According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011, 12.9 percent of American households spoke Spanish in the home. That accounts for 37.6 million people, making the United States the 5th largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. But what does this mean for business? This means there is a large number of Spanish-speaking potential consumers in the U.S. market, and many American have begun taking steps to tap into this vast market.
Spanish Search Engine Optimization
Marketers today know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for directing web traffic to a company’s products. By using key words from common search phrases, marketers compete to draw web traffic to their web sites, increasing leads and online exposure. While SEO for English-language search phrases is steeped in competition, many business have decided to target the 37.6 million “niche” market of Spanish-speaking consumers by writing online SEO content for Spanish keywords.
While Spanish SEO search phrases are under less competition than their English counter-parts, there are many challenges to writing for the diverse Spanish market. For one thing, Spanish varies significantly from one country to the next, and because the United States’ Latino population originates from many countries, it is difficult to write content that will reach all segments of the market. A business marketing to U.S. Spanish-speakers therefore must involve a person– or people– from the region that they are targeting to ensure the Spanish is written correctly for the intended market.
Spanish Search Engine Marketing
Businesses targeting consumers via Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaigns have also changed their tactics to confront the Spanish-speaking market in the the U.S. In many Spanish-speaking households, it is likely that their browser settings are in Spanish, the language they are most comfortable using. Therefore, when businesses start a SEM campaign using services such as Google AdWords, they have recognized the importance of including the Spanish-speaking market by adjusting their language targeting to include Spanish as well as English. This will help capture a large lucrative segment of the market that may have otherwise been ignored if the settings were set to only English.
Best Buy is an example of a company that has translated its web site into Spanish, and profited by being able to better serve the Hispanic market. According to their findings, Spanish-speaking users spend an average of twice as much time on the site and spend twice a much money as English-speaking users.
To translate the site for Spanish audiences, Best Buy employed a web translator service. Instead of relying algorithms provided by companies such as Google, many of these services hires human translators to ensure the marketing and product content is not garbled or unintelligible.
Spanish broadcast advertising
In 2012, Ford marked a major step for Spanish-language television advertising by running the first Spanish ad on an English-broadcasting network during a the NBA finals. The inclusion of Miami Heat in the finals played a role in the decision due to the fact that the team’s fan base includes many Hispanics, but the moment still marked a turning point as the Spanish-speaking market takes an increasingly center role for businesses trying to attract niche consumer markets. The ad was meant to “cut through the clutter” for Spanish-speakers viewing the game. While the ad was targeted to Spanish-speakers, the commercial featured English-subtitles to not alienate English-speaking audience.
Alvaro Cabal, Multicultural Communications Manager for Ford, told Fox New Latino that his company ran the ad “because it makes sense.”
This article was contributed by Richard Craft, an MBA student who hopes to help you and your business succeed. He writes this on behalf of International Port Security Inc., your number one choice when looking for help with your business’ security. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!