How Do We Handle All This Awesome Content?

Thu Nov 07 2019
James Winter
Best Practices

I’ll start this off by admitting that I’m biased, but hopefully you’ll stick with me because that bias gives me a better understanding of the issues at hand than arguably anybody else out there. As the former Head of Marketing at AspireIQ and now the VP of Marketing at Brandfolder, I understand just how important, and how difficult, it is that companies solve one of the most pressing problems in influencer marketing: How do we manage all of this awesome content?

High-volume creative

Influencers aren’t just influencers anymore. Brands are turning to them as a source of high-quality creative. There are lots of reasons why, but we won’t get into that here. Simply put, audiences prefer images and videos shot from real life that look authentic over traditional photoshoots, which can look too polished and inauthentic. Not to mention that sourcing influencer creative costs a fraction of the price of working with a professional studio, and it can be commissioned from many people in many locations at once.

But when marketers turn on the influencer tap, they’re sometimes hit with an overwhelming firehose of high-quality creative. Just ask Nutrabolt, which has connected with 50+ influencers one-on-one and in a single campaign, received tags and mentions in over 400 Instagram stories.

With access to so much content, marketers face a unique set of logistical challenges, some of which prevent them from taking full advantage of what they paid for:

  • Overwhelming volume. With the sheer amount of content that influencers and community members produce—which can be as much as seven times what your in-house creative team makes in isolation—keeping assets organized, searchable, and resurfaceable is a struggle.
  • Poor usability. Because of the high volume of incoming content from many sources, visuals rarely live in one central, easily accessible location. Assets end up scattered or tucked away in a folder system that goes deeper than a set of Russian nesting dolls—this guarantees that your marketing team will never know where to look when it comes time to pick a featured image for a blog post or email campaign.
  • Trouble managing creative licenses. Companies get sued all the time for not keeping track of usage rights. If you’re not keeping a careful record of when your rights to use your influencers’ images expire, you’re risking an expensive legal case—not to mention a soured influencer relationship that you worked so hard to cultivate.

Left unchecked, your storage folders can grow chaotic, and it creates something called asset sprawl, which exacts a heavy, hidden cost. Some marketing teams waste as much as 10 percent of their workweek searching for the content they need, only to find it nested ten folders deep, or attached to a long-forgotten email. Besides throwing away their valuable time and energy, they’re squandering content they pay for. So what’s a savvy marketer to do?

Invest in a digital asset management (DAM) platform.

What is a DAM?

A DAM is a centralized content hub that keeps things organized and makes everything searchable. It’s the industry standard for asset creation, storage, management, and distribution across all departments. Big brands like Lyft, Slack, and Under Armour use it to stay organized, keep content up to date, and ensure everyone on their team has access to the right assets at the right time. But a lot of DAMs (like Brandfolder) are accessible to companies of all sizes.

Some DAM tools even include a content delivery network (CDN), which propagates the changes made to an asset in one location everywhere it’s used online. This type of CDN is also able to automatically remove expired content from online properties if it’s still up but shouldn’t be.

Here’s how a DAM tool can ensure you get the best value out of the assets your influencers and community members create:

1. Tame the chaos

A DAM tool gives influencers an easy way to share assets with you at the point of ingestion. They can use drag and drop to bulk upload, even if it’s in multiple file formats. The tool will automatically record metadata such as the date, time, and the name of the individual who created the asset, labeling each incoming piece with its point of origin.

2. Get everyone on the same page

Once content is in the DAM system, your whole team can access it from one central location. You can organize your content into ‘collections’ which act like playlists, meaning the same asset can live in multiple collections without the need to duplicate files. A good DAM will even allow you to edit photos or videos from within the storage tool and export with social media presets—no need to open up Photoshop just to resize an image.

3. Find what you’re looking for—fast

Today’s advanced DAM systems use AI to automatically tag assets, ensuring every piece of content is meticulously labeled and organized. If you need to add additional tags, you can do so using custom or bulk tagging features. Some DAMs even come equipped with intelligent search features that correct misspellings and help you quickly locate the content you’re looking for.

4. Prevent expensive lawsuits

Within your DAM tool, you can set publish and expiration dates for your assets to correspond with campaign and license deadlines—ensuring that only currently available assets will be viewable to end users. Let’s say, like the custom furniture company Interior Define, you want to use IGC on your website. If your DAM includes a CDN, you can set it up to automatically remove expired assets anywhere they appear online, preventing any accidental violations of licensing agreements.

Additionally, you can establish administrator privileges to approve any new content before it becomes widely available, so the team knows that anything they find in the DAM tool is current.

Take advantage of all your content

An influencer marketing program is a fantastic wellspring of fresh and interesting content but it’s only as good as the organizational system behind it. In order to get the full value out of your influencers’ creations, you need to be equipped to locate and deploy the right assets at the right time. A DAM tool, like Brandfolder, can help you do that—so you can stop spending so much time searching and can get back to being creative.

With the right influencer platform to source influencer content and secure usage rights and a DAM to help deploy that content, your customers won’t be able to help but take notice.

About Brandfolder

Brandfolder is an intuitive DAM that helps companies manage, distribute, and analyze all of their digital assets. We believe finding your company’s assets should be as easy as using Google Image Search. If you’re sick of trying to organize your awesome content within complicated folder hierarchies in Google Drive or Dropbox, let us help.