The Importance of Accessible Marketing
Charlie Fletcher, Freelancer
Your entire target audience should be able to engage with and enjoy your marketing materials. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t the case. You aren’t alone if you haven’t intentionally ensured your marketing is accessible. A whopping 96.8% of website homepages aren’t accessible enough to meet the standards of the official Web Content Accessibility Guidelines from WebAIM.
Many businesses neglect the importance of accessible marketing. However, if you want loyal customers, a positive brand reputation, and a more profitable business overall, creating marketing materials with which people with varying abilities and backgrounds can interact is vital.
This article will guide you through auditing your current marketing strategy for accessibility. But first, let’s discuss the importance of accessible marketing.
The Importance of Accessible Marketing
First and foremost, accessible marketing ensures your entire target audience sees, understands, and enjoys your marketing materials. As a result, you’re likely to make genuine connections with more people that evolve into loyal customer relationships.
Accessible marketing perpetuates a positive brand reputation as well. Being known as a brand that appreciates and accommodates the needs of a diverse population only enhances your chances of generating consistent sales and support.
Finally, accessible brand communications provide something bigger than business benefits, and that’s better self-esteem and quality of life for the individuals consuming your materials. For example, it brings a smile and a better mood to someone living with a disability when they come across a brand whose marketing material they can fully access and digest.
All in all, accessible marketing helps you recognize and work with your diverse customer base to improve their quality of life and better your business in various ways.
How To Audit Your Current Marketing Strategy for Accessibility
To audit your current marketing strategy for accessibility, do these two things:
Learn as much as you can about accessibility
Simply put, you can’t make your marketing more accessible if you don’t know anything about accessibility. Not only will things not come out right, but your accessibility efforts won’t come across as authentic.
Start by educating yourself on the following accessibility topics:
- Web accessibility basics and best practices;
- How to make your content accessible to everyone;
- How to optimize content for different learning styles;
- Formatting for images, videos, and other visual elements;
- Accessibility functions and features, like keyboard navigation and closed-captioning;
- Accessible content details, like font size, meta descriptions, or alt text on images.
It’s also a good idea to ask your target audience for help in your quest to make your marketing more accessible.
Ask your target audience for help
Although you want as many people as possible to experience your marketing materials, it’s most important to ensure your specific audience’s needs are met first. The best way to find out what your target audience needs is to ask them.
Understand whom you’re marketing to and how they absorb content. For example, millions of people are neurodivergent, many of whom are part of your target audience.
Many neurodivergent individuals find their social, language, motor, and cognitive skills impacted by their conditions. They often also experience varying sensory issues. You can poll your target audience on their specific needs. With this information, your marketing materials can begin to be sensory-sensitive, simple to navigate, and easy to understand.
Also, analyze the behavior data of your target audience. It’s just as crucial for accessibility to optimize your marketing content for how people interact with it. For example, let’s say users navigate your most favored website page in a specific way. Optimizing that page to make that navigation easier will help with accessibility.
Once you’ve educated yourself on accessibility and your target audience, it’ll be much easier to define what will make your marketing more accessible and how to best achieve it.
Eliminating barriers between you and your audience can start in your marketing. Accessible marketing is essential for a thriving business and contributes to your target audience’s better quality of life.
Learn as much as you can about accessibility and the needs of your target audience. Then, you can create a checklist to weigh all your marketing channels and pinpoint precisely what you need to do to make them more accessible.