Reaching Hispanics in the United States presents challenges and opportunities that are not present when marketing to or communicating with a Latin American audience.
By George Levy
Originally from Content Standard
There is a wide range of levels of acculturation in the US Hispanic population, ranging from immigrants who have just arrived in the country and can’t speak English, to people who are third, fourth, and beyond generations and speak English far better than Spanish—or who may not speak Spanish at all—yet are of Latino descent.
With that in mind, here are five important keys to successful US Hispanic content marketing:
1. Not all content needs to be or should be in Spanish.
The US Census Bureau estimates there are 54 million Hispanics in the United States. This figure, which represents roughly 17 percent of the nation’s total population, makes Latinos the largest minority.
That being said, of those 54 million Latinos, roughly one-third is Spanish dominant, one-third is English dominant, and the last third is bilingual and bicultural. That doesn’t even include people from Brazil where the language is Portuguese—and given that Brazil is in Latin America, these people would count as US Hispanics as well.
As a result, merely creating content in Spanish or translating existing content in an attempt to reach this group will severely limit your chances of success.
For any content marketing program to succeed, you need to make sure that when you are creating content, you account for the precise audience you are trying to reach. In the case of the US Hispanic market, this careful attention to your target audience will greatly impact your decision of what the most effective language to reach them will be. For example, Hispanic immigrants who have recently arrived in the United States may prefer Spanish, given that their English language skills are still very basic. However, a second- or third-generation Millennial with Hispanic parents may speak mostly English and have only a basic command of Spanish. In either case, you are reaching a US-based Hispanic, and it is your responsibility as a marketer and brand storyteller to effectively communicate your content marketing messages.
2. Reach US Hispanics with the right content for their devices.
US Hispanics lead the pack in digital. According to a Nielsen report, Hispanics lead in adoption of new devices, they are heavy users of mobile, and they consume a lot of video, spending more than eight hours watching online video each month (90 minutes longer than the US average).
As a result, to reach the Latino consumer, you must create a content program and editorial direction that fits his or her consumption habits. According to the 2014 Hispanic Market Overview by López Negrete Communications, Hispanics are far more likely than non-Hispanic people to access the Internet via their phones instead of a computer. Furthermore, Nielsen’s report states Hispanics are twice as likely to upgrade their tablets in the next six months than other groups included in the report. Given this heavy reliance on mobile, make sure you deliver the right content in the right format for your audience.
3. Know your audience fully.
The US Hispanic market is an aggregation of many people with different backgrounds who are placed under a single umbrella. In other words, to really understand the market, you need to comprehend that it is composed of different people from different countries, different cultural backgrounds, and different allegiances and emotional ties. And, to effectively communicate with your audience, you need to fully understand the segment of the US Hispanic population with which you are communicating.
Depending on the segment of the population you wish to reach, your message and images must match the target you’ve chosen. If not, you run the risk of missing your targets, or even worse, offending them by using the wrong choice of words.
4. Always strive to produce excellent, quality content.
This point seems obvious and you may believe it’s unnecessary to call it out, but it bears repeating. It’s amazing how much “boring” and “bland” content is produced and published on a daily basis.
Given that there is an overabundance of content and that people in general (Hispanics included) have ever-shortening attention spans, you need to make sure your content is top quality for your US Hispanic content marketing program.
Additionally, given the fact that you are reaching out to the digitally savvy Hispanic audience, you need to make sure your content is well produced, mobile optimized, and that it is truly attention-grabbing so it doesn’t get lost in all the marketing noise.
5. Create content that’s designed to be shared.
In a Mindshare study commission by Unilever and performed by ShareThis, Hispanic consumers were found to be “twice as likely to share content or take action on shared content” than the general population. The same study also showed that Hispanic consumers share via social media up to five times more than non-Hispanic users.
To fully take advantage of these social characteristics of the US Hispanic audience, you need to make sure you create content that fits the model of highly shareable content. This consists of content that is searchable, snackable, and shareable.