3 Tips for Reaching US Hispanics Online

It should come as no surprise to anyone working in digital or conventional marketing that Hispanics are an extraordinarily important and growing demographic.

How can marketers reach Hispanics effectively? Longtime marketers know that using demographic profiling to generate conversions for your website is good, but using psychographic profiles is better and should be considered when building a digital market strategy.

Here are three psychographic tips and examples of how companies can reach Hispanics. Generally brand loyal, Hispanics value word-of-mouth and over-research before making purchase decisions online.

1. Use Referrals to reach hispanics. All internet users display a variety of behaviors when researching, shopping or merely browsing. Some researchers use a model made popular by marketing thought leader Bryan Eisenberg where the speed of the decision and the level of emotion or logic used by the visitor are tied together. Online buyers generally fall into one of four psychographic profiles, ranging from humanistic (make slow decisions using their heart), competitive (make fast decisions using their brain), spontaneous (make fast decisions using their heart) and methodical (make slow decisions using their brain). While everyone has their personal tendencies online, research shows that Hispanics respond very well to a human touch or a humanistic segment. They like referrals, to know who else of the connected world is purchasing, and recommendations of a product or service.

The effectiveness of this medium actually manifests itself online, increasingly more via product rating sites and social marketing tools like Facebook’s “Like” button. One of the easiest application programming interfaces to integrate into almost any part of a website is the Like button. More advanced users can use crowdsourcing product review sites like Yelp or Amazon. Media companies, service companies and distributors can all take advantage of this feature.

2. Drive trial and reward Hispanics with culturally sensitive messaging. Hispanics are known to be brand loyal. This opens opportunities such as cross-promotion across several brands, whether they’re run by a single company or built through strategic partnerships. Presented with engaging content, Hispanic consumers are perfectly happy not only returning to but also becoming actively engaged with a website through things such as comments and social network sharing.

Use email alerts and updates to draw your Hispanic customers back to your website. Once you’ve earned their trust, they’re prepared to engage in meaningful communications and are generally willing to respond to surveys, customer reviews and offer feedback. Encouraging registration with your site can be quite helpful in building up these brand/consumer relationships through preferred offerings, newsletters, among other things. Use email marketing tools, mobile applications and a solid analytics tool to track return visitors and time between visits to compare Hispanic users against your index. Once you’ve identified those visitors who are influencers, offer them rewards, discounts and promotions.

3. Promote tools to make decision making easier. Finally, digital marketers would be wise to focus resources on reaching Hispanics not only because of their growing size, but also because the demographic has shown itself to be quite open to online media.

AOL recently conducted a study about Hispanic internet usage that revealed 72 percent of online Hispanics trust product rating sites. While they value word-of-mouth and referrals, Hispanics in the middle class and above do their homework online before making major purchase decisions. The trend towards more reliance on digital sphere shows no signs of slowing down as younger, more English-dominant and increasingly more tech-savvy generations of Hispanics continue to enter the marketplace and make their presence felt.

Hispanics trust brands and their corresponding tools that can aid them in making smart product selections. For example, a product configuration tool (Home Depot’s fence configuration tool is a good example), product recommendation tool (Fidelity’s investment tools section has several examples) or any questionnaire that leads to a recommendation (www.LongevityReady.com from Long-Term Care Quote) will be a valuable tool for your Hispanic users.

Finally, let me add a small note about language. Marketers interested in reaching Hispanics in the middle class or higher don’t need to translate websites into Spanish or Portuguese. However, having these language options available indicates your recognition of their presence and is a nice tip of the hat towards acknowledging the importance of the Hispanic market.

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Paul Lima

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