According to Forbes, as of 2022, only 3% of the internet was accessible to people with disabilities such as impaired dexterity, vision, or hearing. This points to the fact that most business owners do not know much about enhancing their websites’ accessibility. That translates to the untapped potential for brands, big or small. So if you are a digital marketing manager looking to improve the accessibility of your campaigns, this article is for you. Read on to learn more about accessible marketing and how it impacts businesses.
What is Accessible Marketing?
Accessible marketing uses inclusive design practices to allow all users, irrespective of their abilities, to fully experience and engage with a brand and its various forms of communication and activities.
The Importance of Accessible Marketing
Accessible marketing is important to expand a brand’s reach to touch all potential customers. It also helps maintain a positive image for the brand and achieve various compliance requirements in many countries as listed in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
How Can Businesses Build an Accessible Marketing Campaign
Acknowledge the Diversity of Your Audience
Understanding and acknowledging that there are diverse audiences that you may cater to is the first step in building an accessible marketing campaign. For example, ask yourself if people with limitations such as dexterity, vision, or hearing can experience your campaign equally well.
Put Yourself in Your Audience’s Shoes
To run accessible marketing campaigns, anticipate and test user experience by engaging with people of varied abilities.
Use the Right Tools
Various tools are available to help you make your campaigns more inclusive. For example, you can find common interface components that provide accessibility and simulators that show what a color-blind person sees on their screen when they come across your campaigns.
Tips and Tools for Creating More Accessible Content
Provide meaningful texts in hyperlinks
Add alt text for images
Use simple language
Structure your content
Choose headings that match structural elements
Add appropriate page titles
Provide transcripts or captions for videos and audio
Supply accessible documents
Utilize social media accessibility tools
Add clear instructions to webpages
Examples of Successful Accessible Marketing
The BBC website is a noteworthy example of website accessibility, allowing users to ‘skip to content’ by pressing the Tab key twice. This helps avoid extensive navigation for impaired persons. It further provides an ‘Accessibility Help’ option on pressing Tab again.
Social Media Accessibility
Princeton University has published Social Media Accessibility Guidelines for the university staff, faculty, and students to create social media content that is accessible to people with disabilities. It includes guidelines on both texts as well as audio-visual content.
Email Marketing Accessibility
Using descriptive subject lines, appropriate headers, and alt text, including a plain-text version, among other features, can help make email campaigns more accessible. Check if your email accessibility is high on free tools such as accessible-email.org.
Experiences need not be limited to people who can physically be present at a location. A great example is Airbnb collaborating with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in 2020 to organize a specially curated program featuring more than 200 Olympian and Paralympian online experiences on the Airbnb platform.
In the current times, digital marketing is imperative for all businesses. However, to get the best return on investments in digital marketing, digital marketers must constantly stay on top of trends and innovate. Accessible marketing is one of the many aspects of digital marketing that needs to be mastered by top professionals.