Creating Content for Everyone: A Guide to Accessible Marketing

cartoon social media website with post it notes around it

Creating Content for Everyone: A Guide to Accessible Marketing

If accessibility isn’t already a cornerstone of your marketing campaigns and strategy, it really should be. Often an overlooked element that is retrospectively corrected, accessible marketing forms a key component to your user’s journey. 

It’s all about considering an experience, be that online or offline, from every possible angle to ensure your audience can absorb your content. In turn, all audiences, regardless of their circumstances, will benefit from your content and design.

What is accessible marketing?

Accessible marketing removes barriers by utilising inclusive design practices. It makes it possible for audiences of all abilities to fully engage with your brand, as well as receiving and understanding communications.

From the language, page designs and imagery we choose, it all plays a part in the way content is consumed. If it’s part of the user experience, you can make it accessible.

A good way to check if you’re making content accessible is with the four main principles of POUR:

  • Perceivable: can users perceive (see, hear, understand) all the content?
  • Operable: can users operate (navigation, functionality) with all the elements on a page?
  • Understandable: can users understand your messaging as well as how to use the interface?
  • Robust: can users access content through a variety of devices and assistive technologies?

iphone on pink background with heart post-it notes around itWhy is accessible marketing important?

Around 15% of the global population have a disability and 40% are neurodivergent. Without inclusive and accessible content, your marketing efforts could fall short. And you could be missing out on reaching a significant amount of consumers ready to engage with your brand.

Brands utilising accessible marketing are able to increase their reach and have a positive impact on their audiences and market. Consumers are more likely to align with one brand over another in their response to diversity, accessibility and inclusion. 

Good content is accessible content

Now more than ever we are increasingly overloaded with information. In an attempt to block out the unnecessary noise, our brains often make it harder for us to absorb complicated information. Accessible content makes it easier for everyone to scan and absorb content when we’re distracted, multitasking or otherwise under pressure.

While there is no definitive checklist to ensure your content creation is accessible, there are a few things to keep in mind at the start of every project:

Caption every video

This is vitally important for individuals with a hearing impairment to experience your video content. Especially if it contains key information about your brand, product or event. 

Many people these days consume social media without the sound turned on, especially when in public places. So captions make content accessible to a broader audience.

Alt text your images

Across your social media platforms and website, adding alt text describes the images to visitors who are unable to see them. This includes those with visual impairments or otherwise unable to visually identify an image. 

Alt text is also particularly useful for people who turn off images on their email to improve device speed and for browsers that block images. It will also keep Google happy and improve your SEO! 

Short and simple copy is best

Long sentences and blocks of text can be overwhelming and hard to follow. Break up any long sections of text with related imagery or instructive graphics. This will help to make your copy digestible in bite-sized chunks. 

With audiences growing incredibly diverse, content needs to not only speak to native English speakers but to an international audience too. Many speak English as their second, third or even fourth language! Having clear, straightforward copy, with inclusive language that doesn’t contain colloquial figures of speech ensures everyone can understand your messaging.

Describe your hyperlinks

Avoid using terms like click here, read more or learn more. Screen readers will simply just read that text 

Accessible marketing with hashtags. White sheets of paper stuck on a wall with a yellow piece of paper in the middle showing a hashtag

aloud with no context of the destination. Tell the user where the link is taking them by hyperlinking the phrase. Try things such as read our mission, see full list of shows or more details about our product.

Consider your hashtags

Have you thought about how readable your hashtags with multiple word are? 

To ensure every word can be clearly distinguished, try camel case. Camel case is the practice of writing phrases without spaces or punctuation, where each word starts with a capital letter. So instead of #accessiblecontentmarketing you get #AccessibleContentMarketing. Now isn’t that much easier to read!

Get in touch

Our marketing experts at Glow creative are ready and waiting to help you develop accessible content strategies and content. So get in touch and let’s capture those audiences ready to engage with your brand.