Skip to main content

UN-DAM IT: A Guide to Cleaning Up Your Brand’s Digital Files Once and for All

Explore these best practices from various brands and digital asset management pros to establish sustainable DAM workflows.

We all know that feeling: that sudden wave of overwhelm when you realize just how messy your digital life in the cloud really is.

Spring might be the time people typically clean out their closets, but most digital asset management (DAM) experts, including our consultant friends at Stacks, suggest auditing and clearing out digital content libraries every 3 months, or seasonally.

“Think about keeping your home tidy and clean—you may stay on top of the day-to-day chores, but every once in a while you need to vacuum behind the sofa, flip the mattress, and clean out the closets. The same is true for your DAM systems. You need workflows for the day-to-day, ensuring assets get cleaned up as they enter the library, and regular deep cleans to catch what slips through the cracks or becomes out of date.”

— Ben Owen, Stacks Sales and Marketing Manager

After helping countless brands we all love—like the Baltimore Ravens, KIND Snacks, and CoStar Group get and stay organized, the Stacks team’s best practices and advice come from the challenges they’ve successfully met by helping a variety of clients establish sustainable DAM workflows.

Why the quarterly frequency? Having too many duplicate assets, inactive users or collections and galleries, or simply lacking the documentation that explains who can see, access, and use the content can cause frustration for your end-users.

Empower your DAM manager to make a regimen to keep your organization’s content library organized and stop the mess before it starts. Use the tips from the Stacks team below to create a game plan for decluttering your organization’s DAM ASAP.

  1. Before your photos even get in your DAM, help your brand photographers choose the best photos to tag and share in real-time. For photographers who find it challenging to curate and share folders of their best images during a photo shoot or a live event, here are three tips for choosing your favorite captured moments faster and more efficiently. Plus, learn about the photo editing tools you can use to help you edit in real-time.
  2. If you have a giant backlog of assets or an archive that’s saturated with content, make the mess more manageable by tackling the task of cleaning it with a strategic plan. Whoever is in charge of managing your organization’s content library has a massive task on their hands. Luckily the Stacks team knows a few simple strategies for making a big pile of assets easier to sort and audit. Stare down the most intimidating, tedious task with a motivating plan to get you started!
  3. If your main DAM users are content creators, social media managers, or communications professionals who often use assets within custom content, you should consider specifically organizing your DAM to make searching and finding assets easier. Here’s how you can approach reorganizing your library to make image research simple.
  4. Draft and distribute a brand-specific keyword list to help everyone in your organization find exactly what they are looking for every time. Remember developing secret codes with your childhood best friends? That’s basically what creating an on-brand keyword list is. Analyzing the search terms used most often to find content within your DAM, and thinking logically about the context of your business (i.e. industry, target audiences, product or service type,) will help you establish a list of brand-specific keywords to tag and add metadata to assets. Learn why metadata in your DAM matters and review a few best practices for developing solid keyword lists.
  5. If you work with multiple creative contributors, applying new and/or improving file names should be a regular practice for your team. Similar to developing brand-specific keywords, developing file naming best practices for your brand, and sticking to them, will keep your assets organized and easily discoverable. There are also benefits to revising those rules every once in a while. Discover what file naming structure might work for your organization.
  6. Set SMAART goals so everyone knows their role and how their contributions to the DAM will impact the success of the platform. Getting a DAM is not only a financial investment, it’s also time-consuming, so setting goals as you set up your content library will help your team track the success of platform usage, asset usage, and whatever other metrics are important to your business.
  7. Unclear how to measure the success of your branded assets outside of a marketing, public relations, or advertising campaign? Using your DAM platform, you can start calculating the ROI of having a DAM for managing your content marketing assets and enabling an optimized creative production workflow. Here are 5 KPIs and data reports you can build to measure and analyze the benefits of having a DAM.

Beyond strengthening the efficacy of brand guidelines and helping your organization ensure branding consistency overall, a DAM acts as a secure, easily accessible, organized archive for your organization’s creative content.

Ready to transform your team’s creative workflow?