Written by: Charlotte Ratcliffe, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Inclusive marketing is an essential part of any brand’s marketing strategy. It allows the brand to elevate diverse voices and stories to be shared with its customers. For the deaf and hard of hearing community, inclusivity means understanding and enjoying marketing videos of brands they’re interested in.
As someone who has worked in marketing for several years and is severely hard of hearing, this is something I’m passionate about. From a personal perspective, of course but, there’s also a business benefit to d/Deaf inclusivity.
Being inclusive is beneficial to sales and, more importantly, to your brand reputation. If you want the deaf community to have access to your content, here are three things you can do to create deaf-inclusive marketing videos:
This is a common strategy employed for making deaf-friendly videos. But, using subtitles benefits those who are hard of hearing and helps those who watch with the sound off. Did you know 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, and only 12% of Instagram videos are watched with the sound on?
Subtitles can be integrated after the video has been shot or in real-time during sports events, video conferences, or other live events.
2. Sign Language Overlay
Sign language is the first language of many D/Deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Having a sign language allows them to understand the messaging that can get lost in translation between sound and subtitles.
This is because sign language, you’re also able to convey emotion, concept formation, identity, and belonging – aspects that subtitles aren’t able to do. And in marketing, this is a crucial facet that lets you connect with your audience’s emotions and help establish brand awareness and loyalty.
It’s not just marketing that this is important. The UK government recently came under scrutiny for not using sign language interpreters for crucial COVID-19 briefings and information. This left a large portion of the deaf community underrepresented when health and well-being were a primary concern.
3. Well-Presented Transcriptions
Transcriptions are a word-for-word translation of video content that should be included in the social post (where possible). Now, whilst you can’t provide long transcriptions on some social media, you can add them on the website, on youtube, or as a download link to a PDF.
But, I think things should be taken one step further. I don’t think that transcripts (particularly those in marketing with the intention of sales or enticing people to purchase) should just be a copy-paste and forget. Thoughtful transcripts that are formatted correctly checked for errors, and even with designs or imagery, show that the deaf and hard of hearing community are not an afterthought to the campaign.
In fact, this approach can be excellent for additional content marketing and SEO whilst also embracing the deaf community. For businesses, being inclusive gives you access to new customers and expands your reach. This impacts sales, profits, and brand image.
With technology, it’s never been easier to be deaf-friendly in your marketing and operational workplace if you want to.
Charlotte Ratcliffe, Executive Contributor, Brainz Magazine
With over 10 years of experience writing for businesses across various industries, Charlotte Ratcliffe founded Silhouette Creatives to bring affordable content and copywrite to SMEs. Focused on content strategies and writing that see results, she has spent the last several years writing for the technological sector and has since become CMO of several technological organizations. Offering Marketing Strategy and Content Strategies to startups.