One of our favorite things about our clinics is the quality questions from our audiences. Many times those questions go on to become the inspiration for future clinics, or even blog posts. Like this one.
This is the first in a three-part series of posts with answers to some of the most frequently asked and challenging questions from our March 25th clinic on optimizing Spanish-language landing pages.
Q: What percentage of the Hispanic population in the US looks for content in Spanish?
A: According to a recent Marketing Vox article that quoted an Ipsos Omnibus study, almost 40% of U.S. Hispanics ages 18-34, 42% of all Hispanic women, and 29% of all Hispanic men prefer Spanish-language websites. Another study from Florida State University published in MediaPost indicates that among social networking site users, about 43% of U.S. Hispanics that visit social networking sites more than two or three times per month (as well as those that visit MySpace or Facebook regularly) prefer Spanish. Interestingly, the same study finds that among Hispanic respondents over 35 who visit social networking sites more than two or three times per month, the language preference is almost evenly split between English and Spanish.
Q: Are there Spanish language search engines we need to be aware of? Where do Hispanics search on the web? What are the top 5 visited sites? What about B2B?
A: Best Spanish Language Sites offers curious marketers a chance to explore the features of search engines targeted directly to Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. The focus of these engines seems to be to promote local or regional businesses or highlight sites that are storehouses of cultural information for specific countries.
The question “where do Hispanics search on the web?” could be interpreted in two ways. The first is an inquiry as to which search engines Hispanics use.
Recently, the homepage of HispanicMarket Weekly was dominated by a banner proclaiming that Yahoo is the number one search engine for Hispanics, visited by 75% of Hispanic users. However, according to a 2008 Advertising Age study, Google is the preferred search tool for 82% of the 14 million Spanish-speakers currently online.
That same study identifies the top five websites for Hispanic viewers as YahooTelemundo.com, Univision.com, StarMedia.com, Batanga.com, and MSNLatino.com. It also reported that Hispanics make up 19% of the population on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook and more than 20% of the blogosphere (readers and writers).
Where Hispanics search on the web could also be interpreted as an inquiry about what products and services Hispanics are looking to purchase. A recent Experian study suggests that one future area of growth is banking and financial planning. Hispanics, possibly in congruence with their increasing affluence, are beginning to do more long-term planning for expensive purchases and express an interest in developing more financial savvy.
Big box stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club have Hispanic-focused initiatives that may inspire smaller businesses to try and capture their share of the Hispanic interest in lifestyle purchases such as electronics, cars, and organic foodstuffs. In addition, Vista Latino reports the median age of Hispanic shoppers online is 26, an age where people are often transitioning to a more family-oriented lifestyle. Marketers who focus on products geared toward children and families might begin their preparations for Spanish-language pages now in order to ride the rising tide of interest in family-friendly products.
B2B industries that want to reach the Hispanic market would do well to stay on top of news and trends relating to Hispanic leadership and Hispanic owned businesses. Publications like HispanicBusiness.com and Hispanic Market Weekly provide weekly updates. The long sales cycles of B2B offer plenty of opportunity for relationship building. In that scenario, a strong cultural awareness could be a key building block in establishing a positive client-provider relationship.
Join us for the next post in our series, addressing the clinic audience’s questions about grammar, usage, and dialect.