MediaBeacon Blog

Why Metadata is Important + How It Works With Digital Asset Management


Metadata is an instrumental piece of what makes digital asset management (DAM) software work. Without metadata, finding digital assets would be darn near impossible, which defeats one of the main purposes of DAM—to find assets fast. 

Imagine you have two "Where's Waldo?" books in front of you. The copy on the left is a typical “Where's Waldo” book, but instead of his patented striped sweater and beanie, Waldo is simply wearing basic clothing. It takes forever to finally find him. 

The other copy looks just like the first one, except every page has a trail of signs that lead directly to where Waldo is hiding. Waldo himself is even helping you out, wearing a bright neon sweater to ensure you find him efficiently. 

The first book represents trying to find digital assets without using DAM at all. Instead, employees are searching through old emails, folders on their desktop, and calling other team members trying to find what they are looking for. 

The second book is analogous to brands that are using DAM to its fullest potential by using metadata. 

Metadata can transform a brand's ability to increase their productivity and deliver content and campaigns in record time. 

But, what exactly is metadata? Depending on who you ask, you may get a different answer. Today, we'll be breaking down metadata by its relationship to DAM to illustrate why it is such an essential part of any digital asset management software.  

First, let's discuss the different types of metadata to illustrate their specific functions.

The Two Types of Metadata


Administrative metadata involves information that helps manage an asset and is broken down into two different categories.

First, there is preservation metadata, which contains details that are specifically needed for archiving the asset.

The second category is known as rights management metadata. This type of metadata concerns intellectual property rights. Utilizing this metadata subset allows brands to avoid using assets that they no longer have rights to, which can effectively end the threat of fines for copyright claims. 


Descriptive metadata is what makes an asset searchable and, therefore, discoverable. This type of metadata holds information that one would typically use during their search for an asset, such as the author or creator of an asset, any keywords associated with it, and the title. 

So, let's say a designer is in need of a logo that was specifically designed for social media posts. The designer simply searches "social media logo" and is able to find it without wasting time. But the designer probably doesn’t know that the metadata is what made the logo appear, all they know is they found what they were looking for. And that’s all that matters for the casual user.

While every type of metadata is important for successful tracking and searching, descriptive metadata is instrumental in keeping the projects flowing and productivity high. With the help of descriptive metadata, those searching for assets can easily zero on what they are looking for right away. 

Structural Metadata

Structural metadata orders assets based on how they are formatted or configured. In technical terms, it indicates how compound objects are placed together. 

For example, structural metadata can describe the size, dimensions, and format of an image (i.e., 500 pixels, 500x450, jpeg). 

Metadata is All About Getting the Most Out of Your Assets

Digitizing assets is a good thing. At the very least, companies should have systems in place that allow their employees—particularly designers and marketers—to gain access to assets they need for packaging and marketing projects. 

But, metadata and robust DAM software are allowing brands to do so much more than digitize their logos, images, audio files, etc. 

When using metadata and DAM, all assets a brand possesses will be readily available to use for a variety of purposes, making them more versatile than an asset that is sitting on a desktop somewhere. 

A well-executed metadata schema will give designers, marketers, and anyone else who is looking for a file, the ability to find what they need right away and improve the speed to market of campaigns and content. 

Ready to Use Your Assets to Their Full Potential? Contact MediaBeacon Today! 

If you and your team are tired of wasting time searching for missing digital assets, then it's time to invest in a DAM solution. 

MediaBeacon is one of the premier digital asset management systems on the market. It is a highly-functional DAM with robust features in the following areas: 

Store, Search, & Control

In addition to customizable metadata fields to make both organizing and searching easy for your team, users can save searches in MediaBeacon and use advanced search options to simplify the search even further. Not to mention, assets can be converted on-the-fly to keep projects moving along. 

Manage & Collaborate

Collaborating with both internal and external teams has never been easier than with MediaBeacon. The DAM will give you, your teams, and all your external partners the ability to work in a single system from any global location. With automated notifications, anyone working with your brand will be kept accountable. 

Distribute & Track 

MediaBeacon will track your digital assets, giving you the chance to better understand their lifetime value and ROI so you can optimize future projects. And, for more clarity and better transparency on the usage of your assets, MediaBeacon will track how digital assets are downloaded, distributed, and used across your organization. 


MediaBeacon has a full team of project managers and solution architects to help implement your new DAM solution in a way that works best for you. MediaBeacon creates partnerships with their clients, meaning they’ll help with change management that comes with introducing new technology, as well as a 24/7 customer care team that is always there to help when you need it. 

Integrations & Partners

MediaBeacon also has an extensive list of integrations and partners, including Twitter, Instagram, Patone, Office 365, Telestream, Google Cloud, and many, many more. 

For a complete list of our partners, check out this page here

And, to get started with integrating MediaBeacon into your process, contact us today or fill out this brief online form for a free demo