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From Tag Enrichment to Alt Text Generation: Transforming Media Management With Low-Code Workflows (Part 1)

It’s easy to get swept up in the magic of generative AI, especially the dazzling transformations that it enables for images and videos. 

Just as important to the success of your visual media strategy is how effectively you’re managing your media assets. Are your images and videos tagged, documented, and structured so you can easily find the right visuals for any campaign? Are they properly moderated so you’re not publishing low-quality or problematic content? What about handling compliance as licenses expire?

Managing visual assets effectively is especially critical in the current economic climate, in which teams are still expected to deliver growth but are being pressured to cut costs and identify new efficiencies across the board. 

Low-code workflow engines like Cloudinary’s MediaFlows are a perfect fit for streamlining this type of media management work. They’re built to automate complex and critical tasks at scale, without requiring custom coding.   

In this article (part 1 of a two-part series on low-code use cases for image and video) we’ll focus on four specific media management use cases, highlighting how a low-code workflow engine can help accelerate each.

But first … why does media management matter?

Media management is the foundation that supports your visual content strategy. Do it right, and your teams, systems, and customers reap major benefits. Do it wrong, and you risk productivity bottlenecks, non-compliance, and poor performance.

Benefits of streamlined media management include:

  1. Developer productivity. Imagine being able to access the right image or video quickly, without wasting precious time hunting for files. Media management ensures that your development team can focus on coding rather than searching for assets
  2. Cross-team efficiency and cost savings. In any organization, multiple teams rely on media assets. From marketing to design and development, having a streamlined media management system ensures that everyone can find and use the right assets efficiently.
  3. Faster time to market. Getting your products and content to the market swiftly is essential for staying competitive. Proper media management reduces bottlenecks, allowing you to launch your projects faster.
  4. Reduced legal and reputational risks. Accidental use of copyrighted images or videos can lead to legal troubles and harm your brand’s reputation. Media management helps prevent such risks.

Images and video often pass through multiple transformations (resizing, color correction, text or image overlays, generative AI alterations, and more) before going live in production. The review and approval process can easily become chaotic, taking place across multiple communication channels and ticketing systems.

Additionally, manual review is costly and time-consuming — and should ideally be reserved for assets that actually need it. But it’s hard to automatically determine at scale which images and videos require manual scrutiny post-transformation. For example, if you’re an e-commerce brand performing AI-powered background removal on thousands of images, how do you know which 15 images require the intervention of a human expert?  

  • How MediaFlows helps: MediaFlows automates the approval process, routing assets to a moderation waiting room in tools like Cloudinary Assets or Nexus. Email notifications keep your team informed. Confidence thresholds for AI-powered transformations ensure that manual moderation occurs only when necessary, saving time and resources.
  • Why it matters: Ensures that assets meet quality and compliance standards before they are used, protecting your brand and avoiding costly mistakes.

Stock images and video are a critical part of visual brand strategy, especially for brands in industries like travel and hospitality. But managing the digital usage rights of these assets can be logistically complicated. How do you automatically prevent the team from using expired assets (and ideally notify them well ahead of time of an upcoming expiration event)?

The stakes are high. Unauthorized usage of digital assets can come with legal and financial repercussions for copyright infringement. 

  • How MediaFlows helps: MediaFlows automatically blocks the delivery of expired assets and replaces them with fallback options (or prevents specific groups from viewing them). It can also notify your team in advance of license expirations, allowing you to renew or replace assets.
  • Why it matters: Mitigates legal risks, ensures compliance with usage agreements, and prevents accidental usage of expired assets.

Metadata and tags keep your media library organized and searchable, enabling you to efficiently discover the perfect asset for any occasion. 

But adding and enriching metadata and tags can be a tedious and error-prone process, especially for large media libraries. Critical context on a visual asset may be buried in file directory names (e.g., “men/spring-collection/t-shirts”) or need to be supplied via auto tagging services. Additionally, you may need to move images and video between folders based on file type, metadata, tags, or other predefined rules to facilitate efficient retrieval — a process that can be difficult to automate at scale.

  • How MediaFlows helps: MediaFlows streamlines the process by adding metadata and tags automatically from various sources, like filenames, .csv files, or third-party services like Google Auto Tagging. It also automates the movement of assets between folders based on predefined rules.
  • Why it matters: Facilitates efficient asset retrieval, saving time and avoiding disorganization.

Alt text for images and video is critical for website accessibility and SEO performance. But manually creating alt text is time-consuming and prone to error. And even with AI services, it can be challenging to automate the process of programmatically generating alt text across an entire media library. 

  • How MediaFlows helps: MediaFlows uses AI — either with Cloudinary’s native capabilities, add-ons like Cloudinary Captioning, or third-party alt text services — to generate accurate alt text for images, eliminating manual work. 
  • Why it matters: Ensures compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and SEO best practices, speeding up content delivery and enhancing accessibility.

Media management is a critical component of your visual content strategy, ensuring that your media assets are well-organized, accessible, and compliant. However, managing media at scale can be a daunting task. This is where a low-code workflow engine like MediaFlows shines.

By automating tasks like routing for approval, generating alt text, archiving expired assets, and enriching asset data, MediaFlows simplifies the complexities of media management. It allows your teams to work more efficiently, reduces the risk of legal issues, and streamlines your entire workflow.

Learn more about MediaFlows and get started for free today.

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