Visual content, such as images and infographics, continues to rise in importance for content producers as we move farther into the 21st century. Keeping track of those visual assets through effective image management is the key to optimizing the visuals’ value to your content strategy.
Since as early as 2004 – perhaps earlier – studies have shown that 65% of the world’s population consists of people who learn best from visual content. What has changed, however, is that today’s technology allows marketers and content producers to find visual assets quickly in a central repository.
Having an easily searchable content calendar that incorporates asset storage is another important component to consider. But to keep track of all the versions you’ve used over the years, it pays to integrate your content operations platform with a digital asset management (DAM) system (ex: Canto – Divvy partner plug!).
Simplify Image Management with a Digital Asset Management Platform
With a single place to store the visual assets you’ve used in previous content, or intend to use in future content, your content creation and content management process gets a whole lot easier. Instead of spending hours hunting through folders to find that one infographic you need to drive your point home, you can locate it in mere seconds. A digital asset management (DAM) platform gives you that convenience in a single package.
That ability is especially critical for enterprise content operations and governance teams, who have a ton of content to search through, some dating back to the early days of digital content production. Let’s take a look at how to make image management work more efficiently for your teams with the help of a digital asset management system.
Organize Your Visual Assets
One of the challenges of working without a digital asset management platform is the difficulty in finding the right image to complement a new piece of content. With a DAM, however, you can organize each asset by category, best fit for keywords, metadata, and more.
Instead of wasting their time searching through piles of unorganized images, your teams can spend more time creating content. Then, when they need the perfect image to drive their point home, they can find one in mere minutes.
Reduce Spending on Digital Images
Without the organized storage a DAM offers, your teams are likely to search online for an image to suit their needs, even if you already have several images in your inventory that would work as well or better. For large enterprises, that cost can add up quickly – much more than what you’d spend on a DAM.
Even better, you can get more bang for your buck by reusing imagery from past campaigns. Unless an image is outdated, such as a time-specific graph, reusing them in future content makes better sense than buying (or creating) new visual content.
Repurpose Older Visual Content in Another Context
We’ve always advocated repurposing written content in different formats. The same goes for visual content. Get more mileage out of your visual assets by finding new ways to package them.
For example, slides from a PowerPoint presentation can find new life to illustrate key points in a blog post, ebook, or white paper. Stills from a video you created to show how easy it is to use your latest gadget can become illustrations in the item’s user manual.
Avoid Project Duplication
Your graphic design team works hard. But if they can’t find previous content that fits the assignment, they’re likely to waste their efforts working from scratch on the same (or a similar) project, as MediaValet’s Ryne Knudson points out.
Let’s say a previous designer spent hours in collaboration with your engineering team to create a detailed diagram of your best-selling furnace. If your current design team couldn’t find that diagram to include in a troubleshooting video, they might have to redo the entire effort. With a well-organized DAM, they can pull up the previous work in a New York minute.
Maintain More Brand Consistency Across Your Content
With the volume of content that major companies put out, maintaining consistency in visual branding can become a challenge, especially when teams outside the content sphere become involved in posting on social media and elsewhere.
With a robust digital asset management solution, you can store all your brand assets, such as logos, fonts, and packaging designs, in their latest approved versions. That way, you can empower all your teams to become brand advocates online without fear that they’ll use an outdated version of your official visuals.
Add Version Control to the Mix
Having a well-organized central repository for all your visual content gives your teams access to digital assets you’ve used in the past. But which of these assets are the latest approved versions?
Version control allows you to keep track of each change you make in a digital asset, including videos, images, and infographics, while preserving the original. Here are sample use cases for various types of media.
For example, you might want to make a video that gives prospects a complete picture of all the ways that your product makes their lives easier. While your original might have a narration track, you might want to edit that video down to a few captioned snippets with a musical track to use in a YouTube ad. Fairly easy to find, even with only a searchable content calendar.
But fast forward two years. You’ve used about 15 versions of that same video in your content. But now, you want to use portions of the original video in an updated version with a different narrator – since the original one went Hollywood and now charges five times as much as he used to.
So now, you still want to use some of the music you used in the second version. With DAM software, you can pull up both the original and the soundtrack version in seconds instead of hours of going through all 15 versions.
In a digital asset management system, versions aren’t stored only in temporal sequences. You can categorize and store them by use case and other notes as well.
For example, let’s say you’re the chief content officer at a major car manufacturer. You might assign your design team to create a photo of a smiling woman fueling her car taken at an angle at which you can see the trip mileage counter to illustrate your vehicle’s superior gas mileage.
You use it in your social media, your print ads, and your brochures – each time making changes in coloration, sizing, and captioning. It’s a big hit, so you seek – and earn – the C-suite’s approval to use it as the main image on your home page.
But here’s the rub if you don’t have a DAM. You’ll have to sift through all those edited photos to find the best one for your home page.
However, if you have a DAM, you can quickly identify whether one of your previous iterations has both the visual pop to catch your audience’s eye and the proper image compression to allow it to load quickly. The ability to add notes about each change, such as information about color enhancements and compression ratio, is a game-changer for busy content teams.
Image via Pixabay
We’ve always advised content marketing teams to create infographics using data sourced from original research. Then the design teams get to work, using color and imagery that appeal to their target audience.
However, those data – and even color trends – change over months and years. To keep these assets current, you’ll need to revise your infographic assets at least yearly.
Instead of undertaking an entirely new research project, you can simply use the data and design from your previous iterations, update the numbers and colors, and use it in a new infographic.
Let’s say that you did an infographic a few years ago in various shades of that outdated “millennial gray” that found its way everywhere. The data, with only a few updates you could easily find in your company’s annual report, is nearly good to go.
But that color scheme? Blah, by today’s standards.
In 2022, customers want rich jewel tones and deep hues, according to your research. But your company wasn’t doing infographics back in the 80s, so you don’t have a jewel-toned infographic in your asset library.
However, in a content collaboration session with your designers, the design team reminded you of 2011’s Eighties redux. Sure enough, when you searched your assets, there was that same infographic in rich purples, golds, and greens. So, with a few data tweaks, your 2011 infographic rose from the dead vault and took center stage on one of your January 2022 blog posts.
Now that’s making the most of your content life cycle. All thanks to your foresight in adding a DAM to your content operations tech stack.
With a centralized system that can incorporate all the processes involved in content production plus image management, you’ll simplify your life – and those of your content teams. Instead of spending hours searching for the ideal images, videos, and infographics that will best complement your written content, your teams will be able to produce content – and more of it.
DivvyHQ ticks off all those boxes. Not only can you use it for everything content-related, from ideation to analyzing your content’s impact. But now, it also integrates seamlessly with an excellent digital asset management system in Canto.
Now your teams can find all the images and other content assets by searching for their topics, size, use case, and other characteristics through the power of digital asset management. It’s tomorrow’s content marketing platform, available today.
Even better, you can try out DivvyHQ for yourself for 14 days, absolutely free. Start your free trial today!