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360i Report: Hispanic Digital Influencers

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360i Hispanic POV Series
Hispanic Digital Influencers
Executive Summary
This is the first in a series of reports that explore the role social media plays in the lives of Hispanics living in the United States. For marketers, the growth of the US Hispanic population presents both the promise of reaching a dynamic and engaged audience — armed with ever-increasing purchasing power — and the challenge of understanding the cultural nuances of a demographic with unique digital behaviors. The goal of the series is to shed light on this vibrant and growing demographic and provide guidance on best practices when engaging Hispanics.

For this report, 360i collected and analyzed the activity of 150 Hispanic digital influencers to understand the role these individuals play in leading conversations among their constituents. This analysis can help marketers better tailor their DWOM® campaigns to motivate these influencers.
Key Takeaways:

Hispanics view the Internet as a virtual “Plaza del Pueblo,” or town square, an environment in which they are inspired and motivated to join the conversation. As such, Hispanics are 37 percent more likely than the general population to publish a blog, and 12 percent more likely to visit other blogs, per Nielsen. As such, brands that give this population the opportunity to become a part of their story in digital — to create and share — will have the most success when it comes creating meaningful relationships with people.
Hispanic influencers who communicate exclusively in Spanish tend to share more promotional and equity content than those who prefer to communicate in English, and even more still than General Population influencers. This presents an opportunity for marketers to utilize Spanish-language influencers to communicate brand messages in an authentic way.
General Population influencers demonstrate much more diversity in what motivates the types of content they share, while Hispanic influencers are primarily motivated by their shared cultural ties. Understanding the various mindsets of Hispanic influencers will help marketers frame the right approach, especially when developing Digital Word of Mouth (DWOM®) programs.

Brands who invest in truly understanding the unique passions, behaviors and motivations of Hispanic influencers will find the most success in reaching them in online spaces.
Hispanic Influencers & the Blogosphere

Hispanics view the digital landscape as a “Plaza del Pueblo” (town square) — a central place for the community to come together, talk, gossip, connect with like-minded people and share information and important content. Within traditional plaza del pueblo gatherings, the emergence of a person or group of people who are seen as conversation leaders is inevitable – the masses look to them to steer the discussion. This occurs in the digital space as well, where influencers take to the blogosphere to voice their opinions and lead conversation.

Hispanics are 37 percent more likely than the general population to publish a blog on a blogging platform or a social networking site, and 12 percent more likely to visit other blogs (Nielsen). Although still a smaller percentage of active online users as compared to general population (due to the smaller population size overall), they are more likely than their general population counterparts to be creators, as well as avid consumers of user-generated content (Forrester). Brands will want to take note of this population and its eagerness to engage and create in online spaces.

While the Hispanic online influencer community is still in its infancy and comprises a relatively small portion of the overall influencer landscape, sites such as Spanglishbaby, Latinaonamission and Papiblogger enjoy a robust following of active readers. This might be attributed to there being significantly fewer online outlets that Hispanics find culturally relevant.
Conversational Motivators

Although General Population influencers show a tremendous level of diversity in motivators, Hispanic influencers are primarily motivated by their shared cultural ties. Through our study, we found that Hispanic influencers express culture in four distinct ways – unique from general market influencers – which influence the kind of content they share and type of audience they attract.

Informative: The most prevalent motivator for Hispanic influencers to create and share content is to inform and educate their readers about their area of expertise (often focused on Hispanic themes), reflecting a sense of responsibility towards their audience. Hispanic influencers differ from General Population influencers in the informative tone they take when offering guidance on topics that help reconcile the duality of a Hispanic-American’s bicultural lifestyle. Topics in this area tend to address issues like cuisine, child raising techniques, language and even beauty rituals.

Creative: Similar to their general population counterparts, Hispanic influencers in a creative mindset are learning while they are blogging; they are improving their skills with cultural influences, past experiences and tips from other Hispanic bloggers and friends. The tone is lighter, more open, always evolving and somewhat uncertain compared to the informative standpoint.

Personal: Influencers communicating from a vulnerable perspective are usually seeking companionship from their readers by detailing their own life journey and struggles, in which assimilation and acculturation are often central components. Private lives are exposed, thus there is much talk of family and nostalgia. While many general population influencers also blog due to these types of motivations, Hispanic influencers’ areas of vulnerability are often tied to their experience as Hispanics, more so than their experiences as moms, cooks, husbands, professionals, etc.

Awareness: Influencers who are blogging in the “awareness” state of mind recognize social and cultural problems, breakthroughs and accomplishments of the Hispanic community and seek to spread awareness of these issues to their readers.

Understanding Hispanic influencers’ mindsets will help frame the right approach to engaging them, as many marketers seek to do through Digital Word of Mouth (DWOM®) programs. For example, the combination of a Creative and Informative voice is particularly common in food bloggers because they seek to educate the readers about Hispanic heritage through food, but are also personally trying to balance Hispanic culture and American lifestyle.
Language Preferences

An important aspect of Hispanic culture involves the conflict of linguistic duality. The differences between those who communicate in Spanish or in English are important to note when trying to reach this audience. Per our research, seventy-two percent of Hispanic influencers choose to communicate in English, as it has the potential to reach a greater audience. Not surprisingly, Hispanic audiences often choose to consume content in English, as they perceive it to be more robust and the information more regularly updated. A report from Advertising Age corroborates this statistic, finding that 71 percent of US Hispanics prefer to use English online.
Interestingly, Hispanic influencers who communicate exclusively in Spanish tend to share more promotional content and equity content, rather than intimately driven personal anecdotes, as compared to those who prefer English. Personal posts tend to center around writers’ experiences with their Hispanic heritage; because this does not need to be as much of a focus for those bloggers writing in Spanish, there is greater opportunity to incorporate promotional and equity content.

Brands can play an active role in Hispanic conversations online regardless of the language, but marketers should be mindful of the difference in the cultural perspective and the type of value exchange consumers are seeking relative to the language of the post.
Content Shared

Conversational motivators and language are important factors in determining how to communicate with Hispanic influencers and for understanding the content produced and the value expected by the Hispanic population. This audience predominately shares content that is highly personal in nature, centered on stories of their own families and spoken with a distinctly individual perspective. Promotional brand-sponsored content is also prevalent, which diverges from the tendencies of General Population influencers who shy away from brand-sponsored content.

Equity posts — or posts created to engage readers and inspire interactions with content (polls, questions etc.) — are less common. Corporate content, addressing the larger entity of the blog/platform itself, is not prevalent.
Furthermore, Hispanic influencers include photos in more than 54 percent of their posts and links in nearly 65 percent of their posts. Nearly a quarter of all posts include at least one photo or link that is brand-provided and/or drives back to a brand page. Roughly 33 percent of all images posted tie back to recipe creations, food in general and the ritual of a meal. This coincides with the cultural importance of meals, especially considering 22 percent of recipe photos come from influencer blogs and platforms where cooking and food are not the main topical focus.

A quarter of all links shared are of promotional nature, driving back to brand websites or specific products sites. Hispanic influencers also tend to link back to each other’s pages, which demonstrates the collegial nature of the community.
When it comes to content, Hispanic influencers find most inspiration in writing about topics such as family and parenting (specifically raising bicultural children) and cooking, which makes any CPG brand potentially relevant, valuable and easily incorporated into content. Ultimately, however, all of the topics are informed by the Hispanic culture and serve as a reflection of a constant need to resolve their dual identity, which spans across a multitude of product verticals, from fashion to finance.
Marketer Implications

As the Hispanic population continues to grow, marketers who pay more attention to cultural nuances and motivational drivers will have the most success in reaching them. Because it is a relatively small community, finding Hispanic influencers to work with can be challenging. This is true especially when narrowing the criteria further by content posted, language use, and readership size. However, because the number of brands that currently work with Hispanic influencers is still small, a clear opportunity exists to form strong and lasting relationships with them that can benefit your brand in both the short and long term.

Marketers who wish to capitalize on the growing power of Hispanic influencers should consider DWOM® outreach, involving influencers in content creation, and/or inviting them to participate in brand campaigns in some other meaningful way.
Methodology

360i compiled a list of 150 Hispanic Influencers generated through tools such as Cision, Radian 6 and Sysomos, as well as the leveraging of existing contacts to find established and emerging influencers onlinehe influence of each blogger was determined using tools such as Alexa.com, Quantcast.com, Compete.com, and Klout.com based on 360i’s accepted standards of online influence.

Analysts within 360i’s Insights and Planning group analyzed each influencer’s monthly content (avg. 10 posts per influencer). Within each post, the voice of the influencer and the type of content (such as specific photos and/or links) shared were qualified and analyzed.

The analysis consists of:
150 influencers
19% male, 81% female

20% Spanish-dominant, 72% English- dominant, 8% Bi-lingual

1,500 total posts analyzed