By ensuring that your creative work can be archived, searched and shared easily, you can streamline workflows and deliver a better service to clients.
Everyone has a different way of organising files. You might use a structure arranged by ‘client’, with subfolders for individual projects, statuses and assets. Or your work might be split into monthly folders or quarters (Q1, Q2, etc), with client names, timeframes and projects nested below. Worse, assets might be haphazardly stored across various staff computers and portable hard drives, inconsistently named and difficult to search.
It’s not an efficient way to work. Nor is it scalable.
To manage and service multiple clients, an agency should have a connected storage structure that ensures consistency, boosts content discoverability and makes it easy to store, access and share content securely. This is why we’ve put together these tips on how to keep your marketing assets organised and up to date. And we’ll start with potentially the most important one…
1. Keep everything in one place
When different people work on different projects, it’s hardly surprising that assets often end up stored on different computers or storage devices. This disconnected approach not only makes it hard for other people to quickly find and access files (what happens if a colleague is on vacation, for example?), or they might not be the latest versions.
Keeping all files in a centralised Media Asset Management (MAM) system eliminates these issues in one go. It’s the foundation of a smarter workflow, one that makes content instantly accessible to anyone who needs it, staff and clients alike. With a scalable, cloud-based solution like Imagen, you’ll never run out of space either.
2. Use standardised naming conventions
Many people fail to keep their digital assets organised because they don’t name them logically or consistently. If three different people upload three different videos they might use three different naming conventions – the raw file name (‘4988255-hd.mov’), a quick identifier (‘Client1_Project1_v1 170919.mov’) or a lengthy description (‘Client1_Interview of CEO for corporate video in the UK.mov’).
By standardising your naming conventions, you can ensure that files are much easier to find for staff and clients. Even if you don’t use a MAM, this approach is good practice and it saves time and effort on all sides. But it’s only the first step towards an organised and up to date archive. Upgrading to a MAM also offers the ability to add various levels of metadata to files, boost discoverability even further through powerful, database-wide search.
3. Optimise for search
While platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox have their place in an agency or marketing department, they’re often not easy or quick to search. Using a MAM enables you to specify mandatory metadata for any asset you upload into it, from basic information (title, date, content summary, geo-location, etc.) to more advanced tags (e.g. adding data to a person in an image or marking a specific moment in a video) depending on your needs.
Without good (and consistent) metadata, you can’t have powerful search. The Imagen platform makes this process particularly easy and speedy. Especially for video files. You can use customisable entry fields to capture key metadata or use advanced tools such as the Imagen Media Logger, which enables you to annotate videos using a clickable grid of keywords, emojis, chapters, phrases and participants as you watch.
4. Define access and sharing
Organisation and access don’t always go hand-in-hand, but you can’t have one without the other. After all, what use is a perfectly structured archive if it’s not accessible to the people that need to use it? Any agency or marketing department has two requirements here – sharing assets with team members (internal or external) and delivering final content to clients.
Sharing video files pushes storage systems like Google Drive and Dropbox to their limits, with projects potentially swallowing up gigabytes of disk space. If you currently use WeTransfer to get around this problem, you are not alone! There again, a media asset management platform overcomes these issues with extensive user permissions and access controls, from viewing only to commenting and downloading, and more.
5. Improve the client experience
With user permissions in place, an agency or marketing department can use a MAM to build a delivery system for clients that is fast, slick and secure. Where FTP and file transfer systems used to be the only options for sending large video files, Imagen can help build branded content portals for the speedy delivery of client content, available 24/7 and on any device – no more missed emails, manual file requests or expired download links.
Better still, clients can view assets without downloading them first. The Imagen media player (which can be customised to fit your brand) uses HLS dynamic streaming technology to protect content and optimise delivery, with playback controls that include: Picture in Picture (PiP), full screen, fast forward (x2, x4), and slow motion seeking (x0.5, x0.25 and x0.125). Downloads, meanwhile, are powered by Imagen’s Accelerated File Delivery technology.
By following these five steps and upgrading technology solutions accordingly, an agency or marketing department can streamline workflow and deliver a better service to their clients. Crucially, it’s a structure that enables you to scale, giving you the capability to handle more clients, more projects and more assets in the future.