Publishers of online media targeting Hispanics are scrambling to keep up with one another as they add new content and features in an effort to capture more advertising dollars and attract new visitors to their sites.
Of course, this year’s World Cup was a catalyst for all sorts of related advertising initiatives. Impremedia, the publisher of 5 large Hispanic newspapers, whose website average over seven million page-views per month by about 1.7 million unique users, created a micro-site devoted to the event which helped to drive more traffic to their sites. In support of the World Cup, Impremedia also developed a game for Best Buy where users could speculate on the winners of the various matches and, if correct, be eligible to win prizes.
Of course, one goal shared by all online publishers is expanding their audiences, and relies on how one pitches their product. According to Natasha Funk, “To our consumer base and potential audience, Terra differentiates itself by providing a strong content offering from original, exclusive and syndicated sources. To our advertisers, Terra differentiates itself by offering unique partnership opportunities, leveraging the best in technological targeting capabilities, web design support and strong emphasis on our proprietary research capabilities.”
Another key aspect of expansion is developing new content and features to keep the user engaged. One hot area in the coming year is enhanced video content options. Rafael Urbina, CEO of Batanga, notes that Batanga is set to launch a new version of its website in October that further integrates music and video content, allowing users to “tag” music videos for subsequent search-compatibility. For instance one might tag a Shakira video “sexy” and when another user types in the term, the video will appear as one of the search results. In an attempt to tap into another widespread Latino passion – automobiles – Batanga is also developing a space where users can upload photos and information about the cars they drive.
One of Terra’s most important initiatives in the coming year is the expansion of its video content channel, Terra TV. The channel will feature exclusive, syndicated and original content, including things like an auto show from Monaco and world class soccer coverage.
QuePasa is also moving forward in the video content realm, having released its first e-telenovela, “Alamo Heights,” in late August. CEO Eric Rayman says of their efforts, “We’re improving the community user experience and adding new content. In recent months we redesigned the look of the site. We are also in the process of adding new and compelling content for our members and improving the navigation of the site.” QuePasa also recently launched its ringtone business, an area that resonates strongly with younger Hispanics eager to have the latest sounds on their cell phones.
Starmedia also plans to continue with new channel launches next year, and is also developing its ringtone business. Says Juan Jose Núñez, VP of Operations at Starmedia, notes that “in 2006 we have launched several channels such as Starmedia Radios, and re-launched some others like Starmedia Mujer, our women’s channel. Before the end of the year, we'll launch Starmedia Mobile with the most fashionable ringtones, games for cells and other mobile content in Latin America. In 2007 we'll launch new channels that we are working on but we are not revealing any information as of now, as you can imagine.” Núñez says that they are working on offering a TV-print-online-mobile marketing buy, adding “It's very important for Starmedia to be able to offer a 360 buy to our clients.”
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