How the right DAM supports your content management

As you continue to create digital content, you’ll likely notice increased complexity when managing your assets. You might struggle to identify which design elements to use in your campaigns, for instance. Or perhaps your distributed workforce can’t find the right image quickly.

A content management system (CMS) will help you create and modify your content. It’ll also enable you to upload your content directly to your site. Essentially, it’s the public-facing software application for your brand.

A Digital Asset Management system (DAM), on the other hand, works in the background. The unsung hero of content management, it complements your CMS, and enhances your content management overall.

However, some businesses forego the use of a DAM in favour of a CMS, not aware that it shouldn’t be a choice between the two. In this article, we’re going to explore how a CMS and a DAM work perfectly together. But first, let’s define what a DAM is.

What is a DAM?

Compared to your public-facing CMS, a DAM is a headless, faceless application that holds the digital assets your CMS needs. It’s comprehensive software for your whole organisation to organise, manage and access digital media files across multiple channels. A good DAM will also have the ability to catalogue assets using configurable metadata associated with the content, as well as permissions to restrict and enable access for your personnel.

Depending on your industry and sector, you will use digital assets for different media in different ways. Establishing first what you need from your digital assets will determine how you use the DAM, and the features you’ll use to enhance your content management.

How do you use your digital assets?

How you use your assets varies by industry.

If you work in the arts, you may have a large archive of images you want to navigate more easily. Or, if you work in branding and design, you may need to share images quickly and easily with clients.

It also depends on how your teams work. For example, do you have a distributed workforce? Or, do your teams sometimes deal with tight turnarounds, leading them to burn the midnight oil?

Identifying how your company uses digital assets is crucial so you can take full advantage of a system to effectively manage them. Do your teams, for example, need instant access to the most up-to-date design elements? Do you need peace of mind that you have the rights to every image you use, without having to micromanage your teams?

How a DAM helps with your content management

Some content management systems are incredibly easy to use. They’re designed so that even your non-technical employees can create attractive and user-friendly content to engage your customer base.

A CMS can also allow you to see how engaging your content is. A good system will come equipped with performance analytics, listing everything from page views to bounce rate—that’s how many visitors leave your page without taking action.

These kinds of metrics enable you to measure the effectiveness of the content you produce and readjust your approach if necessary. When used correctly, a CMS will help your customer engagement increase. (And, if you’re in the business of conversions, it will help you convert more leads to sales, too.)

That said, a CMS has its limitations. For a start, it’s not designed with high-quality imagery and videos in mind. So, should you need to increase or reduce the resolution of a picture, you’ll need to use an external application.

And, while a CMS enables your teams to access a bank of images you can embed into the content, it doesn’t say if you should; your CMS won’t tell you when a license has expired, or if someone has revoked their consent to use an image.

All this means that your teams could spend their precious time resizing and reformatting your images, when in fact there’s a more simple option at hand. It also means that once they’ve published an image, there’s no guarantee they’re authorised to do so.

A DAM steps up where a CMS falls short. Used together, you can achieve efficient and painless content management.

Some of the benefits of this combination include:

Better templates for your content creation

When you use a DAM with your CMS, there’s no need to rely on the often limiting range of formats for your content. Instead, you can upload your bespoke templates from the DAM into your CMS, and create content that showcases your creativity.

A range of image sizes and formats

Whenever you upload an image into a DAM, it automatically resizes and reformats it so you have multiple variations. You can then upload these into your CMS. This is especially beneficial when running entire content campaigns where you’ll be using several mediums.

Improved compliance

If you source imagery from third parties, be it creative commons or rights-managed, you’ll be dealing with licenses. When you upload an image into the DAM, you can add details such as who to attribute the image to, as well as how and for how long you can use it. You can also set automatic workflows so that whenever the rights have expired, so does your teams’ access.

Necessary context

If you create content regularly, you may find sometimes you accidentally reuse an image. Naturally, this issue gets worse the bigger your teams are. But with a DAM, you have the ability to add metadata that will provide context to every stored file, such as who used the image, where they used it, and when.

Additionally, access controls enable you to set restrictions so that users have to request access to an image before they push it into the CMS. You can then review the metadata and decide if the image is okay to use, and prevent reuse of imagery across your entire organisation.

Increased searchability

If you’ve ever failed to find an image because of the whims of whoever named the file, you’ll appreciate how a DAM facilitates searching. When you upload an image into the DAM, AI can automatically tag it with keywords, places and extracted text. And you can add additional information with manual tagging.

This means you can search for images based on what elements an image contains. For example, someone may have named an illustration after the campaign they originally created it for. But you could find it by entering a description of what the illustration depicts.

Ability to share files easily

Any content creator knows the challenges of getting sign-off on images. To make sure stakeholders have a good range of pictures to choose from, you might want to send a collection of images at once.

Instead of sending multiple emails with bulky attachments, you can collate your images in the DAM and send a single link. The added benefit of this is that you can create a unique link for each person, setting the timeframe each time for how long they have access.

A more aligned tone of voice

Unless you have a team of trained writers at your disposal, you might occasionally need help with the tone of voice for your content. A good DAM will have an AI integration so you can write content in the tone appropriate for your brand that you can upload for publishing from your CMS.

Managing digital assets, enhancing content management

There’s no argument that your organisation needs a CMS for publishing content. But when it comes to managing your content, even the best CMS could do with a helping hand.

A DAM holds the rich media that you can use within your content management system. You can classify your assets when they’re still in the DAM, add the necessary context, as well as resize and reformat. You can also use workflows and access controls to restrict access when necessary.

So while a DAM isn’t the system you need to directly add content to your site, it complements a CMS so effectively that the content you do publish is compliant, creative, as well as right on brand.

ResourceSpace is a web-based DAM that works with your CMS so you don’t just manage your content, you enhance it. And the whole process of how you manage it will become more efficient too.

To find out how you can enhance your content and streamline your processes, book a demo.