Top Digital Asset Management Companies

Digital marketing is the best way to promote your business and acquire new customers. However, to launch a successful campaign, you need a variety of content, including social media posts, video clips, infographics, photos, and much more. Even a single campaign can utilize dozens of assets, meaning it's imperative to keep everything neat and organized.

That's where digital asset management comes in. But you must ensure your brand gets the right management system so you and everyone within the organization can access content pieces quickly and easily. So, let's take a closer look at digital asset management and compare the top providers.

Digital Asset Management Defined

Digital asset management (DAM) is a system of organizing digital assets in a centralized server. This way, users from different departments or even outside the company (i.e. a marketing agency) can access these pieces quickly and easily. Most digital asset management tools offer a search function, although content is often organized by file and content type (i.e. image files or content related to a specific product line).

Digital Assets Defined

Any digital content piece is considered a digital asset. Examples of digital assets can include everything from photos, videos, infographics, webinars, e-books, PDF documents, white papers, and much more. Even digitized versions of physical assets (i.e. a photograph) will fall under this umbrella.

Benefits of Using a Digital Asset Manager (DAM)

Investing in the best digital asset management tools can provide multiple advantages for your company, particularly as you grow your content library. Some of the best reasons to set up a DAM include:

  • Centralized Asset Library - Regardless of the department or position of the person within the company, authorized users can access the DAM. So, whether a salesperson needs a slide deck or a marketing employee needs somewhere to store new product photos, all assets are stored on the same server. By allowing access to one centralized service, it's much easier for departments to collaborate on specific projects.

  • Tag-Based Search - Digital asset management software allows you to tag individual content pieces with specific keywords. This way, rather than scouring through folders and file lists, users can simply type the keyword they want and get the asset they need. Best of all, any content type can be tagged, so a user can access photos, videos, manuals, and more for a single keyword.

  • Automatic Updating - One of the main hassles of updating your digital asset library is putting new content into your brand's existing online framework. For example, if you take new product photos, you have to swap out the old images on the product's page. With a DAM, however, you can simply change the photos in the manager, and they'll update automatically across your entire network. Not only does this save a lot of time, but it ensures everything is consistent and up-to-date.

  • User Portals - Not everyone has to access all digital asset files, especially content pieces unrelated to their department or project. Fortunately, a DAM allows you to create user portals that limit access to a specific subset of files. This is useful for sharing the library with third-party providers like marketing agencies, and it can streamline the collaboration process. The DAM supervisor can control permissions and add or drop users as necessary, which is also useful if you have sensitive data in your content library.

Who Owns the DAM?

Although the company owns the DAM software, it's usually the marketing department that oversees the asset library. This way, the department can verify that all assets are brand-approved and up-to-date. It's also up to the marketing department to share access with other people within the company, such as salespeople, executives, or anyone else who might need to use a digital asset.

An Overview of the Digital Asset Manager

While digital asset management software is hugely beneficial and easy to use, it still requires oversight from a digital asset manager. What does a digital asset manager do? They are in charge of overseeing the DAM and ensuring it's accurate and up-to-date. The manager may also be responsible for developing keywords and file naming conventions for each digital asset. This way, everyone is using the same classification system to ensure accurate search results.

This role often exists within the marketing department, but a digital asset manager may have other duties beyond overseeing the DAM system. The manager will also likely approve any new content uploaded to the DAM or any changes to existing content. Finally, the digital asset manager is responsible for managing user permissions.

DAM Competitive Landscape: Top DAM Companies

What is a digital asset management company? It's a DAM provider that offers a centralized server for your digital assets. Typically, these companies are SaaS-based, so you don't receive physical infrastructure, only access to a remote server. That said, what are the digital asset management companies? There are four primary options:

  • Adobe

  • Canto

  • Bynder

  • Brandfolder

While each of these companies provides digital asset management solutions, each solution often limits what you can do with those assets beyond storing and updating them. Also, it can take a long time to implement a DAM system, so the costs can be a lot higher than you might expect. For example, while Adobe digital asset management is well-known, it's one of the most expensive and time-consuming solutions. Even if your marketing team uses the Adobe Creative Suite, it may not be ideal to use the brand for asset management.

Instead, Lumavate is an all-in-one solution that offers more functionality beyond a DAM system. Here's a breakdown of the digital asset management tools list you get with Lumavate:

  • Product Information Management - If you're selling dozens or hundreds of products, each listing needs specific information (i.e. pricing, color options, SKU, etc.). A PIM system allows you to store and update this data automatically across your network.

  • Digital Experience Provider - User engagement is crucial for building brand awareness and loyalty. Lumavate allows your company to leverage existing digital assets and create user experiences. Best of all, you don't need technical or programming knowledge to take advantage of our software. It only takes a few clicks to generate a memorable experience your audience will love.

  • Seamless Integration - Because Lumavate is an all-in-one tool, you don't have to invest in multiple programs or worry about silos within your organization. Collaboration and content creation is a breeze because you can handle everything from a single, easy-to-use dashboard.

FAQs About Digital Asset Management

Knowing the basics of a DAM system is only the beginning. Let's look at some digital asset management system examples to illustrate what is or isn't a DAM.

Is Google Drive a DAM?

While Google Drive is beneficial for companies and very easy to use, it's not a DAM. Yes, you can store files in a central location and share those files with other users, but it's missing a few critical elements like:

  • Tagging - You can't add searchable tags to content pieces, making it harder to search for individual assets.

  • Automatic Updating - Google Drive is just a storage option, so it's not synced with your website or landing pages. So, if you update a file in the drive, it won't update anywhere else, forcing you to do those updates manually across your network.

Is Dropbox a DAM?

Dropbox is another viable asset storage system, allowing you to create a centralized library. However, Dropbox doesn't work as one of our digital asset management examples because it doesn't offer tagging or automatic updating. It's a cloud-based external hard drive and nothing more.

Is OneDrive a DAM?

OneDrive is not a DAM because it doesn't come with the same functionality as a DAM, such as tagging or automatic updating. Also, a OneDrive account doesn't sync to digital experiences (including your website), so you can't update or add content to your network from the drive. Instead, your marketing department has to do all of that manually for each asset.

How to Choose a Digital Asset Management Company

By now, you should be asking yourself, "How do I start digital asset management?" Fortunately, there are multiple options, such as  Lumavate, so you don't have to search too long to find a solution. However, before committing to anything, here are some factors to compare when looking at the top digital asset management systems:

Why Do We Need a DAM?

Digital asset management software is designed to streamline your marketing and sales operations. However, if your teams are already collaborating effectively, it may not make sense to invest in a high-end solution.

That said, you need to consider whether that will change in the future. For example, you may not have very many company-owned digital assets right now, but your content library will likely grow over time.

What are examples of company-owned digital assets? That's anything proprietary to your business, which can include logos, mascots, graphics, and even photos. For example, if you download stock photos, those aren't "company-owned." However, if you set up a product photo shoot, those images are owned by your brand.

Overall, it's imperative to understand your current pain points, so you can identify where a DAM can alleviate those problems and offer a more streamlined solution.

How Many Assets Do We Have Currently?

Even if you're a new business, you likely have a sizable content library of images, graphics, and videos. Or, perhaps you're planning to expand your content creation to include new types of assets like infographics, webinars, or how-to videos.

You must also consider where those assets are being used. For example, you may have embedded videos or images on your website that might need to be updated in the future. Or, you may have dozens of product listings that will need new information and content ASAP.

So, you not only have to look at your current digital asset library but consider how you plan to grow it. If you have a lot of content planned, now is the time to invest in a DAM, so there are no issues with file storage later on. Also, if you're planning on developing new types of content (i.e. videos), you need a system that can accommodate larger file sizes with ease.

What Kind of Asset Integration Do We Need?

Creating digital assets is only the beginning. Next, you have to determine where and how you'll use those assets to promote your brand. Currently, you may be limiting yourself because you don't have the means of integrating assets across platforms. For example, you may have a video clip that lives on YouTube and your website, but you don't post it anywhere else.

If that video is related to a product or a specific promotion, you want to be able to incorporate it into product listing pages and other social media campaigns. So, you'll need a digital asset management system that allows you to integrate with multiple platforms and pages as necessary.

Best of all, once you establish these connections, it's much easier to share content across your network in the future. Now, you have a system for creating and publishing content for maximum outreach and engagement. This way, you can leverage content marketing and bring in more customers to strengthen your bottom line.

Do We Need Additional Asset Management Tools?

While a DAM is useful, it's only one part of a larger equation. For example, if you sell hundreds of products online, you need an easy way to manage product details. While you could use a DAM for this purpose, it's better to utilize a product information management (PIM) system instead. A PIM only focuses on product data.

For the best results, you want a provider that offers both solutions. This way, content can be shared seamlessly from the DAM to the PIM so there are no silos or bottlenecks.

Cost of a DAM System

For many companies, the bottom line of any new investment is the price. Although a DAM system can pay for itself by reducing labor costs and saving time, some systems are much more expensive than others.

One of the most significant factors that can affect the cost is whether you want a cloud-based system or an onsite system. Typically, enterprise-level companies prefer onsite solutions so they have more control and better security protection. However, SMBs can take advantage of the cloud and save a lot of money instead.

On the low end, you can expect to pay a few hundred bucks per month for a DAM system. On the high end, these solutions can cost up to $250,000 annually.

Fortunately, Lumavate offers transparent pricing, so you know what to expect upfront. Also, because we're an all-in-one solution with product information management and digital experience integration, you don't have to invest in multiple programs or providers. We are about 75 percent more cost-effective than the competition, and we offer more tools for the same price.

If you're interested in discovering how digital asset management can transform your business, contact us today.

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