How to Create and Organize Visual Assets in a New Role

Nisreen Galloway is a digital marketer and foodie with a strong background in writing, graphic design, and social media. She began her marketing career as an intern at Yelp and then worked at several B2B and B2C companies in the food and luxury markets, focusing on content marketing, graphic design, and social media management. Nisreen lives in Boston with her loving boyfriend, fridge full of spaghetti squash, and temperamental, but adorable cat Lilly.

My first full-time content marketing job out of college, I was lucky enough to have thousands of visual assets at my exposure. There were high quality photos, HD videos, and dozens of opportunities to create original content. As I created content calendars and social campaigns, it was easy to find the images I needed without draining our budget or struggling to meet deadlines.

At my next position, I was not so lucky. There were a few images hiding in buried folders and forgotten websites, but for the most part. there was nothing up to current brand standards. Luckily, we had a deep marketing budget, but there was no action plan for creating more content. Did a new product launch mean we needed several new photoshoots or just a few product shots? Did we need video of every event or just a few? Each decision was crucial to the marketing campaigns and assets for the year, and the first couple months were definitely a learning process. If you’re starting a new role with limited content, there are a few ways you can ensure your success.

Step 1: Assess and Organize

Determining what visual assets are already available when you start in your role is important. Are there photos from an old photoshoot hiding on a server? Is there a forgotten Flickr account with event photos you can use? Headshots? Having a solid idea of what’s available means you can organize the imagery in a central location, archive content that’s no longer relevant to the brand, and create a plan to move forward. When assessing backlogged content, it’s helpful to determine if any imagery can be updated or reused. One of my favorite pieces of content marketing that food and fashion bloggers are infamous for is showing their growth through comparison articles. Try taking a similar angle with your company’s old content to showcase your brand story, logo transformations, or even celebrate a company anniversary.

Step 2: Create a plan

It’s important to align your visual assets with your content strategy and goals for the year. If you want to grow your social presence, it might make sense to focus on acquiring more videos. If your focus is on email marketing, then creating pertinent graphics and photos may be your focus. Whatever your goals are, having an outline of your needs and wish-list items will help you better plan photoshoots, events, and the must-have moments to capture. If you’re operating on a small budget, try to think of places where you can double-up on asset creation. For example, if you need to update team headshots, consider also grabbing video Q&As with the team to use on social down the line. Doubling your efforts at each photoshoot will save you time and money.  

Step 3: DIY Visual Assets

If you’re working with a really small marketing team, you may not have the resources to hire professional photographers or video teams. Consider looking into things like Adobe Stock Photos or other stock photography websites and come up with a plan. iStock even offers some video clips that can be easily edited to create outstanding visuals for website upkeep or make your blogs stand out. For your social needs, it’s widely accepted to use a DSLR or an iPhone to grab images, or stage a mini shoot in your office. Get creative and don’t be afraid to try something out of the box — the best visual assets often resonate when they’re followed by great content.

Starting with little to no visual assets can be hard, but by having a plan, staying organized, and using the most of the free and downloadable resources online, you’re sure to slowly create a library that can easily support your content marketing needs.