Have you ever found yourself frantically searching through a cluttered and disorganized folder to find that one banner image file for your marketing campaign?

The last-minute rush and never-ending search for the right files can be a hassle. Even though this is quite common in most marketing teams, the consequences of a cluttered folder can be significant.

From missed deadlines to lost files, the impact can be far-reaching. Not only does it lead to frustration and wasted time, but it can also negatively impact the outcome of your campaigns with low-quality last-minute digital assets.

A clear and organized marketing folder structure is the best fix to increase marketing efficiency, streamline workflows, and ultimately drive better campaign results.

And this blog will walk you through creating a marketing folder structure in a DAM system that works for you and your team. We'll also provide tips and tricks along the way so that you can say goodbye to cluttered folders and hello to a well-organized digital asset inventory.

Understanding your digital assets and their folder structure

A digital asset is any digital content (images, videos, audio, documents, etc.) you own or have permission to use. They support your marketing efforts, communicate your brand message, and help run your marketing smoothly.

Types of digital assets

  • Images: This category includes photos, illustrations, graphics, and other visual content that can be used in marketing materials such as websites, social media posts, email campaigns, and more.
  • Videos: Videos are a powerful tool for engaging with target audiences and can be used in various ways, such as product demos, company overviews, testimonials, and more.
  • Documents: This category includes written content such as brochures, case studies, whitepapers, and other marketing materials that provide detailed information about a company and its products or services.
  • Audio files: Audio files such as music, sound effects, and voiceovers can enhance the visual experience and add another layer of engagement to marketing materials such as videos and presentations.
  • Logo: The official representation of the brand. It helps maintain brand consistency across all communication channels.
  • Website Templates: Website templates can create a consistent look and feel for a company's online presence and provide a starting point for customizing a website to fit the brand's specific needs.
  • Social Media Templates: Social media templates can create consistent, branded posts for platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Email Templates: Email templates can create a consistent, professional look and feel for email communications, including newsletters, promotional campaigns, and transactional emails.
  • Presentation Templates: Presentation templates can create professional-looking presentations consistent with the brand's visual identity.
  • Icon Sets: Icon sets are collections of icons used in various marketing materials, such as websites, presentations, and mobile apps, to provide a consistent visual style and reinforce the brand's identity.
  • Stock Photos & Videos: Stock photos and videos can be used in marketing materials to provide visual content that supports the brand's message without creating custom content.
  • Infographics: Infographics are visual representations of information that can communicate complex information in an easily digestible format.

How to decide the layout of a marketing folder structure

The number of digital assets created daily can be overwhelming, and storing these assets is challenging. Every digital asset is special in its way and has its own unique storage needs.

For example, a creative can be used as an image in a blog, a social media post, or an ad. So it is important to consider the nature and usage of the digital asset.

The most common marketing teams are in-house teams and marketing agency teams. Considering most use cases, below are a few marketing folder structure examples.

  1. If you are a small in-house marketing team with less than 10 members, the best way to create your marketing folder structure is by digital asset type.
Marketing folder structure for small in-house teams - ImageKit blog

2. If you are a huge marketing team with multiple sub-teams, then the best way to create a marketing folder structure is by teams, as every sub-team has different agendas. It will be less confusing for the overall marketing team.

Marketing folder structure for large marketing teams - ImageKit blog

3. A marketing agency that handles multiple clients can set up their marketing folder structure by clients. For each client, the subfolders will depend on the type of service the agency is providing.

Marketing folder structure for marketing agencies - ImageKit blog

Traits of an ideal folder structure in a DAM system (or anywhere else)

An ideal folder structure will have the below-mentioned certain traits, which set it part from chaotic file storage.

1. Hierarchy of folders and sub-folders

A clear hierarchy of folders and subfolders makes finding and organizing assets easy, like finding the right ingredient from your organized kitchen. This hierarchy should reflect the structure and content flow of your marketing campaigns and initiatives so that related assets are grouped together and easy to find.

A clear hierarchy of folders and subfolders can look something like this:

  1. Marketing Materials
  2. Campaign A
  3. Images
  4. Videos
  5. Documents
  6. Campaign B
  7. Images
  8. Videos
  9. Documents

In this example, the main folder is "Marketing Materials" and contains subfolders for each marketing campaign. Within each campaign folder, further subfolders exist for different asset types, such as images, videos, and documents.

2. Defined storage destination for every file

It is easy to find labeled ingredients stored in a particular location. Similarly, having a defined location ensures everyone knows where to find what they need and that assets are not lost or forgotten over time. This also helps to maintain a consistent and organized folder structure over time.

A defined location for every file might look like this:

  • Marketing Materials β†’ Brand Assets β†’Logos/ Color Palettes/ Templates
  • Marketing Materials β†’ Campaign A β†’ Images/ Videos/ Documents

In this example, the "Brand Assets" folder contains all the core brand assets, such as logos, color palettes, and templates, that are used across all marketing initiatives. This ensures that everyone knows where to find these assets and that they are easily accessible for any marketing campaign.

3. Content workflow alignment

Aligning the folder structure with your content workflow helps to streamline the creation, approval, and distribution of marketing materials.

By organizing digital assets that reflect the steps in your workflow, you can easily track the progress of campaigns and initiatives and quickly access the assets you need to get the job done.

These are just a few examples of how you can incorporate the key traits of a marketing folder structure into your system. You can customize the structure to fit your specific needs and workflows. You can also create a system that is efficient, effective, easy to use and will help you promote and grow your brand over time.

Best practices for creating a marketing folder structure in your DAM system

A DAM system makes it easy to bring all your digital assets in one place. However, without a proper folder structure, your creative asset management could end up in chaos. Here are some best practices for creating a marketing folder structure in your DAM system.

1. Creating a consistent file naming convention

Naming your files consistently will help you to locate them quickly and avoid duplicates.

You could use a standard format like "YYYYMMDD_CampaignName_AssetType_VersionNumber" to name files that need a periodical reference in their file names. 

2. Organizing by campaign or purpose

Grouping your assets by campaign or purpose will help you to locate related assets and avoid confusion easily.

You could create a folder for each marketing campaign and store all assets related to that campaign within that folder.

3. Creating shared folders for different teams and departments

Creating shared folders for different teams and departments will help you to collaborate and share assets more effectively.

You could create a shared folder for your creative team and another for your marketing team, so everyone can access the assets they need to do their job.

4. Creating separate folders for confidential assets

You don’t want external stakeholders to access or use separate confidential assets. These folders will help you manage access to sensitive information and ensure that the right people can access the assets they need. This is extremely useful for marketing agencies who deal with clients and share folders regularly with them.

You could create a folder for your internal team and another for your agency partners to control who can access and use your assets.

These best practices can create a marketing folder structure that is well-organized, efficient, and easy to use. This structure will help you manage and promote your brand effectively. It also ensures you can quickly and easily access the assets you need to do the job.

Tips for maintaining the marketing folder structure in the DAM system

Creating a marketing folder structure is not the end; you must also ensure that the team members use it in a disciplined manner. Also, regular maintenance will ensure that you use the DAM system optimally and do not go overboard with storage consumption. It will also make it easy for all stakeholders to access the media library and collaborate seamlessly without accidentally misplacing files or worse, delete them.

These tips will make it easy for you to maintain the marketing folder structure across the organization.

1. Periodically review and remove redundant assets

Regularly reviewing your folder structure and deleting assets that are no longer needed will help you to keep your structure organized and avoid clutter. It might even help reduce the number of folders you need or consolidate them so that you have a lean and neat folder structure.

Mark some time every first week of each quarter to review your folders and delete any assets that are no longer in use.

2. Creating year-wise or period-wise folders

Organizing your assets into year-wise or period-wise folders will help you to keep track of your assets over time and avoid confusion. You could also use a period-based file naming convention to make it easy to bucket files based on their year or date of creation.

You could create a folder for each year or quarter and store all assets related to that period within that folder.

3. Backup and archiving of historical assets

Backing up and archiving historical assets will help you to preserve your assets for future reference and ensure that you don't lose important information.

Create an archive folder for each year or period and store all historical assets there for safekeeping.

4. Updating folder structures based on brand preset changes

Brand asset management is tricky, because brand presets are bound to change from time to time, or be revised depending on regional audience preferences.

Regularly updating your folder structure in cadence with changes to your brand presets will help you keep your structure consistent and ensure that stakeholders use only those assets that are aligned with your brand.

Create a new brand folder structure to store updated brand presets and ensure that all assets are stored consistently on in this folder.

5. Entrusting a Digital Asset Manager or assigning a POC with the task

Assigning someone to be responsible for your marketing folder structure will help you ensure that your structure is maintained and your assets are properly managed.

For example, you could appoint a Digital Asset Manager or assign a Point of Contact (POC) to manage your folders and ensure they are properly maintained.

Media collection banner

In a nutshell: Getting your marketing folder structure right

A clear and organized marketing folder structure is crucial to increase marketing efficiency and productivity and driving better campaign results. And most importantly, running a sane marketing team.

Even though there are different ways to structure marketing folders, the ideal folder structure should have a clear hierarchy of folders and subfolders, reflecting marketing campaigns' structure and content flow.

The best practices and tips mentioned in this blog post can make creating and maintaining a marketing folder structure in a digital asset management system easier.

It's evident that defining a marketing folder structure and a DAM system go hand-in-hand. A perfect folder structure without a DAM system will not make much difference.

Want a cloud-based Digital Asset Management system to simplify managing your digital assets?

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