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How to Maximize Your Content Management Strategy with Digital Asset Management


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Your digital assets (photos, videos, audio, PDFs, web pages, presentations, and more) are needed and used by multiple departments and stakeholders—many beyond the marketing group at your institution. So, how can you connect the right people with the right content, in the right format on demand? DAM.

Originally presented by Corey Chimko, Digital Resources Coordinator at Cornell University and Sam Schnepf, DAM Consultant at Widen at Confab Central 2015, this presentation covers many of the key ingredients of an efficient DAM system, including:

-Best practices for metadata, search, and user governance.
-How to migrate existing assets from disparate locations to a centralized DAM system.
-The role and characteristics of a good DAM administrator.
-How to maintain your DAM system and keep your users engaged.

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How to Maximize Your Content Management Strategy with Digital Asset Management

  1. 1. How to maximize your content management strategy with Digital Asset Management MAY 21, 2015
  2. 2. Corey Chimko Digital Resources Coordinator Cornell University Today’s Speakers Sam Schnepf Customer Success Manager Widen
  3. 3. About Widen About Cornell University About Digital Asset Management (DAM) DAM Best practices (metadata, search, user governance) Migrating assets to a DAM system Characteristics of a good DAM administrator Maintaining a DAM system DAM Tips and Q & A Overview
  4. 4. A few things to know about Widen
  5. 5. We’re a marketing technology company that helps connect your content with everyone who needs it.
  6. 6. We serve hundreds of customers and hundreds of thousands of users in 179 countries around the world.
  7. 7. A few things to know about Cornell University
  8. 8. ● Founded in 1865 ● Private and Public ● 21,593 students ● 1,628 professors ● 526,484 digital assets in our DAM system ● 1,838 DAM system users
  9. 9. DAM Best Practices (metadata, search, user governance)
  10. 10. Metadata: the language of your DAM system
  11. 11. Things to ask yourself ● What do you need to consider when creating a metadata schema or naming convention? ● What types of metadata fields would your stakeholders like to see? ● Are there limitations on the number of metadata fields you can create? Metadata: the language of your DAM system
  12. 12. ● Use controlled metadata fields as much as possible ○ Keep it simple: use 6-15 metadata fields ○ Dedicate some fields for rights management/usage rights ○ Make appropriate fields required ● Use standardized pick lists for metadata entry ● Use a non-repeating asset naming convention ● Embed metadata prior to upload and/or enable metadata embedding upon export ● Implement and share your taxonomy with users Metadata best practices
  13. 13. Search: the way your users find assets
  14. 14. ● How will you tag assets to ensure users find the assets they need? ● How do your users prefer to search? (quick search, spotlight search, categories/faceted search) ● Will a controlled vocabulary help with the searchability of your assets? Things to ask yourself Search: the way your users find assets
  15. 15. Search best practices ● Categorize assets in your DAM system in a way that allows for the best searchability ● Avoid complexity when tagging your assets ○ Only apply metadata that’s common to all assets (e.g., date, photographer’s name) ● Avoid using unexplained acronyms when keywording ● Tag your assets when uploading them in the DAM system ○ The more tagging you do right from the start, the better
  16. 16. Governance: the control your users need
  17. 17. ● Should you provide access by business group/department or allow organization-wide access? ● Should there be any public access to your assets? If so, which ones should be visible and how? ● How do you make sure that certain people only access certain digital assets? Governance: the control your users need Things to ask yourself
  18. 18. Governance best practices ● Identify all user groups that will need access to your assets ● Work with an internal stakeholder group in advance to agree on permissioning assets organizationally ○ To consider what assets are proprietary, licensed or need to be regulated ○ To manage permissions for small groups vs. large groups and control what users have access to ● Look at the needs of all stakeholders to determine what different user roles will need to do with your assets (view, download, upload, edit)
  19. 19. Migrating assets to a DAM system
  20. 20. ● What are all of the places you currently store assets? ● Move vs. Purge: which assets are your most used or most important ones? ● Is there any existing metadata that can be extracted from or moved with your assets to the DAM system? Things to ask yourself
  21. 21. The makings of a good DAM administrator
  22. 22. ● Who is familiar with the inner workings of your organization, and can also champion the technology? ● Can you dedicate a full-time person to DAM administration? ● What is the scope of the administrator’s responsibility? (managing the DAM system, training users, system maintenance and adoption, etc) Things to ask yourself
  23. 23. Common threads unite good DAM admins
  24. 24. A wide variety of computer systems Output formats and compatibilities Software Keeping up with technology Finding workflow efficiencies Attention to detail and accuracy Visual memory EXCEPTIONAL... KNOWLEDGE OF... KEEN INTEREST IN... Document, photo, and video editing applications A lot of this: Organizational skills Writing/Editing skills Research skills
  25. 25. And a little OCD.
  26. 26. Mary Kouw Widen Customer, NYU Medical Center “I would adamantly advocate that you have a dedicated Digital Asset Manager because it is an actual separate job that takes a lot of time to be successful.”
  27. 27. Maintaining a DAM system for optimal engagement
  28. 28. ● How often should you audit your DAM system? ● What analytics can you look at to determine if your system is being utilized? ● How can you engage users to make the best use of your DAM system and assets? Things to ask yourself
  29. 29. System maintenance ● Arrange weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance tasks ○ Review user permissions for accuracy ○ Delete inactive users ○ Record statistics ○ Review naming conventions and organizational hierarchies (they change over time) ● Have an asset lifecycle policy and use it to guide the removal of old or irrelevant content ● Use advanced search to help you locate and fill in missing metadata ● Use analytics to analyze user habits and adjust system functionality accordingly
  30. 30. 1. All uploaded assets shall remain in the DAM system for a period of 5 years; 2. After the 5 year period, non-selected outtakes shall be removed from the system, though Cornell University Photography will retain access to the images offline. Selected images will remain in the system for another 5 years (total 10 years from date of shoot); 3. All assets 10 years or older shall be removed from the system on a yearly basis and transferred to the University Archives. Sample Asset Lifecycle Policy:
  31. 31. ● Keep system messages current and relevant ● Inform users of upgrades, new features, and changes to system functionality or organization ● Showcase relevant current content on the dashboard with spotlight searches and categories ● Make sure your DAM is featured and linked to on company websites, letterhead, business cards, etc. ● Offer periodic open-ended training sessions/webinars to solicit feedback and address user concerns User engagement
  32. 32. DAM Tips from Corey
  33. 33. DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. If you don’t get things set up right initially, it’s hard to go back and do it over Tip 1:
  34. 34. ASSIGN A DAM ADMIN EARLY IN THE PROCESS. Do this before you implement your DAM system, not after Tip 2:
  35. 35. LOVE THY METADATA. The easier it is for users to find assets, the more they’re going to use the DAM system Tip 3 :
  36. 36. KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF USER GOVERNANCE. Not everyone needs to be a user and very few users need access to everything Tip 4:
  37. 37. Q and A
  38. 38. Thanks! Contact Widen: Follow us: Cornell taxonomy/best practices page: