Now that we are well into the New Year, I thought it would be worthwhile to provide an update on the state of the Hispanic online market. Overall, the market continues to be rich and vibrant and the data points to a clear opportunity for online marketers in 2012.
Narrowing Digital Divide
Most importantly, the digital divide appears to be narrowing. In January 2012, there were 33.5 million Hispanics online, or a full 15% of the total US online market. Compare this to the 2010 US Census that pegs the Hispanic population at 16% of the total US population. What’s more, the Hispanic online market is growing three times faster than the general market online. Based on this trend, it is likely that Hispanics will over-index in terms of online penetration in the relatively near future.
Not only do Hispanics make up an important part of the US online market, their demographic characteristics are compelling for marketers as online Hispanics are more likely to be in the key household formation process. A quick comparison between online Hispanics and non-Hispanics illustrates this point:
• 59% of online Hispanics are under 35 compared to 50% of non-Hispanics
• 65% of online Hispanics have children vs. 57% of non-Hispanics
• 28% of online Hispanics have 5+ persons in the household vs. 24% of non-Hispanics
Although online Hispanics earn less than non-Hispanics they are relatively affluent when compared to the aggregate Hispanic market. 60% of online Hispanics earn more than $40,000 per year and a solid 25% earn more than $75,000.
Growth in Bilingual and Spanish Language Online Usage
It is a fact that there is a relative lack of Spanish language content online and Hispanics, regardless of language preference, tend to consume more online content in English. Today, 53% of online Hispanics say that they use the Internet primarily in English with 28% indicating they use it in both English and Spanish with the remaining 19% using the Internet primarily in Spanish. What’s interesting is that the growth in Bilingual and Spanish language usage of the Internet is far outpacing English language usage as shown below. I anticipate that this trend will continue in the near future as more Spanish content is developed and more Spanish preferring Hispanics come online.
Continued Hispanic Passion for Social Media
Online Hispanics continue to be heavy users of social media driven by their relative youth, need to stay connected with family and friends within and outside of the US and desire to create and consume culturally relevant content in English or Spanish. Not only are Hispanics over indexing in their usage of established platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, they are also flocking to new platforms such as Google +, Tumblr and Pinterest.
Now that you have read this post, I am sure you will agree that online Hispanics should be part of your 2012 plans.