Successfully Accessing a Vastly Overlooked Market
There is no doubt that the demographics of most of the major metropolitan areas in the United States have changed dramatically over the last several decades. One of the most relevant statistics is the influx of Spanish speaking people, not only from south of the border, but also from a wide variety of countries spread out across South America. While some come to work in low income jobs, many are college educated here in the US, or, already armed with a professional degree are employed in well-paying jobs for their skills and knowledge. Almost all of them are bilingual and many have achieved an economic status that many native US-born Americans would envy.
In the 2010 U.S. Census, one in six Americans identified themselves as Hispanic, making it the fastest growing ethnic segment in the country. That’s 50 million people.
AdWeek, Jeff Coyen
The estimated Hispanic population of the United States is 52,000,000 (as of July 2011), making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16.7 percent of the nation’s total population. In addition, there are 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. Source: 2011 Population Estimates.
Like many immigrant populations before them, the Latino community often tends to put every able-bodied member of the family to work. As a result, multiple incomes accumulate, providing the family with a spending power which rivals and sometimes even exceeds those of the native population. Naturally, being exposed to all the temptations which our consumerist society offers, they want to buy goods and services with their excess cash. Thus, they create a great untapped market, which any modern US company will ignore at their own risk.
Market analyst IBISWorld, in a special August 2011 report, estimated that overall Hispanic-American buying power totaled $1.1 trillion in 2011, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. total. By 2015, Hispanic buying power will hit $1.6 trillion, IBISWorld forecasts, growing at a 48 percent clip, compared to about 27 percent for the entire nation.
Handle with Care
Any company that wants to make inroads into this lucrative market needs to have a well-defined strategy in place. Just like everyone else, the Hispanic community is heavily involved in all things Internet. They congregate on Facebook, they shop at various online stores that have brand name recognition and they even are getting heavily involved with Twitter. A vast majority of its population is most comfortable in their native language, which also implies a level of trust and confidence with the vendor.
“Today in the U.S., Hispanics are fueling the growth of the population, Internet usage, technology sales and pumping more than $1 trillion of spending power into the economy,” says Natalia Borges, VP of marketing for Batanga, Inc., an independent digital media company that serves the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets.
General Facts Regarding the Latino Community in the United States
- 1 in 6 residents in the United States is Hispanic
- …growing at four times the rate of the general population
- Fastest growing population segment for Internet usage
- Latinos have a disposable income of over $1 trillion
Purchasing Power (Hispanic / Latino Americans)
- The share of buying power controlled by Hispanic consumers has risen from 5 percent in 1990 to 6.8 percent in 2000 and to 9.1 percent in 2009, and the group’s share will rise in every state.
- U.S. Latinos accounted for 11%, or $2.2 billion, of total e-commerce purchases made across the United States in the first quarter of 2012. (Ad Age, Six Things Advertisers Need to Know About the Growing Hispanic Market)
- This segment contributed 34.8% of the growth in the Technology, Telecommunications and Entertainment industries according to our Ad Spend research.
Marketing Tips for Reaching Out to Spanish Speaking Americans
Advertise in Spanish
According to the Experian Simmons Summer 2011 National Hispanic Consumer Study, 56 percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanics agree that, “When I hear a company advertise in Spanish, it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business.” Similarly, 54 percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanics are “much more loyal to companies that show appreciation of our culture by advertising in Spanish.”
It is estimated that the online Spanish-speaking population will grow at double-digit rates annually for the next five years. Recent reports state that websites that are content-rich in the Spanish language are a huge potential growth area. Over the next 10 years, the Internet growth in Latin America alone will become an economy and market by itself.
Internet usage in Latin America has increased more than 325 percent since 1997.
Furthermore, since U.S. Hispanics have a fast adoption rate of new technologies, such as broadband (mobile and fixed), it will be almost a necessity to have content in Spanish in order to address this important market.
The following quote is a great excerpt from Jeff Coyen’s excellent article in AdWeek.
…according to the Experian Simmons study, 26 percent of Hispanic adults “like to change brands often for the sake of variety and novelty.” That’s compared to just 16 percent of non-Hispanic adults who say they like to change brands.
Hispanic marketers contend that Hispanic loyalty is based on cultural relevance. But what does that mean? Draftfcb’s Benson says that brands need to understand that for Hispanics, purchases often extend beyond the individual and may be influenced by the purchase’s impact on the family and the community. “When Latinos buy a TV, they think about how it is a good way to bring people together,” she says. “The purchase may be the same, but the intention is different.”
Arguably The Most Effective Means of Reaching New Spanish Speaking Clients: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and High Quality Content
The best means to reach out to the American Spanish speaking community is to be found in an online search. Currently however only 8% of search results in Google are in Spanish. Ranking well in an online search in Bing or Google depends on a variety of factors, but the most effective method is the combination of high quality content and keywords. If you want to reach out to the Hispanic market then both the article or blog and the keywords need to be in Spanish.
It is not enough to simply perform a literal translation of a web page into Spanish. First and foremost you will need high quality (HQ) content and keywords in order to rank well and to appear at the top of search listings. Also, keywords are not always the same in English and Spanish and quite frequently need an expert translation to be effective.
Effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies involve organic search optimization and what is commonly referred to as white hat approaches. This gives the Spanish-speaking community the information that they desperately crave and developing a trust factor with the potential client that is invaluable.
If properly executed, any company that is selling either goods or services can penetrate the Spanish-speaking market successfully.
Today’s search engines reward sites that provide high-quality content that is informative, entertaining and have authority. This is typically accomplished by continuously posting articles related to a particular vendor’s goods and services and the associated keywords. What must be accomplished is to get professional Spanish speaking authors to write the copy who also have experience in researching and identifying those keywords in Spanish which are pertinent to a business, but that also resonate with the Spanish-speaking community. Not only are sentence structure and grammar vastly different between English and Spanish, but so are the ways of expressing even the simplest concepts.
Any company that focuses their attention on this untapped market is surely going to reap huge rewards.
Augur Marketing provides original, high quality content, and translation services as well as keyword conversion to Spanish by highly experienced, fluent Spanish speaking content development and conversion analysts. We partner with Chris Harlepp and Elizabeth Kelley, professional bloggers and creators of high quality content, for this best in class, professional outreach.
Please call (571) 201-5272 to speak to a representative or use the convenient contact form by clicking on the link below.
This article was written in English and Spanish as a collaborative effort by Richard Lewis, President at Augur Marketing, Christopher Harlepp and Elizabeth Kelley Principal Co-Founder of La Palabra Hispana.