Why you should use metadata in your ECM

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems, such as SharePoint, Google Drive, and Box, have become an integral part of managing digital content in organizations. These platforms provide features like version control, collaboration, workflows, and security to ensure the content remains safe and accessible.

Usually, the content in these platforms is organized in folders, which is useful and sensible for clearly structured topics and content and for users who work with the platform and this content on a daily basis.

With large amounts of content, searching and finding in folder structures can sometimes be very difficult, especially for users who use the system infrequently.

Therefore, with increasing amounts of digital content, managing metadata becomes crucial to identify, classifying, and finding relevant information efficiently.

In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of managing metadata in Google Drive, SharePoint, and Box.

What is metadata?

As the DAM manager, are you disheartened by the performance and user-adoption rate of your DAM system? This is one of the most common challenges faced by businesses that implement a Digital Asset Management solution. Let’s look at the common reasons for poor DAM adoption:

  • There are times when some users do not know about the existence of a DAM system or how to use it.
  • On other occasions, many employees find the features and functionality of the DAM system too complicated to use.
  • Also, users often find it uncomfortable to use the DAM solution because of its bland look and feel and poor quality of user interface.
  • Since typical DAM solutions aren’t on-brand, many users feel a sense of disconnect when accessing the company’s brand assets in such a system.
  • Many DAM solutions lack a reliable and stable system and do not have enough data fields which are necessary for easy downloading and sharing of content assets.

Metadata is the basis for professional content activation

According to studies by SiriusDecisions and Forrester 60-70% of all content in organizations remains unused. This is a terribly poor yield considering the large number of resources and costs we continually invest in content creation.

Using metadata may help your organization in records management, classification, structured finding, workflow, reporting, or auditing.

While all of these areas are important, one benefit stands out: Finding content.

So, what if our users could find the content effortlessly instead of just searching for it?
What if we could present the content in such a way that it was available exactly where and when the user needed it?

That would boost your share of active content in your ECM!

For those users who are working with your ECM platform on a day-to-day basis, metadata will make it easier to find content because they add additional information about the content to the search index.

Good for them. Good for increased usage of your content.
Any percentage point you can increase your content usage up from the meager 30% to 40% will help!

If you want to go one step further, with metadata and the right user experience, we no longer need folder structures and our users find content completely effortlessly and intuitively.

To achieve that the search UI needs to be simplified to the maximum for audiences that will primarily consume the content.

How do you simplify the search UI? With faceted search and with a well-designed content experience.

What is faceted search?

Faceted search is an advanced search method that overcomes the limitations of traditional search methods like full-text search and folder structures.

It allows users to search for information based on multiple attributes associated with each content asset, to filter search results. Those attributes are the metadata you have associated with your content assets.

Faceted search is the most easy-to-use and powerful search method because the user sees only search facets of metadata attributes that are actually associated with content elements.

In this way, the search facets filter each other completely dynamically.
The user only sees what is relevant to him.

Everyone knows how to use faceted search from their online shopping experience!

The shopping experience for content

Combining the faceted search for your content from Google Drive, SharePoint, or Box with a well-designed, branded experience and adding context and well-thought-through functionality around your content gives you a shopping experience for your content – a Smart Content Store.

Who for?

  • Who are the people who need to consume your content?
    (As opposed to creating it)
  • Who are the groups whom you need to motivate to use your content?
  • Who are your propagators, influencers, and multipliers?

The answers to these questions give you the target groups you can reach with easy-to-use, well-designed content experiences.

Typically those audiences are professionals with high expectations and little time and if they make use of your content they help you to achieve your business objectives.

For instance channel partners, journalists, or your internal sales- and marketing teams.

In summary, one can say that the investment in metadata management always pays off.

Metadata is the foundation for content activation and therefore contributes to a better ROI for our content creation investments.

Gert Fahrnberger

Do you have questions or ideas?

We’d love to have a conversation with you.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch now!

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