Your brand assets are only an asset if you can find them

Metadata

Think of your current favorite song. You’re hosting a party and you’ve got a perfect track in mind to play, but you can’t remember the name. However, you know who the artist is and what album the song is from, so you use this background information to sort through your digital music library until you find exactly what you’re looking for. This background information is called metadata and as you’ll see, managing and organizing this information is why using digital asset management as part of your brand strategy is so compelling.

When looking at metadata on your computer, it might be referred to as file “properties” or “info.” It is this background information that can help you properly title your assets or even make it possible to discover them in the first place. Digital asset management is all about using the power of this background metadata to find and reuse the brand material you need right now, as soon as you need it.

In the world of marketing, public relations and media, timeliness and accuracy of information are two of the most crucial pillars of success. When you receive a file, it’s important to be sure that the author and copyright fields have been correctly inputted to ensure that your attributions are proper and legal. More often than not, you require this information to ensure you’re sending the correct file.

Digital file lockers may be a great alternative to sending files by email, but it doesn’t take long until these services are filled with a mess of unsorted folders and file types that begin turning your assets into an unsearchable pile. Metadata permits an intelligent search within your database, by allowing a search of copyright, authorship and key captions.

Many organizations don’t utilize metadata to its full potential. So where do you start? As an organization, the best place to begin is by engaging in conversation within your team about the vocabulary you will use when entering data for your files. For a music collection, it’s easy as everyone agrees on the name of a song. But for your brand files, the answer isn’t always clear-cut and it’s important everyone is on the same page. When you’ve decided on a clear set of organizational terminology and jargon, it will be simple to search for and segment your brand files.

You’ll also want to select a digital asset management system that houses metadata in an easy-to-access fashion that is downloaded in tandem with your brand assets. CleanPix is a great choice as it will just as easily import metadata from each uploaded file as well as strongly attached new metadata for assets already in the service. “Strongly attached” simply means the background information you save for an asset in the cloud follows the asset when it’s downloaded.

Here’s the bottom line: metadata is key in telling the proper story behind your files, ensuring that there are no errors in communication between members of your organization or an outside organization, such as the press. By proactively having a system of digital asset management and metadata storage in place, you’ll be setting yourself up for future success. After all, losing track of your files is no party.

photo credit: Peeping In A Card Catalog via photopin (license)

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