Managing digital media assets at a college or university is no easy task. Most institutions have thousands of high-res photos, hours of b-roll footage, years (decades, even!) worth of visual marketing materials, and other important files.
Digital asset management (DAM) services make it easy to store, organize, re-locate, and share these files when needed by providing users with a suite of intuitive tools. But with so many DAM platforms on the market, how can you be sure to choose the right one for your school?
In this article, we’ll teach you why DAM for higher education is so valuable, and three tips to choose the perfect service for your institution. Let’s get started!
Why DAM for Higher Education?
It’s not uncommon for colleges and universities to have thousands, even tens of thousands, of media files scattered across multiple departments and file storage systems. These photos, videos, logos, print collateral, b-roll footage, and other assets are essential to their marketing efforts and allow them to differentiate themselves from the scores of other universities seeking students.
But storing, organizing, finding, and sending files without a dedicated system is a pain. Oftentimes, the right files can’t even be found — at least not without spending considerable amounts of time and effort.
DAM systems like CleanPix give colleges and universities the ability to conveniently manage their collection of media assets by keeping every file in one central location, providing tags so that files are searchable and easily found, and offering multiple sharing options which make sending assets simple.
Choose the Best Digital Asset Management Platform
Many institutions of higher learning realize the benefits that a digital asset management software provides. But choosing from the myriad of different options on the market can often lead to feeling overwhelmed.
We’ve been in this field for almost two decades and our experience suggests that you consider these three things when investing in a DAM platform:
1. Determine Your Needs
First, you need to determine your school’s unique needs regarding DAM software. To do this, first, ask yourself who will need access. Typically, the marketing department is charged with managing a DAM, but often times other departments need access to stored files.
Decide whether each department will be given a certain level of access (most DAMs allow for specific permissions to be granted to different groups and/or people) or if all files will be managed and distributed by the marketing team alone.
Furthermore, some educational institutions find that allowing the general public to access and download specific files is beneficial. These institutions create what’s known as public-facing galleries or brand portals and fill them with their assets. Then, media professionals can access the galleries and download files to use in the stories they write.
Before doing anything, else, determine who will need access to your school’s brand files. This is the first step in choosing a DAM for higher education.
2. List Specific Requirements
Next, you’ll want to list the features your DAM needs to have. For example, do you want an in-house system or a cloud-based one? Cloud-Based software offers many perks such as easy access to files on any WiFi enabled device.
Other requirements to consider are:
- Access to public-facing galleries (AKA brand portals) as we mentioned in the last section. This feature makes sharing files with outside organizations (like media professionals, for example) a breeze.
- Metadata and tagging features are other features worth considering. One of the benefits of DAM is its ability to organize and locate files with ease. This is done, in large part, through metadata and tags. Make sure the DAM you choose has a robust tagging system so that you’re able to take full advantage of digital asset management.
- Respects your content as your own. Your DAM software will house your college or university’s most important brand files. As such, it would be wise to invest a system that takes digital security seriously, never stores passwords in plain text, and ensures that you are always in control of your own content. Avoid lock-in!
- A system with included automatic file formatting is another powerful feature you’ll want in a DAM. Basically, a system with this capability will automatically process the files you upload into multiple formats, saving you time and making sure you always have the file you need, when you need it.
These are just a few features that your school will find useful in a DAM. We recommend you make a list of all your individual requirements before settling on a specific service.
3. Sign Up for a Free Trial
Finally, we encourage you to sign up for a free trial or book a DAM demo before committing fully to any specific software. Every DAM platform functions differently and you need to experience the service in question first-hand before investing.
A list of features is great, but it won’t tell you what it’s really like to use the software. Positive customer reviews are a huge step in the right direction, but you still need to see for yourself whether a particular DAM will actually work for your institution.
Finally, a demo or free trial will also give you a chance to test out the company that creates and sells it. Do they excel at customer service? When you ask questions, are they polite and responsive? When investing in a DAM for higher education, exemplary customer service is a huge plus and should be factored into the decision-making process before a final choice is made.
Which DAM Is Right For You?
DAM software is a vital tool for many colleges and universities. If your institution is considering an investment in DAM, use the tips mentioned in this blog post to choose the right service.
- First, determine what your school actually needs. Will multiple departments want access or just the marketing team?
- Then list out every feature you anticipate using. Popular options include public-facing galleries, metadata and tagging features, and automatic file formatting ability.
- Finally, test out the software you’re interested in before purchasing. Sign up for a free trial or book a DAM demo.
Speaking of free trials, why not give CleanPix a try for free right now? Our highly rated DAM software is the perfect platform to organize your school’s media assets and comes standard with each of the important features listed above. Sign up for your 14 day, no cost, no obligation trial now.
If you have questions before signing up, call Chip Hoffman, our product expert, to make sure CleanPix will fit your needs: 587-323-1861.