As a marketer, your job is to ideate and execute a strategy that reaches your target market. Well, what if I told you that you’re neglecting about 1 in 5 adults that make up that market?
When creating a marketing strategy, marketers often overlook two crucial factors: inclusivity and accessibility. It’s common for marketers to assume they are creating inclusive content. Yet, that’s not always the case. Prioritizing these two components can unlock a consumer base that your competitors haven’t.
The Need for Inclusive Marketing
In marketing, inclusivity means allowing equal opportunity for everyone to be interested in and feel welcome to use your products or services. Inclusivity focuses on serving and resonating with a diverse range of consumers. A marketing strategy that accounts for marginalized groups enables brands to reach the entirety of their target markets.
We can reach several of our overlooked consumers by reevaluating our inclusivity strategies. Take the disability market, for example. People with disabilities (PWD) make up an estimated population of 1.85 billion, that’s about 1 in 5 adults.
The friends and family of PWDs account for another 3.3 billion potential consumers. Together, the disability market controls over $13 trillion in disposable income. Marketers can tap into frequently neglected and unexplored marginalized markets by keeping their needs in mind when developing content.
Demonstrating inclusivity doesn’t only open doors to marginalized markets, but also consumers as a whole. Today more than ever, consumers are aligning themselves with brands that are mindful of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In fact, 70% of millennials are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusion and diversity in its promotions and offers. The future generation of leaders is demanding for brands to become more inclusive.
Whether that’s content for social media, blogs, email campaigns, or promotional flyers, marketers ought to ensure that they display inclusive content. Creating inclusive content is not only the moral thing to do. Inclusivity also makes business sense, as PWDs represent 20% of the population.
Brands can’t be inclusive of everyone if their content isn’t accessible to all. In regards to marketing, accessibility is ensuring that the content created is easily readable and useful to all users. Content that is accessible allows marginalized groups to feel respected, empowered, and welcomed by your brand.
The Need For Accessible and Inclusive Content
Accessibility improves brands’ relationships with consumers. Creating inclusive content sends the message that the brand cares about all its consumers equally. Making content accessible also boosts brands’ ranking with the search engines.
Accessible content doesn’t only benefit consumers living with disabilities. It supports brands’ search engine optimization (SEO) strategy as well. A fundamental principle of SEO is ensuring that websites are easy for all users to navigate. Creating accessible content is, therefore, a great way to boost brands’ SEO strategies.
If you’re considering updating your brand’s SEO strategy, throw some accessibility thinking in there while you’re at it. Being mindful of accessibility elevates the inclusivity of your brand and improves the user experience for all.
Putting Accessibility into Effect
To make accessible content is to design, write, and develop content with accessibility in mind. Putting accessibility into effect doesn’t have to be a strenuous process. Simple alterations can be made to your brand’s content to ensure that it’s equally useful to everyone.
Creating Accessible Content
When writing, try to use simple language. Simple writing can benefit all users.
Consider your potential consumers who live with a learning difficulty or cognitive disability. There are also plenty who may be interested in your content but don’t speak English as their first language. There might even be users looking for the kinds of content you offer but aren’t googling in industry jargon.
Marketers should aim to write below or at a grade 9 reading level. You can check the reading level of your writing by using a Flesch Reading Score tool, like the Hemingway Editor.
How you decide to present your content is essential to how accessible it is as well. Providing text alternatives (alt text, captions, and transcripts) to your images, video, and audio makes your content accessible to visually or hearing impaired users. Additionally, text alternatives are an extra point to making your visual content SEO-friendly.
Developing Inclusive Designs
Marketers should also be mindful of accessibility when selecting a color scheme. 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women live with color blindness. Data visualization can be difficult for people to interpret if your content isn’t made with accessible colors (see image below, for example).
To check how your colors appear to others, try using Chroma.js Color Palette Helper. The site will help you create color-blind safe palettes.
Website designs can also promote inclusivity. Crowded screens with too many options, for instance, can cause analysis paralysis for anyone. Brands should try to simplify their interface and content as much as possible.
Make your site simple for everyone to navigate, including neurodivergent individuals. Upgrade your website’s usability with online guides from thoughtful UX designers like Trina Moore Pervall (@Ux.forthewin on Instagram) and Paul Boag. If you’re only concerned with the look of your website and content, then you’re going about design in the wrong way.
You don’t need a degree in inclusivity or accessible design to begin creating inclusive content. Start opening more doors to more perspectives by hiring a diverse team.
Ask your current consumers how you can help. Look at what your competitors are doing to reach the users that you’ve neglected. There are tons of resources out there that can help you make your brand more inclusive.
Accessibility is only one of many areas to address when making inclusive content. Various communities will feel included by your brand for different reasons. Consumers want their individual races, genders, religions, sexualities, and overall needs represented. The more that brands appreciate diversity, the more inclusive content they produce.
Lead by example. Show that you care by setting the standard for a future that’s inclusive of everyone.