The enterprise today is well aware of the benefits of a cutting-edge social media strategy and is more committed than ever to achieving social media ROI. But for the marketer, executing a social media strategy can be time-consuming and with an ROI that seems impossible to prove. With the explosion of this new channel in the last couple of years, marketers have spent enormous amounts of energy trying to optimize social media processes and finding better ways to measure the effectiveness of these campaigns.
One such trend that has grown from this effort is the increased use of rich media management to drive social media optimization, social media ROI, and customer engagement. Digital asset management (DAM) is the management, cataloging and delivery of rich media files. The benefits of DAM for marketing and communications teams are realized across channels from print production to online marketing and of course, social media marketing. Without DAM, a campaign focused on image and video content, a mainstay for today’s marketer, becomes difficult to manage and track, costing a company countless wasted hours.
McDonald’s successful Twitter campaign
Images and videos create a level of engagement that cannot be achieved with text alone. In fact, according to the social search engine, Topsy, over the course of 2011 Twitter’s photo sharing has grown by 421 percent, and in December alone having 58.4 million photos shared.
Smart businesses recognize this and rely more than ever on rich media content to drive traffic. Just last month, McDonald’s launched a campaign on Twitter to promote the Shamrock Shake by asking their followers to send photos of that unmistakable bright green treat. McDonald’s then shared their favorite photos via Twitter. What a great way to make me feel engaged with a company by allowing me to contribute my own photos — while making my mouth water at the sight of cleverly placed Shamrock Shakes throughout the country. Nice way to turn it around, McDonald’s.
Any experienced marketer that has orchestrated such a campaign knows it’s not as easy as it sounds. For starters, how does McDonalds’ manage all those photo submissions, likely received in varying sizes, formats and resolutions? Second, how can they repurpose this campaign across other social channels? And third, was the campaign worth it in the end? How much time was invested and what was their return? How many people viewed the images? How many people re-tweeted or otherwise spread the word? And the most difficult to measure: how many Shamrock Shakes did they sell as a result?
I should mention I have no idea how McDonald’s did it and was in no way involved in the campaign. But what I do know is — with the right rich media management tools, even the smallest teams can accomplish similar social media campaigns, driving user engagement and reaching new levels of social media ROI.
Getting DAM social
A social media strategy can be particularly difficult to manage due to the vast number of social channels and speed to which content can be repurposed. For social media, the key benefits of DAM can be broken down into the 3 As – Access, Automation and Analytics.
- Access – Nearly all marketing and creative teams face the challenge of an inability to reuse and repurpose digital content because they simply can’t find it. DAMs provide an effective way to centralize rich media and make it readily accessible across teams, departments and channels. DAMs provide controlled access. For a social media strategy, this level of control is critical to ensure visitors can only access the appropriate content in the appropriate sizes and formats.
- Automation – Digital asset management offers time-saving workflow and automation capabilities allowing teams to launch and manage social campaigns faster and more efficiently. For instance, DAM systems can automatically re-size and convert digital files, eliminating the tedious step of converting high-resolution graphical files to web-ready versions. Images can be standardized and published to the web in seconds, a task that would have taken hours if done manually using conventional tools.
- Analytics – Most businesses today still lack measurable social media ROI, other than to count useless metrics like number of followers. To get a clear understanding of the effectiveness of your social campaigns, you need to get down to the nitty-gritty details of impressions and traffic sources. When assets are centralized, they become trackable; and in marketing, we love trackable. Using a digital asset management system to directly serve up content such as videos and images, useful analytics such as impressions and sources can be tracked. As with web analytics, understanding this information is critical in making smarter marketing decisions and answering tough questions. Which social media channels are getting the most impressions? Which images resulted in the most forwards or retweets? What sources are driving the most traffic?
In 2012 the majority of organizations understand the power of deploying an effective social media strategy and challenges measuring social media ROI. With the never-ending growth of content and explosion of rich media assets driving social media strategy, a marketer’s tool belt has become more important than ever to achieve competitive advantage and measure success. As a result, digital asset management solutions have taken the market by storm — taking the burden of managing the flood of rich media and turning it into an opportunity for marketers to be even more creative, innovative, and valuable.
When marketing-savvy organizations select or implement a digital asset management system, they have a slew of ingredients to consider. DAM can be deployed as an on-premise, installed solution or as a turnkey cloud platform. Today, most organizations seem to want digital asset management in the cloud for the obvious ROI benefits of quick anytime-anywhere access to media files. Additional ingredients to consider include reliability, performance, innovative features like automated publishing to social media sites, intelligent search, support and the overall usability to end users.
Noted for providing a wealth of insight on DAM selection and implementation, a great website to check out is DAMSuccess.com. It is an informational and online social community on everything digital asset management. For more information about the different types of DAMs, benefits, getting started, and best practices, visit the online community — enjoyed by marketing professionals, digital asset managers, users, DAM experts and more.
Jody Vandergriff is Co-Founder of WebDAM Solutions, the leader in digital asset management, offering a cloud-based platform for marketing and creative professionals to manage, share and distribute rich media. She brings 15 years of experience in web user interface, data management, and software development. In her role as VP of Marketing and Sales at WebDAM Solutions, Jody enjoys working with professionals across diverse industries, providing new insights into the everyday struggles of media management. She is passionate about educating people on ways to make their jobs more efficient through digital asset management. Jody can be reached at jody at webdamsolutions dot com.