Accessibility and Inclusion in Content
In the realm of content marketing, creating material that’s inclusive and accessible is essential for shaping a brand’s perception and demonstrating social responsibility. The content needs to be relatable to the target audience, regardless of their abilities or background. This way companies can ensure that the consumers feel included and engaged with the brand. That means inclusion and accessibility should be integral to any content creation strategies, rather than an afterthought.
At the core of creating inclusive and accessible content is ensuring that the content team understands the concept and the company’s continuous commitment to it. The first step is to outline how the business will make sure the content’s accessibility and inclusivity and identify content that goes against these standards. The style guide needs to include a dedicated section on images and language. Additionally, the style guide should outline ways to make the text more accessible. Companies should avoid using decorative fonts in content for social media, as they aren’t accessible to screen readers. When creating content that aligns with the style guide, it’s important to always use concise language. Companies should avoid using complicated jargon, slang, and technical terms, that may be unfamiliar to readers.
Video content has become increasingly prevalent in the era of video, spanning platforms like Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube. However, videos can present limitations for individuals with diverse needs, including those with hearing impairments, neurological disorders, or ADHD.
If video is part of a company’s content strategy, they should make sure to prioritize accessibility for viewers. This includes always providing closed captions and considering additional alternative formats such as audio versions or audio descriptions. Including a transcript allows individuals who prefer reading over watching to access the content.
While images may sometimes feel less important to communication teams, they play a crucial role in shaping the company’s first impression. When creating illustrations or selecting stock photography that includes people, companies should ensure that they represent diversity in terms of age, gender, race/ethnicity, and abilities. With a wide range of people in society, omitting diversity from images can give the impression that the company doesn’t care or isn’t paying attention. Alt text needs to effectively convey the purpose and context of the image for individuals using screen readers. It not only enhances accessibility but also provides valuable context for search engine rankings.
Collaborations are a significant aspect of content creation, whether it involves hosting webinars or conducting interviews with subject matter experts. Companies should consider whether their collaborators are representing a diverse group of individuals. Representation matters, particularly in industries that are dominated by certain groups. By capturing a broader range of ideas and perspectives, companies can ensure their content is more inclusive. Even when companies want to quote experts based on their research rather than conducting live interviews, make a conscious effort to include marginalized voices.
Reviewing and adapting
Inclusive content is an ongoing and intentional effort. It’s not a one-time initiative or intention but a continuous process. As a company creates content for its B2B brand, it should consider diversity and representation. Ensure that the content reflects diversity and avoids perpetuating stereotypes. Use inclusive language that doesn’t exclude specific groups based on gender, race, or ability.