Evaluating the value of digital assets

When understanding the value of your digital assets, there’s more to consider than simply the hard cost of the asset. It’s also important to consider enough time spent producing it, and the capability to recreate it.

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Time and Effort to Reproduce
When evaluating production value, consider the time, resources, people and planning which it took to create the asset. Often, an organization’s most high-value assets are the ones that plenty of time and effort. For example, as a marketing manager, losing a single photo, while inconvenient, can likely be resolved fairly quickly, either by re-editing the raw file or selecting another from the shoot. A fully-edited and ready-to-distribute eBook, however, will take significantly additional time and effort to recreate and get re-approved, even if you still have every individual asset.

Ability to Reproduce
Assets also become increasingly more valuable when they’re impossible to recreate. These kinds of assets usually come from one-time, never-going-to-happen again events, where even at all times and profit the world couldn’t recreate that moment. As an illustration, as the marketing department of any sports team would know this all too well, a single photo of a game-winning goal can be hugely valuable and can’t be recreated if it’s misplaced. When just looking at the costs to create that asset, it’s just one of the hundreds of images taken by the photographers within a night, but to the marketing team, this single image is more valuable than gold.

Why are digital assets important?
The way that we do business has changed. Emotions have always influenced buying behaviors, but now it’s more than just cool advertising driving customer demand. It’s about that is connecting the best with their customers, and in an increasingly digital world, the majority of these connections are happening across online channels.

This is where your digital assets come in. At their core, digital assets will be the visual representation of your products, services, culture and, ultimately, your brand. As the key drivers of online engagement, digital assets represent the text involving the company and your customers and present you the ability to interact with them in the manner they like, when they like, where they like.

How to make digital assets discoverable
While investing in creating digital assets is important, the assets are just valuable if they could be found. When you’re working with a lot of digital assets, it’s important to take steps to make sure they’re discoverable and can be managed efficiently. This is usually completed with the consistent use of metadata (keywords, titles, photographer name, etc.), and a good taxonomy (category structure).

While a basic form of this can be done in-house, most companies are taking good thing about a digital asset management system to truly take control of their digital assets and give instant usage of the individuals who need them.

Metadata
Metadata is data about data. It provides a variety of information about the asset, beyond its basic filename and can be split into two types:

Technical metadata is usually displayed automatically, such as resolution, photographer name, dimensions and size
Descriptive metadata describes a resource for the purpose of discovery, such as title, description, and keywords.
Most commonly, people tend to associate metadata with keywords. Your keywords are key to powering asset search and provide you the power to label your assets in ways that’s relevant to your unique business needs. Here’s a helpful guide to keywording.

Taxonomy
A taxonomy is a hierarchical structure that allows anyone to categorize and classify your assets to ease navigation, and identify relationships between assets. Utilizing a taxonomy can help users intuitively browse for assets in a digital asset management system, in particular when they’re nearly sure what they are looking for.