An Overlooked Niche: Marketing To Hispanics Online
There is no doubt Hispanics are online. And for most of them, the Internet is about connecting with their friends and family and keeping in touch with the latest happenings in their world. However, advertisers have fallen short in actively targeting this portion of the population, in particular with search marketing. Marketers are missing a […]
There is no doubt Hispanics are online. And for most of them, the Internet is about connecting with their friends and family and keeping in touch with the latest happenings in their world. However, advertisers have fallen short in actively targeting this portion of the population, in particular with search marketing. Marketers are missing a golden opportunity because Hispanic online users are prime candidates for responding to a search marketing campaign.
According to eMarketer, 52% of U.S. Hispanics are online, representing about 23 million in 2008. And that number will only grow. The U.S. Hispanic population is the most rapidly increasing demographic group in the United States and ranks as the number one minority group. In some cities and states, this minority group has even become the majority. The same may someday be true for Hispanic users online. It is estimated that number of Hispanic Internet users will surge between now and 2012 and surpass 29 million.
And they aren’t novice users. Half of the U.S Hispanic online population has been using the Internet for more than three years. This demographic knows eBay, knows Google and can surf the web with the best of them. With 27% of those 23 million Internet users going online everyday, there are plenty of opportunities for marketers to reach out and connect with this group.
Online and ready to purchase
Hispanic online spending was expected to make up 11% of all online spending in 2007 amounting to about $12.8 billion, according to Jupiter Research, expected to increase to $21.6 billion by 2011. Plus, online Hispanics are more desirable to advertisers than their offline counterparts. They earn more, are better educated and are more likely to own a home. And most of them are searching on Google. Google claims that it holds 72% of the Hispanic market share, followed by Yahoo! at 17% and MSN at 2%.
The increasing saturation of U.S. Hispanics online makes interactive advertising an attractive strategy to reach them. According to SEO Roundtable, U.S. Hispanics are surfing online more than they are watching television, and in most cases, they are going online to research products. Jupiter Research reported that Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to research products online before shopping offline.
So, as more Hispanics are online, researching and shopping, companies must find effective ways to market to them. Search engine marketing is a viable and likely to be profitable option. According to a survey conducted by Media-Screen, Hispanics are more likely than the U.S. general market to use a search engine to:
- Compare prices on a product or service
- Learn more about a new product or service that they heard about elsewhere
- Find coupons for rebates or discounts on products
- Become aware for the first time of a new product or service
Since search engines are used heavily by Hispanics for product research, search marketing in turn is a natural and effective way to target to Hispanics. Think about it: searchers typically are somewhere in the buying cycle of awareness, consideration, information gathering, pre-purchase, support or post-purchase support. By reaching Hispanics during this process you have a better chance of influencing their purchase decision even if they make the purchase offline.
However, an important thing to remember when targeting Hispanics with search is their culture. A general market search campaign is completely different than a Hispanic-targeted one. SEM allows you to geo-target your campaign to areas of high Hispanic population density and to reach your audience using Spanish, English or bilingual keywords and ad copy, depending on the generation and portion of the population you are targeting. When choosing keywords, don’t rely solely on translation. First, think about the area you are targeting. California Spanish is different from Texas Spanish which is different from Florida Spanish. Then, think about the acculturation levels of your target audience and adapt your choices appropriately. As the case with any Hispanic marketing campaign, the goal is cultural relevance, not necessarily grammatically precise translation of keywords or ad copy.
Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States. They have the most spending power of any group, and they’re ready and eager to spend it. If this demographic group is relevant to your own search marketing campaign goals, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a Hispanic-focused search marketing campaign and see and see where Hispanic online users take you and your business.
Jose Villa is CEO and founder of Sensis,a minority-owned and operated interactive agency that is helping its clients capitalize on the more than $2.7 trillion buying power of Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans and GLBT consumers.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.