Hispanic Digital Predictions for 2017


Another year is coming to a close, and with it another leap forward in Hispanic digital marketing. As we finalize 2017 plans for our clients, we think the coming year is poised to push the Hispanic digital marketing industry to even greater heights.

Here are the key themes we think will be huge for Hispanic digital in 2017:

Mobile 2.0

By now, you should know that reaching Hispanics via mobile is a must.  In 2017 this will be even more true as mobile technology evolves in the areas of messaging and geo-location.

Marketers now have access to messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Messaging apps are extremely popular among Hispanics, in fact a whopping 46.5% of U.S. WhatsApp users are Hispanics.  Hispanics love messaging apps because they are young, tech savvy and use them to stay in touch with family and friends often in Latin America.  Savvy marketers will find ways to get their messages in front of Hispanics where they communicate most.

Google is also getting more granular with location-based analytics for mobile devices, introducing two new reports to help measure the digital-to-retail path to purchase. These new analytics tools have the potential to be used to measure the impact digital campaigns have on in-store traffic which is critical for U.S. Hispanics who “are significantly more engaged throughout the entire shopper journey, both online and offline” according to a recent IRi study.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

The Pokémon Go phenomenon opened the door for Virtual and Augmented Reality to be ushered into the mainstream, but where does that leave marketers? Questions of measurement and scalability abound, but one thing we do know: Hispanics will be at the forefront. As noted in this recent MediaPost column, 54% of Hispanics are interested in purchasing a VR product compared to just 44% of Caucasians. A 2015 study by Greenlight VR and Touchstone Research substantiates the fact that Hispanics are early adopters of VR, finding that 43% are “aware and excited for VR” compared to just 30% of Caucasians. Marketers can count on cultural relevance to connect with U.S. Hispanics – even in virtual reality.

Video, Video, Video

One big takeaway from 2016 is that if your digital advertising is not moving, it’s probably being ignored. Earlier this year, MediaPost reported that U.S. digital video advertising is on pace to nearly double by 2019, with mobile spearheading the growth. That pace is likely to continue with new real-time video offerings from Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.

Snapchat has already moved toward better ad targeting including the ability to reach Hispanics, and last month Facebook quietly tested ads for its Facebook Live content. Hispanics not only over index in online video viewing, (especially via their mobile devices), their attention is being diverted from TV. A study by Yahoo and Ipsos found that among U.S. Hispanics, “TV viewership fell by 7% from 2014 to 2015, but time spent on mobile video has increased by 53%.”  An August 2016 study by Google found that “more Hispanics watch YouTube than any other cable network in the U.S.” and “53% are more likely to watch ads on their smartphones vs. the general population.”

Brands looking to connect with online Hispanics should see video, in all forms, as a huge opportunity.

AdWords Becomes More Spanish Friendly

We rejoiced when we learned about Google’s plans for expanded text ads in AdWords. Marketers will get two 30-character headlines and one 80-character description. According to Google, “Expanded text ads are optimized for the screen sizes of the most popular smartphones.”  We would add that expanded text ads are also optimized for the Spanish language.

Spanish is roughly 30% longer than English, so at times it can be tough to communicate via Spanish language paid search. With the new expanded text ads, Spanish ads will be more impactful which is key as Google reaches 94% of all online Hispanics.

We saw incredible growth across the Hispanic digital marketing industry in 2016, and we’re excited to see where the upcoming year takes us. What are your predictions for Hispanic digital marketing in 2017?

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