DAM It All: Automating Content Marketing

by | Jan 11, 2012 | Best Practices, Blog, Blog Archive, Multi-Channel Marketing | 0 comments

Content marketing – that is drawing prospective customers to your site with well-written, valuable audio, video, text or images – is all about delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time, and in the right way.  Your marketing content is as much a strategic asset as any other intellectual property your company owns.  So it makes sense to treat it like the valuable asset that it is.

That’s what digital asset management is all about.  A DAM system allows digital asset management through a web-based platform that can be accessed by authorized users.  Sometimes called a marketing asset management or MAM system a DAM system can be little more than a centralized repository for logos, graphics, and copy — or it can be much more.  For my money, I want more.

But if you’re just starting out with a DAM system, the first step is for corporate marketing – which has the strategic vision for the brand, as well as the creative resources to create content – to create the content, and then upload it into a web-based portal where local sales and marketing people can access it.  This kind of simple digital asset management system has been around for quite a while, but the trouble with the older systems is that they’re little more than a digital version of a filing cabinet.

Once someone takes a file out of the cabinet and moves it onto their desktop system, the real value of the digital asset management solution is lost, because changes, corrections, and brand standards are no longer universal.  That’s why more and more organizations are realizing the value of a digital asset management system that’s part of a distributed multi-channel marketing automation solution.

Content Marketing Automation, Not  Automated Content

There is a big difference between content marketing automation and automated content.  Automated content is content that is assembled and “pushed” to a target audience en masse. For example, social media automation tools that take a tweet – hashtags and all – and post it on other social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn create automated content.

This kind of automated contend sharing can help a busy marketer manage a hectic schedule, but it isn’t usually the best way to deliver interesting Facebook and LinkedIn content. On the other hand, the automatic publishing feature found in most blogging platforms which automates the publication of a link and an abstract of each new blog post to your Facebook page may be a perfect use for automated content.

Still, over-sharing and publishing so much content that people can’t keep up with your content stream can actually distance you from your audience. For instance, Twitter updated its retweet function, so that on some mobile platforms (notably BlackBerry), you can only retweet the text exactly as it was – with no chance to add a comment or personal thought that would put it into context and give readers motivation to read what you are sharing.

Marketing automation doesn’t create automated content.  Instead, it manages the process of distributing content of all kinds (email, print and digital collateral, social media, video, presentations, microsites and landing pages – virtually anything) through a managed, centralized portal.  For many multi-channel marketers in a distributed environment where corporate marketing creates marketing assets that are used by local sales people, a digital asset management system for marketing automation does more than serve as a centralized library of content.

I am not discounting digital asset management as a centralized archive, however.  That’s important, especially for material that has a long “shelf life”, such as a company product presentation, because by storing it in a marketing automation system it’s easy to make sure that it’s always correct, always updated, and always in compliance with brand and regulatory standards.  Update a feature?  Have to comply with a new regulation that mandates a disclaimer or disclosure statement?   Launch a new company logo or tagline?  Change it once, and it’s instantly available to your whole sales force.

But I don’t think that’s where the real value of a digital asset management solution lies.  I think it lies in the fact that if your digital asset management solution is part of an overall marketing automation strategy, then storing the content and automating its distribution is just the first step in delivering measureable results in how fast you can deliver information to prospects and customers, how you track and report results in real time, and (of course) how much revenue is generated.

A few months ago, I explored another benefit of digital asset management in a white paper that explains how a DAM solution can help solve compliance problems and empower local marketing and sales.  Download your copy of the free white paper,  Managing Compliance with Digital Asset Management now.  

So don’t settle for simply storing content – or for just automating content delivery. DAM it all, and get much more than you expected.

David Potter is Vice President of Professional Services at Distribion, Inc., where he works with complex distributed multi-channel marketing organizations to assess, implement, and resolve marketing operations issues.  He is a monthly contributor to this blog.