First of all, what are your brand assets? I think one mistake entrepreneurs frequently make is they think that their brand assets are just their logo, their brand name, their trademark, if they have it, and maybe some icons or images that they have developed for their brand.
In truth, you have a lot more brand assets than you realize and how you track them has a bearing not only on your operational efficiency (hello, how many times have you recreated a doc because you couldn’t find the original?), but on your brand safety and your expense ratio. Have you ever hired a designer? Recreating graphics is going to cost you!
Let’s go through those brand assets.
- Your core messaging is a brand asset. The way that you use your messaging is unique to your brand. So you want to make sure that you have your key brand messaging organized in a single place where you can easily access it and share it with other stakeholders securely. The way that we do it is we put everything together in a brand blueprint. Your core brand messaging is easy to access and easy to digest in the brand blueprint. So your brand messaging would include things like your mission, your vision, your promise, your brand offer, unique selling propositions, your brand story, and your brand values. So those are the things that you’re reusing consistently across all communications, because they’re those core pieces that convey your brand. You want to keep them in one place. And you also want to make sure that every now and then you check your competitors to make sure they’re not ripping what you have created.
- Your next set of brand assets are your visual assets. And your visual assets include your colors, color combinations of gradients, your fonts, the different versions of your logo and logo variations, and iconography. So if you’ve developed some icons to go with your website, some icons to go on to your brochures, or even your internal employee materials, you want to keep track of all of those pieces. Again, you want to be able to access them easily, share them with the right parties, and be able to find them and use them for different marketing communications.
- Your next set of brand assets goes a little bit further than your core visual brand identity. And it includes the illustrations that you developed to convey different concepts of what you do or how your product works. It includes photography that you do for your brand, whether it’s product shots, headshots, of you and your team, team photography, group photography, client photography, and other photos, including stock photos that you are consistently using across different marketing channels and in different activities and campaigns. You don’t want to have to look through 800 folders and Google drive’s and one drives and drop boxes and SD cards and thumb drives and your freelance team’s folders.
- Next important set of your brand assets is video. So whether you’re doing explainer videos, Whiteboard Videos, screen casting videos, interviews with clients or video product reviews, or maybe you just popping up and doing a tip video or an unboxing video, whatever is applicable to your brand, keep those videos in one place, and make sure you have your raw footage and your edited footage both available in your video folder. You want to make sure that you are tracking those assets so that you can go back to them and easily get more ideas to maybe slice and dice a video and, you know, use micro videos for Facebook ads, you just don’t know where they’re going to be useful.
- Your next set of brand assets are ads. This is a kind of a different animal from your core content, and it’s kind of a different animal from social media graphics. So if you’re running Facebook ads, if you’re running Insta ads, or Google ads, you want to make sure that you start organizing, creating sort of a swipe file of your ads, because again, whatever you spend time and money creating, you want to make sure that you don’t ever have to duplicate it. If it’s there, you can always access it and edit it. So one good way you can do that is you can take your create a folder in Google Drive for your ads, and you can put the ad photo and the ad contents and the keywords that you’re targeting all in one word document and then also attach them in Google Drive. You can create sub folders for separate ads.
Tips for organizing your storage
DAM stands for digital asset management
Keeping everything in one place is a good habit to get into. And the way that you get into that habit is you set up a single place, where all of those assets need to go. So then everybody knows, if they receive an asset from a designer or they create an asset, this is where they put it. And this is especially true, and especially applicable to brands that post heavily on social media. So your brand is great in a ton of social media graphics, you want to make sure that you keep them all in one place too, because you may want to reuse them or you may want to use them for something similar. So you just never know when they might come in handy. You’re putting the time and energy and money into creating these resources. Make sure that you’re not wasting time, energy and money looking for them or having to recreate them.
Make sure that you’re naming things clearly and consistently and tagging all of your files. That is the key is tagging your files because they can be so hard to find even with well organized folders.
So when you go to create your DAM library, and I guess that’s the general advice is you want to create it somewhere where your team can easily access it and you can easily access it we’re sharing can be turned on and off. So that people who maybe leave the company or freelancers that you’re no longer using don’t have access to your internal files. You can use Google Drive for that. You can use one drive, you can use Dropbox.
One thing I absolutely love using also is Asana. Because in Asana, you can use boards to also store information, not just to create tasks. And you can attach files and photos and link them. It could work to have your library of assets in there. I still think that my favorite and the most cost effective because it’s free for the most part would be Google Drive. So that would be probably the place that I would recommend using.