WebDAM’s Brand Connect shatters industry with visual content management features

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO EXAMINER

It’s been a week since the release of WebDAM’s latest features to their brand management solution, Brand Connect. On Tuesday, May 3, Examiner sat down with Jody Vandergriff, Co-Founder and CEO of WebDAM, to find out more about this game-changing platform and how it not only affects marketing teams and designers, but how it’s creating impact for the enterprise with individual contributors all over the globe!

As globalization takes over the business world, the standard multinational organization is finding itself competing with scalable business structures that have centralized headquarters and thousands of work-at-home contributors. Some of these companies don’t even have a central headquarter location. The multinational now has to work in double time, making sure that overheads are covered in each location, while innovating to protect their position in the marketplace and keeping with consistency across the board.

But, guess what? WebDAM, a Shutterstock company, has now created a solution that just may put them at greater odds against one another.

If you remember, WebDAM released a Fifty Shades of Branding SlideShare last year to introduce their Brand Connect platform. We even covered it here. Since its release, WebDAM has been working extra hard to expand upon feedback from the initial release and provide better solutions that service remote teams. The solution was to create a social branding platform to engage multidisciplinary teams and cross-departmental groups in conversation over branding and deliverables.

Towards the end of 2015, we have learned that many organizations are integrating WebRTC, a form of Unified Communications, in creating seamless production amongst their cross-continental teams. WebDAM is no different, as they encourage communications between team members by providing better tools for conversation and collaboration. Their new platform features e-mail, instant messaging and more.

The efficiency of WebDAM’s new features is priceless, and this launch has been the biggest one yet. For example, Embargo Dates and Image Carousels synchronize the release of materials, based on roles, privacy settings and location-based specifics. What’s even better than this is the fact that anything released through the Image Carousel can be released cross-platform and distributed to specific sites, on specific dates and in specific cities or countries!

This is very important, because it eliminates the need to create and recreate multiple codes that display a mixture of shared and unique-to-site imagery. In fact, there will be little need to ever change the code – unless a web property is being redesigned – and even then, the code will still never have to change. This is visual content management at its finest!

It is to be noted that with video becoming one of the fastest growing content assets, this platform is completely capable of managing video, as well. This is important, as so many websites rely on videos to better tell their brand’s story or to sell a product.

Allowing social functionality, team members and decision makers all get to join in the design process. They will be able to better explain what works, what doesn’t work and what should be implemented to cater to specific demographics and location-based populations. This is done in real time and across various platforms. This means that Johnny-on-the-Go will be interacting from his mobile device, while Stationary Sally makes changes in Australia from her desktop computer.

The “collective wisdom” in asset management is becoming very popular, because it better cultivates a corporate vision, especially across territories and amongst those who may never meet each other face-to-face, allowing for the design process to be maximized and project management to be completely streamlined to ensure clients are continuously receiving projects on time, on task and on budget.

In fact, companies may opt to include their clients within the platform, keeping them involved in the design process every step of the way. This saves time and also ensures higher rates of satisfaction to the end user.

The new features are set up in a visual style guide and mood board scenario. Textures, visuals, colors, fonts… They are all displayed in such a fashion that not only harvests productivity, but they will also inspire. Stakeholders now have influence.

“Usually, when creatives are distributed to teams and client brands, they are distributed through a .PDF file in the form of a style guide. We are changing all of this and making things easier for teams, especially those spread out geographically,” states Jody Vandergriff.

“Many companies are struggling to manage their brands in this new digital environment,” she continues “They rely on static brand guidelines in PDF documents that become outdated quickly, and distribute creative assets through network servers or cloud storage that put an immense burden on marketing teams to approve and fulfill requests. Brand Connect and these newly launched features equip teams with smarter, simpler technology built for digital marketing.”

A smart solution for cloud-based systems, building, organizing and distributing brand assets and guidelines, the automation speaks for itself. But, everyone wants to know about the analytics. How well is this platform performing?

In the previous release of the platform, analytics were spread across social channels and web domains. It was the essential brand management platform. The upgraded version allows “graphic details that display key measures and trends to better understand asset feedback and use.” Analytics have better allowed us to understand the external details of our brands – but what about the internal stakeholder? WebDAM has allowed us to access these details and find out what our team members really think – whether they admit it or not.

In Marketing and in Branding, design is a must. Visually appealing platforms keep us on our toes and force us to be better creators. Decision makers can privately discuss marketing collateral and content distribution. Once a decision has been reached, they can send those assets directly through the channels of their choice – saving time and manpower in the process. Because content needs to be pushed out to each network only once, hosting is cut dramatically, especially in the case of large content, as it is now integrated into various web properties from one location

Discoveries allow for detailed information, relating to tools, that can be used and how to use them. Guidelines are displayed to teach stakeholders where creatives can be used and shared. Basically, this centralized “location” better dictates to teams the “can dos” and “can’t dos” in each brand campaign.

Project management has also been made easier, as various workflows are supported within the platform, itself. Dates for submission and deadlines for publication are set in stone — but are also customizable. User profiles allow each team member to be unique, while able to be grouped and assigned tasks. There is a persona behind each set of keys. Products will be introduced, and product releases can be better managed through product management strategies within the workflow process.

Finally, WebDAM has partnered with some pretty amazing organizations and mainstream media companies to provide the optimal experience to each user of this platform. Fully integrating, WebDAM has partnered with companies, such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud to allow in-the-cloud editing. Using a program such as InDesign, users will find that assets are directly pulled into the system. Creative content can be moved directly from the desktop and into the cloud – or in reverse. Layers can be saved automatically to the cloud, while the entire project is accessible cross-platform.

WebDAM has partnered with other great companies, such as Box, WordPress and Drupal, to allow similar functionality. Soon, WebDAM will be releasing information on their new partnerships and will only further enhance content management experiences, driving industry change even further. Companies that utilize proprietary information will be happy to note that WebDAM has also made allowances for customizable API utilization.

Changing the game for marketers, brand managers, content developers and product owners, WebDAM continues to amaze us with their innovations. They have taken the business out of the business and allow us to become more creative. We have been hindered in such an evolved world that some of us have forgotten how to be creative. This is not only shifting industries, but it is opening our minds.

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How and why Shorty Produkshins is shifting gears in 2016

As many of you must know, the face of SEO and Internet Marketing is rapidly changing. It’s been almost ten years since we completely evolved into a marketing company. True, we still made music clean up into 2010, but this was done through subsidiary, Shorty’s Playground, after splitting into two separate entities in 2007.

Shorty Produkshins has prided itself on keeping ahead of the competition by being early adopters and evolving our services to meet the needs of our growing audiences. We started as that tiny little studio, consisting of a computer and a closet, and delivered many phases to our most avid supporters. Many of you remember our plaza location and our studio suites. As time evolved and industries became saturated, we evolved. Shorty Produkshins has always given the audiences a “new era in royalty” through this constant growth.

In 2013, we celebrated 10 official years. Innovation and specialization came from the demand of our most prestigious clientele — those allowed to be named and those under NDA. We focused more on our abilities on “streaming,” graphic design, social branding, public relations and event marketing. We also continued to be one of the first to deliver mobile technologies to smaller brands — something we had been doing since around 2010.

Then, rules of event marketing changed.

We once packed audiences to the point they wrapped around blocks to get into our venues. We packed venues so full, people would leave just because there were too many people there. Mixtape release parties often found they didn’t have enough products to hand out to their audiences. We even contributed to many of our larger clientele in having the largest audiences they ever had in their annual events.

Soon, everyone started to adopt the same marketing plan. And, those rules really apply any more. And, let’s face it, if the client has a smaller budget, there is a limit to what can be done in competing against venues with holographs, strippers and free drinks all night long. More focus went on Public Relations, Streaming Shows and Social Branding. Shorty Produkshins soared throughout the latter half of 2014 and on through 2015 by directing attention to where it was most effective!

Focused on the media, owner, Jessica N. Abraham began growing closer ties with many of the media platforms she worked for over the years. She began to realize that these media ties were great in supporting her public relations clientele. With over 16 years of expertise in social branding, this service was only going to be enhanced by combining services with those of the public relations sector. And, then… Shorty Produkshins would change forever!

While we have been engaging in content marketing since around 2001, many companies have realized how effective it actually is. They are beginning to realize the importance of owning a blog and regularly adding content to their websites. They are learning how impactful social shares can be. And, even Google has changed their algorithms to reflect this ideal. Because so many black hat operations have ruined innocent SEO initiative, Google’s new algorithms began focusing more on social impact and content than on anything else.

At Shorty Produkshins, we have already “been there, done that.” We have already done the “expert guest” thing, too. But, what of all of it coming full circle? As a content powerhouse, we are scaling our methods for our clientele in delivering Online and Offline promotions where they matter the most, making them an expert in their field and allowing them to monetize all platforms.

As IT companies are shifting towards all-in-one integrations that promote “productivity, collaboration and communication,” we are enhancing our internal productions, partnering more frequently and communicating to our audiences more. We are making them part of our endeavors. We aren’t just making them part of the conversation, we are making them the conversation. While we will still cater to clientele directly, we are shifting our focus to the community.

We have always dedicated ourselves to the underdog. We made it our mission to serve independent artists, brands and causes. We made it our mission to give audiences something to consume. But, everyone is doing that now. Why be like everyone else?

We have built clout (and Klout) over the years. You have been faithful to us, and we are grateful for that. We have come with a new plan of action in serving you… the everyday person.  In 2016, we shift gears to the community. We shift gears to return the support. In order to continue creating opportunities for you, we must keep evolving us!

In the past, you may have noticed long periods of time that our websites weren’t even finished. This is because we focused on our client’s work, pushing our own work to the back burner. Over the last 13 years, we have been a mostly referral-based company. Our clients speak on our behalf, as they return for more. Our clients have even given us permanent positions within their own companies.

In supporting our past, our existing and our future clientele… in supporting our followers, our lurkers, our true fans… in supporting the customers of our clientele… and in supporting the community, it is time to focus on us… Our true mission.

If you ask Mrs. Abraham-Hogan what makes her continue to do what she does with Shorty Produkshins, she will tell you that it is all the support and loyalty she has gained over the years. It is her hope to create a balance between genuine customer service, the people and humanity.

As society corrupts, she feels a duty in giving the people hope for change. As innovation explodes, she loves being the first to tell you (it’s probably the little kid in her)… As misinformation is spread, she wants to be sure people are educated. She wants to help a young generation succeed and small businesses stay open. She wants to see people reach their full potential and to be a helping hand.

With 2016, it’s not just a new beginning, it’s a chance for transformation… metamorphosis in branding social… And, we just want you to pay attention as we begin to unveil our plan of action over these next few months…. You will NOT be disappointed. Because, you are the reason for it all!

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WebDAM sets the ground rules and gives you ‘Fifty Shades of Branding’

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON EXAMINER

On Friday, February 13, 2015, theaters everywhere released the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie, a motion picture derived from a novel with a taboo storyline. In the Marketing World, WebDAM, the leading Digital Asset Management software continues powering a new era for enterprise as they released their own “Fifty Shades” project… “Fifty Shades of Branding.”

In “letting your brand go” wild, “Fifty Shades of Branding” gives insight into Branding secrets, new and old, while explaining how and why a brand needs to allure their audiences by showing off its sexy! They have released “the best practices and inspirational statistics to unleash your brand in today’s modern world,” as introduced in a SlideShare presentation, provided to Examiner by WebDAM upon the release of this project.

WebDAM wants you to realize that no matter who you are and what you do, someone will talk negatively about your brand. As a matter of fact, “There are 2.1 million negative social mentions about brands in the United States alone, every single day.” While it is true that one negative comment is twice as damaging to a brand than no comments at all, you must learn to let go of control and set your brand free.

Set your brand free and use your creativity to attract new potential consumers. They suggest doing so through alluring visuals meant to intrigue your audiences. If you think about this point, it is very valid. After all, this isn’t that every time we are on social media, it is the memes and videos that get re-shared over and over again?

You have probably seen the same visuals re-shared over time and began to realize that these visuals are often coming from the same source. These clips and memes have become viral. Awareness has been found. And, the brand attached has become known for this media piece.

There are times, however, that these media pieces are being re-shared by someone not affiliated with the piece whatsoever. That’s where branding comes into play. That’s why branding becomes so important. In this same token, “the use of video content for brand marketing increased from 8% to 58%, and 74% of Online consumers expect a brand’s web content to be personalized to their interests.”

According to WebDAM, you need to “Set rules for your brand’s look and feel.” It is a well-known fact that in keeping with Brand Integrity, one should only use tones, styles and colors that have found an association with the brand. WebDAM goes a step forward and suggests only using those approved by a Creative Director from within the company. As a matter of fact, color alone “increases brand recognition by up to 80%.” They also suggest “keeping a leash on your font.”

All deliverables from a brand and organization should easily identify with one another. Allow your audiences to associate these deliverables with your company’s branding through visual presentation of font and color. This is what you call “establishing your brand’s voice.” This is how a brand builds trust. It’s how it builds consistency.

When you see a brand with familiar colors, shapes and fonts, you have identified it with product and service lines that you are used to. Many companies include the psychology of colors to alert you of a brand’s attributes, give an authoritative presence and to set an archetype with that brand. Is your brand a hero, a villain or a creator? These are things to consider when creating your brand and evolving your brand’s presence, especially on the net. This is how you build trust. But, guess what… “54% of people do not trust brands.”

That’s when it’s time to “Unleash your brand assets.” According to an IBM Marketing Survey and as relayed by WebDAM, “82% of marketers create and deliver brand assets at every point of customer interaction.” This is highly suggested, because even releasing press and including brand imagery, Online views increase on an average of 77%. This is why many people decide to click links on Social Networks.

Facebook has caught on to this and now allows you to upload your own photo with a shared link in increasing traffic to the destination. For those that come to your content, you want to be sure to have it branded just the right way! This is one way that you will dominate the market!

With every plan of World Domination, there is a set vision. And with most visions, you will realize that strategic planning and analysis will make a World of a difference. A documented content strategy will bring a team together in total sync. It is also one way to be sure that branding is always complete. It is one way to be sure that a concept is summarized. It is one way that the brand will always differentiate itself from other similar brands in the marketplace. “Your brand won’t get away from you. “

Build that trust with your markets. Get personal. As WebDAM puts it, “Make your customers always come back to your brand.” This is Brand Trust and Loyalty at its finest. It cost six times less to keep your old customers happy and will also lead to new potential consumers hearing about your brand through Word of Mouth, one of the hardest Marketing Techniques to achieve. These existing fan bases will become Brand Advocates. Allow them to adopt your vision. Allow them to get to know your brand inside and out. You see, “92% of new consumers trust brand advocates” more than they trust a brand directly. As much as 75% have cited brand awareness as being the major influence in their buying decision.

Do you want to bring a higher return on investment for 2015? Start creating interesting content. Interesting content is one of the top reasons customers follow brands on social media. “Set your brand free.” Visit WebDAM’s SlideShare channel and check out their brand new “Fifty Shade of Branding” presentation. You may even download it for future reference. Check out their site to find out about WebDAM’s line of Digital Asset Management and Brand Management tools — for web and for mobile.

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