Your guide to digital asset management for small businesses

We’ll come out and say it - when it comes to DAM, small businesses are treated unfairly.

If you’re a growing brand, you’re ambitious, scrappy, and resilient. You’re competing against competitors, launching products and running campaigns. And you’re killing it. To do that, you’re creating thousands of different assets to feed your marketing channels.

But you’re shut out from tools to help you grow faster. To quote one enterprise-focused DAM: “most small businesses can get away with using free cloud storage drives like Google Drive or Dropbox”.

That’s not fair. They expect you to put up with the content chaos of Drive or Dropbox. Or shell out thousands a month to get a subscription with them.

It’s about time small businesses had a digital asset management solution of their own.

We’ll get off our soapbox now and wrap this section up with some good news. If you’re after DAM software for small businesses, Dash has your back. You can start from just $90 / £69 a month. You don’t have to sacrifice the quality of the tool you’re using, nor pay for features you don’t need.

We’ll get to more about Dash later, but if you’re interested skip ahead.

What's a digital asset management platform?

Digital asset management (DAM) helps you store, organise and use your visual content. By visual content, I mean marketing graphics, product photos, logo files, videos and more.

It’s an alternative to keeping all that squirrelled away in a complex system of Google Drive folders.

Rather than remembering file names and locations, a good DAM lets you find content quickly - so you can get on with other things.

Historically, only huge multinationals could afford solutions like DAMs. That's why - to this day - you’ll find the big-name providers price their product for big budgets.

But small businesses have just as much need for a DAM as enterprise companies. To market online nowadays, small businesses need excellent branding and run multiple channels.

How to tell when your visual content needs a new home

It’s tricky to know when to take the plunge and get yourself a DAM. Almost all of Dash’s customers come from Google Drive, Dropbox or SharePoint. So we’ll hand the mic over to them so you can hear from other small businesses. See if any of these situations resonate with you.

Drive and Dropbox are holding you back

Small brands have big dreams. When the marketing tools you’re using get in the way of you growing, that can be… frustrating, to say the least. That was the case for furniture brand, RJ Living, who were using Google Drive as the home for their digital files.

RJLiving-Dash-Homepage-1

Nathan, their COO, said:

“It was fragmented and became limiting pretty quickly. To keep a mental note of exactly where each image of a product isn’t very scalable, especially as more people have their hands in the system. It became something people were getting lost in.”

🪑Read about RJ Living’s story.

You're wasting time (and money) hunting for an image

Time is money. That’s especially true for small businesses. Kaitlyn, VP of Brand & Demand for handbag brand Kelly Wynne, found she was wasting time searching through images for campaigns. That’s time she could spend on activities to help grow the business.

In her words:

“I was spending two hours at a time looking for one image. Not the best use of my time with such a small team! I told [the CEO] that I was basically being paid to find images.”

👜 Find out more about why Kelly Wynne decided to switch to Dash.

It takes too long for your team to launch their campaigns

Natural dog food company, Forthglade, have grown quickly. More employees in sales, marketing and ecommerce teams means more people needing access to top-quality assets.

That’s what David, Forthglade’s Graphic Design Manager, set out to streamline. He used Dash as the home for brand-approved digital content, and moved all of it over from SharePoint. Rather than the teams coming to him to check what could or couldn’t be used, they could have confidence everything on Dash was ready to use.

“I wanted one place where everyone knew if they were going there to get an image, it was definitely approved and good to go!”

Freeing up their assets allowed Forthglade to get campaigns off the ground, fast.

🐕 Check out Forthglade’s story for what happened next.

Do any of those ring true with you? If so, it’s time for a DAM.

How digital asset management helps small businesses

Okay, now we get to the best part. How can digital asset management for small businesses actually help your company? There's a ton of digital asset management benefits you can use to save time and grow your brand.

To bring them to life, we’ll be using a small business we made up. This fictional brand is called Planto and they sell (you guessed it) houseplants.

Let’s dive in.

Search all your content in one place

We’ll start with a core digital asset management feature - being able to search all your creative assets. When everything is in Dash, in one central location, you can search through them easily.

Dash_PlantoScreen

To help you find assets quickly, Dash uses two types of features - custom fields and tags created by artificial intelligence.

You create custom fields yourself, according to how your small business wants to find things. For instance, you might want to search for what type of marketing campaign your content has been used in, or which of your micro-influencers created it.

Auto-generated tags are created by Dash’s AI. It scans your images and will assign them relevant keywords - like ‘plant’, ‘human’, ‘smiling’.

Both of these different types are searchable. You’ll never lose another piece of content again.

Collaborate with your team

Dash has a ton of different ways of sharing assets. It can be a great way to collaborate on projects with your team.

For example, maybe you’re working with your marketing team on new social content. You can group different assets together in a ‘collection’, then share this collection with your team.

You can also share groups of assets by email or using a link. They’ll expire in 7, 14 or 30 days - depending on whichever you choose.

Dash_ShareAssets_SmallBusiness

Streamline how you work with external partners

Small businesses can’t afford to increase headcount straight away and run everything in-house. You might sign up a paid ad agency to manage your social advertising and commission a designer to work on a rebranding project.

At the same time, you’re working with resellers and wholesalers who stock your products. Or talking with members of the press who want to run stories on you.

These different types of external partners all need your visual content. If you’re not careful, you’ll be inundated with file access requests from all angles.

Not so with Dash. For each of these situations, you can set up a portal. A portal is a publicly-accessible version of your Dash. Your external partner can use Dash’s search and filtering features to search for what they need. And they can do it all without logging in, so you don’t have to worry about handling user permissions.

Keep your brand consistent

As small businesses grow and create more content for more channels, it can be tricky to keep a single source of truth and maintain brand consistency.

If you rebrand, then it’s a hassle getting everybody to update the assets they’re using.

Version control in Dash has you covered. When you upload an image as a new version of an existing file, it’ll automatically email anyone who’s downloaded that asset. Magic! ✨

Getting started with a DAM

How long will it take to get going?

This depends on the digital asset management system you decide to go with. If you opt for an enterprise-focused tool, then you’ll get an enterprise-focused onboarding experience. And by that we mean it’ll take a while.

 

Also, if you pick a tool with a confusing interface, you’ll need more time running training sessions for your team. 

Onboarding and training sessions aren’t ideal if time is of the essence. Iif you want to finish getting set up quickly so you can move onto other things, look for a DAM with a great user interface. It’ll provide the best user experience. And if your team can get going with it themselves, they won’t have to bother you for tech support.

If you sign-up with Dash, we’ll do all the asset migration for you. You’d just need to share your Dropbox or Drive folders with us, and we’ll get all your assets into their new home. And we’ll do it for free.

How much will it cost?

This also depends on the digital asset management tool you end up picking. A word of warning: as we’ve covered, most of the heavyweight DAMs are made for enterprise companies. That means their price tags are designed for big brands with big budgets.

Here’s what to watch out for. If you’re on a DAM provider’s website and the customer logos they feature are all huge brands, proceed with caution. And if the cost is nowhere to be found on the website, then it’s time to make a sharp exit. It means their pricing model is too complex to articulate on a webpage or it’s eye-wateringly expensive. Or both.

Instead, look for a provider which won’t break the bank. You'll see a quicker ROI on your DAM that way.

 

If you decide you’d like to go with Dash, you’ll just need to set aside funds from £49 / $74 a month. It’s low risk to get going, too. While big name DAMs will lock you into annual contracts, if you wanted to leave Dash we’d only need a month’s notice.

The best DAM for small businesses

If you need a DAM that doesn’t cost half your marketing budget, but don’t want to sacrifice on quality, then Dash has got your back.

Sure, we’ll admit it. It’s not the DAM for the big multinational corporations of the world. But the one thing we pride ourselves on? Having built a top-quality, affordable digital asset management tool for small businesses. We understand you because we’re a small biz ourselves.

Don’t just take our word for it. We consistently sweep the board of G2’s small business awards, thanks to our customers’ rave reviews.

Here’s a few of the awards we won recently:

  • Overall leader for small businesses
  • Best estimated return on investment for small businesses
  • The DAM small businesses find easiest to work with
  • The DAM which provides the best support for small businesses
  • The DAM small businesses find easiest to use

Dash_SmallBusinessG2Awards

You can use this comparison sheet to help you compare providers. And if you’re interested, we’d love to work with you!

When you’re ready, use the form below to take out a free, no-strings trial and see what all the fuss is about. Or book a call with us and we can chat!

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