Why metadata should be the love of your life


We all know that content is king. That’s no news. Digital content adds direct value to your organization. However, there is a difference between content adding value and content becoming valuable within your organization. It’s always easy to create files such as images, videos, presentations etc., but if you don’t know where you actually stored them or you just didn’t tell anyone within or outside your organization where you placed them, no one will find them for reuse and they lose value. What gives your digital content value is converting it into digital assets.

This is where metadata proves its worth. Although the word “metadata” might trigger a mental off-switch and the word makes you stop listening because it seems complicated, you should hang on for a second. Metadata is a true value-adding component for smooth digital workflows within and outside your organization. The ability to search, find and share files unlocks their full potential and value.

In short, metadata is basically data about data. Or as someone told me years ago, “Metadata is a love note to the future”, meaning that with the right kind of metadata, you will quickly be able to search and find your files for reuse.

What is metadata?

Metadata is valuable and descriptive information added to a file that thereby becomes an asset. It is the heart of a digital asset management system (DAM).  In general, metadata is used for four main purposes that justify its role as one of the crucial features within any digital asset management system. Its purpose is to:

  • Identify assets
  • Manage assets
  • Retrieve assets
  • Track usage of assets

For all of the four purposes, you have distinctive variants of metadata. There are three kinds of metadata:

Descriptive metadata: Information to help search or locate an object e.g title (file name), author, file reference number, keywords, categorized topics, tags or document descriptions.

Structural metadata: A description of the structure of the object e.g. what’s in an image, a table, a flower etc. It could also be file specific mapping such as EXIF data, orientation, size, or resolution.

Administrative metadata: Important information to help manage the source or usage rights to give you control of the operations and workflows authorized for each and every digital asset in your repository. This metadata covers e.g. version number, archiving date, security and access permissions, rights management settings, file formats or linked resources.

Love at first sight? Or just in it for the money? Metadata makes you rich on efficient workflows

When working with cross-channel use of images, videos and other files, metadata management is essential. Storing the files in a DAM system is of major value for you internally because the DAM system is able to support all types of files and store the metadata information with them. With the different metadata specifications added to the files, you can find and distribute them in any given format to any given platform in no time.

Additionally, by adding the right information to your images and videos, you can use the metadata externally for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your webpage content or as an integrated part of your webshop. In fact, the most overlooked part in SEO is the graphic part of your webpage, making parts such as logos, banners and icons fall into the background. Instead of just naming the different files, you can use the DAM system to add relevant metadata to the content and push it to the forefront of search engines via tags.

After all, what are the chances that someone will search for the file name MG01142.JPG on Google? Use the DAM system in collaboration with your CMS and next time someone searches the keywords added to the images on your website, the metadata will be taken into consideration.

Metadata adds value to your content in order for you to extract value from it. It’s hard work, but it pays off and the future you will love the work you put into it today.

Explore our digital asset management system Digizuite™ to find out how to extract value from your digital content. 


Interested in hearing more? 

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions