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Beyond the Web: 5 Essential Considerations for ADA-Compliant Marketing

Nov 6, 2023 9:00:00 AM

The average person spends nearly 7 hours online every day, reading articles, scrolling their social feeds, or maybe even checking out your website. With everyone spending so much time online, digital marketing has become a core part of every brand’s strategy. From email to social and native to behaviorally targeted programmatic advertising, digital marketing allows business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers to efficiently target customers during their digital journeys. However, the rapid adoption of digital marketing brings added responsibility for marketers, ensuring everyone, including individuals with disabilities, can access and interact with your branded content. Complying with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is not just a legal requirement, but a strategic move that expands the reach of marketing campaigns and resonates with a broader audience.

ADA compliance goes beyond simply making websites accessible for screen readers and other assistive technologies. “We’ve found even our largest clients, with seasoned marketing leadership, do not fully understand ADA requirements,” said Jim Livecchi, VP of Strategy at Kreber. The regulation encompasses a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, cognitive, and motor impairment. “We are helping our clients create truly inclusive online and offline brand experiences and think holistically about every piece of content and branded communication.”  

Here are 5 considerations to ensure your brand’s inclusivity and ADA compliance.


Laptop showing generic landing page being examined by a stylized microscope

Audit Your Website and Marketplaces for Accessibility and Compliance 

The first step in addressing ADA compliance is to conduct a thorough website accessibility audit. With the explosion of e-commerce, your audit should also include your brand presence on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and others. A comprehensive audit will identify areas where your digital content might be inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. You should consider more than just readability and color, though; you’ll need to think about navigation without a mouse to optimize for keyboard-only users. Images are often a crucial part of your website, but they are insufficient to support individuals with visual impairments who rely on screen readers. You’ll need to include alternative text (alt text) to provide a textual description of the visual content, allowing screen readers to convey the information to users. Descriptive and concise alt text has the dual benefit of enhancing accessibility and improving SEO. Every aspect of your site should be considered, including graphic elements, adding captions to your videos; labeling your forms, links, and buttons; and making dynamic content accessible. It’s a lot to consider. Kreber’s content marketing professionals can review your site and provide guidance on ADA basics to help you stay compliant.  


Conveying Inclusivity in Your Social Media Campaigns

From Insta and Facebook to Pinterest, Tik Tok, and X (formerly Twitter), marketers are finding social media offers a direct line of communication to their diverse audiences. However, ensuring ADA compliance on these platforms involves more than just sharing images and catchy captions. Communicating inclusively takes extra effort. Short-form video typically outperforms other formats, and adding captions is essential to ensure everyone can access your brand message, regardless of their hearing abilities. Like your website and e-commerce marketplaces, your images need alt text descriptions, and branded graphics should have high contrast for readability. Social media polls and interactive elements should be keyboard-navigable, catering to users who rely on alternative input methods.


Example of a picture being translated into alt text with the copy "Alt text descriptions - A way for the visually impaired to hear your image"

Shows a tennis commercial with corresponding captions. Features the copy "Captions are crucial for inclusive brand messaging, regardless of hearing abilities"

A combination of alt text and captions will help improve the accessibility of your website by ensuring all users have access to the same information.


Accessible Email and Automated Nurture Workflows

Leading marketers know that engaging your audience to open, click, and convert is the holy grail of efficiency in digital marketing. Clear subject lines, great design, a concise message, and a compelling CTA are all essential, but your efforts can quickly become inaccessible without proper attention to ADA compliance. When designing marketing emails, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, ensure your images have descriptive alt text, your fonts are easily readable, and you have high color contrast. You’ll also want to be sure you explicitly focus on your HTML formatting to ensure screen readers correctly interpret text and the text within images. Many leading email marketing platforms will have accessibility templates and testing built in. However, you should test your email campaigns with various email clients to ensure consistency and accessibility across platforms. 


Stylized image of hands holding the Accessibility logo

Webinars and Online Events Should Be Accessible to All 

We’re excited to dive deeper and share these examples and more in our new white paper. To access it, simply complete the form at the banner above!Even before the pandemic hit, there was a boom in web-based meeting formats as a central way to share information and build engagement. Webinars and online events have been on the rise, and according to a report by Business Wire, 89% of marketers believe webinars outperform other channels in creating qualified leads. So, if you are like most marketers capitalizing on this digital marketing trend, create web-based meetings and interactions that are accessible to all. As you would with video content on your website and social platforms, provide real-time captions during your meetings and online events. Many leading webinar and web meeting platforms offer closed captioning features or integrations with third-party services.

You should also test and ensure the platform’s interactive features, such as polling, Q&A, and reaction functions, are accessible to all participants. Provide instructions in advance and ensure they are straightforward and easy to follow to accommodate users with various disabilities.


Making Marketing Material Accessible for All

While the focus here has been on digital marketing, it’s also important to remember to bridge the gap for offline marketing materials. Digital marketing is highly efficient, but with so many people competing for eyeballs and attention, direct mail has been on the rise. So, in addition to digitally accessible communications, you’ll want to capitalize on in-person interactions. Many businesses, especially B2B, still rely on printed materials, such as brochures, flyers, and product sheets, to convey key messages and data points. If your brand seeks to convey inclusion, you should consider providing accessible versions of your printed resources upon request. Like your digital communications, you should keep printed materials concise and follow a few best practices. These should include the font size (minimum of 14 point), readability (sans serif), and color and contrast. You might even consider offering your printed materials in braille or audio formats.

Text: "In a world that increasingly relies on digital interactions, ensuring ADA compliance is not just a legal obligation - it's a moral imperative and a strategic advantage


A Holistic Lens to ADA-Compliant Marketing 

In a world that increasingly relies on digital interactions, ensuring ADA compliance is not just a legal obligation—it’s a moral imperative and a strategic advantage. According to WebAIM, part of the Institute for Disability Research, Policy and Practice at Utah State University, as of May 2023, less than 4% of websites are compliant. As a best-in-class content marketing agency, Kreber has been helping the world’s leading brands and recognized household names build ADA-compliant campaigns that demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity, generate leads, and enhance brand reputation. In an environment where business decision-makers and consumers value ethical practices and inclusiveness, we believe a unified approach to accessibility in marketing can differentiate your brand and foster lasting customer loyalty.


If you need help navigating the ever-expanding world of ADA best practices, reach out! We’d love to share our expertise.


Kreber Has The Expertise You Need

With more than 100 years of experience, we’ve built a reputation for our hard work and dedication to driving positive outcomes for retail and B2B clients. As an independent marketing agency with a history of thinking ahead, we help you connect with customers, from print and digital marketing to social media content and everything in between.


Kreber Staff

Written by Kreber Staff

With backgrounds in retail, sports, gaming, motorcycles, and way more stuff we can't list, the Kreber team susses out the fads to give you the goods about marketing, digital, shopping, visual, and consumer trends. We like to take pictures, talk about internet personalities, and eat snacks.

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