Media Planning & Buying

US Hispanics Poised to Create Major Opportunity for Digital Advertisers

February 20, 2014

Hispanics are becoming an increasingly important audience for digital advertisers. In addition to being the youngest and fastest growing demographic in the US, they are also more likely to use mobile devices and are spending the most money online.

Hispanics are often highly engaged with brands’ social content – and from a media standpoint, they are also more receptive to advertising. In this post, we’ll outline the opportunity for digital advertisers and best practices for those ready to dive in.

Understanding the Hispanic consumer in digital

There are currently 53 million people who identify as Hispanic in the US (17 percent of the total population). In addition to comprising a sizeable – and growing – segment of the population, Hispanics are more technologically inclined than their non-Hispanic counterparts.

Here are some key attributes of Hispanics in digital:

  • Hispanics are digital first-movers. They are more likely to report that they will try new technology first, and as a result are more likely to own smartphones and tablets. Like most people who love their gadgets, Hispanics are using them to stay connected— and the devices become especially meaningful if their family and friends reside in other countries. Being connected to loved ones is important to this group, and many Hispanics are using VoIP providers to stay in touch (source: Microsoft Report, May 2013).
  • Hispanics are a growing demographic with a growing purchasing power, something that should be of particular interest to retailers. The vast majority of US Hispanics are shopping online, and they spend an average of $12 more per transaction than their non-Hispanic counterparts (source: Yahoo! Report, October 2013). Moreover, roughly 40 percent of money spent by Hispanics comes from those earning $50-100K per year, a share that is likely to increase in the coming years.
  • They are also astute digital shoppers. Hispanics often research products before they purchase, and are twice as likely to reach out to their friends and family while shopping. The desire to see the product in-store may be part of the research process, or it could stem from a distrust of online shopping and the postal service in certain Latin American countries. Hispanics are more than twice as likely as non-Hispanics to look up products on their phone, making it highly likely that they are researching while in the store as well. (source: Forrester Report via Microsoft, 2013)

Hispanics are more likely to make purchases on-the-go with mobile devices.

  • Hispanics are often more receptive to advertising than the general population. Advertising is more likely to be cited as a resource by Hispanics than other groups. They are 59 percent more likely to click on banner and search ads, and 86 percent more likely to watch branded videos (source: Forrester Report via Microsoft, 2013). Advertising often leads to purchase, or helps them decide what to buy.
  • Brands are important to Hispanics. Hispanics tend to buy products that align themselves with an image, so marketers will want to keep the brand’s image in mind while developing creative for this audience. Nearly three-quarters of Hispanics believe that owning the best brand is important, and a third of them are willing to pay more for their preferred brand (source: Forrester Report via Microsoft, 2013).

How marketers use online media to reach Hispanics

Given US Hispanics’ growing size and purchasing power – in combination with their general receptiveness for all things digital (including advertising) – the opportunity is ripe for brands to more effectively reach them via online media.

Here are some best practices for marketers to follow when conducting digital media campaigns tailored to US Hispanics:

  • Use appropriate language targeting. US Hispanics are a multifaceted and fragmented group with varying levels of acculturation, ages, psychographics, language proficiency and demos. As such, it’s important to determine exactly what target within the Hispanic audience your brand is looking to connect with and develop a campaign that speaks directly to them.
    Hispanics who are most comfortable using Spanish can be found on Latin American sites, and marketers can further target United States-based IP addresses to reach only US Hispanics across those destinations. Being cognizant of the consumer’s state of mind is also important when determining whether language targeting should be used. For example, bilingual Hispanics are more likely to use Spanish for family and cultural events, whereas English is used in more formal settings. For further reading, see 360i’s report on the topic: “Language Preference Among Digital Hispanics.”
  • Leverage behavioral targeting to reach Hispanics who visit a mix of Spanish and English websites, regardless of the language of the page the ad is being served on. English-speaking Hispanics are more difficult to segment out from other US-based English speakers, but can often be found on Hispanic interest sites that are in English, such as Huffington Post Latino Voices.
  • Align digital media strategy with Hispanics’ expressed online behaviors. In addition to advertising on price comparison and review sites, purchasing placements on communication hubs like Skype can be a smart investment for the advertiser who wants to reach Hispanics where they are already spending time. Hispanics’ increased likelihood to visit a product in-store and also do research on their mobile devices makes location-based mobile advertising particularly valuable.

Advertising to US Hispanics will become more and more important as their population and buying power grows. Getting in the game earlier rather than later, and crafting a digital media plan with US Hispanics in mind (where appropriate) will help set brands up for success before the Hispanic audience is too large to ignore.

Cover photo via Huffington Post Latino Voices