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Uploading all of your team’s branded assets into a digital asset management (DAM) system can be a long process. But once you do it, you’ll be able to easily find any asset, thanks to metadata tagging.

When we talk about “metadata” in terms of digital asset management, we mean all of the attributes that enable search and discovery — anything embedded in the digital asset when it’s uploaded, such as the file name, author, date created, and content type, plus any other metadata fields you create.

In this post, we explain more about what metadata tagging is, the benefits of automating metadata tagging, and how auto-tagging in Brandfolder works.

What Is Metadata Tagging?

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A metadata tag, in digital asset management, is defined as a descriptive term or keyword assigned to an asset to improve its categorization and searchability. Tags pertain to the content of the asset — colors, products, people, background objects, etc. But beyond including descriptive terms, there are a few other ways to approach metadata tagging. You can also:

  • Add hierarchical keywords based on your content taxonomy. For example, you could categorize product images with tags like, “Women’s Clothes,” “Women’s Tops,” “Blouse,” “Tank,” etc.
  • Add descriptive metadata to define campaign-specific collections of assets, such as “assets for the 2023 Presidents’ Day Sale,” or assets for different use cases, like “assets for use on Facebook.”
  • Create tags to credit the asset’s creator, author, or photographer, and require approval to use the asset by tagging it “By request only.”

Metadata tagging is the process of adding these tags to your library of digital assets. You can imagine how long manual tagging takes if you have to add tags to each and every one of your assets. That’s exactly the problem automated metadata tagging solves.

What Are the Benefits of Automated Metadata Tagging?

“Automated metadata tagging” is just a technical way of saying that artificial intelligence will tag your assets for you. The most important benefit of automated metadata tagging is saved time.

In DAMs that have an automated metadata tagging feature, the AI will follow the tagging rules you set as it analyzes your assets. The AI then applies other relevant metadata tags to assets, saving you hours — if not days — of work, compared to manually assigning tags.

Shopping Tip: When searching for the best DAM software, look at the features available to improve asset organization and findability. This will help you compare each DAM’s ease of use and find a solution that makes sense for your team.

When assets and documents are tagged correctly, your DAM system’s search engine will be easier to use. Internal teams and external stakeholders can quickly find the assets they need (instead of weeding through unrelated search results).

Another benefit of using artificial intelligence to automate metadata tags is that AI learns from user searches and can update tags to match search intent.

To improve the suggested tags over time, you can review them so the AI learns from what you approve or reject. It may also help you refine your tagging taxonomy — thereby improving asset discovery for all of your users.

Automated Metadata Tagging in Brandfolder | Brand Intelligence

In Brandfolder, automated metadata tagging is powered by Brand Intelligence, our software’s machine-learning artificial intelligence.

Brand Intelligence uses proprietary algorithms and leverages APIs from tech giants like Google to quickly and accurately inspect all of the content within each asset while applying specific, descriptive metadata. It uses product-image recognition to add branded tags, video scene detection to analyze video frames, and speech recognition to transcribe and pull information from audio.

In order for Brand Intelligence to work for you, it has to learn from your content taxonomy and tagging habits. Don’t worry — if this is your first time putting together a strategy for defining metadata rules, you can read more about the content taxonomy process. Plus, our team is always available to walk you through this 5-step process:

  1. Map out your metadata structure and tagging taxonomy.
  2. Begin uploading assets.
  3. As assets are uploaded, Brand Intelligence will pull all of the information embedded in the asset and add that information to the asset’s metadata.
  4. Then, Brandfolder auto-tags all of your assets based on the metadata taxonomy you defined.
  5. Before indexing, Brand Intelligence analyzes the content of your assets to add any other tags that could improve searchability.

After your assets are uploaded, you can view their metadata information and tags within the asset overview.

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All of the tags display right below the asset preview. The “manual” tags from your metadata taxonomy are shown with a solid line, and the AI tags have a dotted line. This makes it easy to review the tags Brand Intelligence added.

Manual Metadata Tagging in Brandfolder

Brandfolder also supports manual tagging, so you can add tags to digital assets on the fly — which is especially beneficial when adding tags in “one-off” instances — or remove any of the AI tags. Our machine learning algorithm will learn from the tags you add and remove to strategically tag future uploads.

For example, say you’re tagging assets for a marketing campaign that’s running for a limited time. You can search through your asset library and manually add campaign-specific tags to all of the digital assets you want to use for the campaign. Then, other team members can easily find and use those assets by searching those tags.

After the campaign is over, you can delete or “expire” those marketing assets, and the manual tags you added will delete or “expire” with them. That way, Brand Intelligence knows not to add those campaign-specific tags to other assets.

Searching Digital Assets With Brand Intelligence

The point of adding metadata and tags to assets is to enhance searchability, so we also designed Brand Intelligence to make searching faster and easier.

Brand Intelligence streamlines search in three ways:

  1. It uses natural language processing to better understand the searcher’s intent.
  2. As it searches, it re-analyzes the content of your assets and scans through all of the available information about each asset, including the asset’s metadata and tags.
  3. It searches through your entire asset library, instead of requiring you to search collection-by-collection.

Other Benefits of Brand Intelligence

As you upload new assets in Brandfolder, Brand Intelligence scans through your asset library to see if what you’re uploading matches any of the media that already exists in Brandfolder. If it does, you can choose to cancel the upload or merge the new file with the old.

When merging the asset, our software creates an asset stack so you can keep all versions of the asset together and don’t have 10+ versions of your asset living in different places.

Brandfolder includes insights and analytics that show you how often each asset is viewed, downloaded, and used across the web. These engagement metrics can help you gauge which of your digital assets are most popular and where to direct your creative and marketing efforts.

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Ready to Simplify Metadata Tagging?

Busy marketers and creatives don’t have time for monotonous administrative tasks. With Brandfolder, you can upload all of your assets and trust our AI to tag them in a way that makes sense — no manual metadata tagging required!

Our team is available 24/7 to help you set up your Brandfolder, so you’re never left to navigate set-up on your own. We’ll walk you through the ingestion process, and even help you map out your metadata taxonomy so that our search feature is tailored to your end users. (Our helpful customer support is one reason we have a 99% client retention rate).

To learn more about Brandfolder’s solution for digital asset management, sign up for a free demo with our team. During the demo, we can talk more about customizing Brandfolder for your needs and answer any questions you have about features and pricing.