The central goal of a DAM is to make your assets accessible for DAM end-users, no matter their workflow. The ability to reuse content maximizes investments already made.
But robust reuse practices can break down for a variety of reasons. Are end-users searching for content to reuse? Can your end-users find relevant content? Are end-users even aware of their ability to reuse certain assets? To implement a successful ‘reuse culture,’ you need to address three issues: workflow, metadata, and communication.
The impetus of the creator is to create; they tend not to want to reuse assets because it feels un-creative. That’s why you have to consciously make it part of their routine, and build new muscle memory. When a project is assigned, have creators first search the DAM for content that might be useful to their work. Rather than immediately creating new content from scratch, and spending resources, creators can draw on existing material. Make it the new normal.
Good metadata is the foundation of a great DAM. The better the metadata, the more discoverable your assets will become, and the more likely it will be that they’re reused. A well-designed taxonomy that makes it easy to find existing assets will feel like an invitation to end-users to do just that.
If your end-users can’t find anything viably reusable quickly and easily, they’ll probably move on—whether that means creating new content, changing concepts, or cutting a project short before it can realize its full potential.
It’s tempting to assume that DAM end-users will ‘figure it out,’ but the most successful DAM managers establish some baseline training for all end-users. To leverage your DAM fully, communicate clearly which assets are available (see more on Rights Management) for use and reuse, and establish a way to train end-users on reuse. Exactly what that training looks and feels like is up to you, informed by your organization’s culture—but it’s important to establish standard behaviors through communication and training.