives recipients access to all the files they need in a secure fashion.
Public-facing galleries are media libraries that are open to and viewable by the general public. As the administrator of your DAM account, you can create galleries and fill them with specific assets. You can then share these galleries with anyone you’d like and they can request download access to the specific files they want.
As your DAM will be hosting your company’s entire media library, it’s absolutely crucial that it’s secure. Only invest in a system that uses the latest security best-practices and has a history of successfully protecting user assets.
In the same vein, a professional DAM service should give users complete control over who can access files. For example, let’s say that your customer success team needs to store videos and documents in your company’s DAM. But, for one reason or another, you don’t want them to have access to a few specific marketing pieces.
A DAM with powerful access controls will allow you to grant different people and groups different levels of access to every file stored in your system. Some people may only have viewing privileges, others will be able to upload and download files, and still others can be prevented from seeing certain files entirely.
The right DAM will give you complete control over your assets and who has access to them.
What about convenience? A DAM service should make all aspects of organizing, locating and distributing files less of a hassle. We’ve already talked about a few of these features but we also want to mention automatic file formatting.
Automatic file formatting is a feature that some DAMs have that, true to its name, automatically formats files for users. Meaning, if you upload a vector file of your company’s logo, your DAM should automatically convert it into a JPEG, PNG, etc. That way you always have the right file type when you need it without expending extra effort.
6. Ease of Use
And finally, the DAM service you choose will ideally be user friendly. A feature-packed service won’t do you much good if it takes a degree in rocket science to operate properly. If you’re unsure of how easy a specific service will be to use, read reviews and see what past and current users have to say.
Or better yet, take advantage of any free trial offer that your DAM of choice offers. This option will give you the absolute best opportunity to decide if a service is right for your company or not.
Invest in a DAM With the Features You Need
A DAM service will make it much easier to organize, locate, and distribute your company’s brand assets. But every platform offers different features and usability. The trick is choosing the right tool for your unique business.
And the best way to determine if a tool is right or not is to try it for yourself! The CleanPix DAM is highly intuitive, has all the features mentioned in this blog post, and offers a very straightforward pricing structure. Try it for FREE for 14 days and experience the time-saving, hassle-reducing power of CleanPix.– Jacob Thomas