Tips for Managing Digital Assets in a Content Management System

How do I find the asset I need?
Does my co-worker have a more appropriate asset sitting on his local drive on his computer?
Is the asset I found the most current version?
How do I make sure no one uses the outdated versions?
Where’s the translated version?

These are some of the issues of managing digital assets for a content set. It can be an overwhelming job, especially if your content set contains lots of graphics, videos, animations and sound clips to illustrate instructions and procedures. While file systems may get you more organized, they don’t help much to actually manage the assets for easy searchability and retrievability.

If you already have a content management system (CMS), use it to manage your assets along with your textual content. Here are a few tips to help you get your content management system’s digital assets under control:

Give it a good home.

Just like a file cabinet has file folders to classify information, a CMS can organize content in the database so it is easier to find. Store the artwork for your documentation as a collection of Graphics, and put the videos, animations and sound clips in a Multimedia collection. Writers will find it easy to locate the right media files when they need them if they are logically organized in the CMS.

Know what’s in a name.

Create a file naming structure that is clear and descriptive. Make sure all artists and writers are aware of the structure so everyone follows the same naming rules. A unique, descriptive name can be used as a keyword when searching for an asset about a specific topic.

So far, this all sounds like a file system, right? Here’s where you get the bang for your buck using a content management system:

Dress it up.

The CMS automatically captures system-generated metadata, such as who created it, who last edited it, when it was last edited, the size of the file, and the file type. To further enhance the metadata, use attributes to give your assets additional information, such as keywords, languages, or specific product usage requirements. When creating the metadata, shoot for useful terms that will help you find assets.

Find it.

One of the key advantages in managing digital assets in a CMS is that it makes finding them faster and easier. Use the CMS’s advanced search capabilities to narrow your choices when looking for that perfect graphic or multimedia file. Use the filename or any of the metadata described in the previous tip to find the appropriate files. When your search is narrowed to a list of candidates that match your criteria, use the thumbnails to preview your choices.

Reuse it.

Once you have found the right asset, reuse it in your document. By linking to the file in the CMS (rather than making a copy of it), you can be sure that your document will always contain the most current version of the asset.

Revisit ancient history…easily.

If you occasionally have a need to go back and use an older version of an asset, it’s no problem…that is, if you stored your assets in the CMS. Every version of a content management system digital asset is retrievable – even if it was previously deleted.

Contact us to learn more about managing digital assets in a CMS.

These are just a few of the many benefits of managing digital assets in a CMS. Vasont Systems has nearly a quarter century of experience in providing effective content management solutions for companies in a wide range of industries. We can help you enhance your understanding of content management system digital assets and the advantages they offer to your organization.

Call us at 717-764-9720 or visit our website for help in getting started with your content management strategy.