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Choosing a digital asset management platform

by Canto  |  May 11, 2022

4 min. read
Fitness brand imagery with metadata displayed on desktop and in Canto's mobile app.

Choosing a digital asset management (DAM) system can be overwhelming. What features matter most? What do you need to know to compare options?

To make the process easier, we’ve put together an overview of key considerations, so you can shop confidently and pick the best digital asset management software for your team.

How does the pricing work?

At its core, digital asset management pricing is based on two factors: number of seats and storage requirements. But teams shopping for a DAM software also need to be on the lookout for hidden costs. Some digital asset management companies charge extra for basic functions, like sharing portals, image smart-tagging, reporting, and integrations with other software.

Fortunately, it’s easy to find out how much your company can expect to pay for a DAM: Just ask! A reliable vendor will discuss your needs upfront and give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

Can you share collections with specific audiences?

Most teams’ DAM requirements go beyond simple digital asset management. They also need to deliver content collections to different audiences, both internally and externally. That requires a DAM software with flexible sharing tools, like Canto Portals.

Consider who needs access to your content — including sales teams, distributors, customers, and agencies — and ensure your new DAM solution will allow you to easily deliver curated content collections to anyone.

Fitness brand's Canto Portal with close-up of filtering categories.

How steep is the learning curve?

DAM software makes your organization’s content accessible. Look for a system that packages all of the powerful DAM features you need in an intuitive interface — so your team can hit the ground running.

Also consider ease of use for external users. Do they need an account to add and retrieve content? Or can you share individual assets, upload links, and public or password-protected portals without much fuss?

Does it integrate with the other tools your team relies on?

Integrations speed up your workflows by connecting your content library with the software you use every day. Look for out-of-the-box integrations with tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, Workfront, and Microsoft Office. Need something more niche? Your DAM solution should offer a robust API, so your developers can connect it with any application you like.

Fitness images displayed in Canto's Adobe integration interface.

Is it video compatible?

If video is part of your content strategy, the best media asset management software for your team will make it easy to work with video. Can you preview video files without exporting them? Can you trim videos to download just the clips you need? Is there a Premiere Pro integration? Not all DAM systems are video compatible, so make sure to try before you buy.

Some digital asset management software providers even offer advanced video features, like video smart tags, facial recognition, and the ability to embed video hosted on the platform directly to your website.

Can you configure it to make it your own?

Every organization is a unique ecosystem of people, processes and procedures. Your DAM system should adapt to your team and industry. Are there customizable fields to categorize assets and filter search results in a way that makes sense? Can you brand the interface and external portals with your logo, colors and imagery? Consider how easy these configurations are to implement. Is it a simple setting adjustment, or does it require custom code?

Is it secure?

Keep your digital assets safe by ensuring your DAM provider uses proper encryption and security protocols. Where will your assets be stored? Is the data center secure? A reputable DAM provider should make security and data protection a priority in product development, and shouldn’t hesitate to discuss it if you have any questions.

Do they offer high-quality, ongoing customer service?

Choose a trusted vendor with an established track record of providing DAM services to major brands. DAM is a complex field, and it takes time to build up the expertise to serve clients well.

Look for a DAM vendor that will provide ongoing customer care from an experienced support team. Do your research and read independent reviews to learn about customers’ experiences first-hand.

Choosing a digital asset management platform doesn’t have to be hard

Ultimately, the choice of a digital asset management provider comes down to the question of value for money. You need a platform that delivers all the digital asset management capabilities your team needs, at a competitive price, while keeping the experience simple and intuitive.

That’s why Canto is a favorite of top brands across industries. Unlike other providers’ rigid platforms, Canto adapts to how your team works — delivering powerful features in a simple, intuitive package.