Tomorrow is the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, a month that celebrates Hispanic culture in the U.S. With one in six Americans identifying as Hispanic, Latin culture is becoming more ingrained in the general market, from the foods we eat, to the music we listen to and the TV shows we watch.
If you’re consuming any type of media, chances are, you’ve been exposed to Latin culture. You may have even noticed that during the last World Cup, some advertisers ran Spanish-language spots on English-language networks.
As a Latina, I love seeing this trend. Marketers often talk about the emotional pull of native language advertising, and I’ve experienced that connection myself.
I remember watching an NBA game where a McDonald’s spot ran during a commercial break. The commercial was in English, but the tagline was in Spanish. Let me tell you, as someone who doesn’t usually eat fast food and isn’t a fan of McDonald’s, the commercial still managed to make me smile. In that moment, I liked the ad and if I were to eat fast food in the near future, it might just be McDonald’s.
Is Spanish Language Content All You Need?
Consumers have evolved: They’re savvier than ever, so straightforward advertising is no longer enough to get audiences to engage with your brand.
When it comes to U.S. Hispanics, there’s one additional element to consider: language.
I worked in Hispanic marketing for many years, when many brands thought translating their existing English content to Spanish was enough to reach Hispanic consumers. But it isn’t, and more and more brands are figuring that out.
The reason is that a simple translation will most likely deliver content that’s not engaging or culturally attuned.
According to a 2013 Nielsen survey, 87 percent of bicultural Latinas reported that they want to embrace their American and Hispanic heritage. Taking that into account, if you have a recipe site for moms and want to target Latina mothers, the best approach would not be to just translate all of your existing recipes.
Ideally, you would start by selecting a sample of recipes that could appeal to your new target and translate them into Spanish. Then, create a few culturally relevant recipes, such as tres leches cake and polvorones. Finally, make them available in both English and Spanish.
Most Effective Content
The same cultural considerations apply to every segment of the U.S. Hispanic market. Just as you would do a segmentation study to determine how to divide your general-market audience, the same applies to Hispanics.
Although Latinos have one thing in common – Spanish – they are not a homogenous group.
Here are some of the most popular U.S. Hispanic personas based on our research, and the best types of content for each:
The Latina mom is a mother, wife and career woman between the ages of 22 and 36. She was born in the U.S. to emigrant parents and is equally American and Latina. Although her husband may not speak Spanish, she speaks to her kids in Spanish. All household purchases need her seal of approval.
She cares deeply about culture and family, and makes sure that both are always present in her children’s lives. She relies heavily on her smart phone to find information, and is always trying to search out the best deals.
Best Format: Easy-to-digest text content
Language: Spanish and English
Who’s Doing it Right?: Que Rica Vida
Young Urban Latino
The young, urban Latino is 18-25 years old, and a second-generation bicultural Latino born in the U.S. One of his parents is from Latin America, and the other is from the U.S. This makes him equally comfortable navigating both cultures.
He is also a go-getter. He enjoys group sports such as soccer and loves hanging out with friends. He’s very social and loves to be around people; it’s not rare for him to host a carne asada at his place.
Best Format: Video and text that are mobile-friendly
Language: English, though cultural relevance is especially key for the young, urban Latino. Occasional use of Spanish can actually enrich the user experience.
Who’s Doing it Right?: Latino Rebels
The young Latina was born in the U.S. to one or both parents who emigrated from Latin America. She is also 18 to 25 years of age, and grew up in a bilingual and bicultural household that was always playing host to extended family members and friends.
She considers herself equally Latina and American. She reads American gossip blogs but watches telenovelas on Univision. She indulges in beauty products and places high value on education, family and achieving the goals that her parents set for her.
Best Format: Mobile-friendly video and text
Language: Same as the young, urban Latino. She prefers English, but well-placed Spanish may increase her brand loyalty.
Who’s Doing it Right?: Dulce Candy
Social & Usage Factors
Lastly, don’t forget about social. A study by Unilever found that Hispanics share five times more often than non-Hispanics.
They are also twice as likely to click on shared content, and the content they share is 35 percent more likely to be clicked on than content shared by non-Hispanics.
The same goes for mobile formats. Although Hispanics under index in PC usage, they over index in mobile usage.
Regardless of what type of content you decide to create, make sure you are taking into account these social components, and that your final content is mobile friendly.