It’s 2022: Time for a digital declutter

Content chaos can really slow us down. Top performing higher education marketing and communications teams produce an unprecedented amount of new content, but these digital assets can easily end up scattered to the winds

If you’ve ever struggled to find digital content, you know what it’s like to have a storage system that’s working against you. Poorly planned file storage can create bottlenecks and bring creative flow to a screeching halt. Unfortunately, most teams have experienced this first-hand. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. When you manage your digital content correctly, you can use it more intentionally, leveraging your brand and media assets into concrete gains for your organisation.

Here are some tips to set up a content library that works for you, not against you.

Use the right tools

Many universities and other educational institutions have digital assets spread all over the place – including shared servers, Google Drive, Dropbox, and individual devices. By centralising your files in a single library, you remove the first hurdle to finding what you need: knowing where it’s stored.

Just as importantly, keeping all your brand assets in a centralised library also helps unify the look and feel of your brand. Internal team members as well as external agencies can draw from the same set of graphics and images no matter where they’re based. Social media managers can easily find pre-approved imagery that reflects your brand. Plus, with everything in the same place, it’s easy to maintain an overview of what’s in your brand’s library and take outdated content out of rotation.

The software that enables this is called digital asset management software (often shortened to DAM) and is provided by companies like Canto. It helps teams work faster and smarter by streamlining the way they organise, find and share their digital content, including imagery and video.

Make things searchable

If you want to find the perfect image for your marketing, your media files need to be searchable – especially important given 46% of marketers say they’ve lost important files because they can’t remember what they named them. 

It’s good practice to add tags, keywords and other metadata to your images when you upload them. This is especially important for photographs and other images that don’t have searchable text. But in the age of automation, there’s no need to do everything by hand. If your DAM library is equipped with image recognition, you can easily search images whether you’ve tagged them or not. Looking for photos of a specific faculty member? A library with facial recognition means you can find photos of one person among thousands in seconds.

Store the guidance that goes with each file

A well-functioning library is more than just a place to store your media files – it also needs to store all the information that goes with them. This not only makes your content searchable, it provides helpful guidance for how to use it. Got seasonal assets, for example around open days, course application deadlines, and departmental events? Set dates to activate and deactivate them automatically at the right time. Want images to be used only in certain campaigns? Label them clearly, so there’s no confusion. 

When you keep track of copyright and use permissions in the same place you store your files, you can publish content confidently without running afoul of restrictions. And managing digital rights is even more important when you’re sharing files externally – be it with partner organisations, the press, or others.

Help people to help themselves

When you’ve decluttered, take advantage of new ways of working. To empower your collaborators and protect your content, give people access to everything they need, and nothing they don’t. One of the best ways to do this is with curated collections in download portals, where people don’t need to access your whole library to find what they’re looking for quickly.

When people can self-serve and help themselves, everybody wins. The marketing team no longer has to respond to myriad requests for assets. Commercial teams and research groups can equip themselves to bring in opportunities, and you can democratise campus storytelling by opening your image libraries up to staff on the ground.

Digital content is growing at an increasing rate. Make this the year your organisation declutters!

Image is everything – Canto, in partnership with Education Technology and University Business will be presenting a live webinar on 31st March 2022.

We’ll discuss why visual identity is key to student recruitment.

Join us:

You might also like: Pedtech: Voices to listen to in 2022

Leave a Reply

Free live webinar & QA

Blended learning – Did we forget about the students?

Free Education Webinar with Class

Wednesday, June 15, 11AM London BST

Join our expert panel as we look at what blended learning means in 2022 and how universities can meet the needs of ever more diverse student expectations.