Tagging Framework for Marketing Content
Finding the right files for a marketing campaign can take up a huge chunk of time. With a maze of folders and files on Google Drive or Dropbox to stumble through, it’s a slow and frustrating process. We’re resigned to the fact that we’re going to have to do a lot of work in wrangling together the correct digital assets. It’s just the way it is.
Without an advanced way of categorizing files, a Marketer’s job is more difficult than it needs to be.
Utilizing folders doesn’t help make this job that much easier. Even the best laid organizational systems are limited to the sparse information that folders communicate.
Tags allow for a more focused way of organizing your files and a more sophisticated classification framework.
Tags work for different contexts
Tags make files discoverable under a variety of circumstances. They can be relevant to a specific campaign, provide visibility to a select group of people, and be specific for a given period of time, like a financial quarter.
Tags are a network of interconnected assets, with files that can be searched through a number of different criteria. Ambiguity is eliminated and replaced by specificity. Team members are able to find the files they want when they need them.
Getting started with tag management
Before you take on creating a tagging framework for marketing content, there are a few things to consider.
Do you want to classify all of the files, subsets of files, or just apply your system to manage all of the new files from here on out? Define the criteria that will determine what files will become a part of the new taxonomy.
Who is going to be in charge of file management? Someone needs to oversee setting permissions, testing to see if the taxonomy is working, and making adjustments like adding new tags, getting rid of them, and keeping those in place that people find useful.
How are you going to classify the files, and what metadata are you going to use? Are there system limitations to the number of tags that can be indexed? No matter where the files are, and who is looking for them, a clear set of categories should guide people straight to what they need.
The goals of this process are to simplify document management, provide a taxonomy that’s easy to comprehend no matter what team someone may be on or their role and to be applicable across different platforms.
Developing a content metadata strategy
📖. Definition: Metadata is a set of data that describes and gives information about other data.
In this case, we're talking about data that's attached to a file that gives important descriptive information about it.
There is standard metadata already built into every file. These do an okay job of communicating the general characteristics of a file but lack giving anything more than surface-level details.
The most descriptive part of this standard metadata is the file name. If you have hundreds or thousands of digital assets categorizing them by their names or the date they were created will get unmanageable very quickly. No one is capable of memorizing every file name and knowing exactly where they’re stored.
Tags are a form of metadata. They go further than just showing general information about a file, conveying more descriptive information about it. Creating a taxonomy of marketing content tags that transcends generalized metadata can be done in a few logical steps.
Create file search use cases
What are the actions that team members take when looking for files for a given type of project? File search use cases define different project scenarios and the search terms people use in finding the files they need for them.
We can look at the Hills framework, a project management technique, to inform use cases. Product teams use this method to distill the customer value of a product down to a single sentence of its intent. Content organizers can apply this same philosophy in creating use cases, writing single sentences for each use case that describes the intended outcome for colleagues in their search for specific assets.
These goal-centered sentences could be things like:
- A graphic designer should be able to find relevant images within 3 seconds
- My sales team should always be able to find the most recent data sheets to respond to customers in minutes
- Content writers should be able to find and reference relevant components of previous thought-leadership pieces to streamline their writing process.
Analyze existing content patterns
Take inventory of the current ways that files are being classified. If they’re organized by folders and subfolders, this can help inform how you structure things. Look at what’s in place that works and apply it to your new taxonomy.
Talk with your team in finding out what their biggest challenges are and what would make looking for files easier.
During this content audit, it might also be a good time to migrate or delete files that you don’t need anymore, especially those that have not been opened or modified for 2+ years.
Define your content taxonomy
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative lays out fifteen widely used taxonomic elements.
Here’s the good news. If you’re using Digitile’s tag management platform, 90% of these variables are automatically identified as searchable elements and filters. Since this is already taken care of, you can put your efforts towards creating more descriptive and unique tags that go beyond these basic fifteen.
Tagging framework for marketing content best practices
Once you create file search use cases and have an idea about what kind of categories would be most helpful it’s time to leverage this information to create the most obvious and optimal tag names.
Here are a few things to consider about tag naming:
- The term or phrase most likely to be looked up. This may require you to make hard decisions between similar terms. For example, content management, document management, file management, and digital asset management may have the same meaning to a marketing team but it’s too hard to juggle all of these when indexing multiple files, and not to mention, the team may gravitate to specific terms.
- Create tag style consistency to help users with looking up content. For instance, using acronyms versus the full word or phrase, (MQLs vs Marketing Qualified Leads), (ROI vs Return on Investment), (SEO vs Search Engine Optimization). Acronyms should only be used when they’re widely used and established as the primary go-to term.
- Differentiate tags that have the same name but are conceptually different. You may have Market (Industry) and Market (Advertise) as two distinct tags for files that fall into these respective categories.
- Keep SEO best practices in mind. When possible, add the unused metadata tags within the document so it’s indexed. This will help surface relevant content not searchable with tags.
- Hyphens and symbols should be avoided to minimize issues with searching. Marketing teams tend to create tags with underscores and symbols like Holiday_Campaign_2020 and Holiday_Campaign_2019. As team members change, what’s obvious today may not be intuitive to others in the future.
Example Tagging framework for marketing content
As we mentioned earlier, a taxonomy doesn’t represent a single path in finding a file. Through tag categories and tag subcategories, each file can occupy specific sets or subsets at the same time. A tag should convey the intended scope of the information within the document. Here's a digital asset management tagging framework for marketing content.
These templates above represent a straightforward framework for tagging. We get relevant time frames with the Year and Quarter meta tags. Files can be tagged with what point they are applicable to in the customer journey. The channel they’re best suited for like Social or Print can be specified. And the status of the file, whether it’s a draft or final version can also be tagged.
Let’s say you're after all of the files that you used for a fourth-quarter holiday social campaign from 2019. You could go through your Google Drive filtering by the date, or you could type in the metadata “2019 Q4 Holiday Social Campaign” and pull up all of the associated files in an instant. It’s obvious which is the better choice.
What to look for in a tag management solution?
To help you out in your own research, we’ve put together this table to show you some of the most important features that should be a part of a system of tag management
Tags make sense for Marketing Content
It’s easy for files to get lost with folder-based organizational conventions. When you have multiple departments working with different cloud apps to store and organize files, staying consistent can be impossible.
Tags are a practical system of organization. They provide clarity instead of confusion. Looking for files becomes intuitive rather than guesswork.
Tags give you and your team a smarter way in finding what you need.