5 Ways to Slash Your Real Keywording Costs

There is hardly a photo library in the world which isn't looking to cut costs.  One of the first things to come under scrutiny is the cost of keywording.  We've come up with 5 tips on how to change what you're doing with your keywording and save money.

In doing so, we've looked at the real cost of keywording, which includes not only the direct labour component of getting keywording done, but also the costs of waiting to put images/videos on the market or missing out on sales because of poor keywording.
1. Switch From do-it-yourself to outsourced keywording - It's rare that libraries do a full analysis of how much doing their own keywording really costs.  Often the amount is under-estimated because the costs of training, administration, rent and equipment are not included.  The other mistake is to fail to calculate the amount of time wasted when keywording volumes are low and staff are deployed on other tasks which may, or may not be worthwhile doing. For individual photographers/videographers the biggest cost is in taking themselves away from the more productive/creative part of their work which they are experts in, and can earn more money from.  For more information on how to calculate the cost of inhouse keywording - Click Here

2. Keyword earlier - Delays in getting images to market is a loser money-wise because you will inevitably lose out on sales while you are waiting to make your images available to customers.  You may also find yourself with increased administration costs as you try to organise and recruit people to do the extra work to cope with the rush which is causing the delays.

3.  Match keywording capacity with image/video flow - Short of outsourcing, you can keep down-time of staff to a minimum when there is little work, and delays getting images/videos to market when there is lots of work, by better planning when you will receive images and videos.  You will probably need to look at employing part-time or casual staff to give you the flexibility you need, and liaising more closely with the photographers/videographers supplying you.

4.  Do it once, do it right - We are often approached by companies who need help with their keywording because first time around they did a bad job.  Sadly, it is normally cheaper and better to simply redo the keywords from scratch.  So the initial effort is wasted completely.  The moral of the story: No one ever regrets buying quality, and the same goes with keywording.

5. Avoid snail-pace software - There are numerous systems and software packages you can use to keyword.  Many are cumbersome and end up costing you money by making images and video slow to process.  Make sure any software is designed for speed, which means it should be simple to use, be flexible in which vocabularies it can utilise, and should not be built around lengthy dropdown lists of keywords which are notoriously slow to select from.  We'd also recommend not keywording across the internet with a browser or any software which restricts you to adding keywords only one image/video at a time.