The biggest factor driving the demand for advertising to a Hispanic market is its increase in annual purchasing power.
It crossed $1.9 TRILLION in 2020.
Regardless of your business, you need to be reaching Hispanic consumers with effective marketing or you’ll 100% miss out on the opportunity to tap into an
expanding expanded market of consumers.
Please, please, please understand…
Advertising to a Hispanic market does not mean translating your website and marketing material to Spanish.
In fact, there’s probably little else you could do to offend Hispanic audiences other than translating messaging designed for someone else into Spanish.
Also, recognize nuance (or at best, understand it exists among Hispanic audiences and that it’s huge and get help if you’re not 100% sure about this).
Food for thought, when I moved out to Long Island from the Bronx in 1988-ish, more than a few kids asked if I ate Taco Bell all the time.
- I’d never seen or heard of Taco Bell because at the time, they weren’t in NYC
- Taco Bell isn’t Mexican food
- I’m not Mexican
The 80’s and 90’s were a weird time when it was okay, and in a lot of ways encouraged, to be ignorant of “brown culture”.
It was also okay to devalue and be dismissive of people however today, that’s not the case.
In this post, I’ll share the best digital marketing tactics to appeal to Hispanic markets (i.e., Latinx) and increase engagement with this grown and thriving demographic.
6 Digital Marketing Tactics for Advertising to Hispanic Market
1. Find the Most Preferred Digital Marketing Platforms
Step 1 to successful advertising (this goes beyond the Hispanic market, btw) involves finding the channels Hispanic consumers will most often use to look into and interact with brands.
The takeaway here is to figure out the best platforms for sharing your marketing message to increase your chances of reaching and exceeding your goals.
A relatively big chunk of the Hispanic community uses smartphones ONLY for browsing the internet, so you need to have a website, and run digital marketing campaigns, optimized for mobile devices.
Just doing this will get you a significantly huge leg up on your competition because 99.9999999999% of all the brands and creators in every industry still design for laptop / desktop environments with mobile being an afterthought (at best).
This includes big huge brands that spend billions in advertising every year (I know because I run their desktop optimized ads for them and see how little they put into mobile).
Hispanic markets are also BIG social media users.
At the moment they mostly consuming content on facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube but Hispanics are also known to adapt quickly to new platforms so don’t be afraid to experiment if your [trusted] inhouse or outsourced marketing expert is encouraging you to test a new platform (you could uncover your next big break).
Right now, social is having its moment so you won’t be setting any trends trying to reach the Hispanic market on social, but…
I can tell you that most marketers are doing 2 little things incorrectly in social (how they’re prioritizing creative and letting the platforms optimize their campaigns for them) and it’s leaving a big gap for more savvy marketers to come in and take advance of massive opportunities.
2. Create Culturally Relevant Content
As you’d do for any target audience, you want to create culturally relevant content when advertising to a Hispanic market.
Nuyoricans are very different than Chicanos.
That’s probably obvious as you read it, but you’d be surprised how many very prominent and knowledgeable people in the Hispanic marketing space were surprised when “Mexican” shows and movies didn’t do well in Miami (which was traditionally a predominantly Cuban market).
Again, these are “experts” in their fields.
Less obvious is the cultural differences between Puerto Ricans in the Northeast compared to the ones down south (Florida) and Midwest (I’m looking at you, Chicago). Don’t even try to compare any of those to the ones from The Island…
How about Mexicans from the South, West, and Midwest? Not the same. And if any of them go to actual Mexico, they’re Gringos.
Its pretty much the same story for every Hispanic group in the US so again, understand there’s cultural nuance within the Hispanic market and advertise accordingly because few communities take as much pride in their history and culture as the Hispanics.
This makes creating content that resonates a bit easier.
However, there’s a flipside…
Comparatively speaking, Hispanics don’t make a big fuss when you get it wrong either (we’ll just ignore you forever so make sure you get it right).
For starters, avoid campaigns that single the community out or are based on stereotypes.
Also, make sure your blog posts, social media ads, and all other marketing updates are available in Spanish and optimized for Hispanic keywords.
You might feel the urge to use regionally specific words, cultural slang, and symbols popular in the Hispanic community but I strong urge you to avoid doing this but for those thinking it’s okay, I’m going to borrow this quote from the great Biggie Smalls: “Strictly for live men, not for freshmen”.
Not gonna lie, Hispanics all love vibrant images and colorful stories laced with emotions (even minimalists like me).
Last but not least for this section, there’s only one form of Spanish that’s acceptable for professional writing and ad writing (it’s the International Version and its culturally accepted and won’t offend anyone; use it).
3. Be Aware of Regional Differences
I’ve already referenced this above but it’s worth emphasizing a bit.
The Hispanic market includes people from different countries with unique cultures and traditions.
You wouldn’t expect people from Peru to be the same as people from Colombia.
That said, we know there are significant enough differences between people from different states here in the US so why wouldn’t it be the same within countries like Argentina and Brazil (though Brazil is not technically part of the Hispanic market).
The world has over 20 Spanish-speaking countries, and most, if not all, are represented in the US.
If you’re really wanting to reach the Hispanic market, you need to learn to identify the top regions your ideal customer primarily comes from so you can tap into the colloquial language, customs, and heritage accurately and respectfully (I wrote a post specifically about this called How to Reach a Latino Audience w/ Digital Marketing).
Working around regional differences when advertising to a Hispanic market will help you localize your marketing efforts given community preferences vary from place to place and changes are happen quickly as the population grows.
For example, over the years, the Hispanic market started to favor the term “Hispanics” over “Latino”.
This was especially true in Texas, where 46% of community members liked being called “Hispanic” while only 8% preferred to be called Latinos.
Similar results were seen in California, Florida, New York, and other states.
To add a little more confusion (even for Hispanics), now Hispanics want to be referred to as Latinx.
See my post Latinos and Hispanics prefer to be called Latinx, Fact or Fiction?.
Also see my post Top 8 Multilingual Marketing Challenges & How to Overcome Them.
4. Consider Generational and Cultural Gaps
Hispanic consumers can be categorized as follows:
Immigrants (both young and old) who don’t speak fluent English are called “traditionalists”.
To make sure your marketing messages reach this audience, you need to have a Spanish website (and I’m not talking about a translated version of your English one), Spanish-language TV and radio ads, and Spanish-language digital ads that redirect to your Spanish-language website and / or social media channels.
Remember to [appropriately] focus on traditional cultural values of the community, including family, food, and holidays to keep prospects engaged.
Don’t let the title fool you.
Age isn’t the determining factor with this group.
More than not, this group includes second-generation Hispanics who have adopted English as well as American customs although still respect and enjoy their language, culture, and heritage (albeit an Americanized version).
“Millennials” can further be categorized into three sub-groups.
a) Hispanic Dominant (also known as Unacculturated Hispanics; a term I hate):
Consumers in this group converse in Spanish at home and prefer consuming media in the same language.
b) US Dominant:
This group speaks English at home and prefers English-based media.
Bi-cultural consumers speak both languages at home but consume most media in English.
When designing a campaign for this group, you can use English as the primary language with Spanish phrases or quotes for emphasis and connection.
Of course, make sure you’re considering generational and cultural differences when defining your Hispanic target market based on the nature of your brand / product / service to maximize the impact of your digital marketing campaigns.
5. Adopt a Multi-Pronged Approach
Hispanics love variety.
When advertising to us, you need to go for a mix of traditional plus innovative digital marketing tactics.
In addition to posting Spanish content, covering multiple touchpoints, focus on creating online videos and memes that play on cultural experiences that supply quality entertainment for the Hispanic community.
You should also know, Hispanics can typically relate easily to the cultural experiences of other people of color.
I believe this comes from a place of wanting to find similarities in an effort to bring people together whereas other groups tend to want to segment and group people into neat little “buckets”.
6. Take Advantage of Hispanic Talent
Whether you’re working on a blog content for your website, conceptualizing a video, crafting social media ads / posts, or developing creative for an ad campaign directed at the Hispanic market, no one can help convey your message more authentically than a Hispanic person.
Partner with Hispanic talent to get better ideas and insights into telling compelling stories for your Hispanic audience.
Additionally, you need a team of professional Spanish-speaking staff to cater to the Hispanic consumers needs who want to engage with you after watching / reading / listening to your message in Spanish.
Many of them might not speak English comfortably and if you’re unable to communicate with them effectively, your competition will absolutely take notice and see that as an opportunity to take your proven idea and fill in the holes to make it work.
Fyi, while most Hispanics will work with you in English even though its difficult for them to fully express themselves, they’ll jump at the chance to work with someone else if there’s an effortless connection through language.
There’s a reason bodegas and Hispanic supermarkets do so well despite the countless reasons they’re inferior to modern supermarkets.
Win at Advertising to a Hispanic Market w/ a Robust Strategy
Establishing an authentic connection with your Hispanic audience through thoughtful (and effective) digital marketing tactics will open you up to business opportunities.
I can’t think of one case where a business did all the things on this article and wasn’t able to successfully reach and do business with the Hispanic market.
I hope this all helps and all your campaigns exceed their goals.
If you have any questions about the benefits of advertising to a Hispanic market and how you can maximize the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy with the right audience targeting, contact me.