A Guide to Inclusive Content Creation
No one wants to exclude any group of people when communicating. Marketers, businesses and content creators do this all the time without realising it. This is because exclusive and divisive words have been a part of our languages for so long that we often do not realise when we are being exclusionary. This guide will take a look at what inclusive content is, why all marketers should pivot, and how to create inclusive content.
What is Inclusive Content?
Inclusive content is any media, be it a video, blog post, image, or other media, that addresses a diverse audience without excluding certain people or communities. When it comes to written content, that means it has to avoid words that can hurt or divide, use images that represent diverse groups of people, and be accessible to those who might have difficulties consuming the content.
It is important to remember that creating inclusive content is neither a political statement nor a take on any social justice issues. It is ensuring as many people as possible feel catered to in the content you create.
Why Create Inclusive Content?
Customer and user expectations are changing and a lot of people now expect the content they consume to speak to as many people as possible. This is especially true for millennial and Gen-Z customers and users to whom inclusivity is a crucial trait in the brands they interact with.
Inclusive content can grow your business because it allows you to open your door to as many diverse customers as possible.
There are also the considerations of Gen-Z and millennial customers who will not frequent businesses they feel are not inclusive, and this stems from everything they read and learn about you online.
Inclusive content also converts better. A study done by Microsoft found that inclusive ad content led to a 13% increase in appeal and a 23% increase in conversions.
Lastly, inclusive content shows that your brand is ready to embrace change. No one wants to buy from a business they feel is being left behind or, worse, one that does not seem to care about the social issues of the day.
Creating Inclusive Content
Creating inclusive content will indeed require that content creators examine and rethink how they use language. The first step in doing so is thinking about their blind spots.
Businesses using buyer personas for targeting already know they cannot fit everyone into neat categories. What businesses can do is ensure the language they use and content they create do not strictly apply to their target demographics so it is inclusive.
Second, businesses should ensure all their content is accessible. Accessibility has to do with users who might have difficulties consuming your content.
Ensuring screen readers can interact with your content, adding captions to your marketing videos, providing transcripts, and ensuring users can navigate your website using a keyboard are all great places to start.
Lastly, use gender-neutral terms. This one is much harder due to how we use language, but it can be done. There is a gender-neutral term for all gendered terms in our languages and content creators would be more inclusive if they used the former option rather than the latter.
Creating inclusive content is crucial, but it is not difficult if we are willing to re-think and challenge how we use language. We also have to think about how users consume the content we create to ensure it is as accessible as possible.