How Software Improves Creative Processes
While managing our website, I've got a question: how to spend less time on different minor actions. Such as digging into the pile of alike pictures, which is one of the most painful things for everyone managing content. So, I got interested in Digital Assets Management applications - the software solutions used to catalog, store and, sometimes, edit multimedia files.
What is DAM and when do you need it?
DAM or Digital Asset Manager software is a quite popular solution commonly used by a wide range of companies in many areas. They work as a real library collecting books, postcards, and magazines and providing controlled access, but with audio, video and visual files. This software provides many benefits such as easy categorization and safe sharing of multimedia used for production, marketing and other purposes. In this way, it's especially useful for big companies with huge banks of media file shares between numerous people.
So, companies may benefit from using the DAM software, which also can be divided into several categories
- Brand Asset Management for marketing and sales materials, such as logos, booklets, and other promo materials
- Library Asset Management to store and retrieve large sums of infrequently changing media assets
- Production Asset Management focused on the organization and revision control of frequently changing media
- Digital Supply Chain services used for distributing content to digital retailers.
But it's not a strict definition, so each DAM can be used for all these purposes with more or less success to improve your creative processes.
When is a Digital Assets Manager necessary?
Implementing DAM usage in the workflow is necessary when your company or creative team has more than 3-4 members and commonly generates multimedia content. For example, if you operate an online magazine or e-Commerce website, which requires lots of media assets to store, edit, utilize and, of course, stay protected. In this case, using a DAM is vital for you. In other cases, anyway, it's a good idea to manage all these things related to your branding, PR and so on from the one place.
As soon as you understand the necessity of using a DAM or just want to try, it would be better to go deeper into the subject. But we know, you have no time, so here comes a review of only one digital assets manager - Digizuite. The decision made for two reasons: Episerver and Sitecore. UKAD utilizes these platforms thus, in most cases, it's your choice.
At first, it's necessary to underline that Digizuite started as a Sitecore module which became unexpectedly awesome and grew to a substantive company. Yes, people who invented Sitecore decided to create a tool inside the system which may provide assets management with seamless integration and flawless user-experience for content managers. Thus, it's the first choice for your marketing and PR. But, actually, Digizuite is not only a DAM for Sitecore or Episerver, but also many more interesting solutions:
- Media Manager
- Integrations API
- Mobile app
- Microsoft Office Connector
- Adobe Creative Cloud Connector
Media Manager and Integrations API
Digizuite™ Media Manager is the most iconic Digizuite's product which fully embodies the idea of managing all assets in one place with a strict hierarchy and governance.
So, how does it work? At first, there are many tools for storage, management, and editing of digital assets that allow doing everything needed for successful operations within branded websites, or CRM, or any branding platform else. Then, Media Manager provides a possibility to arrange tasks, review, and approve or reject the results. In this way, it's a good point for marketing and creative teams who can do every routine operation within only one channel.
Digizuite also provides an API that allows using media management in your workflow with no limits, even if it's totally custom. The company promises flawless integrations, because all the products are built upon the API, and it seems to be trustworthy.
How to use: Just add it to the toolset and release your creativity!
If you're reading this article, you should be a part of the Mobile-First era. If not, it's enough to understand that the modern approach to any software product requires it to be comfortable on mobile devices. So, Digizuite meets this idea by having an application both for Android and iOS powered devices. Its functionality is similar to desktop DAM but with some unique mobile features, such as operations with a camera.
Digizuite™ Mobile offers all the features available in desktop DAMs, including cooperation tools, and some extras which really make it worth-to-install. Such as a possibility to download assets on the device that allows working with the next flow:
- Get a picture from the teammate
- Download it
- Brand it
- Push it to the social networks which don't upload photos via URL, eg. Instagram
Or simply present it to your customers, or contractors, or teammates, or anybody else never caring about unstable connection.
How to use: Download and enjoy blogging, SMM, and any type of cooperation from anywhere.
Digizuite™ Insights is one more awesome instrument by this producer for marketing and PR, which dramatically increases the quality of analytics. This tool provides lots of data about who, how, and when interacted with your assets. And the best point is what everything will be available right on your Power BI dashboard.
How to use: Provide your Business Analysis, Marketing, and PR with more data, evaluate creatives and prioritize their production.
Microsoft Office Connector
As soon as the number of companies and individuals using Microsoft Office is truly uncountable, it's quite a good point to use it with a DAM. Digizuite provides this possibility with a solution transforming a DAM into a kind of plugin to let the users insert media into documents from the storage without any additional interactions.
How to use: Enjoy seamless integration with Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint and create branded documents in a few clicks.
Adobe Creative Cloud Connector
And the last, but maybe the most wanted entry in this list: Adobe Creative Cloud Connector. Each designer at least once cursed all the folders of the hard drive or corporate DropBox searching for the right picture. This solution radically removes such problems implementing Digizuite features right inside Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
This connection allows searching and picking or linking the latest versions of assets, sharing documents with restrictions, as well as simply browsing the company's media banks through the Adobe applications for creators. These features dramatically save time and solve an issue with the outdated media that emerges from time to time in every creative team.
How to use: Build your creative workflow on the connection of Adobe products with powerful DAM.
So, what's the main benefit of using a DAM? It's the optimization of creative processes that saves time and increases quality. And evaluating different assets management tools, it's necessary to take into account the integrations and safety for two reasons. First, if your DAM requires additional steps to use any piece of media in CMS or a document, it has no killer features. Next, it's important to manage access to prevent unauthorized access to some media. For example, nobody wants to let interns edit expensive brand pictures. According to these criteria, Digizuite is, at least, worth trying. You may find it a good tool for your creative workflow!
- Microsoft Azure