5 WAYS TO MORE ACCESSIBILITY IN MARKETING
Inclusion belongs to the biggest challenges of our society and of businesses. We present 5 concepts to increase accessibility in marketing.
Table of contents
- Accessibility in marketing: A challenge with many facets
- Greenwashing 2.0? What businesses need to consider
- 5 ways to more accessibility in marketing
The most important in a nutshell
- Methods to increase accessibility facilitate the interaction between businesses and people with disabilities or handicap
- Inclusion must not be promoted under the same guise as other societal challenges (e. g. sustainability)
- Changes in communication and advertising increase accessibility in marketing
Inclusion belongs to the biggest challenges of our society. Our economy as its engine accordingly plays an important role. But many businesses fail to face challenges in accessibility. The main problem is not the comfort zone but rather the fact that accessibility requires an optimization and restructuring of existing business processes.
In this article we will further talk about accessibility in marketing and which opportunities are given to improve communication between businesses and humans with handicaps. Limitations mostly affect human senses, especially listening and seeing. But often there are linguistic hurdles – many people have a reading and spelling disability for instance which is why they don’t understand complex content.
Some businesses already succeed in executing accessibility but there is still potential left. Digital transformation ensures a precise optimization of existing business processes but many companies fail to establish methods to increase accessibility.
→ Just ask yourself at this point if you have ever seen static facebook advertisements with audio display? Or how many websites do you know which provide functions to support accessibility? You will probably realize that there are no pioneers in this area.
Countries like Germany even agreed to execute a law to increase accessibility. The law will be executed in 2025 and that comes with some pressure because yet, too many businesses fail to improve accessibility.
Accessibility in marketing should not become some kind of guise to purposely seek out advantages in competition. This development can be seen in sustainability – many businesses, even big ones like Aldi, promote their supposed sustainable products and advertise with sustainability-seals to position themselves as pioneers in this area. But often these products aren’t sustainable and those eco-seals can be attained under the easiest requirements. This is called “Greenwashing”.
Inclusion shouldn’t reach this dimension. It would be too much to ask that companies no longer see their own advantage in restructuring existing processes, but that is not the point. Furthermore, businesses shouldn’t place themselves as pioneers when they don’t meet their responsibilities fully. Who considered accessibility in marketing, but won’t execute it in other business areas, isn’t any different from companies which claim to be sustainable but still produce tons of CO2.
But back to the topic of accessibility: Don’t use inclusion as an advertising medium. Good service will pay off sooner or later because businesses which consider accessibility will have advantages over their competitors in the long term.
5 ways to more accessibility in marketing
To push accessibility in marketing further, innovative improvements are required in the first step. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to ensure that. Simple rethinking will help you to try out new ideas or to execute existing approaches in a way to meet requirements of accessibility.
Overview of the five ways:
- Plugins for your website
- Focus on new marketing methods
- Content distribution
- Make interaction easier
- Creative elements
Plugins for your website
In times of digitization more and more businesses take advantage of a blog to expand brand awareness and to generate more website visitors. These visitors are turned into leads to interact with the business in the long term. That results in advantages regarding customer acquisition and loyalty as well as businesses selling more goods and products.
Because of the mentioned reasons, the focus is more on improving the user experience of a website. The goal is to provide better interaction possibilities for users in order to strengthen the brand image. Hereby businesses especially focus on improving the mobile version of a website.
But in the field of accessibility there is not a lot happening and there are barely websites which take on these challenges. Thereby there are many ways to integrate accessible functions on your website. WordPress users can easily expand their website with accessible functions by using plugins.
You can use the following plugins to ensure more accessibility in your marketing:
- One Click Accessibility
- Accessibility for WP
- Text Zoom
- Accessibility by UserWay
- Screen Reader Accessibility
When implementing these plugins, make sure they are compatible with your website. Additional plugins possibly have a negative impact on PageSpeed which will also worsen the user experience on your website.
Focus on new marketing methods
Businesses which don’t recognize digital marketing trends will struggle a lot against their competitors in the next few years. Those who follow marketing trends will establish new ways of communication with their target group and will therefore position themselves in the field of accessible applications.
Let’s go back to mobile versions of a website once again. An optimized responsive web design belongs to search engine optimization criteria and will therefore improve your Google ranking. That’s why you will barely find a web designer who will not optimize the mobile version of your website anymore. Although the criteria of search engine optimization plays a much bigger role for businesses, it will still have a positive impact on accessibility in marketing.
-> So while you are trying to improve the position of your business by executing digital marketing methods, you will improve user experience and therefore accessibility as well. Win-win.
Content distribution ensures more accessibility in marketing
All forms of marketing reach different groups of persons and their preferences in processing information. For instance, blog articles are great for providing in-depth and very informational content. Podcasts on the other hand are convincing with practical examples and more flexibility.
→ Both marketing methods have one thing in common: They guarantee accessibility.
Blog articles communicate information in writing which is why they are a good alternative for people with a hearing disability which therefore don’t find any access to podcasts. But podcasts on the other hand are an auditive source of knowledge which is a great alternative for people with a reading and spelling disability.
Combine different content channels to ensure a barrier free interaction with your target audience. To be fair, a broad content distribution requires temporal as well as financial resources but a good content strategy will improve accessibility even when you only use a few different content marketing channels.
Creative elements support accessibility in marketing. Videos, for instance, work perfectly to communicate visual content and the subtitle function even ensures access for people with a hearing disability.
Emojis help to communicate messages better and give clues to the content for people with a reading disability. This approach works especially well for social media posts.
Using creative elements also means to make the right choice regarding the corporate identity. Avoid hard to read colors (e. g. yellow) and hard to read color combinations (e. g. dark gray font on black elements).
The trend in marketing clearly goes in the direction of user experience. Technical aspects and for search engines generated content will not lose relevance but in the foreground are human beings and their interests. Accessibility in marketing is part of user experience because businesses are responsible for reaching out to all users equally. With plugins / apps for your website, changes in design and content distribution you will reach this goal.
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