A digital asset management (DAM) system is a central storage place for all your digital media, where you can search for files by keyword, edit images and videos yourself, download them in different formats and sizes, share and compare them instantly with your colleagues, and collaborate using real-time chat.

How can digital asset management help me and my business?

DAM software can put an end to many day-to-day frustrations: relying on specialist software and key design personnel to reformat images and other graphics; printing old logos or out-of-date images on new marketing collateral; having to download images, save them to your desktop, and then upload them to email to be able to share; not being able to send files because they're too big; not being able to find files because you can't remember where you saved them...

Those are common problems, and they're not confined to just marketing departments or creative agencies. In today's world, it's difficult to imagine a business where digital media isn't a key driver for success, whether it's to promote their services with media rich advertising or to fundamentally support their day-to-day processes.

With DAM software, you can upload and download files and folders with ease, from any location. Once in the system, or as they're being imported, you can easily tag your files and folders with metadata that will enable you to find those files later on with a simple keyword search.

Sharing and collaboration are key functions in a DAM, and in good systems you can share assets and chat in real-time, which means you can compare images and agree which media to use in one central, online space. You can also publish and share links to your media which can be emailed or used in your website CMS or social channels.

Moreover, DAM software will help you and your business keep on brand by ensuring your employees have access to the same version of logos, stock images, and corporate templates. You can also manage employees' access to assets, as well as set different editing rights and download permissions.

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Jenny Ridge is head of marketing at Third Light Ltd., provider of digital media libraries. She specializes in digital marketing and marketing software.

LinkedIn: Jenny Ridge MCIM