Influencer marketing has created a shockwave across the business world. When it emerged, many were skeptical, but when it grew from a mere $1.7BN in 2016 to an awe-inspiring $16.4BN by 2022, the critics were silenced and probably began investing in a influencer marketing strategy themselves.
For many businesses, influencer marketing presents an unprecedented opportunity. They can introduce themselves to potential consumers who are already in the influencer’s target audiences and are actively listening for these passionate contributors. However, like most fast growing and quickly evolving channels, things aren’t always smooth sailing.
Three New Challenges for Influencer Agencies
As the landscape expands and more social media influencers join the fray, agencies are scaling their operations to meet growing demand. However, many find themselves in new territory with a whole new set of operational challenges to navigate. Those who don’t shy away and evolve their operations will rise above and stand out in their market. The three most common operational challenges experienced are:
1. Managing the flow of new content
2. Making the content easy to find and use
3. Keeping track of content performance
To meet these challenges head-on, agencies are leveraging media asset management (MAM) solutions. A MAM is a centralized, organized, and highly searchable hub that is specifically designed for media management. It makes it seamless to find and utilize media while helping organizations maximize ROI and track asset performance. This is done by increasing the visibility of media rich assets. When a simple search can surface the exact content you need, creators can create faster, reuse assets for content creation, and you can preserve your agency's history.
A Centralized Approach — Every Influencer’s Content in One Place
If you've ever had to chase down media in a sea of different storage locations, you understand how much of a time waster this can be.
Statistics show that the average person can waste nearly two hours a day searching for files. This wasted time can be costly for your agency especially when you need to maximize how efficient your limited resources are.
Consider for a moment where all your media is now. Is it spread across cloud storage locations? Perhaps it's in a file server in the office or waiting for someone to find it on a person's desktop. If this is the case, gathering all your content into one place to manage it can seem overwhelming.
To fix this, you can do the following:
1. Duplicate all that content and then upload it to a new location (a logistical nightmare)
2. Connect every storage location to a single MAM that's designed to manage files from both cloud and local storage locations—also known as hybrid cloud.
Option two is infinitely easier. A hybrid cloud MAM will index files from every location in the background. Before you know it, every piece of content in those locations will begin to fill your MAM, creating a central place for everything!
If you're the person getting every media request week after week, this will change your life. By centralizing all your media into one archive, your team, customers, and talent can self-serve their needs and locate the media they need.
Organize Media in a Scalable Way
MAM software is designed specifically for managing large amounts of digital files at scale. When you consider how your agency could have hundreds or even thousands of media files over time, it becomes clear how important it is to be able to search and filter in a MAM.
Organizing media the traditional way with folders is not scalable. As the amount of media grows, folder structures can become unwieldy and difficult to manage. File browsers like the Mac's Finder or Windows File Explorer have the same limitations as file-sharing services like Dropbox and Google Drive. Each one uses folders and sub-folders, which is the traditional way most of us use to organize files.
File browsers & File Sharing Services are not Suited to Manage Media at Scale because:
- They don't offer many options to add metadata fields
- Searchable data is usually limited to file name, date, and type
- They lack of customization
- They are not optimized to preview media
- They don't have the ability to create file relations
- They cannot have multiple file formats for a single asset
There’s no need to be limited by an ill-fitting solution. There are so many more ways to optimize and supercharge your search abilities within a MAM that is made for the efficient organization of media.
Here are four ways a MAM offers you a better way to organize at scale:
Organize with Metadata
Folders offer a single file path, but metadata provides many paths to the same file. That's because metadata includes more information than just the file name. This type of data can include things like the creation date, file or resolution size, the type of file it is, author info and more. Metadata also allows you to search for files based on their content, such as keywords, topics, and other relevant information.
But it gets even better.
MAMs give you the ability to define your own metadata! This means you can add important custom metadata such as an influencer's follower count, campaign revenue, engagement, or any other business-specific data you want searchable to help you make decisions in the future.
For example, you could use custom metadata tags to identify content related to a specific campaign with a tag like “International Women's Day 2022”—and the MAM will quickly find all the files related to that.
Pro tip: Consider automating analytic data gathering by connecting your media asset manager to your social media analytics tool via APIs.
Filter to Find it Faster
Now with the metadata in place, we can put it to work. MAMs offer powerful search filtering capabilities so you can quickly find the exact video or image you need. Beyond using search terms, you can also filter by file type, who uploaded the media, or by the approval status.
For frequent search queries, it’s possible to save search parameters so you and others can easily return those search results again.
Find Media & Review Media with Fast Previews
Some cloud-based file-sharing services require users to download media before viewing, and others take a long time to load previews. All of this kills productivity. By using a solution built for media, you can quickly preview media as you review and collaborate with others.
Use File Relations to Group or Find Related Content
Another powerful way to organize your media in a MAM is with file relations. File relations are a type of metadata that help you manage media assets by tracking how files are related to each other. For example, you can use file relations to track assets that are derived from another asset file, or to track files that are used in a project.
Centralize All Your File Formats for Single Assets
Video moves through a media lifecycle and the quality and size of video will adjust through each stage. You will need various file formats for different platforms and editing. s media moves along the supply chain and the result of this can be many file formats of the same media asset. This stages of the media lifecycle often includes:
You can easily organize all these file formats in a MAM that will group them together in one asset.
These four methods demonstrate that using a MAM to organize your media is much more efficient and scalable than relying on folder structures.
Folders work well when operations are smaller, but they are very limiting when it's time to grow and manage large amounts of media. What often ends up happening is that only a few people understand how the content is organized. Then the rest of the organization relies on the few to navigate and find the media they need.
Maybe you’re thinking, “But I’ve come to know and love the way our media is organized in folders!” The good news is that in a solution like iconik, all that organization is preserved and you get an additional arsenal of search features to find assets so much faster.
Once you have a beautifully organized and searchable media library, it’s time to invite others to use it.
Empower Sharing and Collaboration
As new assets come in, your team will want to share and work with others as well as provide feedback. A MAM with collaboration features will make it easy for everyone to find what they need to contribute to the success of your content.
Having a way to work together on media in the same place it is managed is a godsend for agencies working with influencers, brands, and editors. With a full collaboration toolbox in your MAM, agencies can manage media production and finished media assets in one place.
Imagine having a built-in approval process to help you manage what needs to get done. Or how great would it be to be able to track each new version of a video as revisions are completed. All this is possible with MAM that understands your creative workflow and gives you the right collaboration tools to help your team stay united and in their creative flow.
Unite Internal and External Teams
When you collaborate with influencers and brands, one of the greatest ways to empower seamless workflows is by having the freedom to include as many contributors as needed without them having to jump any hurdles. No VPNs, no software installation, no accounts needed, just the ability to start working as soon as possible.
Working with external teams always adds a little complexity, but with a high quality MAM solution, this complexity can be removed if it's a simple process to allow the people you collaborate with to access or upload files. Security should always be a concern so you will need access controls to ensure that external groups are only allowed to see the media that your team wants to make accessible to them.
Once people begin to access your media, they will need a way to give constructive feedback. The ability to see targeted feedback with things like time-based comments or drawings on a video will allow stakeholders to stay in the know without having to dig through their inboxes or communication channels. Everyone can add and review feedback in one space.
Automate Repetitive Media Tasks
So far we’ve looked at what MAMs can do with organization and collaboration, but they can even go further than that. The opportunities to automate your workflows by connecting solutions, and setting up a little extra technical wizardry can be game-changing for a fast growing agency.
Today's MAM technology can allow your influencer agency to:
- Automate media uploads
- Automate media enrichment with AI
- Publish content to social platforms and other channels
Automate Media Uploads from Influencers
Life is so much easier when you don't have to manually collect new content from creators. Automating media uploads will allow you to spend less time asking for media or scraping new content from different channels manually.
Here's how you could do it:
By connecting a MAM to multiple cloud or on-premise storage locations, media can be triggered to automatically upload for instant review when it enters a storage location that's being watched by your MAM.
Content creators can even set up watch folders on their computers to automate the delivery of fresh content to the agency that manages them using solutions like the iconik Storage Gateway—the same technology that allows Spotify's podcasting studios to send new shows from their local storage to a central archive in iconik.
Automate Media Organization with AI
Tagging media assets with metadata is important because it makes it easier to find and discover media assets—plus you don't always know the file name that you're searching for. This is especially true for influencer management companies who need to keep track of large numbers of media assets as they grow. By tagging assets with metadata, you can easily find the assets you need with multiple datapoints to lead you to the same file. This can save a lot of time and can make managing media less of a headache.
But honestly, manually tagging thousands of media assets takes a long time. That’s where AI comes in.
By using AI to automate metadata tagging you'll save time and a lot of manual effort with accurate tagging that can happen as content is uploaded.
To go beyond basic details like topics or related brands, you can use the power of visual AI to tag your videos with time-stamped tags of objects, people, colors, and moods. Imagine being able to find every clip of a "shoe" or a "festival" in your archive with just one search. It's powerful stuff.
AI can also be used to transcribe your media in a single click. When you do this, each spoken phrase becomes searchable because AI uses speech-to-text technology, then automatically attributes dialogue to a speaker. The text can then be translated into multiple languages for global distribution, or even used to create written content!
In iconik, 1-2 hours of content can be transcribed in less than 2 minutes—and it only costs about $0.03 per minute. Imagine being able to find every mention of a brand just by searching its name. The supercut just got a whole lot easier to produce!
All of this information makes for a better experience allowing you to quickly and easily search, browse, or discover the media assets.
Publish Content from Your MAM
When content is ready to go out to the masses, automation can come into play there as well. This can be set up using solutions that have APIs that can send and receive data. Once the connection is made, your MAM can publish content to a website, OTT streaming platform, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, Twitch, Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook.
Managing Media Across Your Business Can Pay Off in Many Ways
These are just a few of the ways a MAM can help your influencer agency, but the fact is that the tools like this are useful for many different parts of your organization. If you're a content creator, it can help you manage your workflow. If you’re a manager, it can streamline operations and provide automation to free up time for other tasks.
At the end of the day, your goal as an influencer agency is to empower your clients to create great content and connect with their audiences—with less time wasted on managing the flow and organization of your media. Getting your media management process right will allow you to scale your operations and grow as fast as you need to.
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