Spring is here (finally), which means that it’s the perfect time to clean out some of your most cluttered spaces. From closets to offices to your digital files, it’s time to clear out the clutter. Take stock of what you have to make better use of your inventory so you ensure you’re set up for success for the rest of the year.
We don’t typically think of digital spaces such as files and databases as areas needing spring cleaning, but with the speed and volume that organizations are creating digital assets today, it’s easy for our digital spaces to become cluttered and unwieldy.
Putting your best digital foot forward matters to your customers, whether they are individual consumers or other businesses themselves. Brand consistency helps drive trust, loyalty, and even revenue. In a world where customers have more options than ever before, ensuring that you are getting your message out there the best you can helps you stay competitive and ultimately win more business.
We all know cleaning projects can be tedious and time consuming. But with the right tools (think technology) and right team (partners, employees, etc.), you can reach success a lot faster.
Phase 1. Organize your digital strategy
Let’s start with organizing your digital strategy and aligning your goals to help you put your best foot forward. By understanding what your goals are, you can then decide what to use, what to retire and what to create. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What is your overarching theme? There should only be one (hint: brand consistency).
- What are your top 1-3 priorities for the next few months and for the rest of the year as they relate to improving your online strategy?
- What are you doing to achieve those goals?
- What else do you need to do to get to those goals?
Phase 2. Get a handle on your digital sites
Before thinking about building out new sites and new content, it’s important to gain visibility into all of your existing sites. You would be shocked by just how many organizations have no idea how many sites they own. Many of these organizations are often surprised by some of the sites our presales team digs up during the discovery process. Don’t be one of them. Be proactive and start to catalogue all the sites your organization owns. A good way to start doing this is by asking different departments for a list of sites they have either created and/or are currently maintaining.
Once you have gained visibility into all of your sites, determine which ones are worth keeping and which ones should be discarded based on your business and brand requirements. Going through this exercise will help you understand the gaps in your brand story (i.e. which sites you’re missing/still need) and it will give you a more accurate view of the current state of your brand online.
The last step in this phase is to move all of your sites on to one platform. Achieving brand consistency (i.e. standardizing your sites) across multiple sites, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of sites, is next to impossible if all of your sites are scattered across multiple content management systems. With a single platform, especially one that provides multisite governance and management, gives you the visibility and control that you need in order to get all of your sites brand compliant (i.e. same color pallette, same fonts, same architecture, same logos, etc.).
Phase 3. Clean out and organize your digital assets
Just like with your sites, it’s important to have a solid grasp on all of your creative digital files including photos, videos, files, etc. that capture your brand. The first step is identifying where you store all of your creative assets. Ideally, they live in a central library like a digital asset manager (DAM) But like many organizations, they are cluttered across multiple Dropboxes, Google Drives, and employee inboxes. Without a central asset library, hunting down all of your assets could take awhile. Make sure you are looking for the most up-to-date versions of all of your images, photos, videos, files (such as logos). And be sure to either disable, archive, and/or delete old versions of images or logos that you don’t want brand managers or digital marketers using.
Once you track down all of your creative files, it’s time to put them into a central repository where they can be tagged, searched, and controlled (i.e. maintained to ensure the most up-to-date/accurate versions are used across all of your sites). By organizing your files into a central repository, your creative teams and users will be able to create digital experiences faster and with fewer mistakes than before.
Each time you want to create a site (or several) your creative teams will know exactly where to go to and what digital assets to use. They won’t have to waste time asking around about which digital assets are up to date and usable or sorting through heaps of outdated assets, which is a big time suck and something that most teams can’t afford to do when launching multiple sites at once.
Spring cleaning your digital properties and assets can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. If you can set really clear desired end states and then set priorities based on those goals, a list of actionable items will be easy to create and execute. To recap: start with taking stock of your digital properties (i.e. sites and applications) and then look at your content and assets. Remember, this type of project is a team effort. Building digital experiences isn’t a one-man (or woman) task. Good luck and happy spring cleaning.
We’d love to hear about how you’re spring cleaning your digital properties and assets. Share your tips and tricks with us via social or email us at [email protected].