Digital accessibility

The Necessity of Digital Accessibility in the Pandemic Era

It is certainly an understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic changed everyday life and business for many people around the world. One shift that businesses and all types of organizations had to make quickly—or perhaps might still need to complete—is ensuring that their online platforms and digital assets are easy to use, simple to navigate, and work reliably.

This shift has highlighted the need for digital accessibility. People with hearing loss need particular accommodations to assist them, and that includes when using websites. Now, both during the pandemic and post-pandemic, it is even more important than ever before to consider those with disabilities or different abilities. In the pandemic era we live in, digital accessibility is essential.

During the pandemic, it became obvious to everyone how frustrating it is when digital assets do not work properly. In the height of widespread lockdowns, problems like websites or apps that did not work properly could mean the difference between being able to order meals, submit grocery orders, complete your work or schoolwork, keep in touch with friends and family, and much more. While many people became more aware of these problems during the pandemic, these issues have been problematic for those with disabilities for a much longer time.

Ensuring that online content is accessible means making sure that all people can read and understand the content—while taking into account any disabilities, different abilities, or assistive technologies they may have. These disabilities may include impaired vision, impaired hearing or deafness, motor difficulties, learning disabilities, or cognitive impairments.

People with disabilities who may have formerly relied more heavily on in-person interactions (in stores and banks, for example), now find themselves forced to navigate an online world that is not always designed with their different abilities in mind. Companies and organizations must take steps to ensure that all online content is accessible. A few simple steps toward accessibility include:

  • Ensuring websites and emails are properly displayed and easily navigable on a mobile device
  • Making certain that websites and emails can be easily navigated with a keyboard only
  • Creating PDF documents that can be read by screen readers
  • Avoiding text with poor color contrast

During and post-pandemic, these shifts toward accessibility can make a big difference for all people with disabilities. Making sure that online content can be consumed and understood by all people also complies with accessibility laws.

While email was a commonly used form of communication before the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly popular—even vital—to companies during the pandemic as they have been unable to rely on physical interaction. Many companies used email to convey their business continuity plans and health safety standards to consumers during the pandemic. However, a recent study found that among financial services firms, only 25 percent were testing accessibility in their software development process. This leaves room for incredible improvement in this sector when it comes to accessibility. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital content and communication, and it continues to showcase the need for accessibility. To learn more about how you can ensure that your digital content and online services are accessible, we encourage you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.

COVID-19 & Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning in the Age of COVID-19

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of our lives—from how we work to how our children attend school, and from how we shop to how we socialize with friends and family. The worldwide pandemic has also affected your business. You may now be using telemedicine more than ever before, and your practice may have new guidelines for welcoming patients into the office.
However, have you considered how COVID-19 has affected digital marketing? Just as in so many other realms, the pandemic has changed everything in digital marketing—and none of the rules we knew prior to COVID apply now. So, as a company that needs digital marketing, what does this mean for your business?
Let’s start with strategy and planning. Once you have adapted these to the new digital marketing landscape, everything else should become clearer. Perhaps most important is the need to be efficient and effective in your digital marketing strategy and planning. Here are a few simple tips to streamline and optimize:

  • Be able to connect what has been planned to what has been completed.

Measuring outcomes and analyzing spending and strategies are perhaps more important now than ever before. Marketers should be able to easily understand what has been planned and budgeted, the accompanying timelines and goals, and what has been delivered.
Once you are able to connect these data sets, you should be able to quickly assess spend, reach, and engagement. Based on the outcomes, you can adapt your future planning and budgeting to favor the most effective and efficient strategies.
Clear, transparent, and effective communication has become paramount in this age of remote work. This includes communicating about your digital marketing strategies, planning, outcomes, and insights.

  • Know how to optimize marketing strategy.

In the 2020 climate, you frankly do not have room to spend time and money on strategies that are ineffective. If a certain channel or campaign type is not bringing in a return or is not contributing to your goals, you need to reevaluate your marketing strategy.
Do not be afraid to optimize by revising your messaging on a specific channel, modifying your strategy, or even halting an ineffective campaign. Using the data mentioned above—connecting what is planned with what has been delivered—you can pace your campaigns to better meet your objectives.

  • Make sure your audience is seeing what you produce.

Put simply, you can have the best digital marketing products in the world, but if no one sees them, they will not help your business. Use verification and viewability metrics to ensure that your ads are being seen by your audience.
As part of this, it is important to ensure that any materials meet brand safety standards and to detect any fraudulent ad activity. Verification and viewability can be valuable in preserving and enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy.
With these guidelines, you can ensure that your digital marketing efforts are both effective and efficient. To learn more about how digital marketing has changed in 2020, we encourage you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we are ready to answer your questions and help you navigate today’s unique challenges.