Marketing and communications staff members Kevin Agee and Erika Brame delivered a half-day training session on digital marketing Aug. 30. Whether you attended or couldn’t make it this time, here’s a recap and a chance to download slides from Making Your Statement in a Digital World.
- Accessibility helps people with disabilities or limited abilities better use the web.
- There are legal, ethical and beneficial reasons to maintain an accessible website. Accessibility makes your website better.
- Three staples of accessibility: alt text, headings and descriptive links.
- Alt text is the text equivalent of a photo. Imagine you were describing the image to someone via text message or phone call.
- Headings are vital for screen readers and give all visitors an easy outline of your website.
- Descriptive links explain what the link offers. You shouldn’t have to read surrounding content for context. Don’t write “click here” for your links.
- Use tools like WAVE and the Web Press accessibility checker. They’ll find accessibility issues on your website.
- Follow our ongoing Accessibility blog series for the latest tips and strategies.
- Write less. People will read more. Focus on short paragraphs, sentences and words.
- Remember that 70 percent of Americans read at an intermediate level, and 97 percent can’t understand 11th grade-level text.
- Use the Hemingway App and install Yoast SEO on WordPress to gauge how readable your content is.
- Know that readable content can help you:
- Reach more people
- Increase what they understand
- Get them to act
- Save money
- Don’t assume your CEO, vice president or dean wants hard-to-read content. (They don’t.)
- Photos and videos drive Instagram. Use this platform if your department has a visual story to share.
- Casual, quick, coffee shop conversation drives Twitter. Loosen up and engage with your audience. Talk to them.
- Stories about people drive Facebook, which remains king of all social media networks. Use it to share photos, videos and links to tell your story.
- Customer service is one constant across each platform. Be there to help your customers and stakeholders when they ask for it.
- Be true to your brand. Know who you are, and be consistent with that story.
- Video is a great way to engage your audiences and tell a story in a new way. It doesn’t have to be complicated or scary. But, first ask yourself:
- Does this story have visuals?
- Are the visuals interesting enough to engage my audience
- Decide where, when and how you want to capture the visuals.
- Figure out where you get the best light, make sure you can hear your subjects well and keep the video short (less than 60 seconds for Instagram publishing). Don’t forget to add captioning or text overlays to help increase your views.
- Before you livestream think about the purpose, engaging the audience and focus on the what’s happening not the person talking.
- You don’t have to be a major videographer with lots of equipment to tell a visual story. All you really need is a cell phone or video camera. Here are some extras to get you that Scorsese look.
- Gimbal camera stabilizer
- External microphone
- Here are some online resources to help you get started making engaging videos of your own.