Demand generation, also known as demand gen, focuses on building awareness of your brand at the top of the sales funnel. Effective demand generation campaigns are targeted towards audiences that can be converted into leads. The goal is to communicate information about your brand and its position within your market, ensuring that your audience is receptive when you make a sales pitch.
The best practices of accessible design can help to make your campaigns more successful and help you hone in on your target audience. Here’s why digital accessibility should be part of your marketing and sales strategy, along with a few tips for getting started.
Digital accessibility helps your brand reach a larger audience
Digital accessibility is the practice of creating content that is useful to everyone, including those with disabilities. Instead of focusing on accommodating a specific group (for instance, users with vision disabilities), the principles of digital accessibility are intended to improve experiences for all users, regardless of the methods or technologies they use to access your website.
Regardless of your industry, consumers with disabilities are part of your audience: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25% of US adults live with at least one disability, and consumers with disabilities control nearly $500 billion in disposable income. If your business fails to offer accessible content, you’ll miss an opportunity to promote your brand to this significant (and growing) market.
Accessible websites keep consumers focused on your content
Demand generation requires crystal-clear messaging. If people have trouble finding information that appeals to them, they won’t stay on your website for long — and if they encounter barriers that prevent them from accessing certain features, they’ll leave with a poor perception of your brand.
That’s especially important when consumers move down the sales funnel. In a 2016 survey of UK consumers, more than 4 million people said that they had abandoned a retail website due to accessibility barriers.
People crave positive interactions, and well-designed websites deliver those experiences. And since accessible practices improve content for all users — not just those with disabilities — marketing teams should consider accessibility from the first stages of planning.
To generate demand, businesses need to showcase their values
In addition to improved on-page experiences, digital accessibility can be a key differentiator that helps your business appeal to potential leads.
In the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer survey (PDF), 81% of consumers said that they need to be able to trust a brand “to do what is right" in order to make a purchase. Consumers are more likely to stay loyal to brands that build that trust — and to defend and advocate for those brands to other consumers.
By showing a commitment to accessibility, brands can create trust by demonstrating social responsibility. Your business can promote its efforts by publishing an accessibility statement and by using press releases, blog posts, and social media posts to get the word out.
Incorporate accessibility into your marketing by following WCAG
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the consensus international standards for digital accessibility. WCAG outlines four main principles: Content must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
Whether you’re creating landing pages for marketing campaigns or lead generation portals, these principles make a difference. When content is written with simple, clear language, everyone benefits, and when websites work on any type of device, your brand reaches more people.
To build an an accessibility initiative that facilitates more effective demand gen campaigns, keep these tips in mind:
- Set clear goals. Most websites aim for conformance with WCAG Level AA. Sites that earn this level of conformance are generally considered reasonably accessible for most users.
- Create a testing strategy. Use both manual and automated tests to make sure your content fulfills WCAG requirements.
- Establish accessibility as a company-wide priority. From marketers to customer service representatives, every individual should consider consumers with disabilities.
- Give your audience options for accessing your content. Create accessible social media posts, emails, and landing pages to ensure that you’re reaching as many people as possible.
Demand generation is a long-term process. WCAG provides guidance for forming an accessible approach that appeals to all users — and building a stronger brand over time.
To learn more, download The Ultimate Guide to Web Accessibility or contact the Bureau of Internet Accessibility to speak with a digital accessibility expert.