In-Language Hispanic Online Marketing

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Hispanic online marketing does not have to be executed Spanish

On the surface, the issue of language in the field of Hispanic online marketing may seem quite simple. Most marketers assume that Hispanic equals Spanish. What’s more, they often assume that the way to deliver Spanish content is via translation. Although a Spanish-only strategy executed via translation may be an appropriate tactic in some cases, it is critical to understand the language preferences of online Hispanics and to develop a strategy for developing culturally relevant content in order to most effectively communicate with this unique audience.

The data is clear, online Hispanics use the Internet in both English and Spanish. This fact supports the first Hispanic online marketing best practice, for marketers looking to target the aggregate U.S. Hispanic online market, it is a best practice to use both English and Spanish.

Bilingual is best for marketing to online Hispanics

A bilingual website for the U.S. Hispanic market has many advantages for marketers and users alike. First, by providing your site in both languages you are giving consumers the choice of which language they want to interact with your site in. What’s more, this strategy allows you to reach all online Hispanics, regardless of their language preference. In addition, some cultural nuances are important to consider when offering a Website in both languages. Online Hispanics will compare English-language and Spanish-language Websites to ensure that they are getting the same experience in both languages. Furthermore, bilingual websites play a critical roll in English language education and addressing family bilingualism. Online Hispanics can navigate between English and Spanish websites as a way to learn the English language. Another interesting fact is that many Hispanic families are bilingual, with older members of the family preferring Spanish and younger members English. A bilingual website will allow bilingual families to experience your website, as a family, in English and Spanish. By providing a Hispanic online experience in both English and Spanish, you will send a strong signal to the U.S. Hispanic market that you are investing in them. This investment will be rewarded by loyalty and positive word of mouth, which is especially important online.

For examples of bilingual U.S. Hispanic websites visit www.GobiernoUSA.gov, www.miallstate.com and www.crsespanol.org.

Which Spanish should be used for online Hispanics?

Now that we have identified the use of both English and Spanish as a best practice in reaching the aggregate Hispanic online market, we will turn to the question of whether to localize Spanish content for the diverse subgroups that make up the U.S. Hispanic market. The U.S. Hispanic market is made of people from many Spanish-speaking countries and as a result, U.S. Hispanics speak several dialects of Spanish.

Effectively marketing to such a diverse population of Spanish speakers is a challenging task. If your strategy is to communicate with the entire U.S. Hispanic market, using a very generic Spanish that avoids colloquialisms–what is commonly referred to as pan-regional Spanish–is the best approach. On the other hand, if your Hispanic online marketing strategy is intended for a regional audience you may want to consider using localized Spanish from a specific country. For example, if your company serves only customers in Southern California, using a localized Mexican Spanish may be a good tactic for your Spanish-language site.

Hispanic online content techniques, translation, transcreation or original copy development?

When it comes to producing quality Spanish-language content, the best strategy is original Spanish copy written specifically for the U.S. Hispanics online market. This approach will yield the most-relevant Spanish content that has the highest likelihood of connecting with this audience. That being said, Spanish language content can also be developed through translation or transcreation. Leveraging existing content in many cases makes sense and in the case of translation, it is important to work with professional translators who have experience in the U.S. Hispanic online market and expertise in your company’s subject matter. Companies can also employ a hybrid of original content creation and translation, a process commonly referred to as transcreation. Transcreation is the process of taking translated content and adapting to for cultural relevance for the U.S. Hispanic market. At the end of the day, it is imperative to develop a Spanish language content strategy that addresses the needs of your audience, leverages existing assets and is optimized to best communicate with online Hispanics.

In this article we covered the best practice of in-language Hispanic online marketing. The appropriate language strategy is crucial in communicating effectively with the Hispanic online market but language is only one facet of marketing communications. Although language communicates, cultural relevance connects. In order to develop culturally relevant experiences for the U.S. Hispanics online market, consider the Hispanic online marketing best practice of “In-culture”.

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