Digital Asset Management

Creating an Asset Library

Learn how to create an asset library that puts digital content at your team's fingertips

video poster

Want to learn more:  Get the scoop on pricing

Creating an asset library

Has your marketing team ever struggled to find that one piece of content that doesn’t seem to be in any of the usual files or folders? Has a project ever been delayed in your organization because the one employee who had the content you needed couldn’t be reached and was out of the office? These kinds of issues occur all too often in the business and marketing world.

They stem from a bigger issue – most companies are not doing a good enough job managing their digital assets. Without connectivity, collaboration, and organization, these content slip-ups will continue to occur. Although it may seem small, every hour spent searching for a missing image is an hour that could’ve been spent on far more strategic and high-value activities growing your business. At a large organization, these hours quickly add up to losses in revenue and overall productivity.

What is a digital asset? Basically, digital assets consist of content that can be stored digitally. This means files like videos, music, photos, documents and any other kind of digital media that contain the rights to use them are digital assets. This could also include logo variations, custom fonts, as well as marketing graphics. This could even include custom PowerPoint slides.

There really is no limit to the variability of digital assets and how businesses need them to function. Marketing teams produce reams of digital assets and need to continually refer back to them as they build your digital presence. Operations and services teams will also produce documentation and diagrams. A B2B sales team will be producing PowerPoints to help sell your product, each one of which will be filled with other digital assets. The list really is endless.

Your entire workforce works with various forms of digital assets, showing just how important they are to the success of your company. That’s why many organizations take digital asset management seriously and use something called an asset library.

A digital asset library can help you organize your content and make it more accessible to your team. This can also increase your team’s efficiency in creating content. This way, you and your employees have more time to focus on taking your business to the next level of growth and success.

What is an asset library?

So what is an asset library, exactly? Fundamentally, an asset library is a single place to store all your digital assets. There are several different kinds of asset libraries, but the most basic function of a library is to store and organize your content. This way, anyone on your team can quickly access and find what they need to get the job done.

Ideally, teams should use a cloud-based asset library that is simple and intuitive. Teams from various departments can log into the platform, and then use the search bar or filters to instantly find the image, document, or video they need to create content that will be effective. With the right asset library, digital asset management is easy and efficient. A marketing asset library can be a great way to support your marketing efforts. You would normally have to scour through files and folders looking for a stock image that’s already been used in your company. Now, you could instantly have that image pulled up through the asset library in seconds.

How do you organize an asset library?

A content library or asset library is only as helpful and effective as its organization. When setting up your own content library, you may be wondering, how do you organize an asset library? We recommend thinking about the digital organization the same way you think of the physical organization. It’s all about clear labeling. For example, think about the last time you put something into a bin or box. You most likely put some kind of label on it that was fairly specific so that you knew, later on, exactly what was put in the box without having to open and search for something. In the digital space, your boxes are your folders. That is why it’s very helpful to name them in a way that tells you exactly what kind of content is in each folder.

The next step in your organizational journey is a little more technical. The search for content in a library can be made much more efficient if the library is implementing metadata management. You should use a tagging system that allows each image or piece of content to be attached to certain keywords describing their content. This allows you to quickly search for a single word and have your content appear in the search. Furthermore, you’ll want to ensure that your content is stored on a cloud system. Cloud storage means that you won’t have to rely on scaling physical storage devices.

This means that as you create more content over time and your library grows you won’t have to worry about finding space for new hard drives. Plus, cloud storage gives the remote access capabilities we have already mentioned. Cloud storage systems are designed to provide access to remote resources quickly. This makes them a perfect fit for your asset library.

The basics of asset library management

Asset library management consists of the organization and structure of your content library. Managing your library is important. You’ll want to ensure that you remove old content that is no longer relevant so that no one else in the organization uses it by mistake. Keeping everything up-to-date is one of the key asset library management activities. Ultimately, asset library management is best performed with a digital asset management (DAM) tool. Digital asset management usually refers to a single piece of software that does all of the previously discussed asset library management activities automatically.

One great example of DAM software is Canto. Canto lets you build a powerful digital asset library that is fully searchable. Our system uses the power of AI-driven tagging to automatically organize your content. Our system also has facial recognition to help you find the perfect asset in seconds. Furthermore, our system enables greater collaboration on content creation than ever before.

By keeping all your content in one place, the entire workflow is streamlined. This makes it easy to move content from professional to professional until it is delivered to your audience. The ultimate goal of digital asset management is to simplify how you store and manage your digital content. Canto’s content library makes it easy to tag files with the keywords and data that can make searching for it later so fast and simple. Plus, Canto also features an advanced search feature as well as a comprehensive set of filters. This way, you can quickly drill down to exactly what you need.

One of the great benefits of going with a cloud-based solution like Canto is that the security of your assets is enhanced. Our system runs on AWS (Amazon Web Services) a cloud service that houses all data in highly secured data centers. Furthermore, our platform is SOC 2 compliant, making it an even more secure option for storing data.

Asset library examples

There are so many great examples of how an asset library such as the one provided by Canto can be used effectively. The versatility of a good digital asset management strategy is really quite endless. For example, you could use an asset library for storing 3D assets in a 3D asset library or a Blender asset library (Blender is a program for 3D animation). You can use an asset library as an Enscape asset library (another 3D software focused on computer-aided design but used more in construction and architecture).

We have had clients that used a digital asset library to promote collaboration between departments. This has made it easier to share content. We have also seen Canto used for better storage and organization of documents surrounding important business processes like sales. Another asset library example is a Salesforce library that would help you organize all the files and manage user permissions of all the content in your Salesforce platform. In the end, it’s easy to see why so many organizations have found digital asset management such a valuable element of their business strategy.

The benefits of digital asset management software

Simplified Organization

Manages digital assets in a central location

Streamline Workflows

Enables automation and enhances team creativity

Quick Search

Locates media files with ease using sophisticated search capabilities

Brand Consistency

One platform to manage your brand across every touchpoint

Flexible Sharing

Securely share content with any audience – with expiring links, public Portals, and more

Advanced Security

Manages permissions with extensive copyright functionality and governs access from a central platform

Choosing a digital asset management platform

Choosing a digital asset management 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, DAM pricing is based on 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, smart-tagging, reporting, and integrations with other software.

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 – 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 collections to anyone.

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.

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.

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 shouldn’t hesitate to discuss security and data protection.

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. Digital asset management is an ongoing process, not just a one-time installation. Look for a DAM vendor that will provide ongoing customer care from an experienced support team.

The Canto DAM in action

There’s more than one way to use Canto DAM

Streamline the asset lifecycle

As businesses grow, content and digital assets grow at an exponential rate. A digital asset management solution can streamline this process and serve as an incubator for all branded content, enabling teams to ideate, create, share, and manage assets from inception to publication.

Support sales & marketing teams

Send and receive mission critical content between your marketing and sales teams, and distribute high-converting assets like datasheets and customer stories with ease. Get the right materials into the hands of your sales teams with the freedom of self-service so they never lose a sale to unnecessary downtime.

Curate the digital customer experience

Content drives the digital customer experience. Meet the demand for developing personalized customer experiences, and keep your customer-facing assets up-to-date and relevant. A DAM platform enables teams to seamlessly refresh, create, and publish the content your customers want to see.

External distribution

Share branded assets with external parties such as freelancers and vendors. Uphold brand consistency by providing approved assets that your external partners can access via email, secure links, social media or powerful, branded portals.

Learn more about DAM Solutions

Digital asset management for beginners

Download eBook

Five minute demo of Canto DAM

Watch demo

Insights from the 2021 Evolution of Digital Asset Management Survey

Survey results

Ready to take control of your media library? Get started with a free trial.

Free trial