Welcome has been acquired by Optimizely, the leader in Digital Experience Platforms.

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Asset Management

by
reading time: 11 mins
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Oh, the wonderful and mystifying world of content and file management. 

Long before they were relegated to a ubiquitous “save” symbol, floppy disks were our only source of digital media storage. 

Then came CD-ROM, followed by physical hard drives.

USB storage devices and external hard drives? What are those?

Now, teams are tasked with producing, managing, and maintaining thousands of pieces of digital media (every year), and they need modern-day solutions to help them get the job done.

That’s where digital asset management comes in.

Digital asset management (DAM) is a new solution that helps teams store, share, and organize content in a centralized location.

You no longer need to Slack your designer for creative files or send your writer an email to let them know when their draft is due—with DAM, you can get it all done from a single integrated system.

It’s the 21st century. If your marketing teams are operating without a digital asset management system, please read this page from top to bottom—it’s going to change the way you and your teams work (for the better).

What Is Digital Asset Management?

Digital asset management refers to software that makes it easy for businesses to compile, organize, filter, find, and use digital media and content.

DAM also applies to any solution an individual or company uses to store its content, even if it’s purpose-built for that intent or not.

These file types could be creative assets, planning documents, articles, marketing materials, SEO-targeted pieces, email campaigns, onboarding information—really any digital asset. 

However, not all DAM software performs equally. Basic systems allow you to organize your content in folders, while others enable search and tagging to help you locate the right piece of content. Yet, this is just the beginning when it comes to DAM functionality.

Advanced digital asset management systems empower collaboration with workflows, automation, templates, APIS, version control, real-time edits, and support for various file formats. They make it simple to maintain a single source of truth while pushing marketing campaigns out the door at lightning speed and scale.

Beyond just creating a place to store your media files, these top-of-the-line DAM solutions promote project management efficiency and brand consistency from concept to completion. Modern-day marketers need DAM software to stay on top of their brand assets, content creation pipeline, and aggressive business expectations. 

Why Digital Asset Management Matters

Not having a DAM system means your staffers are wasting time, and therefore, not being as productive. That cuts directly into the bottom line.

Creative teams know the pain of getting bombarded with requests from martech, marketing, sales, product, and other teams every time they need a company logo or a tweak to an existing image. Just think of how much time can be saved without the incessant back and forth?

DAM software creates efficiencies and puts an end to the grunt work that weighs down busy teams. And, when your digital assets are easily accessible within other content management systems, marketing teams can have a much improved user experience.

Many companies are making major investments in DAM systems for that very reason. In fact, according to a study by Markets and Markets, the global digital asset management market is expected to be worth $6 billion by 2025.

Digital asset management systems not only help with the functionality of your asset library, but they can also allow you to automate processes to accommodate each project’s specific approval and publishing steps.

Advantages of Digital Asset Management Software

Save Time

Time is money. Every minute you save is valuable to your bottom line.

Digital asset management provides your teams with automation and workflows to help you get projects across the line faster while still maintaining top-notch quality. 

Replace your back-and-forth Slack conversations and email threads with a single source of truth where you can collaborate in real-time. Create, publish, and distribute content and marketing assets at scale with a centralized hub.

Stretch Your Budget

Stop wasting time and money re-creating media assets and duplicating work. A digital asset management system helps you do more with less.

It’ll give you a platform to consolidate your budget and content marketing plans. See exactly where you’re allocating your dollars and what you need to adjust to ensure projects get completed in full and on time.

Notice an important project falling behind? Borrow from a low-priority campaign to ensure it stays on track.

Protect Your Brand

Brand management is not a one-and-done part of your business. 

You have to work hard to ensure the messaging, voice, colors, logos, icons, taglines, and assets stay consistent with your brand guidelines.

Welcome’s digital asset management system gives you complete control of your brand with version control, compliance workflows, and usage history. Ensure the right content gets shipped and old branding stays locked away for historical and inspirational purposes. 

Make Digital Content Accessible

Content’s value comes in large part from its accessibility. Unlike a physical book or a piece of paper, your digital content can (and should) be shared and used by anyone who needs access (anytime, anywhere).

A DAM platform lets you organize content, tag relevant users, and share assets to get the right content in front of the right people. Don’t worry, you can still enable permissions to help you control how content gets used. However, now your designers and project managers can get out of the file-sharing weeds and back to work.

Explore New Possibilities

With more time and budget, you’ll be empowered to test new use cases and see what works. You won’t be fighting a weekly or monthly battle of getting items across the finish line—you’ll be completing projects with a newfound efficiency that breathes life into your teams and business processes.

How Do DAM Systems Work?

Digital asset management systems like the one offered by Welcome work like a digital age Dewey Decimal system on steroids.

It not only helps users locate the digital assets they need, but it aids in the entire media asset creation process.

From start to finish, teams can collaborate and publish assets in various file formats, share marketing materials with key stakeholders, and stay within brand guidelines.

Using a workflow integration with campaigns and tasks, teams have the ability to access assets more quickly as well as repurpose existing files as needed.

Welcome’s Integrated DAM System

A content marketing team is tasked to create an article for its website. The brand editor sets up the task in Welcome’s content marketing platform, assigning steps to a writer, editors, designers, reviewers, and others.

During the article creation process, writers, editors and/or designers may be responsible for choosing images and other digital media to enhance the content, and they can do so without leaving the Welcome platform. They just have to enter the DAM system.

They can browse through pre-loaded and pre-approved images and marketing assets, or search by keyword and apply filters to find ones that fit the article. If it’s not quite right, they can open up the DAM image editor and make adjustments, without having to leave the platform to use Adobe Photoshop. They can crop, resize, change the resolution, add text or stickers, and more. Designers can also create new images and upload them to the DAM library.

The DAM system will keep a log of each asset’s lifecycle including who used it, when/where it was used or shared, and if it was edited. Users who have the proper permissions and version controls can also leave notes and annotations for other team members, and link back to the specific tasks that the asset is associated with.

Welcome’s digital asset management system also lets you create folders so you can bundle and package up digital content in ways that improve the user experience for your brand management and creative teams. For instance, you can keep the company leaders’ headshots all in one place, or you can store a collection of social media headers or e-commerce product photos.

Choosing a DAM System

After reading through the benefits of a DAM platform, the next step is to select one that can help improve team workflows. When choosing a digital asset management partner, there are some important attributes to look for:

Reputation and marketing expertise. Going with a company that has a strong track record of marketing industry leadership is important because that means they have a keen understanding of marketer’s needs and pain points. When considering a DAM platform, ask about other clients that are using it and read reviews.

Strong customer service. When considering digital asset management platforms, you should feel comfortable with the level of support that’s offered. In addition to a transparent customer experience, a platform should offer onboarding training and support as needed. There should also be robust online resources to help with troubleshooting. For instance, Welcome has a comprehensive KnowledgeBase that walks users through the most common features of its software, including the DAM system.

Intuitive functionality. You don’t want to choose a DAM platform that has a very steep learning curve because poor user experience can limit adoption. The whole point is to simplify and streamline your workflows, while gaining full visibility into the lifecycle of your marketing assets. Be sure to request a demo to see exactly how the DAM software works, and feel comfortable that your team members will be able to get up to speed quickly.

Easy integration. Marketing automation and content creation platforms should not be separated from digital asset management. Ideally, you want all of your tools to work together and speak the same language.

Features to Look for in a Digital Asset Management Platform

Before you invest in DAM software, you need to decide on the features that your marketing team wants and needs.

That’s easy! All the features! Your team wants all of them! Like children on Christmas morning, they’re looking for all the best toys!

Welcome offers all the best features that every marketing team needs to excel and create marketing campaigns that get noticed.

Below are a few of the goodies we offer that your team must have:

Marketing Calendar

Life is hectic and managing a marketing team makes it even more so.

A marketing calendar helps you see the bigger picture of when campaigns launch as well as the steps you need to take to be ready. Of course, you want all the goodies, so our calendars do more than just show you a weekly or monthly view. Here’s a look at the calendars you can utilize. 

Annual Campaign Calendar

Updating in real-time, this calendar allows you to see all the planned and in-progress marketing campaigns in a single location. You enjoy timeline and Gantt views along with filtering options for weekly, quarterly, as well as yearly. 

Team Calendars

To encourage collaboration, team calendars allow all marketers to view content projects in progress. It’s easy to drag-and-drop projects to make adjustments to the timeline as well as encourage agile planning. 

Task and Campaign Drilldowns

Don’t want to interrupt your marketing geniuses at work? This feature allows you to look at a detailed view of each campaign and task, to find out who is working on what and their progress. It provides you the functionality you need in a DAM system.

Advanced Filtering and Visualization

You want to focus on what matters most and filtering is essential as is visualizing the project. The filter options include:

  • Target audience

  • Geography

  • Customizable metadata 

  • Channel

Digital Asset Management

Your team needs access to all available photographs, videos, audio files, as well as any other media assets at a moment’s notice to pull off their marketing campaigns. Your team shouldn’t be playing scavenger hunt to find digital content of various file types that already exist. You need DAM solutions. This includes:

Global Asset Governance

All digital assets need to align with your branding. With this digital asset management system, you approve all assets to ensure brand consistency across the campaigns. It also helps to streamline the process of choosing brand assets for e-commerce and other applications. 

Library

Store all your approved brand assets in one location for your team to utilize with this content management system. The software allows for intuitive searching as well as the creation of folders. Using brand folders, you can also create your own digital asset management solution. 

Asset Management

This software makes it a snap to monitor when and where the brand assets are being used while exercising version control. You want to get the most out of your marketing content without saturating the campaigns with only one or two Adobe images or videos when you have so much available. 

Planning and Budgeting

Marketing campaigns are a profit booster for your company, but you need to stay within budget to maximize the pricing structure. It requires planning. This software can lend a hand. Here’s how:

  • Shared calendars: A unified calendar helps you visualize all the marketing campaigns both current and future. 

  • Campaign workspaces: When multiple creative teams work on a single project, this space helps to drive the workflow as well as keep everyone on task and on schedule. 

  • Budget management: See how much of your budget each campaign consumes and determine how much you can allocate to new endeavors. 

  • Capacity planning: Do you have one employee covered up in work while another struggles to fill their time? Capacity planning can help you balance your resources and ensure everyone is reaching their potential.

Planning and budgeting are necessary parts of managing a marketing team. 

Performance and Efficiency Analytics

You know that your marketing team is filled with superstars, and your large organization wouldn’t be the same without your campaigns. However, sometimes, you need to see it with your own eyes. You can also use the feature as a tool to make better decisions for future marketing activities based on the customer experience. This feature can help you do that. 

ROI Analytics

You need to show sales growth across the entire sales funnel, and this feature allows you to do that. Display the lead generation as well as the pipeline growth attributed to each marketing campaign. The templates make it easy to understand.

Content Performance

Do your marketing campaigns appeal to the target audience? Visualize each step of a customer’s user experience to ensure marketing campaigns and product information remain effective. Use this measure to make adjustments as well as improve the buying process for clients. 

Campaign Analytics

Make sure each campaign reaches the benchmarks you set while remaining within the budget. Easily identify your high-performing activities, so you can help to drive sales across your customer base as well as improve customer experience. This DAM platform configurable feature can help you judge client engagement and develop future plans. 

Project Management

Some days, you feel like you work in the circus, and you’re the head juggler. With so many balls in the air, you struggle to ensure that each team and team member is on track to complete work or ready to pivot as the expectations change. Project management is one of our features that can help you feel confident about your workflow and ability to meet deadlines. Options include:

  • Campaign dashboard: Quickly and easily see all the components of a large marketing event. From this menu, you can drill down to see individual tasks, budgets, as well as planned events. 

  • Shared campaign workspace: Most projects require input from several teams, each bringing their own flair to the project. This space encourages collaboration to create the best final product available. 

  • Workload management: Do you feel like you’re herding cats? This feature makes it easier to follow the workflow to ensure each member of the team is on task and on time. You can assign work and pivot as needed. 

  • SLA reporting: Service Level Agreements almost always arrive with incoming work. You need SLA reporting to check responses as well as resolutions along with defining ways to improve in the future. 

Project management can help ensure your circus is functioning with all clowns and tigers jumping through hoops. 

Workflow and Intakes

You need a way to make sure that new work assignments don’t end up buried in an inbox. With the workflow and intake features, your team can standardize the workflow into an intuitive process. 

Marketing Request and Intake Forms

With standard request and intake forms, your projects are better defined, and you receive clear expectations. You can also set the software up to automate assignments based on the forms and to use existing marketing materials as well as marketing assets. This ensures that there aren’t projects lost in the workflow. 

Enterprise Marketing Workflows

Your team doesn’t do just one thing well. They’re superstars who can handle any task. The workflow feature allows for automation to monitor as well as maximize your efforts from day one to launch day and the entire lifecycle. 

Integrations

You need your digital media assets in one location whether it’s a Microsoft file or something from your Google Drive or Dropbox. Your creative files also need to be able to easily integrate with your other software. You can view this DAM software as a media valet. 

You want your stakeholders to experience rich media files that meet your brand guidelines. This integration helps you with brand management, repurpose existing creative media, as well as keep your essential files on-premise. You can explore use cases and a variety of file formats.

By integrating with this DAM software, you can maximize your IT investment and time to value ratio. This digital platform also offers many benefits to marketers. 

Editing and Final Approval

You need to control the digital content that your team uses to ensure its brand marketing material. With this digital asset management platform, you can easily control the edits and approvals. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Multiple-format content editors: Whether you’re using Adobe or Microsoft, this feature allows you to create the best brand assets and product content. You can handle all of your digital creation and editing on-premises. 

  • Enterprise user management: Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, which means you need to carefully guard access to permissions on your DAM software. With the user management feature, you control who can delete, alter, as well as publish brand content. 

When you’re ready to treat your team of marketers to all the goodies they want and need, Welcome has the digital asset management software to give them.

Get Started With Digital Asset Management

Ready to change the way you manage your digital assets? Get started with DAM software.

Create an account with Welcome and see what digital asset management is supposed to look like. Your account is free forever—no credit card required. And it’ll take you less than a minute to get up and running.

Sign up today to see first-hand how simple and downright powerful your digital asset management system can be.

Done reading and ready to try Welcome?

Welcome’s marketing orchestration software is free for up to 5 users, so grab 4 of your closest marketing buds and see what we’re all about.