DAM as an alternative to cloud-based storage solutions 

BY BOOM Editorial

It’s very common for businesses to use services such as Dropbox and OneDrive for storing and sharing files. So if you are a marketer or brand manager who already has access to a cloud-based storage service, you might be wondering if you really need digital asset management (DAM). 

Read on to discover the differences between standard cloud storage and DAM, what each type of service is designed for, and how the two technologies can complement each other. 

What is a cloud storage solution? 

Cloud storage refers to a service that allows you to store files online through a cloud computing provider. Some of the most popular cloud storage providers include Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Dropbox. 

Accessibility is a big advantage of cloud storage. So long as they have an internet connection, cloud storage solutions mean that employees can sign in and access the company’s files from anywhere. Scalability is another major benefit. Cloud storage is usually paid for through a storage-as-a-service (STaaS) subscription model: if your business needs more storage, you can simply upgrade your service plan.   

What is cloud DAM and how does it differ from standard cloud storage? 

Cloud storage is a kind of ‘catch-all’ technology. If you have a storage platform in play within your business, there’s a pretty good chance that lots of different departments use it to host and share everything from invoice templates and financial spreadsheets, right through to HR reports. 

DAM (Digital Asset Management) is a much more performance-oriented kind of technology: one that’s specifically designed to help you manage visual digital assets like images and videos. A DAM platform gives you a centralized location to organize all your digital content - e.g. graphic designs, photography, video, audio, presentations, branding guidelines and more - so you and your team can easily find, share, adapt and manage all your digital assets. (Tip: if you’re new to DAM technology, be sure to check out this guide). 

Most DAM platforms (BOOM Worksite included) are cloud-based, which is super-useful for making your asset library available to scattered team members and external collaborators. However, just because a DAM is described as “cloud-based”, don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s “basically the same as Google Drive”! Generic cloud storage products are fine for just storing your assets, but if you pass up on DAM technology, you’ll be missing out on all of the extra features that allow you to organize and realize maximum return on investment from your digital content.     

What are the benefits of DAM over basic cloud-based storage? 

Search and retrieval 

With most general cloud storage solutions, you can only search for items by their file name. It’s fine if you know exactly what you’re looking for; less so if you want to browse thematically linked content, or to find a suitable existing asset to repurpose for a new campaign. 

With DAM, the retrieval features are way more extensive. BOOM Worksite is especially useful on the search front, as the platform comes with automated and customized tagging. This means you can enrich assets with whatever metadata and contextual keywords work best for your business and how your users search for content. It makes it really easy for users to get their hands on suitable content for whatever project they’re working on. 

File formats and conversion

It is often necessary to reformat or convert an original media file for use on different channels. Most traditional cloud storage services only allow you to share or download a file in its original form. A DAM platform can convert files for you automatically. 

Workflow control and management 

Most cloud storage solutions will give you basic access permission controls, along with the ability to see when files have been accessed. DAM gives you much more fine-grained control over your assets, so workflow management becomes a lot easier. This includes the ability to track changes, to see where and when assets have been deployed, and add comments and time stamps. DAM also allows you to be very selective about assigning access, editing, and usage rights: something that’s very useful for making sure branding guidelines are adhered to. 

Version control

One of the biggest challenges for marketers is managing lots of similar versions of the same digital asset in use across multiple channels and campaigns. You need to ensure the right version is used in the right place, and users need to be sure they’re accessing or working on the correct file. 

Basic cloud storage isn’t really geared up to this challenge. With BOOM Worksite by contrast, multiple features come together to help keep you on top of versioning. This includes tagging and smart search so you can easily differentiate between subtly different versions, and a ‘share link’ function that can be configured so that if a particular asset version is updated in the DAM, it is automatically updated everywhere that the file has been embedded. You can read more about DAM version control here.   

Can you use DAM and cloud storage together? 

In a word, yes. 

For instance, when creatives are collaborating on a brand new asset, they might decide to store and share the files linked to their work-in-progress over something like Dropbox. When it’s finished, they can transfer it over to the DAM. 

More good news: BOOM Worksite comes with effortless content migration and easy integration with other business tools. This means users can import assets from the likes of Dropbox or Google Drive to the DAM in just a couple of clicks. 

Find out more 

BOOM Worksite goes way beyond standard cloud storage to deliver everything you need to organize, optimize and get maximum value from ALL your visual assets. To see more, check out our free demo. 

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