flags of different countriesInternet marketing and outreach has become more complex with the proliferation of technologies like content management systems, expanding social media platforms, the expanding use of mobile, and search engine updates to ensure a more complete user experience. Though these topics get a lot of attention from online professionals, multilingual audiences are not necessarily a focus.  This must change to remain relevant in an increasingly multicultural and multilingual marketplace.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 52 million Hispanics in the U.S. with 33.5 million active online users.  That’s 64% of Hispanics in the U.S. that actively use the internet.  This might be explained by The Nielsen Company statistics that state that 60% of Hispanics are 35 or younger, with 75% younger than 45. Hispanics accounted for 50% of growth for the period of 2000 to 2011, and will constitute 60% of growth from 2011 to 2016. This is important to note because Hispanics are the largest minority in the U.S., and the largest minority with a second language focus for marketers. 

The Selig Center for Economic Growth projects Hispanic buying power to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015. U.S. advertisers have responded by allotting $5.7 billion for Spanish media. However, there is still a gap in online advertising, with the majority of dollars spent on traditional media like television and magazines. This should be seen as an opportunity for online strategists that are seeking growth, particularly for mobile.  Three statistics from the Nielsen study come to mind that should crystallize this point:

  • Hispanics are three times more likely to have mobile access, but not have internet access at home.
  • Hispanics are 28% more likely to own a smartphone than non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Hispanics outpace other minorities in mobile digital consumption, having 8% higher bills than the general population.

The Nielsen study also makes some great points on language preferences of U.S. Hispanics.  Only 15% of U.S. Hispanics speak only English.  That’s a lost opportunity on 85% of the marketplace.  However, if you’re like me, acculturated, and speak mostly English, you still take note of advertisers that make a serious effort to reach my demographic.  This means that you can’t assume that English only advertising will be effective in reaching even the 7.8 million English-only Hispanics in the US.  Deciding to take on a multilingual strategy for your online outreach is a strong decision, but one that requires careful planning and direction.

To learn more about how you can adapt your website content more broadly, join us for our next webinar on April 30th, "Digital Globalization Best Practices".