Why Is Inclusive Content Important For Building Real Customer Relationships?

When creating content for your business, have you minded your language? Do you know how your imagery and wording can affect who engages with your posts and who doesn’t? 

In 2023, inclusive content has never been a more powerful marketing tool—and it’s time your business embraced it. 

Every business wants its marketing to engage audiences and increase social media and website traffic. With structured and powerful content, it’s possible to build better customer relationships, improving engagement levels and brand reputation. 

This article will explore what inclusive content is, why it’s essential for building customer relationships, and how to start creating it.

What is inclusive content?

Inclusive content is any content (for example, images, blog posts, or videos) that addresses a diverse and broad audience without exclusion. Whether you’ve been running a company for years or are just about to start a business, it should be your newest priority. 

For example, when it comes to images, inclusive content makes these more accessible and also represents different people. WordPress SEO plugins can be valuable tools in optimizing your content to reach a wider audience and improve its visibility in search engines.

Accessible images use clear fonts and image alt tags. An image alt tag will display or read out an image description and is essential for visually impaired people to get the most from your content. For example, you might tag a stock photo in an article on signing software as “wet signature” if this was what it showed.  

For blog posts, inclusive content might mean avoiding words that could divide or hurt. 

It can help to create a customer empathy map when deciding whether your content could be seen as upsetting or non-inclusive. 

Why does inclusive content matter?

There are many reasons why inclusive content matters, especially if you want your marketing to speak to a more diverse and wider audience. 

You may already be aware of certain incidents where non-inclusive content has caused uproar in recent years. For instance, the #OscarsSoWhite campaign is a clear example of why inclusive content matters. This movement was a call to arms by those who didn’t feel they were fully represented in the TV and movie industry. 

From the videos and images you post on your social media channels to the copy used on business websites, there’s now an expectation for content to be inclusive. By failing to recognize this, you could be excluding communities that would otherwise be interested in the products or services you offer. Creating inclusive content shows your business is willing and able to learn and grow. 

By making just a few small changes to how you create content, you can speak to your audience how they want to be spoken to. Building real customer relationships and developing customer loyalty means giving people what they want—and respect is paramount. 

Through a change in the way you write, for example, you can ensure you’re including anyone who may be reading your content, no matter how they identify. In a world where pronouns and other identifiers matter, your business should produce more inclusive output to show your products are designed for the enjoyment of everyone. 

How can my business create inclusive content?

Now you understand a bit more about inclusive content, it’s time to learn how to create it. Below is a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Learn about inclusive language

To create inclusive content, you need to learn about and understand what inclusive language is. Words hold a lot of power—more than we sometimes realize. Whether you’re aware of it or not, the language you use could all too easily exclude or hurt people. 

It’s essential to stay up-to-date with language conventions and the correct way to address your audience as a whole. For instance, instead of assuming their gender, you can make your content inclusive by using gender-neutral language.

Examples of this include:

  • Humankind rather than mankind
  • Salesperson rather than salesman
  • Spouse rather than husband or wife
  • Police officer rather than policeman
  • Partner rather than boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Family name rather than maiden name

Unfortunately, the English language is very male-orientated, as you can see above. So, if someone who identifies as female or non-binary reads your content, using terms like policeman or salesman might be seen as disrespectful and not apply to them. 

Of course, we all make mistakes when it comes to how we produce content, but a business should always be looking for ways to make its content more accessible and inclusive for readers. 

Through the use of inclusive language, you ensure anyone who reads your content will not feel offended or left out. Gender-neutral language can thus be seen as a more respectful way to speak to your audience. 

Step 2: Check where you’ve gone wrong

Now you understand a bit more about inclusive marketing, it’s time to review your existing content. As a business, you should reflect on who it’s aimed at and how your choice of images, videos, and language may have unintentionally excluded certain groups and people. 

Define who your content is tailored to. This way, you can see which groups of people are represented and which aren’t. You may want to get a third-party perspective, especially if it’s from someone experienced in creating inclusive content. You can also check out how other brands have successfully used inclusive marketing

Identifying biases is a crucial part of creating better content for everyone. Although this can be a difficult process, as nobody likes to admit their failures, it’s an essential part of growing as a business and promoting inclusivity. 

If you're using email marketing as part of your content strategy, consider incorporating one of the best Gmail CRMs to analyze and optimize your campaigns for inclusivity.

Step 3: Set clear intentions

Ask yourself why creating inclusive content is important for your business. Is it to reach a wider audience, improve customer relations, or because you just believe it’s the right thing to do? It may be that inclusive content more accurately expresses your company's values and culture.

Whatever they are, understanding your reasons for creating it will make it easier to set goals and develop a new content plan. Get the whole team involved with a video meeting, using software such as Dialpad, cloud based phone systems for businesses

Step 4: Create an inclusive content implementation strategy

Creating inclusive content takes time and practice. By developing long and short-term goals, you can begin the process. This might include setting time aside for your content team to revisit old posts, make changes, and find ways to improve in the future.

A good business strategy should include realistic goals. This is where those intentions we mentioned above come in, as you can define your aims for future content based on your reasons for wanting to create it. 

As well as working on inclusivity, you should look at other ways to improve your existing content strategies

Step 5: Develop inclusive content guidelines for your business

To create inclusive content now and in the future, you need to set some guidelines. These should be open to change, as language is ever-evolving. The approach you take for developing inclusive content guidelines will depend on the content you create and the sector you work in.

When designing your guidelines, you should consider these areas in particular:

  • Diverse sources. How do your sources reflect a diverse population? 
  • Inclusive language. Is your content written in a way that recognizes and respects people from all walks of life?
  • Accessibility. Is your content accessible to people with disabilities such as visual impairments? How user-friendly is your app or website?
  • Visual inclusion. Are the videos and images you post representative of various groups?

There are many ways to improve accessibility, such as introducing a text messaging service for customer support. This allows deaf customers to contact you via text rather than telephone. You may need software such as this text messaging solution for businesses to implement this.

Step 6: Regularly review your content

Once you’ve started to create inclusive content, you should regularly review it and ensure your content strategy remains on track. Don’t forget to review your WordPress automation too. 

Be open to feedback and engage with your audience, asking them if there are ways you could do better. Being transparent and honest is the best way to improve and build real customer relations. 

When reviewing content, look at it through your audience’s eyes. For example, if you were an Asian woman, would you connect to an article that only included images of white families? If you were a gay man, would you want to engage with a business that only wrote about husbands and wives? By considering content from other perspectives, you begin to truly understand the importance of inclusivity. 

Don’t forget about customer lifecycle analysis when reviewing inclusive content, as this covers content your customer will be exposed to before, during, and after purchase. 

Inclusive content: the key to building real customer relationships

As you can see, inclusive content is more than just a movement. It’s a basic right for all people to feel included when reading articles online or interacting with a business's social media accounts. By changing the way we create content, we can ensure anybody reading or viewing it can relate to it.

Inclusivity is a more respectful way to create content. Businesses that genuinely value their customers and make the effort to include everyone are better able to build real relationships—a fact reflected in their sales, profits, and overall customer satisfaction. Why is Inclusive Content Important for Building Real Customer Relationships?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is inclusive content?
Inclusive content is any form of content, such as images, blog posts, or videos, that addresses a diverse and broad audience without exclusion. It is designed to ensure that all individuals interacting with your content can relate to it and feel acknowledged and represented.

Why is inclusive content important?
Inclusive content matters because it enables businesses to speak to a wider, more diverse audience. Non-inclusive content can alienate potential customers and damage a brand's reputation. By being inclusive, businesses can build stronger relationships with customers and improve brand loyalty.

How can my business create inclusive content?
Creating inclusive content involves understanding and employing inclusive language, reviewing existing content for potential biases, defining clear intentions for inclusivity, developing an inclusive content strategy, and setting inclusive content guidelines. It also involves ongoing review and adjustments based on feedback and changes in societal norms.

What is inclusive language and why is it important?
Inclusive language refers to the use of words and phrases that demonstrate respect for how people describe their own identities. This can include avoiding gender-specific terms, among other things. Inclusive language is important as it ensures that no one feels excluded or disrespected by your content.

How can I check for non-inclusive content in my current marketing material?
Begin by defining who your content is currently tailored to. From there, identify which groups are represented in your content and which are not. You may consider getting an external perspective, especially from someone experienced in creating inclusive content.

How can businesses set clear intentions for inclusive content?
Setting clear intentions involves asking why creating inclusive content is important for your business. Understanding your reasons can help in setting goals and developing a new content strategy. Involve the whole team in this process to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

What is an inclusive content implementation strategy?
An inclusive content implementation strategy involves setting short and long-term goals for creating inclusive content. It may include plans to revisit and modify old content, implement new language and representation standards, and set measurable goals for improvement.

What are some examples of inclusive content guidelines?
Inclusive content guidelines should cover diverse sources, inclusive language, accessibility, and visual inclusion. They ensure that your content respects and acknowledges people from all walks of life and is accessible to people with disabilities.

How often should I review my content for inclusivity?
Content should be reviewed regularly to ensure your strategy remains inclusive. Be open to feedback and engage with your audience to understand if there are ways you could improve.

How does inclusive content contribute to building customer relationships?
Inclusive content makes all customers feel valued and represented, which can help to build trust and strengthen customer relationships. It shows that a business respects and values its customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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