You Ask, I Answer: Accessible and Inclusive Content?

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You Ask, I Answer: Accessible and Inclusive Content?

Ann asks, “Accessible and inclusive content marketing has garnered more attention in the last couple of years. How have you seen/heard brands address either or both topics?”

You Ask, I Answer: Accessible and Inclusive Content?

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Christopher Penn 0:13

In today’s episode and asks accessible and inclusive content marketing has garnered more attention than the last couple of years.

How have you seen or heard brands address either or both topics? Well, as I record this, it is pride month, and then every brand has puking rainbows.

Yet strangely, a lot of them are also donating to politicians have anti LGBTQ policies.

But here’s the thing, there isn’t as much accessible or inclusive content as there could be, which is baffling to me as a marketer.

Because the more people you include, the more people who can access stuff, the more people who can buy from you.

More people can give you money and say, hey, I want to buy your products or services.

So what are some things that we should all be doing? There’s some really easy basics, particularly for accessibility.

I was doing a keynote recently, at the spark dummy conference in Montenegro and I had PowerPoint up on the screen.

And one of the really cool features is real time captions.

Right? So I had one air pod in my ear.

As I’m talking, the captions are appearing beneath my slides.

Artificial Intelligence, natural language recognition has gotten so good, so good.

Now that real time captions are reality, not only their reality there, they’re pretty good.

There was actually an interesting twist on that talk, I had it being translated into Serbian in real time, so I was speaking and Serbian words were appearing beneath my slides.

Talk about an accessibility thing, right.

So not only because the crowd in Montenegro speaks, Montenegrin, which is in Serbian, are essentially the identical languages.

If you were in that audience, and English wasn’t your strongest language, and let’s face it, I speak quickly, sometimes having the words in your language on screen was inclusive.

Right? If you were hard of hearing, right, if you had a hearing disability of some kind, or other auditory disability, having the words on screen, as I was saying them, is an accessibility thing.

Every piece of content we create, ideally, should have some kind of accessibility hook so that closed captions and stuff are available.

So that content is compliant with screen readers.

You know, just just basic stuff, like alt tags and images, just putting them in emails, making sure that we don’t leave those out that that is table minimum.

And yet, a lot of companies don’t do it.

Partly because they don’t think about it.

It’s the same reason we have bias in AI because people don’t think to ask the question, how can this data be misused, right? In our case, in the Content Marketing question, the question is, who are we excluding? By releasing it only in this format? Who can’t? We market to? Right, if you are releasing video, without closed captions, you are marketing, you’re excluding people who need text to consume your content.

If you publish a podcast, making sure that you have things like shownotes available again, if you can’t hear podcast is is kind of a problem.

There’s so many great AI based tools now to make accessibility straightforward.

Adobe Premiere, I was doing some editing for the Mautic conference the other day, and there were six sessions that were in Japanese.

I don’t speak Japanese and not fluently.

I certainly can’t write it.

But I could choose transcription in Japanese in Adobe Premiere, and it created closed captions now either misses, of course, there are inaccuracies, but they’re so relatively few.

And the benefit of the accessible content is so great, that it’s a no brainer to use it.

And then when we load those captions, those Japanese captions to YouTube, for example, I can just push one button on YouTube and say, translate to English.

And suddenly now, content that was inaccessible to me is accessible to me.

I can I and understand what the speaker is saying, right? Think about

Christopher Penn 5:06

if you don’t like watching videos like this, what if you could just read the transcript if it was automated, you just read the transcript suddenly you if you read, you can read the light up to 500 words a minute, I speak about 150 words a minute, as you could read my content, you can consume it up to three times faster when I provide it in multiple formats.

So how should you be doing accessible and inclusive content providing as many formats as is practical, in your workflow, build accessibility into your workflow? Build inclusivity into your workflow.

And ask yourself all the time, but especially for big campaigns.

Is there anyone that we are excluding that we wouldn’t want to? Because they might buy some stuff from us? Who are whose money are we not taking? By putting out content in a format that’s incompatible with a certain part of the population? So really important question.

Who are you excluding? Whose money are you not taking? By creating inaccessible or exclusive content? And by the way, it’s kind of funny when you think about it.

Marketers love to talk about this is exclusive to you.

This is exclusive.

That means you’re excluding a whole bunch of people.

Right? What if your content that was so exclusive is counter to diversity and inclusivity campaigns that your company is trying to do? Maybe we can retire that term for a little while.

Maybe we can retire exclusive for law, especially since most of the time is not exclusive.

Anyway, it’s a good question.

Thanks for asking.

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