Following the decentralization of content production: what strategy should you adopt to get content creators to upload their assets into your Digital Asset Management solution?
Increasingly decentralized production of corporate assets
Originally, the production of multimedia content for companies was mainly the responsibility of communication departments. They organized photo and video shootings and commissioned their agencies to produce web, print and advertising content. The agencies or the communication department itself then integrated the content into the DAM for distribution. This historical top-down model is tending to disappear. For many companies, a new collaborative organization is being set up with new types of content:
Teams in the field take photos and videos directly with their phones. This is the case, for example, in the construction sector, where engineers and workers document their work on construction sites. It also happens during events, where employees take pictures and share them directly on social networks.
Users or clients can now produce branded content themselves and publish it on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc. Holidaymakers take pictures of themselves by the Club Med swimming pools. Influencers shoot videos with the latest Guerlain perfume. Bloggers share images of press tests of the latest Citroën… This content is a godsend for the brands, because it often incurs no cost for marketing and communication departments. However, the rights must be negotiated to be able to reuse it…
Graphic content created online via applications
PlayPlay, Canva, Genially… applications that make it easy to create infographics, videos, illustrations, etc. are multiplying. Without the need to rely on a graphic designer or a communication agency, anyone in the company who needs to create an asset can do so in complete autonomy and get a final file they can then share.
These new types of content create new issues for DAM administrators:
Photos and videos taken with phones do not necessarily meet the quality criteria found in the productions of professional photographers and directors. The same goes for automated graphic creations: they cannot meet the same requirements as those of professional graphic designers. Communicating through low quality assets can have a negative impact on the company or brand image. It is therefore necessary to insure the content complies with the organization’s graphic guidelines.
Assets are often what we call “mute” content: that is, they are impossible to find without associated data, unlike text content. Without qualified information or context, images become unusable: what can you do with a hundred photos of an event, if you cannot identify the people or the event itself? How can you find an illustration, among thousands of others, if it has simply been uploaded in the DAM under the name ‘untitled.png’ without any other indication?
Rights and compliance
Professionals know the basics of copyright and image rights management. When taking pictures, they will secure the necessary authorizations so that the images can be used without dispute, or arrange for the represented people or places to be unidentifiable. These automatisms are not those of ordinary people who are not necessarily aware of these issues.
For certain sectors, the produced assets must tick additional boxes. This is the case in the building industry, for example, where photos of construction sites must show workers wearing their safety equipment (helmets, gloves, reflective vests, etc.): no photo showing an unequipped person should ever be broadcast.
The quantities produced are constantly increasing. Whereas only a few pictures were taken of an event, today we can easily find ourselves with hundreds of images. Not all content has the same value. It becomes necessary to edit the content to only keep assets which offer the greatest added value. Keeping everything is not a perennial solution: drowned among useless content, your relevant assets become harder to find.
Last but not least, the question of asset recovery arises. Asset creators rarely add their content to the DAM on their own initiative. How can one identify who produces assets relevant to the company? How to collect them and obtain context and description information? How does one get stakeholders to contribute to the DAM?
The challenge of asset centralization
This is a painstaking work that is required of DAM managers today. They have to find the sources of the assets produced throughout the company. Above all, one must be able to collect them in order to make them available in the DAM. Image and media library managers must search for assets wherever they are in the company. They must contact all departments to find out who produces what asset and for what purposes.
Once the content producers have been identified, the hardest part remains to be done. Creators must be convinced to take the time to pass on their assets WITH related information, a task often perceived as time-consuming and tedious. So how does one convince them?
6 ways to get producers of images, videos or other content to centralize their assets in your DAM
1. Simplify processes as much as possible
The longer it takes to add content, the less people will be willing to contribute. By making the process as simple as possible, you make contributions easier. Forget about asset forms with 15 fields to fill: no one will do it. Simplify as much as possible, and focus on two or three key pieces of information that will help you complete the indexing yourself.
2. Automate the contribution when possible
Even better than manual contribution, when possible, choose to integrate content automatically into your DAM. Import scripts can be set up. You can upload content placed in directories or published in applications. For example, Keepeek integrates with applications such as Grand Shooting or user generated content management platforms such as Stackla.
3. Bringing value to contributors
There is nothing better to push key people to contribute than to show them the benefits they can enjoy from the DAM. To do this, ask them about the content they require for their daily work. when finding useful content in the DAM, they will be more inclined to make their own assets available. Show them that DAM is a tool that will save them time, not waste it!
In the same way, try to retrieve as many different types of content as possible. In order to gain support, users need to think: I’m looking for this content, it must be in the DAM. The more exhaustive your DAM will be in the content it offers, the more users will automatically go looking for content… and the more they will have the reflex to integrate their own productions into it.
4. Host, coordinate and support
Show that your DAM is active, that it offers new assets on a regular basis and that everyone is contributing. Regularly send information about new content in a simple newsletter, for example. You can also customize the homepage with the latest content. Seeing that the DAM is constantly being enriched will make contributors more eager to improve the exhaustivity of the available content.
If some contributors don’t integrate their content, try digging to understand the root causes. See them in the field. They will usually tell you that they do not have the time. Try to dig deeper: do they know how to upload into the DAM in an optimal way? Is the DAM url easy to find? What could you do to help them? Could a simple one-page guide solve their problem? Analyze their sticking points and find solutions to make their life easier. They will be more willing to help you if you show them that you are willing to support them as well.
5. Valuing and promoting
Think about relying on people who are already committed to the DAM. You will always find one or two people who contribute and understand the DAM value: make them your ambassadors. Value their contributions. Thank them in front of their teams and managers, show everyone that they bring value to the company.
Give real use cases where the DAM played a part in saving time or adding value to the company. By giving specific examples, you can convince contributors more easily to add their content.
6. Involve your sponsor/management
Sometimes all it takes is the support of the company’s management to change the situation. When a manager communicates on the importance of centralizing content, and supports the process of sharing and capitalizing on assets, teams become more aware that DAM is a strategic focus for corporate communication.
What about you? How do you convince your contributors to upload their content into the DAM? Would you like to share your experiences and best practices in a themed workshop with other DAM administrators? If so, please fill in the form below and we will contact you to arrange it!