If you’ve been in the marketing game for quite some time, you’ve probably built up a huge image library over time. As this collection gets bigger and bigger, it becomes very difficult to find the images that you need when you need them.
Personally, I have a very specific system of organizing my own images. Each unique image is assigned a serial number. That serial number’s purpose is so I can use it in click-through URL’s and keywords in order to track its performance across multiple campaigns. This way, I can see what images have performed the best across my entire portfolio as well.
In addition to assigning serial numbers to file names, I also utilize the power of descriptive tagging to categorize the images. For example, if I wanted to find Latin men, I am able to filter out only the images that I have previously tagged as Latin men. This eliminates so much wasted time in trying to locate the correct folder, if that’s how you’re organizing images currently.
The tool I use to tag and organize my images is Windows Photo Gallery. I’m sure there are a ton of similar free tools for both Windows and Mac, but I’ve found this to be adequate. Here’s a video on how I use it:
When tagging images, I have 3 must-have tags. These are tags that I put on every applicable image because these tags should be universal when it comes to images of people. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to animals and everything else.
- Age. I have 3 categories that I use to identify age: young, middle age, mature.
- Gender. Pretty straightforward: either male or female.
- Ethnicity. It’s important to tag by ethnicity for future campaigns that target specific niches. Sometimes I input multiple ethnicity tags if the person can pass for multiple ones.
Outside of the 3 must-have tags, it’s always better to include as much of the special attributes of the image as possible. If the person has tattoos, is a Christian, is a hipster, is muscular, has a uniform, or anything else that you may want to search by, I will include those in the tag. Just make sure to keep your descriptions consistent and not use “single dad” for one image and “single dads” for another.
You can spend a lot of time thinking of tags for each image. Don’t burn your time here. Do the best you can quickly and move on to the next image. If you already have a huge catalog, it might be worth it to come up with a list of tags you want applied to the images and outsource the tagging on oDesk.
Do you have your own tips and tricks for organizing images and other digital media?