5 Must-Have Features of a Digital Asset Management System for Travel

So you’re in the market for a new digital asset management (DAM) system for your travel brand. Your needs are unique, but what sets a regular DAM apart from one that’s best for a travel marketer?

Beyond the core functionality every DAM should offer (i.e. metadata, expiry dates, and the ability to share assets), we rounded up some other features that are essential to support marketers in the travel and tourism industry. When you have hundreds of different assets coming in, and so much of your marketing relies on beautiful travel imagery, your DAM needs to be purpose-built

Let’s dive into the 5 features of digital asset management that are particularly important for travel brands like yours.

1 | Automatically adding keywords to all of your assets (so you don’t have to)

You’ve got thousands of photos and videos in your media library.

And as your library continues to expand with content from events, influencer collabs, video b-roll and the like, it’s all too easy to lose track of what you actually have on hand.

After all, manually adding descriptive keywords to every single asset is painstakingly tedious – especially when you may be uploading hundreds into your digital asset management system at a time. Sometimes that means you don’t get to be as thorough as you’d like while tagging assets.

Look for a digital asset management system that can automatically add keywords to your visuals.

That way, if you forget the file name or the folder it might be under, any asset you have is only a quick search away.

2 | The ability to retrieve the content you’re searching for, even if it’s not a keyword match

How many times has something like this happened to you?

You’re searching for some pictures of music venues in response to a media request. You search a dozen variations of the word music venue (including live performance, live music, jazz bar, etc.). Each search term brings up a whole new batch of photos – none of which are a fit for this request.

As an organization that’s constantly retrieving specific imagery for external requests (and internal projects), you need a digital asset management system that understands what you’re looking for, even if it’s not exactly what you typed.

A smart search should surface synonyms and similar words (e.g. amusement parks, attractions, rollercoasters) to your search, as well as stemming (smile is the same as smiles, smiling, smiled, etc.).

That way, you’re not inputting dozens of variations of a search term while trying to answer a media request promptly.

3 | Support for user-generated content in addition to owned assets

For many modern travel and tourism marketers, today’s marketing visuals include more than just content from commissioned photo shoots.

60% of today’s visitors post pictures of their experiences to social media. And more and more travel marketers are tapping into this raw, authentic content to supplement their branded marketing visuals.

It only makes sense then to have a digital asset management solution in place that captures all the main sources of imagery that you use, instead of forcing you to search both your DAM and all your social media channels when looking for an image.

When everything is easily at your fingertips, it becomes less about using a user-generated vs. owned photo, or whatever is nearest, and more about finding the best visual for the job.

4 | It has an easy-to-use interface for the media to request and download imagery

A lot of legacy DAMs were built with an internal focus: it was about storage, access, and retrieval more than distribution and collaboration. But for travel and tourism brands, a huge function of digital asset management is having a place to share assets with media.

The trouble is that many digital asset management systems for travel still feel clunky, and are difficult for external users to navigate. The more hurdles a journalist has to jump through to find a photo they like, the less likely they will use one.

You want to find a DAM that has an intuitive public interface, so that the next time a media partner comes to your website to grab an image, they can immediately understand how to find the best image of your destination for their article.

5 | The ability to customize your media portal with custom branding.

Considering that inspirational travel imagery is at the core of tourism branding, this is a feature that a surprising number of DAMs don’t offer.

You want to make sure that everyone who goes to your DAM knows instinctively the pictures they’re seeing are of your destination, and that this is your official brand they’re requesting imagery from.

Find a digital asset management system that allows you to customize your portal with your colors, imagery, and style – so that it remains consistent with the rest of your brand.

Find a digital asset management solution that’s tailored to your travel brand

If your current DAM tool doesn’t offer the features listed above, it’s probably time to consider upgrading to one that does. Artificial intelligence technology is creating so many opportunities to take the manual work out of your workflows, especially in the ways listed above for travel brands. We hope this article has helped shed light on some of the things you can expect from a modern DAM!