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Content Operations - DAM Experts Weigh in on What to Start and Stop

February 28, 2023

Recap of the Atlanta DAM Social and Roundtable on the Experience of Content

Written by Lindsey Hawkins

Digital Transformation Leader | Content Coach | Art and Design Educator | Entrepreneur


Blue Trail Digital hosted an event focused on how internal business content operations can better serve the content experience of consumers. This article is to serve as a recap of what we agreed needs to happen inside a business to provide a better content experience on the outside.

The guest list was focused on user experience experts within the Atlanta, Georgia area. Drilling down from that user experience (UX) lens, we had some of the best thought leadership in digital asset management (DAM), content operations, marketing operations, and creative operations. It was an absolute pleasure to watch people mingle and make new connections.

Before the guest arrived, we’d sent out a short two-question survey:

Question 1: When it comes to managing a brand experience, what are the biggest challenges that your company faces while working with digital assets?

Answer: It was a tie between reusing/repurposing assets and performance analytics. 

Question 2: For what business solution(s) are you currently and/or interested in leveraging digital asset management?

Answer: The number one answer was to manage marketing content and optimize returns. Number two was to increase the reach, consistency, and control of brand content.

From this passionate, funny, and dynamic conversation, there are seven things to start doing and three to stop doing within content operations that can better serve the content experience of consumers.


Improving Content Operations: Seven Things to START Doing for a Better Content Experience

1 | Align the content operations to the business strategy 

Start aligning the content operations to the current business strategy. For example, is the business in growth mode or efficiency mode? How will this impact the content operation strategy? 

Talk about how DAM (both the verb and the noun) can help brand growth, content return on investment (ROI), and make more money for the company’s initiative. Reach out and collaborate with other content-related departments to also align their content operational goals to the overall business strategy.

2 | Build the reporting metrics 

The success of this complicated content operations solution will need to be measured and proven over and over and over again. Once aligned to the business strategy, immediately build the reporting model, and find out where the data can be pulled from. We know performance analytics and optimizing ROI will be brought up, so go find a friend on the master data team to support the initiative.

3 | Deploy, deploy, deploy! 

Start building and deploying curated collections of content for unique team needs as soon as possible. What’s that brand team that’s always looking for content? Does the sales team need some content love for their next big campaign push? 

Building thoughtful curated and easy-to-access content collections will create a fast win to get buy-in and start adoption on the right foot by building curated collections for different internal target brands and/or audience needs. This will increase the reach, consistency, and control of brand content because the stakeholder teams are empowered to do their work.

4 | Prepare for the search experience opinions 

Everyone will have a strong opinion about the DAM search experience. Start being proactive and ask about the search experience as soon as possible so the product and operation team can manage expectations. There is so much to search experience beyond the product of choice – taxonomy, metadata, agency management, and upload schedules. We’ll park that for another article. Leverage the DAM investment, get the users searching, and you’ll start to hear “reusing and repurposing assets” stories from users.

5 | Talk with other humans 

Start a campaign to communicate the content operations mission. Provide an educational experience for the stakeholders so they understand the impact of the content operations and what actions they’re empowered to take. Always talk about the alignment to the big strategic goal of the business. The communication experience needs to leave the target stakeholders with an understanding of how they fit into the overall solution and the overall value.

6 | Not a talker? Find one. 

Start finding the loudest DAM cheerleaders in the business. The bigger the business, the bigger the cheerleader squad needs to be. Every region and/or brand has a content cheerleader you could leverage for the content operations campaign.

7 | Start thinking with a stable state in mind 

Once a new content operations solution is launched, it’s important to then stabilize, standardize, modernize, and optimize. Once you start this DAM party, it doesn’t stop. (que Hotel California song)


Improving Content Operations: Three Things to STOP Doing for a Better Content Experience

1 | Stop overcomplicating things

The further along this mad science goes, the deeper the team will overcomplicate processes. Always think about the purpose of a process, and not just check the boxes. Slow down and think about the problem first before building another process.

2 | Stop avoidance 

Does avoiding the problem until it's too late ever work? Start addressing the concerns sooner. This can be as simple as listening to the feedback about search experience opinions because we’ve already learned everyone will have one. Symptoms can go on for too long because you’re not looking at the root cause. 

3 | Stop the silos 

There are naturally different content-related teams and external partners in the overall content operations process, and this does cause getting siloed. Stop not thinking of the next phase or team in the operational process. 

Instead, start thinking like a great content operations team that will do their best to reach across the business to be inclusive and collaborative with other content creators and operators. Sometimes you’ll have to meet people where they’re at, but at least you’re breaking down silos, listening to different ideas of ways of working, and finding how to become better together.


The Bottom Line on Improving Content Experiences

These seven starts and three stops may sound distant from the consumers’ experience, but 30-plus experts in the room see the downstream impact from the internal content operations to the moment a brand fan decides to buy a product.

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