Make your content accessible to all
Ensuring that your content is accessible to all is an effective strategy to engage all of your audience. And by implementing an accessible strategy you are promoting to your consumers that your brand recognises the value of inclusive content.
In essence accessible content encompasses four effective principles:
- Perceivable: Users can perceive all the information presented even if one of their senses isn’t working.
- Operable: Users can operate with the interface components and navigation.
- Understandable: Users can understand the information.
- Robust: Users can access content through assistive technologies.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) defines web content as “the information in a web page or web application including natural information such as text images and sounds and code or markup that defines structure and presentation. Therefore, every piece of digitally published content should be accessible and this includes text based content, PDF’s, White papers and e-books, video and audio live and recorded and images and graphics. Therefore, if you do have inaccessible content how can you fix it?
- Descriptive text
Not having descriptive text for essential components of a website is a common accessibility barrier. Therefore, ensure that you label links or buttons with what the person can expect to find such as “read our full mission”. In addition including descriptive page titles, headings, anchor text, and meta descriptions, as well as alt text for images are all helpful for search engine optimisation.
- Colour contrasts
Low contrast content, such as light grey text on a white background, can make it hard for some people to see and understand the content. It is not only difficult for people with permanent visual impairment, but it’s hard for people to view in bright or natural light and on poorly calibrated screens. Therefore, WCAG’s contrast criteria is extremely helpful as it specifies the minimum contrasts between text and background colours. For font sizes 18 points or larger (14 points if bolded), the contrast should be 3-to-1. For smaller font sizes, the contrast should be 4.5-to-1.
- Audio and visual content
Making videos, webinars, and audio content accessible means including alternative formats, such as transcripts. This text-based content also can be helpful for SEO because it can be searched by crawlers.
It also can be helpful to minimise background noises, include descriptive timestamps, and add a skip feature for your audience who might have some sight or hearing capabilities.
- A great user experience
Think about the overall experience of navigating and consuming the content you create and publish. Is blog content organised into clear, descriptive categories? Is your website searchable? Are long blocks of text broken up with good visual images and instructive graphics? Do your pages load quickly and with the correct formatting? All those attributes can affect your site’s accessibility.
- Good language
Think of someone who uses a screen reader to consume the content. In these cases, phrases like “as mentioned above” or “as explained further below” are inaccessible because the user can’t see up and down the page. Therefore, it’s important to offer enough detail in the current section and adopt accessible phrasing such as “as described in the next section” to set more understandable expectations for the listening content consumer.
To sum up the goals of web accessibility initiatives and content marketing are to give as many people as possible access to great, useful content. Accessible content is a never-ending learning process that evolves continually and requires strategy and attention to deliver.
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Content Marketing otherwise known as non-interruption marketing is essentially creating valuable, relevant and consistent content for your consumers that will engage and create awareness about your brand.
Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.David Beebe, TV Producer