There are countless challenges that small eCommerce businesses face while scaling their operations. Of all those challenges, managing digital assets is a universal one.

As the business grows, its digital asset production and the channels through which it is distributed also increase substantially. This makes digital asset management difficult.

For example, multiple variants of a creative will have to be created to make it compatible with various social media platforms in terms of dimensions and file size.

A Digital Asset Management DAM system can make things easy for your small business. It helps improve your team's productivity, manage your time better, and run your business operations more efficiently.

Let’s dive deeper into how exactly it makes managing digital assets easier.

What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?

Digital Asset Management organizes, stores, and retrieves digital assets from a centralized location. A DAM system is used for this purpose. It gives users access to the same file and its variants along with metadata information instead of distributing various copies across email, cloud storage, hard drives of individual users, etc.

Modern-day DAM systems also allow users to transform their digital assets, like images and videos, into multiple formats and dimensions before they are published in specific channels like social media, CMS, newsletters, etc. Further, they allow users to quickly search and locate files using metadata and text-based search within the DAM system.

DAM systems are available in on-premise and cloud-based variants. Cloud-based variants are considered superior and state-of-the-art since they are easier to use, maintain, and offer significant cost savings compared to on-premise DAM systems.

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What assets does a digital asset management solution help manage?

Almost all digital assets can be organized, secured, and secured with a DAM solution. These include and are not restricted to:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Videos
  • PDFs
  • Spreadsheets
  • HTML documents
  • Logo files and other graphic files
  • Slide decks

How can a DAM system help small businesses?

Small businesses need to move faster to beat their larger competitors. Their teams need to be agile in managing and publishing content. In an office setup or in a remote work setup, if assets are not easily accessible, it causes unnecessary delays, slowing down the entire cycle of operations.

Poorly managed digital assets can lead to data loss, inefficiency, reduced speed, and hamper the workflow. This is where DAM comes in. It helps you organize your digital assets in a centralized location and provides stakeholders with easy and safe access. Additionally, it also offers version control which removes any ambiguity in which asset variant is to be used for a specific purpose.

Some of the benefits of digital asset management include:

  • Centralized management of digital assets
  • Managing digital asset versions
  • Ensuring cross-team collaboration
  • Automating asset approval workflow
  • Improving asset security

There are still more benefits to using DAM software for small businesses.

However, to make DAM work for you, it is essential to choose a DAM solution that is feature-rich, scalable, and easy to use.

How to choose a DAM solution for your small business?

Perhaps you’re convinced to have a DAM solution for your business by now. But how do you go about choosing the right solution for your business? Here are a few pointers to look for before choosing a DAM solution

  1. Easy integration with media library and CMS

An ideal DAM solution should enable you to easily integrate the solution with your existing media library. For example, ImageKit offers an integrated media library and integrations with all popular CMS and CDN services.

You should also be able to integrate your DAM system with CMS, cloud storage services, automation services, etc., to push the needle of productivity. For example, retrieving digital assets and moving them to production becomes easier if you can connect your DAM to your CMS like WordPress, Drupal, WooCommerce, etc.

2. Choice of cloud servers

Storing your digital assets on-premise is an option. However, remember that it has several downsides to it. Not only is it difficult to maintain and expensive, but it's also difficult to update.

Choose a DAM solution that offers cloud servers for storage. Cloud storage has easy scalability, better security, and cost efficiency. Further, the DAM system must provide various cloud services like Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, etc.

Finally, your DAM solution should make it easy to store your asset on the cloud server. For example,  ImageKit has an easy drag-and-drop option so that you can store any media format on the cloud with just a few clicks.

3. Data security

Your digital assets are the intellectual property of your organization. In addition to assets meant for external publishing, there could also be assets that your sales and legal teams use internally for their day-to-day activities.

The data security of these assets is paramount since their wrong usage or even mistaken access could lead to mishaps. Further, the entire DAM system should be immune to cybersecurity attacks of all kinds to prevent data loss.

In the DAM context, some digital asset security capabilities to look for include restricting named image transformations and restricting unsigned URLs, SSO, etc.


4. Tagging and labeling of assets

When your digital asset library keeps growing steadily, it is necessary to categorize, sort, or classify assets under broad segments. DAM software normally comes with tagging methods to help you organize. Modern-day DAMs like ImageKit have AI tagging, which saves a lot of manual effort. In addition to segments and tagging, it is also necessary to implement a metadata tagging system to make asset searchability and retrieval easier.

Metadata tagging makes assets easily discoverable

Metadata tagging is the process of attaching labels or tags to images based on the image traits, the subject contained in the image, its colors, and so on. This goes one step further than putting all assets about a common segment in a single folder. With tagging and labeling of assets, end users will have to spend time searching and retrieving digital assets.

5. Media transformation capabilities

A DAM system should have quick image and video transformation capabilities. For example, with image transformation, you should be able to transform image dimensions in real-time with cropping, automatic resizing, setting custom focus areas, etc.

Similarly, it should also let you do video transformations like resizing the video, adapting the video for mobile and social media, image and text overlays, etc.

Small business-friendly DAMs come with an inbuilt editor that helps small teams edit images without the help of a designer. This helps in a faster content workflow.  You can read more about how ImageKit helps small businesses with their image editing process here.

6. Version control

Version control is a simple way to preserve, retrieve, restore and work with multiple iterations of an asset in the Media Library. For example, there could be multiple variants of the same asset with varying image/text placement, use of colors, etc. Further, the image dimensions may also be altered to make it suitable for distribution on the website, blog, social media, etc. End users may use the wrong variant without version control, leading to mishaps.

Version control lets you preserve, retrieve, and restore every version of an asset stored in your media library. This helps in faster recovery if there are unintended user actions or application failures with versioning.

version control assets in DAM
Search and view variants effortlessly with asset versioning in ImageKit

7. Pricing

Most small businesses run the business on a shoestring budget. Hence, it is critical to ensure that the pricing of a DAM solution meets your budget threshold. Cloud-based DAM solutions usually take the form of a subscription-based pricing model.

A monthly/annual subscription fee in this pricing mode provides a specific bandwidth, media storage, media processing, and other features. Anything used in addition to the inclusions is charged on a usage basis.

As a result, it is easier to forecast costs with some certainty. The risk of working capital getting blocked in unused resources is also eliminated thanks to the pay-as-you-use pricing model.

8. Ease of use

For marketers and designers, a DAM system may not be as familiar as a CMS system. They will need some time to get used to using a DAM system. Ideally, it should be a system that users can explore on their own, learn how to use, and get things done effortlessly without any elaborate training programs.

In a nutshell

Digital asset management for small businesses can be a game changer for your business. It can give you complete control over your digital assets and easy accessibility with a layer of protection, affordability, efficiency, and much more. ImageKit can do all of these for you and a lot more.

Your small business needs to manage its digital assets better.

Stop scouring the ground for a DAM system. Use a cloud-based DAM system.

Try ImageKit for free.

Want to learn the steps to glitch-free DAM implementation? Read our free eBook.