Bolder Thinking Blog

Social audience strategies: Marketing to Hispanics

August 9th, 2021 | Amanda Vitrano

As brands aim to target this growing demographic on social media, it’s imperative they understand what resonates with Hispanics, going beyond language.

As this demographic grows, their influence on social media follows

Hispanic consumers gravitate toward legacy platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. However, platforms that offer short video content, like TikTok, are gaining traction.

According to Mintel research on marketing to Hispanic Millennials, 28% of Hispanics fall within Mintel’s Marketing Acceptors segment—meaning they “overwhelmingly believe that brands’ marketing efforts across channels get their attention,” proving that social has a significant impact on influencing purchase decisions.

Hispanic content defined as posts including relevant keywords and phrases within text, video, or image. Source: Comperemedia Omni [01/01/2020-12/31/2020] as of 07/20/2021

When it comes to messaging strategies, relevance goes beyond language

As the median age of Hispanic Americans decreases, the preference in language from Spanish to English increases. However, with at least half reported being bilingual, any brand targeting Gen X and Boomer Hispanics may find it beneficial to incorporate targeted Spanish language messaging as a means to break through the clutter, so long as the message is authentic.

The partnership between McDonald’s and J Balvin is a prime example of a brand integrating Spanish into a campaign authentically:

Spotlight on the financial services industry

Coming off the heels of the pandemic, quality and affordability are more important than ever. The wealth gap among minorities in the U.S. is growing and brands have the opportunity to address this in a meaningful way.

Economic disparity goes beyond standard wealth metrics. Hispanics are paying higher banking fees on average

A survey conducted by Bankrate found that Hispanic checking account holders, on average, pay $14 per month in banking fees, compared to $5 paid by White respondents. Similarly, 79% of White respondents paid $0 in monthly banking fees compared to only 50% of Hispanics.

The higher fees paid by Hispanics can be broadly attested to three factors:

  • ATM fees due to limited access of in-network ATMs
  • Minimum balance fees
  • Account overdraft fees

When it comes to insurance, customer service and policy terms are top of mind for Hispanic consumers

According to Mintel research on marketing to Hispanic Millennials, Hispanic consumers place the quality of customer service highest when choosing a provider (57%). While non-Hispanic consumers place brand reputation in second place, Hispanic consumers ranked policy terms as the second most important factor (47%).

Insurers looking to connect with Hispanic consumers should focus on affordable coverage that’s easy and straightforward while also touting 24/7 customer service.

In 2020, brands used Hispanic heritage month to connect to this audience

While many brands used Hispanic Heritage Month to show their support for the Hispanic community, some brands used it as a time to reflect on the year and announce initiatives or educate customers on its importance.

Financial Services doubled the amount of owned social Hispanic messaging in 2020, compared to 2018 & 2019 combined.

Ellevest used Hispanic Heritage Month to shed light on the racial and gender pay gap that Latinx women face

Ellevest informed followers that Latinx women would make an extra $1.1M in their lifetime if they were paid fairly. The brand used its platform to feature career trailblazers, business founders, and women fighting for equality.

However, Ellevest should carefully consider its use of descriptors: Latinx, Latina, and Hispanic Women to ensure their message is resonating.

Chase tackled economic disparity in a bold way

Last year during Hispanic Heritage Month, Chase announced additional funding to its Our Path Forward initiative. While the impact is substantial, it missed the mark to recognize the individual desire of Hispanics.

Hispanics don’t want to be eternal renters, as homeownership is a sign of success in America. Rather than stressing rental unit opportunities, CSR endeavors that highlight increased homeownership and long-term wealth for Hispanic communities can be authentic and rewarding.

Varo provided resources in the form of infographs throughout the month to highlight the significance of Hispanic Heritage Month

Varo is known for its commitment to educating consumers on owned social channels. During Hispanic Month in 2020, they produced a series of informational carousels on Instagram.

Because Varo makes a year-round effort to create products that serve the needs of the Hispanic community, this messaging strategy is highly relevant for the brand, receiving an engagement rate of 0.58%, 48 basis points higher than BMO Harris’ HHM post.

What we think

Authenticity is the most sought-after, yet rarely understood, component of a brand’s messaging strategy. It boils down to this: It should not only be left to marketing to sell a generic product to specific demographics. The unique needs of Hispanics should be considered at the forefront of research and development to help fuel product marketing.

Instead of asking these questions:

“How can I attract more Hispanic consumers to my brand?”

“What channel mix reaches the highest percentage of Hispanics?”

Try these instead:

“What are the needs and wants of Hispanics that my portfolio isn’t addressing?”

“How can I enhance existing products to meet these needs?”

Amanda Vitrano

Amanda Vitrano

Amanda is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst with Comperemedia, specializing in social media and omnichannel marketing trends.