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5 Signs You’re Living in the DAM Stone Age

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11 B2B Content Ideas to Fuel your Marketing (with Examples)


You’d laugh out loud if a colleague asked for a floppy disk with the latest creative files.

You might even chuckle if they requested a USB storage device.

But what if they asked for a link to the Google Drive or Dropbox folder?

Those living in the DAM Stone Age might not skip a beat, but enlightened marketers (who know a better way) would likely shake their heads in disappointment.

Digital asset management (DAM) is an evolving solution to help teams store, organize, and share content (images, PDFs, illustrations, articles, video files, and audio clips) in a single centralized location.

Basic solutions (like Google or Dropbox) let you stow content in folders and share it via links, but that’s just a tiny step up from storing your work in a file cabinet and giving your teammate the key. However, that’s how most organizations currently store their digital assets.

DAM platforms are a game-changer for businesses, but close to half of organizations haven’t tapped into the full power of DAM yet despite 55% of digital asset managers citing “organizing digital assets” as a top challenge.

Let us help.

Below, we’ll break down 5 different signs you’re living in the DAM Stone Age. If you recognize any of these issues (even a single one), there’s a good chance you need to ditch your current storage solution and upgrade to a modern-day integrated DAM platform.

Signs You Needed DAM Yesterday

1. The question “Can you send me the latest X?” gives you nightmares.

Stopping your work to find and share a file kills productivity. The American Psychological Association says that even a brief mental distraction (caused by shifting between tasks) can waste up to 40% of someone’s creative time.

Imagine how much that’d cost if you attached a 40% value sign to your team’s work. And that doesn’t even take into account the time you’re spending scouring your folders for the right file. 

Scattered storage locations, varied asset-sharing methods, inconsistent naming and saving conventions, and lack of advanced search functionality can all lead to this massive time suck. Fortunately, a DAM solution solves it pretty quickly.

DAM platforms provide you with a single source of truth with all the most up-to-date assets across teams, markets, and/or LOBs. Anyone with the right credentials can browse, download, and use what they need without distracting you or your team.

Plus, with the right system in place, it’ll be just as easy to find what they need as it is for you, empowering everyone involved to self-serve.

Pro-Tip 

Choose a DAM with support for a wide variety of file types, and simple ‘drag-and-drop’ and ‘multi-selection’ tools that allow users to add and categorize up to 200 assets in bulk, simultaneously improving organization while saving time. Use Labels (e.g. file names, format type, and other descriptive categories) and nested Folders to group similar content and accelerate content discovery when searching and filtering across single or shared global/local instances.

2. You’d rather buy or produce new content than repurpose existing assets.

Have you ever opened a content repository to find tons of duplicate assets and seemingly illogical naming conventions? That’s what happens when your living organization system turns into an over-bloated archive.

Tracking down the right person to answer your questions or help you find an asset can sometimes take longer than creating a brand-new piece of content. If you’d rather spend hours buying or producing a new piece of content rather than chasing down an existing asset, your asset management system needs an upgrade.

A DAM solution has advanced search functions and centralized asset archives that make it quick and easy to find what you need—saving you time and money.

Pro-Tip 

Choose a DAM powered by AI & OCR (Optical Character Recognition) search. Machine-learning algorithms automatically apply tags to uploaded images, making it easy to filter, discover and ultimately reuse assets within the Library. Cutting-edge DAM platforms even enable duplicate asset recognition, an AI-powered feature that scans your assets to discover if any duplicates exist (and this goes beyond just the file name).

3. Your current DAM solution is totally isolated from your other MarTech systems.

You have enough usernames and passwords to manage already, right?

Even LastPass can’t prevent you from having to use multiple logins to access your assets, content management system (CMS), and creative software.

Archaic digital storage systems don’t play well with other applications. There are little-to-no integrations, and if an integration does exist, it’s far from out-of-the-box. This leads to many disconnected systems and time-wasting (and mistake-ridden) copy/paste processes.

Integrated DAM systems do much more than organize your assets—they empower you to use your assets without leaving the application. Whether you’re adding an illustration to a blog post, changing a logo on your website, publishing a video to YouTube, or adding a hero image to your email, a DAM solution lets you do it all from a single tab—not 17.

You want a DAM platform that’ll integrate with all your favorite applications, like Adobe Creative Cloud, WordPress, Highspot, Office 365, Marketo, Salesforce, and more. If it doesn’t, you’ll be back to creating complicated IFTTT (If This Then That) recipes to piece together your puzzle of applications.

Pro-Tip

Choose a DAM that enables bi-directional synchronization of assets and metadata with other systems of your choice. This is made possible by pre-built connectors that allow you to access DAM assets in real-time within tools that you use daily. Maximize utilization and improve productivity by downloading, editing, or initiating a new task/workflow directly from the Library.

4. You are never entirely sure who has access to your assets.

Digital security has never been more important. If you don’t know who can (and can’t) access your assets, security will always be compromised.

Some assets aren’t ready for the public’s eyes and others require signed NDAs for viewing. Any publicly-traded company knows the sensitivity of digital assets. The right document in the wrong hands (even accidentally) can lead to illegal insider trading—and that’s just the beginning of civil and criminal fines and charges.

On a more toned-down note (although still important), imagine your content team accessing and using a new brand design that hasn’t been reviewed and approved yet. Access to digital assets should be limited and controlled for the sake of all involved.

DAM systems’ governance lets you define user permissions and rights, ensuring the wrong people don’t stumble upon assets. These platforms also perform regular security checks and data backups. You can even see who viewed and downloaded an asset, when they accessed it, and how they used it—ensuring assets get used timely and appropriately. 

Pro-Tip 

Choose a DAM that enables you to monitor the use of content across all teams, lines of business, and markets. By tracking the lineage and history of marketing assets, you can see a clear picture of who is repurposing what content and when. Additionally, look for functionality to designate an expiration date for individual assets using a simple “date picker”. Consequently, you can filter for assets that are about to expire and/or receive email and in-app notifications so you can take the appropriate action.

5. You struggle with brand consistency.

Do you have multiple logos from the past few years floating around the digital world? Have you seen inconsistent product descriptions or taglines used across your website?

Sounds like you have a problem with brand consistency.

While these might sound like minor nuisances and easy fixes, they can take a real toll on your company’s brand reputation. However, getting everyone on the same page isn’t quite as simple as sending a @here Slack message or all-company email—getting 100% message consumption is nearly impossible. 

Instead of communicating every brand change with your entire company, a DAM system lets you update your accessible brand assets (logos, fonts, colors, b-roll, etc.) in a centralized location, so everyone gets the update. Archive the old branding options and voilà—your teams should only have access to the most up-to-date assets now.

Because DAM platforms let you edit and publish straight from the application (see sign #3), you don’t have to worry about people downloading and using outdated assets onto their hard drives that could damage your brand reputation.

Pro-Tip

Choose a DAM that lets you upload and maintain multiple versions with history to see all previous iterations of an uploaded asset for cross-market sharing, translation, and localization. Curate a collection of assets to share and distribute (internally or externally) through a public link, and/or embed your Collection as an iFrame in the places your stakeholders need to access content (e.g. SFDC, partner portal, intranet, etc.).

Conclusion

Do you recognize any of the signs resonating with your or your company? Don’t worry—you’re not alone. While DAM isn’t necessarily a new tool, it still lacks global adoption.

Fortunately, replacing your primitive storage systems with a DAM solution isn’t as daunting as it sounds—and the sooner you make the change, the easier the transition will be. 

Give Welcome a try. We provide a state-of-the-art DAM system that’s comprehensive, flexible, and downright powerful. It also includes content marketing, project management, calendaring, creative services, performance analytics, and more.

 



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How A Non-Marketing Content Approach Produced Award-Winning Results

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How A Non-Marketing Content Approach Produced Award-Winning Results

Matt Hartley is not a marketer.

And yet, he is a 2022 B2C Content Marketer of the Year finalist.

Though seemingly incongruous, it’s not. Companies don’t all approach content (or marketing) with the same organizational structure.

Matt leads editorial strategy for TD Bank Group as a senior manager in the corporate and public affairs department. Under his leadership, TD Stories took home top honors for Best Content Marketing Program in Financial Services and earned finalist mentions for Best Content Marketing Launch and Financial Services Publication in the 2022 Content Marketing Awards.

Those results prove that department, title, and reporting structure don’t matter if the content works.

“We tell stories aligned with (the company’s) communication goals. We’re not necessarily looking to sell something. It is about brand building, thought leadership, financial literacy,” Matt explains.

Here’s how a non-marketer finalist for Content Marketer of the Year built an award-winning program.

If the #Content works, details like reporting structure, title, and department don’t matter, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Launching the newsroom

In 2018, Matt joined TD as a content strategist. He was hired partly because of his background in reporting and creating new content products. Matt had worked as a technology reporter at The Globe and Mail and the National Post. He also created the Financial Post Tech Desk, a home for Canadian and international tech news, and was the founding editor of the Post’s arcade video-game news site.

TD leadership had recognized the shifting media landscape. They saw fewer earned media opportunities and turned to Matt to help scale a TD-owned channel called TD Newsroom.

While TD Newsroom aligned with the external communications goals, it ended up with an internal audience – less than 10% of visitors came to the site from outside the bank.

Turning the content program inside out

TD Newsroom’s importance grew when the pandemic hit in 2020, making some forms of traditional customer outreach impossible. No longer just another tool in the communication toolbox, TD Newsroom became pivotal.

“Creating our own content and being able to distribute it became crucially important to us,” Matt says.

The TD Newsroom team focused on creating branded service journalism (content intended to help customers), and traffic to the site increased substantially. Topics such as banking tasks you can carry out online, budgeting for income impacted by COVID, and planning an emergency fund took center stage.

That was the beginning of the TD Newsroom evolution.

“We were rethinking how we did content and where the customer was in their journey,” Matt says. The team also doubled down on data-driven content and refined its content strategy.

In 2021, TD Stories debuted. “It places the customer at the center of the story. It tells stories that resonate with customers and colleagues,” Matt says.

The site’s tagline – “Enriching lives one story at a time” – reflects this mission.

TD Stories organizes content around five pillars (as shown in the site navigation in the screenshot above):

  • Your Money features financial tips and advice.
  • Innovation highlights new technologies to create more personalized banking experiences.
  • Community features stories about TD’s involvement in the communities where it operates and where its employees live.
  • Colleagues tells the stories of employees.
  • Insights features thought leadership from the bank’s executives.

TD Stories places the customer at the center of the story, says @thehartleyTO of @TDnews_Canada, via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Making everything count

“We’re a small but mighty team within corporate affairs. It’s a flat team – everyone brings ideas to the table. It really wouldn’t work if it wasn’t as cohesive as it is,” Matt says.

The digital content team also functions a little like an agency. In corporate affairs, they work with relationship managers for categories such as personal banking, insurance, US banking, etc., as well as product, partnership, and philanthropic managers.

“We work with them to create the stories. We may pitch to them, asking for a subject matter expert to help us tell a story, etc.,” Matt explains. “We could not exist in a vacuum.”

He oversees a digital content team that includes a data-driven strategy role that has been critical in the TD Stories evolution. That added focus has helped the team in its content development.

For example, the bank’s editorial calendar revolves around repeating deadlines and patterns. Deadlines for retirement plan contributions and income tax returns occur during the same period every year. And each spring, more people begin house hunting.

With TD’s digital content team amping up the content measurement strategy, Matt and team can analyze how well those yearly content pieces perform. They also can better understand what people are searching for, so they can refine and improve the next content iterations.

“We can take those moments and make those moments fresh,” Matt explains. “We can ensure the customer gets the best and most accurate information possible.”

The metrics reflect the team’s dedication to excellence. In 2021, traffic to TD Stories grew more than 125% year-over-year. Almost all the traffic (98%) comes from external sources, including 25% from organic Google searches.

Knowing the real goal

“At the end of the day, the content is not the end goal. The goal is to help educate the customer and help them feel more informed and financially confident. When you keep that in mind, the actual structure of a story or every sentence is a means to an end,” Matt says.

Educating the customer is the goal – story and sentence structure are the means to that end, says @thehartleyTO of @TDnews_Canada via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

That’s part of the secret science of brand journalism. As Matt explains: “Take the objectives of the business and marry them with stories that the customers find engaging and useful.”

And that’s an award-winning formula regardless of department name, title, or organizational structure.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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