Start now if your marketing department does not include accessibility in your plan for digital marketing. The most efficient way to reach more clients, generate a more engaging customer experience and stimulate greater brand loyalty can be digital accessibility.
We’re in the midst of the first accessibility movement for the mainstream internet. The amount of website accessibility lawsuits rose from 4,436 to a predicted 11,184 between 2014 and 2019. The surge of lawsuits has claimed that the American Disability Act (ADA) involves accessibility of websites. Not all people have the same understanding of how ADA relates to websites, however. Clarity may come quickly though if the Supreme Court takes up Robles vs Domino’s appeal, one of the web accessibility landscape’s most significant instances.
Meanwhile, businesses should not allow lawsuit threats to determine whether they will invest in accessibility. A marketing-led approach for accessibility is precisely the kind of innovation that businesses seek to remain competitive. As marketing budgets stagnate and decrease, marketers are desperate for more efficient ways out of the unyielding grind of paid media and search to spend their money.
The advantages of accessibility are just beginning to filter into marketing strategies, from enhanced SEO to greater ROI on video content. Accessibility and marketing share a common objective: more efficiently reach more individuals.
Extend Your Reach
One myth about accessibility to the internet is that it is only useful for individuals with serious or lifelong disabilities. Accessibility will actually enhance the customer experience for tens of millions of individuals around the world. Yes, it’s a lot.
The CDC estimates that one in four adults has an impairment. That’s more than 61 million Americans. Some disabilities do not influence how a individual utilizes the internet, but this is obviously a group too big to disregard. There are also tens of millions of individuals who benefit from accessibility without a formal diagnosis.
Here are a few examples of how far accessibility can extend a brand’s reach:
- Older Adults: Over 15% of Americans are 60 or older, and that number will double by 2050. Age-related conditions affect web use including symptoms of eye diseases, arthritis, and cognitive disorders like dementia.
- People who are Color Blind: Between 5-10% of the population worldwide has some form of color blindness. People who are color blind may not be able to find or read the information when websites don’t follow accessible color contrast guidelines.
- People who Use Closed Captions: Many people who are not deaf regularly use closed captioning on web videos in situations that don’t make sense to listen to a video’s audio, such as crowded public locations or in a room where family members are sleeping.
- People in Poor Viewing Conditions: Throughout their day, people experience less-than-ideal viewing environments, including screen glare, one-handed mobile use, or small screen sizes.
There is no brand in the world who can say accessibility isn’t relevant to their audience.
Improve Customer Experience
Brands look to customer experience (CX) design to fill the gap as marketing budgets shrink and competition steepens. Accessibility to the website is a basic element of customer experience. Making your website available is the only way to ensure a healthy CX for your entire client base.
Customer experience forces marketers from the user’s viewpoint to think about stuff. This is especially strong when thinking about disabled users. Some individuals will struggle to finish assignments if a website is not available. The outcome is frustration, deception, rage, and desperation— the antithesis of excellent client experience. Some individuals with motor disabilities, for example, need to use a mouth or head stick to browse websites. Concentration, time, and physical effort are required for each keystroke.
Many accessibility guidelines are simple to follow and will proactively solve customer frustrations. There is no reason why a brand should let an inaccessible barrier come between them and their customers, or the customers and their goal.
Inspire Brand Loyalty
People are more faithful to brands offering great customer experiences. Disabled people share and propose products in online communities that make it simple for them to shop and access information. This produces a distinct advantage in competitive fields such as online retail over non-accessible competitors.
One of the values of brand loyalty is to show brand dedication through action. Customers generate brand loyalty through small interactions that add together, not through a single grand gesture. Brands can show to their customers by setting up an inexpensive website that they are essential and reinforce that commitment by enabling them to interact with their brand as readily as possible.
The reverse is also true, of course. These days, accessibility litigation against large brands is going public. When the website of Beyoncé became the focus of a lawsuit on accessibility in January 2019, the mainstream media discussed it. When the political candidates ‘ websites were tested for accessibility in the 2016 U.S. elections, the outcomes were both advertised and politized. Brands fighting complaints about accessibility run the risk of producing a harmful person. Whether intended or not, they send a message about what is essential to them to their client base and prospective client base.
Change Your Perspective
The potential for accessibility of a Digital Marketing strategy is truly interesting. With the creativity and abilities that they bring to other Digital Marketing strategies, marketers can embrace accessibility. They can use testing and analytics instruments to monitor accessibility attempts by KPIs and ROI, promoting clients as well as company objectives. Accessibility approaches may look more like SEO or CRO strategies and less like legal papers that are ignored in a lawsuit unless necessary.
Marketers can create the basic change that accessibility experts have dreamed of for centuries, convincing businesses not as a burden but as an chance to approach accessibility.