Image Source: Pixabay (

Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that when it comes to marketing for today’s audiences, video is king (and queen). What may be less obvious, however, is the role of video accessibility in expanding your reach as a marketer.

The stark reality is that even the most skilled and experienced professionals may unwittingly be disenfranchising and, consequently losing, large segments of their target market simply because they are not prioritizing video accessibility. This article explores the importance of ensuring your marketing videos are fully accessible to a diverse audience. It also provides tips and tricks for ensuring the accessibility of your online videos.

The Ascendancy of Video Marketing

Videos have long played an important role in marketing. They’re instrumental in introducing new products, demonstrating their function and their potential benefit to prospective customers, and piquing your audience’s interest not simply in the featured product but in the company that produces it. In other words, video content is a powerful tool for brand and product awareness and for converting potential customers into paying ones.

This is, of course, nothing new. Video marketing is as old as the film and television genres themselves. What is unique to today’s market environment, however, is the unprecedented demand for video among consumers, a demand so great that buyers will often reject any other form of product or service promotion.

What that means for marketers is that producing strong marketing videos is no longer a choice but a necessity. It also means that if the content is to be effective, then it must be accessible to a wide and highly diverse audience.

Indeed, one of the greatest mistakes a digital marketer can make is failing to effectively engage the audience. This includes failing to engage viewers by not designing your video content with web accessibility principles in mind.

Video content that is not designed for web accessibility risks excluding in one fell swoop large swaths of the consumer market, such as those with sensory or mobility impairments or persons with cognitive or neurological differences.

Creating Accessible Videos

The challenge of accessibility in video marketing rests principally in the fact that functional and perceptual differences within the target audience can be nearly infinite, as varied as the individuals who make up your customer base. The video marketer’s goal should be to create video content that can accommodate all differences, even if this goal, realistically, may be unattainable.

Fortunately, even if it seems impossible to anticipate and account for every possible need or variation in the target audience, several best practices can help ensure accessibility for large segments of the population with special needs.

For example, video content creators must produce material in myriad forms. Thus, marketers should aim to use an array of channels through which audiences can consume the information and engage with the product, the demo, and the company on a level equivalent to that of the “typical” consumer.

This would include, at the very least, the provision of video transcripts for audience members who may be deaf or hard of hearing. Screen reading and voice narration capabilities should also be embedded in videos for consumers who are visually impaired. Similarly, PDF files reflecting the video content can be beneficial for viewers with cognitive or neuro processing differences.

The Sound of Music?

Another important consideration regarding accessibility is the issue of music. Video marketers often rely heavily on music to foster an emotional response in the target audience and to facilitate engagement as a result. However, if you rely largely on music to attract your target audience, and you do not provide an alternate channel, then you risk losing audiences with certain hearing or sensory impairments.

The Importance of Web Accessibility Training

In addition to providing materials in diverse channels and forms, it’s also critical for marketers to ensure that production teams have a strong grounding in accessible design. Thus, marketing managers may elect to require web accessibility training for all production teams and creative professionals.

To be sure, such training may involve an expenditure of time and resources in the short term. However, given the demonstrable need to engage audiences with one’s marketing content if you expect to increase conversion, then accessibility training just makes good business sense.

The Takeaway


Video has always had an important role to play in marketing. For today’s audiences, however, video marketing is an inextricable facet of the consumer experience. That means that marketers neglect video marketing at their peril. However, optimizing your video marketing content involves far more than simply crafting quality videos. It also means ensuring the accessibility of your video content to a wide and varied audience, including those with mobility, sensory, and cognitive impairments. Though accessibility needs are as diverse as the individual consumer him or herself, several best practices can facilitate accessible design, including ensuring that video content is provided in a range of alternate forms, from voice narration to audio transcripts.