Today marketing content that includes people with disabilities, even unintentionally, prevents millions of people from learning about your products and interacting with your brand.
Accessibility Assistant will be a core component of your companies marketing plans for making your business as open & inclusive as possible.
What is a marketing plan?
A business plan is a comprehensive document for your organization that outlines your business goals, as well as the methods by which you can achieve those goals. In the same way, a marketing plan describes how your marketing efforts will support you to achieve your company goals.
Generally, companies don’t take time to formalize their marketing strategy, and half of the small businesses don’t have an annual marketing plan whereas most of them spend five hours per week on marketing.
Now you must be thinking why marketing is essential for your business?
Marketing plans are important because they provide you clear guidelines for which markets & customers to target? The unique selling proposition of your services & products, what issues and competition your business faces.
They may also include descriptions of your various marketing campaigns, including:
Paid marketing: advertising campaigns, PPC (pay per click) campaigns, etc.
Social media marketing: viral marketing, influencer marketing, paid social media promotions, etc.
Content marketing: blog posts, white papers, e-books, case studies, etc.
So why does accessibility need to be part of your marketing plan?
Disable people constitute a vital, yet often under-served market. Because many studies have shown that disable people are frequently disappointed by their interactions with businesses and they are not afraid to vote with their wallet.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25.7 percent of U.S. adults, more than 1 in 4 people, have some form of disability. These conditions include impairments or difficulties with vision, hearing, cognition, mobility, independent living, and self-care.
You might lose to your competitors by not considering the accessibility in the marketing campaigns. The future of effective digital marketing must include accessibility.
How to build accessibility into your marketing plan?
It’s not enough, however, to simply keep accessibility in the back of your marketing team’s mind. To truly be considered an accessible company, you need to include accessibility front and center in your marketing plan.
Marketing plans often include descriptions of various customer segments with semi-fictional buyer persons that represent these segments.
It’s an excellent way to develop a customer segment to people with disabilities, & developing buyer’s personas for them to incorporate accessibility into your marketing plan.
Disabilities are highly variable in their type & severity because few buyers personas for people with disabilities can’t hope to capture everything.
By including people with disabilities in your marketing plan also means that you work to make your marketing materials accessible. You can make some huge modifications that will impact by adding closed captions to your videos & making PDFs accessible.
How to get key stakeholders on board with an accessible marketing plan?
Ensure screen reader experiences are logical and clear.
Input fields should be read in a logical order with sufficient description for each field. Images need to have thorough descriptions, as do any buttons, sliders, and other objects that normally appear on the screen. Carefully choose acronyms and special characters so that they are being read back correctly.
If you’ve never considered accessibility in your marketing plan before, you’ll need to bring senior leadership and key stakeholders on board.
Key stakeholders such as the C-suite may not always be easily moved by appeals to diversity and inclusion, but they may be convinced by how accessibility will build better marketing campaigns and bring in more revenue.
The good news is that accessibility isn’t just a lofty ideal — it’s also smart business sense. There are many well-documented benefits of including accessibility in your marketing plan, such as:
- Higher customer retention
- Better customer service
- Greater search engine optimization (SEO)
- Lower bounce rates
- Increased usability
A keyboard emulator, also known as a virtual keyboard, is a software component that allows users to enter characters onto a computer display through other devices, such as touch screens or mice. Computer users with visual impairments often use keyboard emulators, which makes them an important website design consideration. Specifically, designers must consider three factors:
- Device manipulation
Because these metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are all easily measurable, you can make a compelling case for accessibility just by showing how it will impact your bottom line.
The more you understand the benefits of accessibility for marketing, the easier it will be to bring it into your marketing plan and better serve all of your customers including those with disabilities.