6 Best Practices for Reaching Hispanics Online


ADOTAS — The Hispanic population has increased six-fold since 1970. Today, the Hispanic market represents 17% of the U.S. population (53 million people). By 2042, multicultural America becomes the population majority. Yet, Ad Age’s 2013 Hispanic Fact Pack reports that 95% of the $8 billion spent on Hispanic advertising went to traditional, Spanish language broadcast media and only 5% went to digital even though Hispanic influencers are online and over-index on digital behaviors.

Best Digital Practices for Reaching the Hispanic Market

1. Though they are slightly more English-language dominant, (i)Hispanics watch content in both languages. The most watched: English-language: comedies; documentaries; and, children’s weekly programming. When viewing cultural events, concerts and sports, they will rely on Spanish-language broadcasting. Much of this above-the-line behavior is reflected online as well. Advertisers need to ensure that they reach these consumers across their cultural plurality and preferences, and speak to them with linguistic and cultural relevance.

2. (i)Hispanics are the bicultural influencers who inform and guide total Hispanic brand decisions and in so doing, provide marketers with a greater return on investment. They become Sherpas and brand influencers at an early age for their foreign-born parents, and that behavior along with their collectivist tendency to be CONNECTORS contributes to their online sharing. Furthermore, their influencing tendency is culturally agnostic and their sphere of influence is larger than other cultural groups.

3. It is a marketing imperative to include social network sharing capabilities in all online marketing campaigns, especially when it comes to (i)Hispanic programs. (i)Hispanics over-index when compared to the general market in the following areas:

  • Creating content – publishing original blogs and web pages; uploading original videos/audio/music; etc. (333 index vs. General Market);
  • Collecting – Using RSS feeds; voting for websites online; adding tags to web pages or photos (333 index vs. General Market);
  • Critiquing – posting ratings/review of products or services; commenting on other blogs; contributing to online forums; editing wiki articles (260 index vs. General Market — SOURCE: FORRESTER).

4. The creative served to bilingual/bicultural Hispanics should reflect the duality that is intrinsic to their being. They live in two worlds from a cultural perspective (collectivism and self-reliance), and speak two languages fluidly. Bilingual ads that speak to them in the same way they speak to each other will drive greater ROI.

5. Just as more acculturated Hispanics toggle between two worlds, they toggle online as well – particularly when they are assisting their less acculturated family and friends. Typical search actions begin in English, content is then consumed in Spanish then end-actions are typically executed in English. The more acculturated drive the initial and end actions as they are, in many instances, digital natives. Understanding this concept of communal viewing and bi-directional toggle is an imperative for brands that want to drive a greater ROI.

6. Retro-acculturation typically occurs across all second-generation immigrants. They return to their roots, if you will, after having distanced themselves from them while growing up. Retro-acculturation is typically driven by a key life event (death of a parent; birth of a child; a marriage; a divorce). Marketers who are engaging Hispanics as they go through this process, can leverage this knowledge to drive more affective engagement and affinity for these retro-acculturating consumers.


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