Ensuring your website ADA compliant

Ensuring your website ADA compliant

TABLE OF CONTENTS

$

What is ADA compliance, and why does it matter?

$

How do I make my website ADA compliant?

What is ADA compliance, and why does it matter?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the United States’ most important law regarding accessibility and civil rights for people with disabilities. Signed into law in 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against anyone based on ability or disability.

The ADA is a broad piece of legislation covering many aspects of accessibility for people with disabilities. The part of the ADA that affects how businesses serve customers is called the “ADA Title III.” The ADA Title III covers public areas and accommodations that apply to businesses, restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors’ offices, libraries, parks, and almost every other place of work.

All types and sizes of businesses have to comply with ADA legislation—for their customers and employees—if there are over 15 workers. The ADA affects places of entertainment, restaurants, large enterprises, small to medium businesses, retail stores, government offices, employment agencies, and more.

As the internet and websites have played a bigger role in how consumers interact with businesses, the way that the ADA applies to web accessibility has changed. In 2017, a clear consensus emerged that the ADA also covers the online world. Today, U.S. courts apply ADA accessibility requirements to the internet, meaning websites should comply with ADA rules.

Ensuring your website is ADA compliant is the responsible and right thing to do. But, in recent years, ADA title III-related lawsuits have skyrocketed. There were at least 11,452 federal filings in 2021, which is a 320% increase over a short, eight-year period. And, as of 2020, 265,000 demand letters were sent to businesses that operated inaccessible websites.

Approximately 85% of ADA lawsuits in federal and state courts during 2018 were filed against small-and medium-sized retail businesses. Since it’s almost inevitable that the court would find in favor of the plaintiff, small business owners feel that they must settle out of court. The cost of defending a lawsuit could destroy even a medium-sized business, as the average ADA website lawsuit settlement comes to $35,000.

How do I make my website ADA compliant?

Web accessibility is essentially a set of rules, behaviors, code standards, and design guidelines that were created by the W3C and are called the WCAG 2.1.

The WCAG 2.1 is a massive 1,000-page guidebook that encapsulates a range of disabilities, from hindering internet use to making internet use impossible without adjustments. This spectrum comprises 20-25% of the general population, depending on if we’re going with the CDC or WHO.

There are many disabilities covered, and the primary categories that require attention are

  • blind people using screen-readers,
  • the motor-impaired using only the keyboard to navigate,
  • epilepsy, color blindness,
  • cognitive and learning disabilities,
  • visual impairments, and more

With a 1,000-page guidebook to follow, it is obvious that making your website accessible and compliant is no easy feat! Here’s are a few of the simpler things you can do to work towards full compliance:

  • Every page should have a single H1 title, and titles should follow a consistent hierarchy (H1, H2, H3, etc.);
  • Images should be thoroughly described in image alt tags for assistive technology;
  • Fonts should be large and legible with enough contrast between background and foreground colors;
  • The entire website should be navigable via keyboard.

With that said, simply following the guidelines above will not make your website fully ADA compliant. The current options in the market today are either free or low-cost plugins that do not provide you more than 10-15% of the accessibility you need in order to become compliant.

You also have manual accessibility services that do bring you up to full compliance, but they cost 20-40 thousand dollars per site, and they take several weeks or months to implement.

Those options, as you can imagine, leave 99% of businesses without a feasible solution, making them easy targets for lawsuits and preventing them from helping people with disabilities. To solve this impossible situation, Root & Roam Integrated Marketing Agency has partnered with a leading AI accessibility tool. This interface includes both accessibility profiles and enhancement features.

Let’s touch on a couple of the profiles first. These profiles enable users with disabilities to instantly adjust the entire website to their specific disability. For example, enabling the epilepsy safe mode immediately stops all moving objects and tunes down potential dangerous colors. Enabling the visually-impaired profile scales the content by 100%, increases the website’s saturation, and also activates a text magnifier window using mouse hover.

In addition to the profiles’ functionality, users can choose specific enhancement features, like increasing the font sizes if they are too small. They can also emphasize titles and links and set their preferred scaling, spacing, height, and alignment. The interface also enables people with color blindness to change the website to a dark mode or monochrome mode. These are just a handful of features included.

We know that ensuring your website is ADA Compliant can be an overwhelming task. Root & Roam Integrated Marketing Agency is here to help! Contact us if you’d like a website audit or more information.

Send Us A Message

Instagram Reels For Businesses

Instagram Reels For Businesses

Instagram reels are just another tool to invite a user to your product or service. Short videos make content palatable for the fast-paced user interface of social media. Algorithms on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are beginning to favor these short videos. Whether the goal is to increase engagement, showcase your product/service in a new fashion, or simply go viral, reels can only help.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

$

Instagram Reel History

$

Three Dimensions of Quality Reels

– Content

– Sounds

– Consistency

$

Creating a Reel

Instagram Reel History

Whether you are a small or large business, Instagram reels are a great way to increase your reach and create content in a way that viewers are loving right now. This idea of short videos started with an app called Vine. Each video was six seconds long. The concept of quick, to-the-point videos went viral. Many apps have tried to capitalize on this idea; for example, the app called Musically gained popularity utilizing this idea, but added the idea of sounds as it was mostly used for lip-singing. A while later, “Tik Tok” emerged and combined the concept of Vine’s short videos and Musically’s ability to add music/sounds over videos. Tik Tok has gone viral and has over 1 billion monthly active users. To keep with this trend, Instagram created Reels, which follow this idea of a short video with music/sound.

Three Dimensions of Quality Reels

– CONTENT

Your audience craves honesty and openness. It makes them feel like they are part of the team and that there are people behind the product or service. Introduce your team, your process, or a funny moment shared. Along with the idea of sharing, viewers love to follow a storyline. Creating a short series for the viewers to keep up with is a great starter.
Here’s a quick side note about scheduling reels: as much as having a schedule is helpful, you need to be flexible. Sometimes a random post will go viral, so for a short time, you might want to follow that choice of content and slowly make your way back to your own scheduled content.

– SOUNDS

Understanding sounds is extremely important. Functionally, sounds are hashtags. The same way a “hashtag” can trend, a “sound” can trend. Trending sounds are a huge part of reach, and, if used appropriately, are a great way to boost your views. However, be mindful that choosing a sound that is suitable for the video and your product/service is always better than randomly selecting a trending sound that does not match.

– Consistency

Like any other form of media outreach, consistency is a crucial part of growing an audience. Some find that picking a day to produce their reels for the whole month is a way to consistently have content ready. This is a great first step. However this could put you at a disadvantage. With trends being popular one week and not the next, it can be better to make reels throughout the month. Choose whichever schedule works best, but be consistent.

CREATING A REEL

Creating an Istagram reel is super simple, once you get the hang of the interface. Breaking it down into five simple steps might help the process:

1) Know the content you want to capture or have already captured.
2) Pick a sound that works for your content.
3) Edit the photos or videos to match the sound.
4) Pick the “Edit Cover” and add a caption.
5) Hit “share”.

Watching a video might make it easier to understand, so follow along as I create a simple and funny post about the team at Root & Roam.

Send Us A Message

Connecting with customers through social media engagement

Connecting with customers through social media engagement

Social Media Engagement – While social media has proven to be a remarkable tool for projecting voices, it’s important not to forget one of its most powerful features: connecting with and engaging your audience. So how can you go about this?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

$

Reasons to use social media to connect.

$

Benefits of social media engagement.

$

Ways to engage through social media.

$

Connect with Root & Roam.

You’ve got the content down: Facebook fans thoughtfully respond to your well–written captions, while Instagram followers excitedly comment under your high-res, eye-catching photos. The audience is there, the engagement steadily rising—what’s next? Rounding out your social media engagement strategy through connection!

Reasons to use social media to connect.

  • Build brand loyalty. When a customer encounters your product and a competitor’s product down the aisle, your product will be the one they consistently put in their basket.
  • Encourage further user engagement. This means more direct messages, comments, reviews, current audiences directing other users to your page, etc. And discover more ways to engage through social media!
  • Discover new audiences. As your current audience thrives and grows, you’ll encounter new viewers and have the chance to direct them to your page.

Benefits of social media engagement.

By adopting new ways to increase social media engagement with customers, you’re humanizing a brand, both building its trustworthiness and influencing the feeling it evokes. This is one of the greatest benefits of social media engagement, since this feeling ultimately carries some brands (rather than others) to the forefront of a customer’s mind. 

As the relationships between audiences and businesses grow, social media engagement ensues, strengthening your brand image even further and creating more opportunities for connecting with potential customers.

These conversations are vital to bolstering connections and broadening your audience; they work to personify your brand, allowing it to stand out better and become more relevant in users’ lives. As discussed earlier, with each positive one-on-one interaction, the memorability of your page grows! Plus, it allows others to feel seen and included, rather than talked at. Taking this conversational approach with your social media engagement strategy is about engaging with audiences, answering questions while asking them some of your own, and allowing them to feel heard by your business in an entirely new way.

Ways to engage through social media.

The first thing is to get acquainted with your audience. Learn about them! Who are they? What are their interests? What do they respond to? 

Then, develop content based on this information, and balance it with what resonates with you. Let social media be a way to build trust and relationships with your community. (Check out this article on Hootsuite, which covers this in-depth.)

When looking to increase social media engagement, be sure to

  • enthusiastically respond to direct messages;
  • thoughtfully answer comments;
  • post user-generated content (UGC); and
  • engage with other users’ content.

The key to these practices is to be genuine. A social media user can tell when efforts to engage are merely made with the intent of promoting pages rather than contributing to the community. Inauthentic attempts at connecting with customers can backfire! 

Instead, try to meaningfully comment on things interesting and relevant to your brand or social media page. This can help build positive associations with your page and encourage users to start conversations with you, presenting more opportunities to reap the benefits of social media engagement!

For this reason, the daunting influx of comments and direct messages occupying your notifications shouldn’t be seen as a chore, but as multiple ways to positively engage your audience through social media. 

Take time to answer questions, address concerns, or have a leisurely and enjoyable conversation! While you may hold several of these conversations throughout the day, this is likely an infrequent occurrence for your follower/customer, making it more exciting and memorable. It’s what social media is for—connecting and engaging!

Reposting UGC serves a similar purpose as holding conversations with social media users. It helps users feel included and convey a sense of community—which ultimately encourages more engagements, connections, brand loyalty, and in turn, far more chances to make a sale!

Connect with Root & Roam.

All in all, prioritizing customer/audience connections can play a significant role in propelling your social pages forward, allowing you to define your brand through one-on-one engagements positively. And, in case you need a refresher on building your brand, check out our last blog post! If you’re looking for more in-depth help finding ways to engage through social media, the experts at Root & Roam are always here to help. Call us at 325-455-3130 to learn more!

Send Us A Message

Event Marketing—How to plan and market an event

Event Marketing—How to plan and market an event

TABLE OF CONTENTS

$

What is event marketing, and how can Root and Roam help?

$

Why is event marketing important?

$

Event Marketing Plan

$

Event Marketing Plan—The Questions You Need to Answer

$

Event Marketing Strategy

$

Develop Event Marketing Assets

$

Marketing Ideas for Events

$

Our Experience with Event Marketing

What is event marketing, and how can Root and Roam help?

“Event marketing describes the process of developing a themed exhibit, display, or presentation to promote a product, service, cause, or organization leveraging in-person engagement.”Adobe Experience Cloud

As an event marketing agency, Root and Roam aids clients in planning out the finest details of their events. This includes putting together a marketing strategy and asset creation. We even provide photography and videography services during our clients’ events. 

Our team of event marketers is skilled in creating event marketing strategies that help our clients succeed in achieving their event goals. The process of creating the strategy requires diving into the who, what, when, where, and why of the event and building on those answers to paint the larger picture. In this article, we are going to take you through the process of event marketing planning.

Why is event marketing important?

Event marketing allows consumers to get a small inside look at your business, the values your company upholds, and the value that your product or service can provide them. Event marketing spans from trade shows to charity events and even conferences. 

At these events, you have the opportunity to form personal connections with consumers, and the personal connections you form at these events have the potential to blossom into long-term client relationships.

Event Marketing Plan

Your event marketing plan is the base starting point for marketing your event. This is where you plan out the date, time, and theme of the event, what you will offer your audience, and the overarching goal and purpose of the event.

Event Marketing Plan—The Questions You Need to Answer

Similar to any other marketing plan, the first step you need to take when planning a marketing event is to create the strategy. To create the strategy you need to determine the when, where, who, and how of your event.

  • When will the event take place?
    • What is the time and date of the event?
  • Where will the event take place?
    • What is the city, state, and/or country of the event?
    • Will the event be indoor, or outdoor?
  • Who?
    • Who is hosting the event—are you the host, or is someone else the host?
    • Who will be there—is the event open to the public or strictly private?
  • How?
    • How will you be participating in the event?
      • Are you speaking?
      • Will you have a booth?
      • Are you donating?
      • Will you be providing a demonstration?

Event Marketing Strategy

The event marketing strategy is the second step in marketing your event. Let’s walk through the pieces of an event marketing strategy together.

Event Goals

Let’s nail down the goal of your event. We need to know what you are looking to achieve in order to create the best plan for your event. A few goal ideas for events are to raise money for charity, create brand awareness, or generate leads.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Start with your KPIs for the event. KPIs are how you measure the success of your marketing event. KPI’s should always be reasonable and attainable, based on the projected event attendance and your budget. Your event marketing KPIs can include but are not limited to

  • Obtaining a certain amount of contact information (email addresses, phone numbers, or mailing addresses)
  • Speaking to a certain number of people per day
  • Performing a certain number of demonstrations per day or per event
  • Giving a speech that hits on specific topics
  • Achieving a certain number of sales at the event
  • Reaching a certain threshold of dollars donated—this usually applies to charity events

Your team can even look into KPIs that are achieved post-event courtesy of your efforts at the event. Those include

  • Phone calls 
  • Door swings
  • Sales
  • Contracts

All of the above are achieved because the client learned about your business at the event.

Audience

The next step in the strategy is to determine who your target audience is and where to reach them. We determine who the audience is based on your niche market and the goal of the event. If the goal is to raise money, we will want to target an audience with a certain level of income. If the goal is to create brand awareness, we can target a broader audience within your niche. Staying within your niche is also important so that you don’t waste precious resources on those who are not interested in your business type, to begin with.

You can find out where your audience a few different ways, you can survey new potential and existing clients, you can also rely on quality research regarding your target audience’s media habits. The Root and Roam event marketing team is equipped to assist you in the process of determining the best avenues of advertising for your event.

Budget

Determine your budget for the event. Not only do you need to know the overall budget, but you also need to break that budget down into necessities and non-necessities.

Necessities

  • Permits
  • Building/space rental
  • Transportation (plane tickets, rental vehicles, gasoline)
  • Passes—to enter the event and parking
  • Room and board—food and hotel expenses for yourself, employees, and participants
  • Products and tools for demos
  • Advertisements
  • Wages for attending employees

Non-necessities

  • Entertainment
  • Gifts

It’s important to factor in necessities (the things you have to pay for) first, then tack on the non-necessities if there is room in your budget. This way you have a firm grasp of how much the event will cost your company or organization.

Develop Event Marketing Assets

Event marketing assets include messaging and visual elements of your marketing efforts.

Event Marketing—Messaging

The messaging should be informative and easy to skim. Messaging includes all of the need-to-know elements of the event, along with any fine details that your audience should know. The messaging should also match the event theme and meet your goals of what you want your audience to feel when they read it. Need-to-know information includes but is not limited to

  • Event name
  • Event time, date, and location
  • Entertainment—live entertainment, speeches, tradeshow vendors, food and beverages available—ALWAYS INCLUDE FREE ITEMS IF AVAILABLE

Fine details to include in your messaging are

  • Entry or ticket cost and where to purchase or pre-pay
  • Parking information if applicable
  • VIP opportunities
  • Age limits if the event is not child friendly
  • A web address where your audience can learn more about the event

Event Marketing—Visual Elements

The visual assets are the “pretty pictures” that go along with the event messaging. Visual assets include graphics, infographics, websites/landing pages, photographs, and videos. To create these pieces, you will need to hire graphic designers, website designers, website developers, photographers, and/or videographers. 

Luckily for you, Root and Roam is a full-service event marketing agency—meaning that we are fully staffed with team members that can cover all of the asset development pieces for you.

Marketing Ideas for Events

Based on Root and Roam’s experience, there are a few marketing avenues that we suggest looking into when planning marketing for your event. Our suggestions include pay-per-click advertising, a website or landing page on your website, social media posting and paid ads, radio, newspaper, and magazine ads, flyers, direct mailers, email blasts, newsletters, billboard ads, and word of mouth (tell everyone).  The marketing avenue that will work best for your event depends on your target audience, discussed in the “Audience” section of this article.

Here are a few other marketing ideas for events that we can offer, depending on your role in the event: 

  • Prepare a speech that delivers the purpose, goal, and good of the event and your company or organization’s role there;
  • Purchase booth equipment—this includes the booth fee, tables, chairs, and sectioning screen or curtains if needed;
  • Purchase fliers, banners, pamphlets, a digital slideshow, or free gifts for guests at the event;
  • Prepare sample kits—include any products that you are willing to give away. Remember that consumers are more likely to purchase what they can taste, smell, and touch;
  • Prepare a demo stage—include the equipment you need to produce a demonstration, including safety equipment;
  • Stock up on checks with your company’s name on it, and/or order a giant check for photos;
  • Post on social media—post lives, photos, and videos, and schedule updates throughout your time at the event. You can even let your fans know where to find you at the event.

Our Experience with Event Marketing

Root and Roam has specialized in event marketing in a few different forms, the largest being the production of Bacon Bash Texas, held annually in Cranfills Gap since 2011. Our team is fully involved in the planning and production of Bacon Bash Texas every year. This means that we assist with things as small as hiring judges for the bacon cook-off to the setup and takedown of booths on the day of the event. We also handle all of the pay-per-click, social media, and website marketing for the event year-round.

Outside of Bacon Bash Texas, we assist our clients in preparing for conferences and trade shows by designing and ordering banners and signs for booths. We can even let your fans know that you will be at an event in their area via social media or pay-per-click ads.

Needless to say, Root and Roam has the experience to assist with your event marketing needs. Click the button to kick off your event marketing plan.

Send Us A Message

Ep #04: Digital Strategy with Eva Marie Guido

Ep #04: Digital Strategy with Eva Marie Guido

Ep #04: Digital Strategy with Eva Marie Guido

The show is about digital marketing, creative services, office culture, and everything in between. In this episode, I talk with Eva Marie Guido, Digital Marketing Manager and Root & Roam’s super digital nomad. We talk digital strategy, trends, and her recent adventure to the Lone Star State.

We’ll be back monthly to tell you more about what’s going on behind the scenes at Root & Roam.