Whether you’re at the final stages of design or have a well established brand already, taking a hard look at your accessible marketing strategy is essential for any business. Empowering those with disabilities isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good business.
The worldview that disabilities are a personal issue has been replaced. It is now an understanding of inconsistency between needs and offerings.
Let’s take a look at the different areas of disabilities, how your business’ marketing can become more accessible, and why it’s a smart move.
The Range of Those Affected
When it comes to accessibility in marketing, there are three groups to keep in mind:
Permanent: People with disabilities for life, such as loss of limb, blindness, or deafness.
Temporary: People with disabilities that can eventually heal, such as limb injuries, ear infections, or cataracts.
Situational: People who might have a sense temporarily impaired, such as being at a loud bar or those learning a new language.
Focusing on creating an accessible platform for those with permanent disabilities, means that, by extension, your platform becomes more usable for anyone who falls into the second two categories.
Closed captions help anybody living with deafness, but they also help someone with temporary hearing loss or even someone watching your content in a loud place.
Helping the few creates a ripple effect that creates more options for the many.
How Can I Create More Accessible Marketing?
From social media engagement to website redesigns, creating more accessible content isn’t so complicated. There are some simple ways to immediately make an impact.
Include Closed Captioning
We’ve already touched on this, but closed captioning is one of the easiest ways to make content more accessible. Why? Because most social media platforms now include the ability to auto-generate captions. You should always be using this function when posting any video content. Be sure to take a quick look to ensure accuracy before posting.
Alternate Text is a tool that describes an image or is displayed if the content can’t load. It is crucial for anyone using a screen reader. Many social media sites are starting to incorporate this tool, so start using it!
Organize with Headings
A good header should describe exactly what you will find in each section. This goes for content like blogs along with website design too. Headers are essential for anyone using screen readers and other assistive technologies that use them to navigate your content.
Design with Intent for Accessibility
From fonts to colours, choosing the right option can help drastically. Certain fonts are very difficult to read for anyone living with reading impairments or other disabilities like dyslexia.
Colour also plays a big role in readability. Run your designs through a contrast checker to maximize accessibility.
Avoid Ableist Language
Ableist Language are words and phrases (intentional or not) that can alienate those living with disabilities. While some are obvious, others are less so. Luckily, there are a few ableist guides out there to help.
Is Accessible Marketing Good For My Business?
Marketing is communication. If your content is miscommunicating with a portion of your audience, is it effective?
No. Plain and simple.
Over 1 billion people across the globe identify as living with some form of disability. It is the largest minority group in the world at 15% and is the only one that any of us can become a member of, at any time.
Creating accessible marketing also provides a dual benefit. Most of the tips above, Google loves for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). So, not only will more people be able to view your content, it will also be served up to a larger audience as a bonus. Win-win.
Finally, accessibility can play an important role in shaping your businesses image as a socially responsible one. Building loyalty to your brand is a key factor to success. Many of the consumers who don’t directly use accessibility features will nonetheless take notice of them.
Social responsibility efforts will also yield benefits within your business. Promoting positive efforts and productivity.
Accessible Marketing is the future, don’t get left behind.