The Importance Of Accessible Video Content In Marketing

Around 61% of marketers see video as either a very important or extremely important part of their marketing strategy, with 74% stating that video has a more optimal ROI than still imagery. While incorporating video content into your or your clients’ strategy is clearly necessary, ensuring that uploaded content is accessible should also be a priority in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. There are around 14.1 million people living with a disability in the UK, with cognitive difficulties, visual impairments, and hearing difficulties being some of the most relevant to accessible video content. To ensure your content hits the mark, keep the following considerations in mind.

Checking Your Content Against WCAG 2.0 Checklists

The key place to start when it comes to discovering what constitutes accessible video content is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). These provide checklists to ensure your content is as accessible as possible to people with learning difficulties and visual and auditory impairments. They also provide advice on the potential for video to cause seizures (for instance, in people with epilepsy), reminding creators to avoid using fast flashing imagery and other types of content that can trigger episodes or simply make websites difficult to use. If you have a video on your or your client’s homepage, for instance, a video should never start playing automatically, since it can interfere with reading software.

Providing Captions And Transcripts

Accessible videos must provide text versions of speech and other key audio content so that those who cannot hear the entirety of the audio can make sense of what is taking place on screen. These should be synchronized with the imagery, readily available to those who need it, and placed in such a way that they do not interfere with the meaning relayed by the imagery. In addition to captions, transcripts should be provided so they can be accessed by people using refreshable braille devices. As is the case with all text provided on a website or channel, the text should be large, clear, and in an easily readable font. Software such as FlexClip, Amara Subtitle Editor, and DivXLand can make it easier to transcribe and create captions, and many of these tools are free.

Providing Audio Descriptions

Audio descriptions are supplementary audio tracks that describe and provide context for visual information being presented. Some video players do not support the option to turn audio descriptions on or off, so it is preferable to create two versions of the video, only one of which has audio descriptions which are integrated with the original track. You can also use a sign language box, but it is vital to ensure that the box is well positioned so that the main activity taking place onscreen is not covered.

Video is a key component of any savvy marketing team’s strategy, but in order to achieve maximum exposure and to comply with stipulated guidelines, including accessibility features is important. The WCAG 2.0 guidelines can help you in two main ways – by describing the difficulties that disabled viewers can have with video, and by providing checklists on aspects such as ease of use, text readability, transcripts and captions. As you become savvier at editing, you can consider adding aspects to your video that will really take it to the next level – including the use of sign language and the creation of more than one version of a video so as to include audio descriptions.

Article source: Katlyn Eriksen

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