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3 steps to superpower your DAM system

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3 steps to superpower your DAM system

A digital asset management (DAM) system is a must have for marketing organizations. They can accelerate time to market, cut the work it takes to find the right content and get it approved, while providing a single source of truth and brand messaging.

That’s the promise, but the reality frequently falls far short. Don’t despair. Michelle Tackabery, digital asset management specialist at Oneida Nation Enterprises, has three simple things you can do to superpower your DAM.

1: Capture workflow processes

Tackabery defines workflow processes as, “What you do and how you do it and what steps have to happen in what order to keep all the plates and all your various projects spinning without dropping on someone’s head.”

Why capture them?

Digital asset management is a process whereby assets are ingested into a digital platform or tool. Then metadata is added to the assets, as are user rights and permission related to the assets.

“If you don’t capture how, what, when and where your team is creating marketing assets your DAM solution is not really digital asset management,”  said Tackabery, speaking at The MarTech Conference. “It might as well be a folder on a server, a file cabinet in the hall or a closet full of unused merch. It’s not doing anybody any good.”

But there is an easy way to capture all that, including what has to happen when and what stuff will stop if certain stuff doesn’t happen by a certain time. 

Dig deeper: We’re implementing DAM! Where do I start?

“All you need to start documenting how things get done is a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet or a PowerPoint deck,” said Tackabery. “If you don’t use Microsoft you can find images online of blank charts and print them out.”

There’s a feature in Microsoft Office called SmartArt that will get you the diagram you need. To get it:

  1. Open a blank document 
  2. Go to the insert menu
  3. Select the Smart Art icon 
  4. In the pop-up window click on ‘process’ option. 

That will show you a huge number of different graphics for capturing processes.

“The one I think that works well is the gear list,” she said. “I like the gears because they demonstrate how many moving parts are going on in a marketing project. Gears rotate in multiple directions and great project managers can keep them going in time to get the entire project completed.”

Then you go around to each stakeholder and ask them what they do when creating or utilizing content, putting it all into the graphic you’ve chosen. An essential part of that is capturing all the dependencies – the things that must happen for the project to go forward.

Tackabery said there are only a few things you need to ask to get this information: 

  • Describe a project that almost didn’t happen. 
  • What was the first thing that held it up? 

Once you have all the information, make a process flow template out of each one for every type of project you deal with. This translates the gears sheets into step-by-step flowcharts that you will need to give to your DAM workflow specialist. 

“The good thing about these workflows,” said Tackabery, “is you can also use them to [show] to the larger organization, especially executives, what your team does and how it does it. 

These workflows will be used by your DAM team to apply workflow rules both in the DAM and any tools you attach on top of it. As a result, files that go into the DAM will retain all the dependencies, usage rights, licenses, copyrights, permissions, and any other important information. 

Also, the team will be able to use this information to add information to archived assets they migrate into the DAM. That makes them searchable in the ways your marketing team uses them in their work. 

This will let you control access to the DAM, while still letting others use its content.

You only need to give access to the DAM team and the few super users you may have. Everyone else can access it via tools available either from your DAM provider, from your existing digital media solution or other tools. 

Dig deeper: 6 strategies for using a DAM to manage modular content

“It’s a serious mistake to provide your entire marketing team access to the DAM,” said Tackabery. “Doing so treats the DAM like your existing servers and hard drives. Users are likely to treat the DAM just like a folder where they can create their own folders and files, recreating the process, processes and problems that brought you to the DAM in the first place.”

A DAM is first and foremost a content library and archive. DAM specialists possess expertise in  managing, controlling, and administering assets. People without that expertise shouldn’t be mucking about with the system.

But they still need to access its contents. Thankfully, because of its AI ready architecture, a DAM is built for integration via APIs and Agile workflows with tools that have existed for quite a while and that you already have.

Some of the tools it can work with are marketing asset managers, sales asset managers, enterprise content management platforms, marketing clouds, intranets, content management software, blogging, social media, and other native platforms that you just log into Via browser, calendaring project, asset managers, search engine indexers, semantic web platforms, supply chain and warehouse management, and your partners’ and suppliers’ tools. 

Not as complicated as it sounds

“So here is how you adopt or adapt any one of those tools to work with your DAM,” said Tackabery. “Ready? Pay attention because this is complicated.”

  1. Inside the setup or preferences section of your DAM is an option called API integration. Get an API key from that application. 
  2. Go into the same setup or preferences section of that other tool and get its API code.
  3. Copy that API key and paste it into the API integration box in your DAM. 
  4. (May be optional) You might have to press enter or submit. 

“After that you will need to step away from your desk and get a cup of coffee, because that was some hard, hard work,” she said. “Make sure to wipe your brow and look tired when you emerge from your office.”

This lets people  get marketing stuff in whatever app makes the most sense for them. “This little step is going to superpower your DAM. It’s going to make assets appear like magic in many, many places.”

3: Evangelize

“This is about transforming hearts and minds, and it’s probably the most important step of all,” said Tackabery. “It is in fact the only way you can beat the bad odds that have plagued large scale enterprise software adoption projects for years.”

She believes the major reason enterprise software fails at companies is because nobody asked marketing to sell the projects internally.

“The latest statistics available are pre-pandemic,” she said. “So in 2019, ERP Focus reported that 60 % of enterprise resource Platform adoption projects failed. Worse yet 90% of users reported that their project failed to deliver ROI. That is Horrible. Of those 90%, 95% reported that they only spent 10% or less of their entire budget on education, training and change management. It’s shocking when you find out that failure happens when you fail to do something, isn’t it?”

Do what marketing is best at

Tackabery said the way to prevent this is using your best marketing people to evangelize your DAM.

“And I mean evangelize. I don’t mean entertain, enlighten, or even enervate. I mean evangelize as in preach, as in convert, as in turn into believers. Because you’re in marketing and that’s what you do every day.  You turn suspects into prospects and then you wake up tomorrow and you do it all again.”

This doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. Each step you’ve taken makes the next steps easier. 

Capturing workflows and putting them into your DAM means you now have statistics showing how great your team is at using your DAM and how much faster projects are getting completed. You can use those to evangelize in executive dashboards, reports, infographics and newsletters. 

With the next step you have enabled the viewing, searching and attaching of assets in tools that others across the company can use. 

“Salesforce executives can find the presentation or logo or picture they need to show Off at Whatever meeting they’re in and not have to track down 12 people and wait four hours for it,” she said. 

Evangelizing means proving to people the DAM isn’t just another piece of software, it’s something that makes their jobs easier. Once they understand that, they’ll become evangelists.


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About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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MARKETING

Helping Affiliates Create Satisfactory Long-Form Content

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Helping Affiliates Create Satisfactory Long-Form Content

Affiliates are important to have, if you own a business (brick-and-mortar or online). Nowadays, in the online realm, you and your business will need all the publicity that you can get. That’s where affiliates come in!

With affiliates, you’ll be able to spread the word further about your product or service. One of the best ways to go further with affiliates is to have them produce long-form content. Long-form content can come in various forms, including online guides and eBooks.

Long-form content can be great work for affiliates, while it can be a gold mine for businesses. So, if you’re not taking advantage of long-form content, then now is the time to do so! Good news! You’re in luck!

In this guide, you’ll learn about long-form content, why it’s beneficial to your business, and how you can help your affiliates create satisfactory content in this form. Let’s dive right in!

Long- Vs Short-Form

“Search engines like Google seem to favor long-form content rather than short-form,” says Jorge Marcos, a tech blogger at Assignment Writing Service and PhD Thesis Writers. “With long-form content, you’ll have more keywords that will do well in Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. With more SEO in your content, you’ll be ranked higher in search results. This, in turn, allows people to get to your site right away without having to search for you for too long.”

Plus, long-form content allows you to expand on your authoritative status when it comes to a niche. More educational value and in-depth discussions means more SEO, thus helping you establish yourself as an authority in your chosen niche.

Formatting

As for the format, there are many styles that you can incorporate. How you want long-form content to look like will depend on your business and niche. Just keep in mind: How you format your content will also need to be adaptable to a particular market.

Here are some formats to consider, if you and your affiliates need ideas:

  • Blog articles are great content to create at any time of the year.
  • A guide or brochure is perfect for describing products, services, etc. They can also incorporate visuals like images, videos, etc. Users can download this content, if you’d like.
  • An end-of-year review
  • The launch of a product/service
  • Monthly updates (i.e. newsletters that users can subscribe to)
  • White paper content
  • E-books, etc.

Again, how you format your long-form content is up to you. As you figure out the format, you’ll need to communicate said format to your affiliates.

Patience

Understand that creating long-form content takes time. In fact, creating this type of content requires the following from affiliates:

  • Research
  • Rough drafts
  • Gaining feedback
  • Revising and editing (more than once)
  • Gaining more feedback
  • Producing a final draft
  • Getting the greenlight on the draft, AND THEN
  • Publishing

So, be sure that you give your affiliates plenty of time to produce great long-form content.

How It’s Successful

Long-form content can make businesses successful in their endeavors in the following ways:

This type of content is flexible. In other words, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Businesses can think outside of the box, and create the content that they want.

This type of content can either be offered in full, or be piecemealed in order to get consumers to invest in it further.

This type of content can be viewable on desktop, mobile, etc. Now, if you plan on making content viewable on mobile, then you’ll need to make the format mobile-friendly.

As you think of these prospects, you’ll need to communicate them to your affiliates, because they’re the ones that will make the content on your behalf.

Ensuring That Affiliates Produce What’s Needed

“It’s important to make sure that your affiliates have what they need when producing content for you,” says Martha Winston, a marketing writer at Coursework Service and Essay Services. “Help your affiliates as much as possible, when working with them. You can help them by giving them then information needed to succeed in their venture. Don’t just offer a title or a simple idea; show them headlines from research, along with guidelines of what long-form content should look like. You can even offer them examples of what the long-form content should be, like an interesting long-form article from the web. How they write a long-form article is more important that what they’ll write.”

What You Need

When it comes to long-form content, there are many things that affiliates will need to implement to make it a success. Some of the things needed for long-form content include:

  • Imagery (i.e., graphics, images, videos, etc.)
  • Your company logo
  • Snapshot of product, etc.

These elements will help affiliates focus on other things, rather than be solely focused on the written word. This is especially helpful in combating writer’s block, because too often, writers – including affiliates – struggle with producing written content on the fly. So, why not break the monotony by having them focus on the “fun stuff,” while creating long-form content?

Rules To Follow

So, now that you know how successful long-form content is, and what’s required from both you and your affiliates, it’s time to look at the guidelines for making great content in this fashion.
Since you know your brand better than anyone else, you’ll need to set some ground rules for your affiliates to follow when they’re creating long-form content for you. So, here are things to consider when creating your guidelines:

  • Word count
  • Topics
  • Deadlines
  • Milestones
  • Writing style
  • Drafts
  • Images (if needed), etc.

By having guidelines in place, not only will you have a guide for the content that you expect from affiliates, but your affiliates will have a roadmap on what they’re expected to create.

Conclusion

So, there you have it!

Long-form content can do wonders for your business. However, in order for your content to work, you’ll need to make sure that your affiliates are on the same page when it comes to said content. Think about what you want in your content: the topic, the formatting, any imagery if you wish, and so on.

We hope that this guide will help you help your affiliates create satisfactory long-form content.

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