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A quick Google search shows that there are a ton of options out there for managing digital assets. Here are the digital asset management (DAM) features you should look for to help narrow down your search.

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s talk about the main benefits these features provide and how a DAM can help you achieve them:

Benefit #1: Upload any digital file type

Digital asset management platforms provide a one-stop shop for all your digital content. With unlimited storage, you can upload any file type, size (even jumbo ones!) and format you need. In order to get the most out of this category of features, you’ll want to look out for tools that allow you to bulk upload using drag-and-drop for smoother file saving and storage.

You’ll also want to prioritize solutions that offer secure guest uploading for third parties and clients so they can easily collaborate with the entire team. Automated asset categorization is also a key feature worth having so that every item you or someone else adds to your files is correctly labeled and stored away.

Benefit #2: File and content organization


One of the main features of a digital asset management system is file and content organization. Best-in-class DAM tools make it easy for collaborators to see what you have and find what they need right when they need it. Having organizational features also ensures that your team will actually use the assets you’ve created.

But organization isn’t just about file names. Leading digital asset management platforms simplify asset search and discovery through features like the following:

  • Sections: Separate items by category, purpose, or type.
  • Collections: Group related assets together.
  • Labels: Add one or more custom keywords to enhance searchability.
  • Auto-tagging: Have file tagging done for you with AI that can analyze details (including objects and text within an image) and add related tags automatically.
  • Sort and filter: Sort and filter assets across libraries of any size.

There’s also duplicate detection functionality, which automatically finds and alerts users of identical copies, saving your team the time and trouble of looking for lost files, accidentally using wrong versions and more.

Benefit #3: Search and discovery

Smart search and discovery is an important aspect of digital asset management tools. Not only does it give team members the ability to find what they need right when they need it, but it also empowers users to creatively locate files, even if they don’t know what they’re titled. Unlike traditional file storage systems that rely solely on file names, keywords, types and relevant dates to produce results, DAMs go above and beyond to include features such as:

  • In-document searches: Locate words and phrases used within assets of any type (including images).
  • Pinned searches: Save frequently searched queries for faster retrieval later on.
  • Automatic metadata extraction: Easily locate files based on metadata the AI extracts for you.
  • Suggested searches: Review autopopulated search suggestions to discover the best search term or phrase.

Benefit #4: Be productive with creative workflows

Creative workflows are enhanced and perfected with the help of the right DAM features. From content automation to workflow and collaboration tools, teams are empowered to stay on top of creative tasks and goals simultaneously.

Having a single source of truth is the key to optimizing what teams work on and how they work on it. With DAMs, creative workflows prevent and mitigate common issues such as bottlenecks, miscommunication and misused asset rights. They also optimize processes, generating outcomes that are both easier to achieve and higher quality than ever before.

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The 13 DAM Features

1. Brand Templating


Most creatives waste time reinventing the wheel whenever they make a new asset from scratch. Instead, they can work smarter, not harder, by taking frequently requested assets and creating templates for them. Brand templating gives users the option to lock certain elements (like logos) and also provides options for preapproved images and/or copy to choose from.

With brand templating, not only can teams spin up new content faster, but noncreatives can also edit and customize existing assets themselves. This allows noncreatives to stay on-brand without having to loop creatives back in.

2. Creative production

The creative process doesn’t have to be chaotic. Creative production is the go-to solution for wrangling all of your abstract tasks into a streamlined workflow. Not only does this allow teams to go from concept to content with ease, but it also optimizes creatives’ overall performance. By eliminating cluttered and disorganized processes, creatives add more time, headspace and artistic freedom to their work life. This is one of the most essential features of a digital asset management system and one you’ll never want to live without again.

3. Review and approval

Sometimes the most challenging part of creating an asset is reviewing and approving it. With Review and Approval digital asset management features, stakeholders can make comments, request changes and approve updates on any asset, all within the platform. This allows creatives to standardize their processes and also saves time by automating review notifications and eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth emails thanks to centralized communication.

Team members can also view the history of each asset, making it easier than ever to compare versions and restore earlier copies as needed. And last but not least, features like an Adobe Creative Cloud integration mean you can edit using your favorite tools and see changes made directly within your stored asset without having to reupload newly edited creations.

4. Brand guidelines

Your brand guidelines are a one-stop shop for all things branding. They help you connect the dots between your identity and your assets by taking the guesswork out of the equation. Both internal and external team members can use brand guidelines to customize every aspect of your visual storytelling. The best DAMs allow teams to keep their brand guidelines in the cloud, so publishing changes is easy and everyone always has access to the latest look and feel.

5. Automation

Anyone on your team can be a content creator with the help of content automation. Chosen users can pick from preapproved elements and draft assets that adhere to brand guidelines. You can also scale content production by customizing one or more templates instantly. This is one of most efficient digital asset management features for creatives because it saves time they’d normally spend answering edit requests and branding questions. This leaves more white space on the calendar for skilled projects only they can complete.

6. Version control

When changes are made to an asset, you have to make sure that the stored version is the correct one. Version control helps you keep track of the history of the previous asset versions. Teams can revert to earlier iterations of an asset and it also makes it easy to track who edited what. Digital asset management software features like version control offer a great way to keep track of progress and communicate better across teams without having to send a ton of emails “checking in.”

7. Digital rights management

Digital rights management gives users complete control over the who, what, when and where an asset is used. Create permission settings for individuals or groups and track changes made by each user. You can also manage and monitor asset usage rights for both publication and expiration. Set up automated alerts for when assets expire so your team can take immediate action.

8. Embedding and sharing

Updating a creative asset that is shared on multiple websites is a pain — if you don’t have the best DAM software with embedding and sharing features, that is. DAMs allow users to create a shareable link to an asset for authorized or external users.

If changes need to be made to any aspect of the asset, that can be accomplished within the DAM. Anywhere that asset is linked will automatically be updated to reflect the changes. That means making revisions to everything from the color to the size to the file type without having to individually manage every location the asset appears in.

Not only does this save a ton of time, but it also helps maintain consistency across anywhere and everywhere your branding appears online. As one of the more unique digital asset management features, embedding and sharing are game-changers for teams working on a rebrand that have a high volume of requests or simply want to reduce the number of manual tasks they have on their plates.

9. Asset and user analytics


Ever wondered how effective your assets really are? These analytics will help you pinpoint exactly who is using them and how they’re being used. This makes it easy to identify top-performing assets you can replicate down the line or low-performing assets you can replace or remove from future content plans. Asset and user analytics offered as part of your DAM features allow you to zero in on the data that matters with customized reporting that enables you to filter asset usage by date range, asset collection and more.

10. Integrations

With a DAM, you can easily connect your creative assets to the tools you already use and love. Use provided plug-ins with many industry leading partners, such as Smartsheet, Adobe or HubSpot. Or take advantage of open API to integrate other existing platforms. Being able to easily create or edit assets in one program and see changes reflected instantly across tools makes teams more efficient than ever before.

11. Customizations

Create a branded look and feel with DAM customizations, no matter where your assets appear. This feature gives you complete control over every tiny detail that goes into making your brand unique. Link to the perfect vanity URL and customize page headers and colors, to name a few. These customizations can be made internally and externally so everyone involved has a clear sense of who your brand really is.

12. Security

Keeping private information and brand materials out of the wrong hands is a must. That’s why tools such as modern encryption methods for digital asset management are so important. Security-focused digital asset management features also include multiple security levels for files and accounts, secure cloud backups and antivirus protection, all of which are done for you. And if you’d like to take security into your own hands, you and other authorized users have complete control over which assets are public, which are private and which are invite-only for individual pieces as well as entire collections.

13. Scalability

Work is easier to scale with the help of user-friendly features and automations. DAM features such as security measures updated for you, third-party app integrations and creative templates help teams work smarter and get more done. Digital asset management software features are meant to improve how we work and what we create. Tools that keep scalability in mind empower users to improve their processes while maintaining a high level of quality.

Get All These Features (and More!) in a Single Platform

Digital asset management features like the ones offered by Brandfolder make creative work easier, more efficient and more effective. Users appreciate how industry-leading DAMs such as Brandfolder offer all of the above tools in one platform. Try Brandfolder today to see how a digital asset management tool can improve your creative processes.