Post by Nonie Carson, Marketing Specialist
U.S. digital Hispanics are a very important audience segment for brands in 2015. Senior-level marketers predict that 11–25% of their growth will come from this audience over the next three to five years (Think with Google, 2014). Yet, most brands report they don’t have digital marketing strategies focused on engaging U.S. Hispanics.
The web is the optimal channel to reach U.S. Hispanics; they are quick to adopt technology (especially mobile), and they’re the most digitally active consumers: 66% of digital Hispanics pay attention to online ads, compared to 47% of the general population. In addition, 93% of digital Hispanics that remember seeing an online ad took action (Google Hispanic Marketing Forum, 2015).
Brands should follow the below 5 strategies to reach and engage U.S. Hispanics to outperform competitors, capture additional sales and build brand loyalty:
(1) Take a Multilingual, Granular Approach to Digital Campaigns
Language is a top challenge faced today by brands targeting the diverse Hispanic audience. Spanish has many language nuances, which adds complication to messaging appropriate content. Yet, advertisers should keep in mind that U.S. Hispanics have become acculturated online: 43% of U.S. Hispanics prefer English content online regardless of their preferred language because the content/webpage functionality is generally superior. This means that brands attempting to target Hispanics exclusively through Spanish language campaigns are missing the mark.
A marketing strategy that incorporates only Spanish or only English limits the reach and potential of the campaign. Marketing to U.S. Hispanics is not a one-size-fits all solution. Google’s 2015 Hispanic Marketing Forum shared insights to keep in mind while creating campaigns that target U.S. digital Hispanics:
- 52% of digital Hispanics use English most/all of the time when online, even though only 31% of digital Hispanics are English dominant at home
- Two-thirds of Hispanics have used Spanish on a search engine
- 94% of digital Hispanics are comfortable consuming English content online for at least one action
- When searchers are looking for Spanish content and land on an English website, only 1 in 5 digital Hispanics will search for a Spanish website instead
The best approach that brands can take to provide optimal user experience is to get granular with language targeting and take a test-and-learn approach to understand the audience. There are many tools available for brands to segment the large audience pool of U.S. digital Hispanics. Brands should take full advantage of targeting tools such as language targeting and behavioral targeting.
(2) Create Relevant Content that Engages Cultural Elements
Brands have an opportunity to creating meaningful content that speaks to the Hispanic audience in a relatively untapped space. More so than language, one of the most important factors in reaching U.S. digital Hispanics is connecting advertising content to culture. 88% of digital Hispanics pay attention to online ads that include aspects of their culture regardless of the language being used in the ad (Google Hispanic Marketing Forum, 2015).
Culture is becoming the universal language for U.S. Hispanics. Brands need to invest time and resources to learn what this audience engages with and tailor messaging accordingly. Google cites the top 4 cultural elements surrounding Hispanic culture as food, family, holidays and traditions.
(3) Target Areas of Growth: Opportunity in Spanish Search Queries
For U.S. Hispanics, online sources are the preferred method for gathering information, as 86% of digital Hispanics use search to gather information about a purchase (Google Hispanic Marketing Forum, 2015). Advertisers should keep Hispanic search intent in mind when building out digital campaigns, and they should focus Hispanic-friendly content around informational keywords that drive product awareness and understanding.
With the growing number of Spanish queries, brands have an opportunity to capture the increased search activity with a prominent position on the search engine results page (SERP). Trump competitors with engaging organic and paid search copy. Telecom and retailer brands in particular are seeing a large growth in Spanish searches and should focus on content that connects Hispanic culture to product information, using calls to actions such as “Learn More” or “Aprende más.”
(4) Maximize Mobile and Video Content Efforts
There is significant opportunity for brands to outperform competition and create a loyal following by having a mobile and video strategy that engages digital Hispanics. Nearly 70% of digital Hispanics use mobile devices for search, while consuming 5 times more video than the general audience (Google Hispanic Marketing Forum, 2015).
- Create Mobile-Friendly Content: 72% of U.S. Hispanics own smartphones, which is 10% higher than the general population (Nielsen, 2014)
- Advanced Features on YouTube:
- Engage the mobile-heavy audience with Google’s 3 mobile ad formats on YouTube including Mobile Roadblocks, TrueView InStream video ads and Brand Channels
- Activate the new YouTube Hispanic ad targeting tool, which enables brands to target users beyond ethnicity. The tool takes language, overall viewing activity and other factors into account for brands to achieve the highest return on investment.
- Create video ad content that engages Hispanic users at the lower end of the purchase funnel as they’re more likely to use YouTube for local shopping
(5) Keep a Strong Narrative on Social Networks
U.S. Hispanics are the most active demographic on social media. They’re 25% more likely to follow a brand and 18% more likely to follow a celebrity than the general online population.
- Create Conversations: Research this audience and produce content that connects with cultural values. Brands should avoid making assumptions about culture.
- Test Content Strategies: Social channels are an ideal platform to test content strategies to inform paid marketing strategies. Brands should leverage the data available from social channels and take a test-and-learn approach to find what resonates and motivates their Hispanic audience.
As the Hispanic audience becomes more complex, so must your digital marketing campaigns. For more info on targeting U.S. digital Hispanics, please contact your performance account team today.