Accessibility and Inclusivity In Marketing: Why They Matter and How To Implement Them
Over a quarter of the population in the US is living with a disability. That makes up for approximately 61 million adults, yet they are often underrepresented or entirely excluded by marketers. As technology becomes more and more necessary for work, school, commerce, socializing, and more, brands should optimize their design and communication to make their content more accessible for those with disabilities.
What Do Accessibility And Inclusivity Mean?
Accessibility and inclusivity usually go hand in hand, but they are two very different things. Accessibility means people won't be excluded from experiencing a product, website, etc., based on a disability. On the other hand, inclusivity involves understanding and representing all people regardless of their race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. This means that to create a marketing strategy that is accessible, you first need to understand and take multiple perspectives into account.
Why We Need More Inclusivity And Accessibility In Marketing
Creating inclusive and accessible promotional content shouldn't only be done every once in a while. It is a practice that should be incorporated in every part of your marketing strategy, and here is why:
- There may be legal ramifications if you don't
your organization will be sued but a question of when.
- It can extend your reach
Approximately 750 million people in the world are living with a disability, and 75% of shoppers with disabilities "walked away" from a business because of poor accessibility. Creating more accessible content opens the doors to a market segment that cannot be ignored and possibly earn loyal customers.
- You are giving your competitors an advantage
54.6% of organizations reported accelerating and prioritizing digital accessibility to stay competitive in the marketplace, protect their image, and avoid legal repercussions. Disregarding the best accessibility practices will give your competitors an advantage and potentially harm your brand's image.
- Accessible web design improves your SEO
The goal of an accessible website is to deliver the same information and experience to your audience regardless of ability, and search engines reward this practice. Accessibility features like header tags, alt text, descriptive link text, structure, etc., have the potential to improve your website's SEO significantly.
- It is simply the right thing to do
The bottom line is that all people should be able to enjoy access to the same content. Accessible marketing allows you to bridge the gap between your brand and your audience. By making accessible content, you are not only ensuring that your audience can enjoy it, regardless of ability, but you are showing them that you care about their experience and are willing to make the changes necessary to improve it.
Nine Tips For Creating Accessible And Inclusive Content
- Set your accessibility goals
First, you need to set your accessibility goals. While accessibility is a huge ocean of opportunity, it can also feel daunting, so it is essential to stay focused and goal-oriented when mapping out your plan towards more accessible marketing.
To create accessible and inclusive content, you first need to recognize exclusion and learn from it. Recognizing exclusion gets us thinking in new ways about how well a design meets a person's needs. By understanding how our marketing practices may be excluding some, we can begin to see alternatives to provide a more accessible solution.
There is an option to add 'alt text' on most social media platforms and website editing platforms. Alternative text describes images for blind or partially sighted people who might be using screen readers. This is a great practice to adopt in your journey to create more accessible content.
4. Design for disability first and foremost
A common mistake when tackling accessibility is to create all of your assets and modify them to be more accessible at the end. When you reverse this process and consider accessibility from the beginning of your project, you make sure that everyone can enjoy the finished results while also making your life much easier. An important thing to consider is that when technology is accessible to those with disabilities, it is also easier to use for older people, people with low literacy, people who aren't fluent in your language, people with old technologies, and more.
5. Use professionals
Make sure to consult the help of a professional for every stage of your project. Whether you are looking for a graphic designer, a communications specialist, or simply someone to look over your work, there are plenty of professionals out there who specialize in creating accessible campaigns and will ensure that you hit the mark.
Consult with disabled people and ask for their feedback. Doing this will not only help you get it right but build a stronger connection with your audience.
Getting the language wrong with inclusive content can come off as disrespectful and harm your brand's reputation. So, make sure to be informed and word your content in the best way possible.
8. Choose accessible font
While fonts may seem like something that should already be accessible, a lot of them are not. There are many attractive and fancy fonts to choose from. Still, this attractiveness often comes at the expense of accessibility, so it is recommended that you use simpler fonts that do not overlap and are large enough for those with impaired eyesight to read.
Before diving into a major website overhaul, it would be helpful to determine where your website needs more focus and where you are doing great. A quick and easy way to check your site's accessibility is by using WAVE, which gives you an outline of your website's accessibility.
We hope this blog gives you some clarity on the importance of inclusive and accessible marketing both for users and for brands. For more tips and advice on marketing and branding, check out the rest of Power Move Marketing's blogs!
Author: Julia Prieto