4 Things You Can Do To Make Your Content More Accessible
They say that content is king, but what good is a king if not everyone can access his wisdom?
In today’s digital world, creating accessible content is not only the right thing to do, it's a must for creators, marketers, and business owners to make the most impact they possibly can.
What Is Content Accessibility?
Accessibility refers to the practice of making information, products, services, or environments available to the widest range of people possible, especially those with disabilities.
Content-wise, accessibility means that someone with a disability should be able to access your ads, websites, videos, newsletters, and basically whatever you put online, as effectively as someone without.
Why Does It Matter?
The vast majority of content is consumed through visual and auditory means. However, there are 2.2 billion people around the world who are visually impaired and 1.5 billion people living with hearing loss, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Furthermore, up to 200 million people are suffering from some form of cognitive disability such as dyslexia or ADHD.
Without accessible content, you risk alienating members of your audience, limiting your chance to reach more potential customers, and missing the opportunity to show your followers that you are committed to inclusion.
How To Get Started
Making your content more accessible may seem like a daunting task, but don't worry—it's easier than you think! Here are 4 best practices you can begin implementing ASAP:
1. Add Closed Captions
Subtitles are great, but closed captions are the real MVPs. Unlike the former, which only provides text for spoken dialogue, closed captioning includes text for all sounds in the video, including ambient music and sound effects. This allows everyone, especially people with hearing disabilities, to get the full viewing experience as you intended.
There are tons of apps and software available to assist you in creating closed captions, and some social media platforms can even generate them automatically. However, if you prefer the touch of human expertise, we’ll match you with one of our Top Virtual Assistants to help you create high-quality closed captions that are accurate and tailored to your specific needs and preferences.
2. Include Alternative Text
Alternative text, or “alt text,” is a brief but detailed description of what is shown in a particular image. This can be incredibly helpful for people using screen readers, mainly utilized by people with vision impairments, to understand what's happening in the image.
Most of the major social media platforms today provide the option to add alternative text when posting an image. To ensure you are maximizing this feature, consider these key guidelines:
Keep it concise and clear: Your alternative text should be brief but descriptive enough to convey the essential elements of the image. Aim for around 125 characters or less.
Simple is better: Avoid using overly technical language or jargon that may not be understood by all audiences.
Include the copy on the image: If the image contains words, include those words in the alternative text.
3. Be Mindful Of Your Visuals and Typography
When it comes to visuals and typography, it's easy to get carried away with fancy designs and trendy fonts. However, these can be a nightmare for visually-challenged individuals or folks with cognitive disabilities. So here are some tips to make your visuals and copies more accessible:
Start with the most important information: This helps people who may have difficulty reading or processing information to understand your message more quickly.
Use legible font style and font size: When putting copies on images, avoid packing fonts with too many stylistic elements as it may make your text harder to read. Stick to 1-2 legible fonts that are easy on the eyes. Make sure to use an appropriate font size that is not too small or too big.
Maintain color contrast: Ensure color contrast is adequate for those with low vision or colorblindness: Hootsuite suggests that the ideal contrast between a text color and its background should be at least 4.5: to 1.
Format hashtags using CamelCase: Capitalizing the first letter of each word in a hashtag makes them easier to read for everyone, not just screen readers. For example, write #JustDoIt instead of #justdoit.
Include warning for people with photosensitivity: For example, if you're posting a video with flashing lights, add a warning and a pause before the content plays.
4. Always Be Learning
At the end of the day, making your content accessible is an ongoing process that requires continuous learning and improvement. To ensure this, we highly recommend making the following a routine:
Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest news and trends in accessibility by following reputable sources and joining online communities.
Test your content: Regularly test your content using assistive technologies and accessibility tools to identify areas of improvement.
Gather feedback: Continuously gather feedback from your audience to understand their needs and improve your content accordingly.
Invest in training: Consider investing in training and development for yourself and your team to improve your accessibility, knowledge, and skills.
Make Content Accessibility A Priority
Content accessibility benefits everyone. It helps your brand reach more people and ensures that your audiences can fully immerse themselves in your content, no matter their circumstances.
We hope our tips have helped! If you need help, our Top Virtual Assistants are ready to assist you in creating high-quality content that can be enjoyed by all!
Click here to reach out and don’t forget to tune in next week for a new blog post!