As marketers, we want our content to reach as many people as possible. Of course, in order to reach diverse audiences, content has to be both engaging and inclusive. If part of your intended audience doesn’t relate to your content, they’re less likely to want to build a relationship with your brand. Here are five tips for creating more inclusive content.
Some folks–like the colorblind or visually impaired–can’t enjoy your content if they can’t physically engage with it. While building a branded color scheme–and including brilliant visuals–is a crucial part of digital marketing, it’s important to remember to make those visuals accessible to the visually impaired.
The best solution is to painstakingly include alt text in (almost) all your visual content. The basic rule of thumb is that if the image supplements the copy, include alt text. If the image is decorative, it doesn’t need alt text.
Avoid combinations like red/green, green/black, and green/purple. Those combinations can be difficult for people with colorblindness. In addition, avoid stereotypical color associations like blue for men and pink for women. Some colors may even have cultural connotations–so take that in mind while developing your branded color scheme!
Your customers want to be represented. Just like they want to see other people like them doing business with your brand, they want to see themselves represented in your content.
Think about your typical television commercial. The person or people represented are typically models or supermodels. Does that represent the average person? Probably not.
Instead, look to represent a diverse group of people–your intended audience. Don’t be afraid to show real people (who aren’t supermodels). Dove’s “Real Women” campaign shattered societal norms and changed the way we look at those who use our products and represent our brands.
Don’t alienate real people by suggesting that only the elite or attractive represent your brand. Dig in deep and represent folks from all backgrounds and walks of life. If possible, use real customers in your graphics–with permission, of course.
Avoid Generalizations & Biases
This one’s pretty simple. While we’re all guilty to some degree of harboring inherent biases, your branded content should be bias-free. As marketers, we need to be conscious of avoiding biases in every step of the content creation process.
Instead of designing for yourself, design for those you want to be represented. It can help to build detailed customer personas and profiles to better understand their complex needs. Once you know who your content is for, you’ll have a better idea of how to create it-and you’ll be able to create more inclusive content.
Use Common Language
The last thing you want to do is have someone skip your content because it’s too long or too complex. If you can keep it simple and use common, basic language, you’ll have a better shot of keeping more folks from start to finish.
Don’t use a five-dollar word when a nickel word will suffice. Unless your audience is exclusively highly educated, use the most simple words, bullet points, and even infographics and visuals to supplement your copy.
Tell Relatable Stories
Everyone loves a good story. In fact, people are 22 times more likely to remember a theme, statistic, or fact if it’s delivered via story. If you can tell stories with your marketing content, you’ll capture your audience’s attention more effectively than if you reproduced stats or self-promoted.
Think about each marketing message you want to deliver to your audience. How can you deliver that message while telling a story? More importantly, how can you make sure that story resonates with the folks you want to hear it?
Inclusivity = A Bigger Audience
If you can create more inclusive content, more people will relate to your brand. Look to represent your audience, keep things on common ground, and make sure everything you put online is accessible for everyone!