Articles

Why is version control an important aspect of DAM?

BY BOOM Editorial

Branding and marketing usually require updating, editing, and repurposing lots of media files (e.g. images, video, and audio) for multiple purposes. It’s a lot to keep track of - which makes version control one of the most valuable features of a great DAM (digital asset management) system. 

Discover how asset version control works, and how it can help you boost efficiency, maintain brand consistency and avoid expensive mistakes. 

What is version control? 

Version control is a function that enables you to manage and track each version of a file from a single location. 

Most importantly, it ensures users are always working on the correct file. Especially useful for managers, it also allows you to see how and why a particular file has changed over time. 

A business can easily find itself with lots of similar versions of the same digital asset in play across multiple channels and campaigns. Let’s take the example of one of your flagship product images, for instance. You’ll probably have a definitive master copy. You probably also have other versions - cropped, reformatted or enhanced in subtly different ways - so they work best on say, Instagram, your Amazon listing, website, and various digital ads. Version control helps you manage these iterations, so the right one is always being used for the right channel. It also lets you preserve the previous versions of the files, alongside the unaltered original. 

How does version control work? 

With the best DAM systems (BOOM Worksite included), a number of useful technological features all work together to help keep you in control of your asset versions. 

Permissions 

You get to control who can view, download, edit and share different versions of all your assets. So for example, if someone is responsible for managing your social media feed, you can give them access and editing permissions for the Facebook and Instagram versions of a particular video but not the original version. 

Tagging and search  

At the very least, a really good DAM should provide a library to store all your company’s visual assets all in one place. However, if you have lots of different versions of the same asset (e.g. for your various regional websites, social media and other digital advertising), you need a way to find precisely the version you need for a specific purpose. 

Metadata helps you differentiate between subtly different assets. The beauty of Worksite is that it can automatically tag and enrich every visual with metadata. This is coupled with an easy-to-use search function so you can get your hands on precisely the right version in an instant. 

Share links 

With Worksite, you can copy and paste the link to an asset to distribute your visual anywhere online. You can configure the system so that if that asset version is updated in the DAM, it is automatically updated everywhere that the file is embedded. So with a single update, you can stay in control of consistent versioning across multiple brand touchpoints. 

Integrations 

As our 5 essential DAM integrations article shows, BOOM can actually enhance your entire marketing tech stack, by making it possible for other programs to search and access your digital assets and metadata from the DAM system. 

You can decide which files are shared between systems. Any time an asset version is updated, that change is automatically applied in any place where the asset has been shared through integration. 

What are the benefits of version control? 

Enhanced efficiency 

Especially with multiple channels and campaigns on the go, lots of time can be wasted in searching through large volumes of similar assets in search of the right one. Version control helps creatives to quickly isolate precisely the file they need, allowing them to focus more time on production. 

It can also mean less time wasted on duplicated production. Let’s say you want to create a cropped version of a longer video for Twitter, for instance. Instead of going back to the original version, they may be able to use a shortened clip that’s already been created and stored as a separate version within the DAM. 

Reduced risk of error 

A lack of version control gives rise to all kinds of risky workflows. For example, when using an existing asset as the basis for creating a new one, it’s so easy for the original one to be accidentally and permanently overwritten. 

There’s also the opposite problem: you think you’ve updated an asset to reflect your new branding guidelines, but an out-of-date version suddenly and unexpectedly appears somewhere in your campaign. 

Proper version control prevents accidental permanent overwrites and also helps prevent old or wrong assets from appearing in the wrong locations. 

Brand consistency 

It’s essential to be able to tell the same brand story across all your channels. If out-of-date or conflicting content starts popping up in different places, customer confusion is pretty much guaranteed. 

The easier it is to distribute the right asset versions to the right places, the easier it becomes to maintain brand consistency. Through a combination of version control, link sharing and integrations, BOOM ensures that your assets are always used in the way you intend. 

How can version control help creative teams? 

Version control helps give creatives a clean project folder the confidence of knowing that they are always working on the correct file version. At the same time, It’s not unusual to have multiple team members working collaboratively on an asset. Version control ensures that these individuals are literally working on the same page, with amendments visible in real-time. 

From a creative management perspective, version tracking allows you to see who did what and when, including the ability to compare multiple versions side-by-side. 

Find out more

Worksite delivers everything you need to organize, optimize and distribute ALL your visual assets, without risk of versioning errors or costly duplication of work. Interested in giving it a try?

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