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The 5 Best Digital Asset Management Software Tools

If content is truly the new currency, your business needs to find a way to keep the content it creates protected, while also ensuring everyone follows the company’s branding guidelines.

When your content appears on a variety of digital properties, managing the way it’s used and ensuring the maintenance of branding standards can be a daunting task.

That’s where digital asset management (DAM) software enters the picture. DAM helps with managing your valuable digital content by organizing it, simplifying searches, and maintaining the appropriate level of security.

We’ve selected the five best digital asset management software tools that have useful features for a variety of business users.

Amplifi

For those seeking an easy to use DAM software package, Amplifi will be a popular choice. Its interface makes a lot of sense, even for those with little experience using digital asset management software tools, so members of the organization will be able to be productive quickly.

Amplifi simplifies the organization of your digital assets by automatically grouping new files with similar assets, saving the administrator time in setting up the system. End users will appreciate the strong organizational aspects of Amplifi too.

If you would like detailed reporting functions about how team members are using the files, however, Amplifi lags other choices in this area.

Pros

  • Automatically groups items to enhance organization of the assets
  • Works seamlessly with other software packages, like Google Drive
  • Interface is easy to navigate, reducing time required for training
  • Limits the amount of metadata you must manually enter for each asset

Cons

  • Pricing is not easy to understand
  • Doesn’t offer many analytics about the usage of your assets

Pricing

  • Must request custom quote, but free demo is available

Brandfolder

Brandfolder is an extremely popular DAM software package, serving large and small businesses equally well.

It easily handles the basic features any digital asset management software package should offer, but it also incorporates advanced features to fully leverage your library of digital assets.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to Brandfolder is that it has so many advanced features, some end users will need extra time learning to use the software or may become confused about the options available, especially if they only need to access files occasionally.

The search functions in Brandfolder are strong, as it uses advanced algorithms and AI to help users locate the exact file they’re seeking with a higher level of success than some others.

Pros

  • Excellent reporting functions to identify the highest performing assets
  • Allows for customization of the interface
  • Multiple integrations with popular apps and software packages
  • Most searches go quickly and successfully

Cons

  • Extra features can confuse some users
  • Almost has too many price quote options

Pricing

  • Must request custom quote, but free demo is available

Canto

Canto offers a high level of flexibility and usability for end users, giving it a leg up versus other digital asset management software tools. Its interface is easy to use and visually pleasing, allowing end users to figure out how to use it effectively in very little time. The interface migrates well to almost any device, including smartphones and tablets, which is highly convenient.

You will need to enter more data about each asset when uploading the files than you do with some other DAM software packages, which is time consuming, but Canto puts this extra information to good use through its highly successful search functionality.

Canto integrates seamlessly with quite a few different software packages and apps, which is a nice feature for the organization that would like to maintain some of the features it already has in place for its digital asset management.

Pros

  • Greatly simplifies the search process
  • Customer support features are among the best for DAM software vendors
  • Multiple integrations with popular apps and software packages
  • Offer a 15-day free trial period

Cons

  • Requires users to add quite a bit of data about each asset at the time of upload
  • Needs a fast Internet connection, or the system’s loading speed will frustrate you

Price

  • Must request custom quote, 15-day free trial is available

Libris

Libris has a strong set of digital assessment management features, but its feature set doesn’t stop there. Customers will be able to obtain help with website design and product management alongside the asset management features found with Libris.

This software is especially strong in terms of its management of photography assets. You can even change the resolution or file format for your photographs inside the software.

If your organization is growing, Libris has the ability to scale alongside you, managing the growth in your digital assets seamlessly.

We believe some businesses will dislike the search features in this DAM software, as finding just the right asset seems to take a bit longer than it should.

Pros

  • Feature set goes beyond digital asset management
  • Especially strong for organizing photographs
  • Provides support for multiple file formats
  • Easily scales to match the needs of different sized organizations

Cons

  • Search functionality could be better
  • Doesn’t include many integrations with other apps

Price

  • Must request custom quote

Widen Collective

For those organizations that need the best search functions in a DAM software package, Widen Collective is going to fit the bill. This software is able to make use of the metadata you store with each asset file to aid in highly accurate searches, which can be a huge benefit for certain organizations.

Customers also appreciate the ability to customize the Widen Collective service through multiple apps. These features help with making the software work efficiently for your business without taking on significant extra expense.

One of its most unique features is its ability to generate reports about which people are using which assets, which can improve the overall efficiency of the system and which helps you identify the most popular and well-performing assets.

You will want to have an extremely fast and reliable Internet connection when incorporating Widen Collective, as it can be time consuming to download your asset files from the cloud without steady connection speeds.

Pros

  • Excellent search functionality
  • Incorporates highly accurate metadata searches
  • Delivers analytics and reports to show the success of individual assets
  • Incorporates with popular apps seamlessly

Cons

  • Pricing is not easy to understand
  • Large file size downloads can be a little slow

Pricing

  • Must request custom quote, but free demo is available

How to Pick Your Digital Asset Management Software

When looking at how individual businesses manage their digital assets, one thing seems common: The process does not become less complex over time. As the business grows, it will develop more assets, and more people will need to access those assets, meaning management becomes even more challenging.

Incorporating DAM software as early as possible makes the process far easier to manage as you grow. Here are some tips for selecting digital asset management software to best fit your needs.

Access Levels

If multiple departments need to access different types of digital assets, the system administrator should seek software that allows for levels of control.

This becomes especially important if the business employs a third-party marketing or advertising agency that doesn’t need to see certain digital assets in your collection. With this feature, give the outside agency limited access to your catalog and no ability to make changes to it, while giving people inside the business the level of editing and searching power they require.

Determine the Installation Timeline

As you’re incorporating the digital asset management software into the organization, there will come a point where the assets are going to be difficult, if not impossible, to access for your team members because of the ongoing installation process. This will cause significant frustration.

Ask any potential vendor how quickly the changeover can go and look for guarantees. As long as you can give team members a specific timeline, they may be more forgiving about not being able to fully access the assets … as long as you and the vendor don’t miss the installation deadline.

File Limitations

Some DAM software may have limitations on file formats or file sizes. This may not be important for your organization, because you only use commonly available file formats.

However, if you sometimes need to use complex file formats or if you have a large number of high resolution photos and videos as part of your digital assets, any limitations on formatting or file size could be a deal breaker for your needs.

Incorporating Existing Tools

Some types of DAM software have compatibility with various apps that your team may already be using. If you want those in the organization to embrace switching over to the digital asset management software, selecting a model that works with the tools they’re already using will help with buy-in.

Search Functionality

For an organization considering DAM software, the software’s search capabilities should be near the top of the list of must-have features. Will the software package include the ability to search for assets through the stored metadata?

One of the reasons businesses choose to incorporate digital asset management software is to improve the ability of employees to find the digital assets they need to do their work. If employees constantly struggle to find the assets they want within the DAM’s search parameters, team members will not fully embrace the software.

Support for Customers

There’s a good chance that you’re going to need help from the vendor at some point, whether it’s during the install and setup process or once you’re up and running in the future.

Take some time to read online reviews to figure out whether the vendor you’re considering has a track record of successful customer support results.

Support for Devices

How will members of your organization be able to access the digital assets? Can they use their own devices, such as smartphones, or are there limitations to using a web browser on a company computer?

If you pick a vendor that has a cloud solution, members of the team should have multiple options for accessing the digital assets. But some organizations would rather store the digital assets on-premises, rather than in the vendor’s cloud, which will narrow the potential choices of vendors.

Thinking About Security

Digital asset management software will have some security features built into it, but you still need to make sure your IT team is on board with the choice. Ask the head of the IT department if he or she has any recommendations for the software from a security standpoint.

Incorporating the IT department early on in the process gives you additional buy-in from this key group in the organization.

Selecting the Best DAM Software

Once you have determined the most important features your business needs in DAM software, you’ll be ready to move forward. Although it may seem like a daunting task to organize your digital assets, don’t put off the selection of your DAM software.

After you’ve made a choice, you’ll appreciate how much this software actually simplifies things, allowing your business to fully utilize its digital assets, all while maintaining security and brand guidelines. You’ll wonder why you waited so long to pick the best digital asset management software.

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