The U.S. Hispanic consumer audience is a thriving pulse of American culture, boasting 63.6 million consumers with over $1.7 trillion in buying power. But despite this consumer segment’s size and influence, this audience is often underserved by marketers that fail to create campaigns that truly resonate—or fail to specifically target this audience at all.
So the question is: How can marketers tap into the Hispanic consumer audience and create campaigns that make an impact?
First of all: Who is the Hispanic consumer?
As mentioned above, there are 63.6 million Hispanic consumers in the U.S., and this population is projected to compose 30% of the United States’ population by 2050. But who, exactly, is the Hispanic consumer?
The first thing to understand is the difference between the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino”. At its simplest, the term “Hispanic” applies to language—it refers to anyone with Spanish-speaking origin, including Spain. And the term “Latino”, “Latina” or “Latinx” refers to anyone with Latin American heritage, including Brazil.
Second, Hispanic consumers often have strong cultural ties—but they’re not all the same. There are over 22 countries in which Spanish is primarily spoken, and according to Pew Research Center, most Hispanics in the U.S. prefer to identify with their country of origin. Understanding the broad cultural nuances and differences within the umbrella of the Hispanic consumer audience is key to creating messages that resonate instead of alienate.
And third, the preferences and outlooks of Hispanic consumers can vary by generation. Older generations are more likely to consume and trust Spanish-only print, television and radio content. Younger generations, on the other hand, are more likely to bridge the gap between Latino culture and American culture. Young Hispanic consumers are more likely than their older counterparts to primarily consume English-speaking news and media.
Here are five strategies used by leading brands and agencies to create authentic, meaningful Hispanic advertising campaigns that engage their target audiences.
1. Integrate Spanish into your campaigns
For a bicultural or second-generation audience, consider integrating Spanish into your primarily-English Hispanic advertising campaigns. Use Spanish words, phrases, or quotes to appeal to an audience that speaks both languages fluently.
Patrick Carver, CEO of Constellation Marketing, shares that, “A key strategy we’ve used for numerous clients is to create bilingual content. There are thousands of people searching in foreign languages on a daily basis. Bilingual search keywords are also much less competitive than English keywords!”
When done right, integrating Spanish words and phrases is extremely effective in making the Hispanic consumer audience feel understood—resulting in higher engagement and sales.
Example: The 2015 #SinTraducción campaign from Target. The campaign, which celebrated good times with friends and family, used the slogan, “without translation”, was expanded upon by usage of untranslatable Spanish words like “sobremesa”. The campaign resonated with the Latino community, and the hashtag encouraged the sharing of more untranslatable words.
2. If you’re using Spanish, use it at every touchpoint
As we’ve mentioned before, the Hispanic consumer market is diverse and that includes language preferences. According to Refuel Agency Hispanic Explorer Series™, 55% of Hispanic consumers are bilingual, 28% speak only Spanish, and 16% speak only English. Given these percentages, incorporating Spanish into your campaigns or running separate campaigns in Spanish will help you reach your audience.
However, if you choose to advertise in Spanish, it’s only going to be effective if your landing pages are in Spanish, too. Make sure that you align the languages in your campaigns so Hispanic consumers have a consistent experience across channels. Ideally, the Spanish language should carry from you ads all the way to an internal Spanish-speaking team member to answer any customer questions.
Marketing manager Brack Nelson adds that, “The same is true for mobile phone orders and support. For example, pressing ‘Numero Dos’ for Spanish on your phone keypad is helpful only if there is a Spanish-speaking representative on the other end.”
Choosing to incorporate Spanish into your campaigns can help you better reach your target audience—but make sure that the language is consistent across channels to avoid losing them along the way.
3. Employ digital tactics for a digital-heavy consumer segment
Hispanic consumers often outperform the general population in their adoption and usage of digital media—and brands should take notice. For example, according to Refuel’s Hispanic Explorer Series, Hispanic consumers are 30% more likely to use any social media than the general population and 60% indicate that they get their news from social media (followed closely by Hispanic broadcast and Hispanic newspaper).
Hispanic consumers are also over 50% more likely to use any video streaming service and 41% more likely to use any music streaming service.
4. Hyper-target your audience with localized media
At Refuel Agency, our proprietary media networks and exclusive publisher relationships offer you the ability to hyper-target your target audience with localized print and out-of-home media in high-traffic areas. Weaving your campaign into these high-traffic areas of Hispanic consumers’ lives increases trust in your brand and brand exposure in strategic, targeted locations.
And according to Refuel’s Hispanic Explorer Series, 44% of Hispanic consumers trust Hispanic newspapers, while only 18% trust a non-Hispanic newspapers. Additionally, 54% of Hispanic consumers trust Hispanic broadcast and 33% trust Hispanic websites. Placing your ad campaigns in channels that resonate with Hispanic consumers will make your campaigns stand out from your competitors—and Refuel has the exclusive relationships to help you achieve your goals.
5. Incorporate aspects of Hispanic culture—authentically
Research shows that Hispanic consumers respond well to advertisements that feature aspects of their culture—accurately. According to Refuel’s Hispanic Explorer Series, 61% of Hispanic consumers indicated that they pay attention to ads that are relevant to them. Of course, when creating your ads, avoid stereotypes and cliches. Instead, involve the Hispanic community in the creative process to ensure your message will come across as authentic.
Example: AT&T’s “Mobile Movement” campaign. For this campaign, AT&T partnered with Virtue to create a campaign targeting Hispanic millennials. The campaign used a playful tone, Spanglish, and real Hispanic millennials instead of actors. As Spencer Baim of Vice told AdAge, “Rather than have AT&T talk, we have the generation talk to themselves.”
6. Support causes that matter to the Hispanic community
Consumers care about causes, and they expect brands to care, too. According to Refuel’s Cause Explorer Series, consumers are both more likely to support your brand if it supports a cause, and more likely to stop purchasing from your brand if they suspect you aren’t living up to their standards.
According to Refuel’s Cause Explorer Series:
- 62.4% of Hispanic consumers care about racial equality
- 52.7% care about mental health/suicide
- 49% care about COVID-19
- And 42% care about education
Investing in cause marketing campaigns and being open about your brand’s values transforms Hispanic consumers’ perception of your brand, and increases brand loyalty. Consumers want to feel both that your brand both offers a quality product or service, and that your brand is actively trying to make the world a better place.
Are you ready to get your Hispanic advertising campaigns off the ground? At Refuel Agency, we’ve been crafting strategic Hispanic advertising campaigns for over 30 years, and we’re invested in ensuring your campaigns make an impact. Contact us today to get started.