If your brand has loads of images and videos, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with content chaos. Perhaps you need a graphic for a campaign that only exists on an ex-colleagues desktop. Maybe you need an image for social, but it’s buried in a labyrinth of folders on your company’s network drive.

Awful right? If that rings true, it’s no wonder you want to make sure your content is managed properly - and are considering SharePoint to do just that.

But hold on a second. Whilst SharePoint is fine for teams looking to manage documents, and especially handy if your business already has Microsoft systems, it’s not great for managing your visual content. 

That's what digital asset management (DAM) is for. 

And the better news? You don’t need to pick a DAM over SharePoint, or vice versa. You can use SharePoint to manage your documents, and a DAM to manage your visual content. Done right, they can work nicely in collaboration with each other.

What's SharePoint?

SharePoint is part of the Microsoft Office suite. It’s a file management tool that allows you to create internal workspaces and websites for your team. You can upload news items, post updates and create individual department SharePoints, all linked by one main site. 

Think of it as your company intranet - a place for teams to share documents and look for the important information they need to do their jobs. 


Top three benefits of SharePoint

  1. Collaboration - SharePoint is a single place where your teams can go to view digital files like documents, PDF files and spreadsheets.

  2. Sync up with Microsoft Office - For a little extra price, you can connect up with MS Office to make collaboration even easier. That includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook. You’ll also get access to Skype, Teams and One Drive.

  3. Productivity - SharePoint helps you keep track of different projects within your teams. You can keep an eye on deadlines, see who’s working on what and feedback to your team, all within the system.



What’s digital asset management?

Tools like SharePoint (and Drive and Dropbox, for that matter) excel at file management. Managing your visual content, however, is where DAM tools come into their own. Put simply, they let you organise, manage and share your brand’s images, video files, marketing assets and graphics.

Think about how you’re currently storing your visual content. Rather than wasting hours trawling through shared drives for campaign assets, wouldn’t you rather be getting on with your job? If yes, then a DAM could be just the solution you’re looking for. If no, then … are you alright? Because I’m worried about you.

What makes DAM so useful is the ability to quickly search for the assets you need. You can search for the actual content of your content - like ‘chair’ or ‘beach’. And the really clever DAMs, like Dash, let you assign your own fields to assets.

For example, if you’ve got a load of product lines, you’ll want to search for individual products. With Dash you can add relevant product tags to your assets and search for them. Read more in my introduction to digital asset management.

Top three benefits of digital asset management solutions

  1. Save time and money - one of the biggest benefits of DAM (and one your boss will thank you for) is the amount of money you’ll be saving. Think about the time you currently spend searching for assets. If you’re on a salary, your boss is basically paying you to search for the latest product shots. Investing in a good DAM will see you reaping ROI in no time.

  2. Protect your brand - If your audience sees your brand pushing out old, poor quality and off-brand content, they may begin to question your integrity. Having fresh, up-to-date digital content in a DAM will mean your marketing teams are far less likely to share outdated assets with the world.

  3. Get your visuals to market, faster - This links back with our first benefit. The quicker you can get your visual assets to market, the quicker you’ll see the results of your marketing campaigns and those all-important conversions. 🤑

Want to learn more? Take a look at my blog post all about DAM benefits.


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DAM vs SharePoint - weighing up your options

Now you know a bit more about the two contenders, let’s dig into their similarities and differences in a bit more detail. We’ll start with their features.

How do the features compare?

Let’s start with what SharePoint and DAM tools let you do.

Features 

DAM 

SharePoint 

Find your images and videos quickly - good searching means you can get to your images and videos fast. Being able to search by the content of your images or by customer fields, will speed things up. The quicker you find your assets, the faster you can send them out into the wild.

 

😬

(SharePoint's not designed to search for images quickly)

Visually inspiring - sometimes it actually hurts seeing all your beautiful visual content rendered down to generic thumbnail images. Start working with a platform that does justice to your visual content and displays it properly.

😤

(Displays small thumbnails that are hard to navigate)

Upload and download files: The bread and butter of both DAM and file management tools.

Resize and crop on download: this enables everyone in your team to use images in exactly the right size for the purpose - without having to do it in Photoshop.

👎

Version control: This will let you rest easy at night knowing the latest, most up-to-date version of a file is being used. DAM and SharePoint can both support this.

Share assets: Sending and sharing files is pretty integral to both tools.

Different user types including ‘admin’: This lets you set permission levels - and keep files or assets you don’t want seen yet, private.

Batch update assets: This is where the tools start to diverge. SharePoint is a document management system first and foremost, where you rarely have to make batch edits to groups of assets.

😬

(Some configuration required)

Supporting workflows: Okay, it’s getting dicey for SharePoint now. Supporting workflows is not its bag. DAM tools let you do this, though. Using Dash as an example, you can have assets uploaded to Dash from your content creators, ready to approve.

😤

(Significant configuration required)

Creating your own metadata and custom fields: This means creating custom tags and fields unique to your business, which help when searching for an asset. This is easy for DAM tools like Dash. Create a custom field for ‘marketing campaign’ or ‘product line’, for instance.

😤

(Significant configuration required)

You might be able to get away with using SharePoint as your DAM system. But remember it’s a file management system first and foremost. It’s not great with features or workflows specifically to do with visual content - unless you have a technical whizz on standby who can do lots of third-party integrations and automations for you. 

Put simply, if you’re creating and using hundreds of marketing assets, SharePoint is going to slow you down.

Which teams will benefit from SharePoint and/or DAM?

All your teams are going to benefit from one or the other. It all depends on what they’re using DAM or SharePoint for. Let’s take a look at some examples:

Marketing teams
Your marketing team might be managing video assets and product shots to showcase on the website and social media. Or, they might need to store the audio files for your brand’s podcast. DAM gives them the freedom to manage and share those assets with other teams as well as freelancers and agencies. SharePoint, on the other hand, will be useful if they’re sharing written content in MS office documents.

Design teams
Creative teams who work with creative files will love DAM. It’s been designed specifically for them to manage these types of assets.

In Dash, designers can sort through their graphics and give everyone access to the latest designs. And, they search and filter through different file types like JPG, PNG, SVG. What’s more, integrations with tools like Adobe CC, Figma and Sketch make using assets a breeze. Read my post all about DAM for designers if you want to delve into more benefits. 🧑‍🎨

SharePoint, although great for document sharing, is not ideal for design teams. It’s good for document managing - not visual content.

Sales teams
SharePoint makes a great solution for sales teams who need to manage important documents. From reports to quotes, proposals and price lists — they can keep all their important docs in one location. SharePoint also has an integration with Dock, a CRM tool that will help sales team keep track of their customers, contracts and more.

However, for sales teams who need to access the latest product shots and branding to send to customers, DAM should be the asset library of choice. 🙌

How easy are DAM tools and SharePoint to use? 

No matter what tools you settle on, you’ll be spending a lot of time in them. It’s important to consider what the user experience feels like and how easy they are to use. 

SharePoint looks like most of the file management systems out there. Its interface is pretty standard and feels similar to Google Drive, so there shouldn’t be much of a learning curve.

Digital asset management software, however, can really vary. You can get some that feel outdated and others that are pitched toward enterprises so feel ridiculously over-complicated.

And then you get DAMs like our very own Dash. It’s clean, easy to understand and does your visual content justice. Your images are no longer tiny little generic thumbnail icons, like they would be on SharePoint. 

Dash_SharePoint

How much do they cost?

If you’re in a small business or a growing brand, every penny counts - especially if you need to convince senior management. Here’s how the two compare.

Digital Asset Management pricing

Some DAMs won’t get out of bed for £10,000 a month - I kid you not. They’re often the DAMs that don’t advertise their pricing upfront on their website. If you’re looking for an affordable DAM solution which doesn’t sacrifice on quality, then Dash is the one for you.

Our pricing starts at £49 / $74 a month.

SharePoint pricing

SharePoint has varying price options depending on what you need it to do. You can opt for a SharePoint-only plan, or bundle it in with access to Office360. No matter which you go for, each plan is based per user. This means you could be paying up to £17.50 / $21 a month per team member.

SharePoint vs DAM: which is better for my digital assets?

Now that we’ve compared digital asset management systems and SharePoint, where does this leave you? DAM tools and SharePoint serve different purposes, so it’s important to decide what you’re prepared to spend money on. 

 


comparison-transparent (1)
Resource

The Digital Asset Management Comparison Worksheet

Whittle down your choices and pick the right digital asset management tool for your brand

Download now!!!

Our recommendation - factor in budget for a DAM to manage your visual content, and a tool like SharePoint to collaborate and work on documents and presentations. Picking SharePoint, or a tool like it, to do everything is just going to cause you pain in the long run. 

Take inspiration from leading ecommerce brand Forthglade, who use both systems alongside each other. Dash is the place for all of their approved, campaign-ready graphics - and SharePoint for their other files.

So by all means, leave your documents and presentations in SharePoint. But your visual content deserves better. Build a new home for it in Dash by taking out a 14-day, no-strings free trial and see what you think!

Table of contents

Your visual content deserves better than SharePoint

Try Dash instead! Get started with a 14-day free trial
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