What is unique about the way that Hispanics use search compared with the general market?
Zinger: Generally speaking, something we can say about the US Hispanics market is that they tend to rely more on search engines than the general market. Overall, Hispanics find the Internet in general and online advertising in particular more useful, compared to the general market’s considerations.
In terms of search engine usage, Hispanics count heavily on search engines to help them to get to know new products and services, research prices, purchase and get customer service. For each of these activities, Hispanics usage rates are higher than those of the general market.
Is buying Spanish-language keywords always the best way to go to reach Hispanics? Why or Why not?
Zinger: Here again, we need to distinguish between the different segments inside the US Hispanics market. (ie, English Dom’s , Bilinguals, Spanish Dom’s) From a digital perspective, search is certainly the most efficient manner to reach Hispanics and the building block for any successful digital campaign, but its exponentially more successful when analyzed and managed simultaneously with offline and secondary digital strategies and expenditures.
People who immigrated with a solid economic status are more likely to search using English keywords, and to expect English landing pages once they click on an ad. In the case of young Hispanics born in the US, they may even do their searches only in English. Language is really something to evaluate by case, considering the campaign’s target and goals. Testing creative and keyword inventory for each language (measuring ROI for each) is also key to define what works best.
What sort of growth is the Hispanic search market seeing year-over-year?
Zinger: I think we are seeing a convergence of two phenomena. On one hand, companies are starting to realize the huge potential in the US Hispanics market. On the other hand, marketers are also realizing of the huge relevance and value you can get from search marketing strategies. Both viewpoints have spread widely during the past 2-3 years, and are expected to grow exponentially during the next 5 years. Now, if you combine these two together (getting Hispanic search marketing) you get one of the most promising tendencies in today’s marketing. So I think we can expect an important growth and more sophistication on the market for the upcoming years.
Where does search fall in the hierarchy of Online marketing overall?
Zinger: In my opinion, search can usually be the spearhead for most online initiatives. Typically, it is the most cost effective element in an online marketing strategy. For direct response campaigns, there’s no tactic that allows a more precise targeting or a higher ROI. For branding campaigns it’s often underused and its results are misinterpreted. Fundamentally, its value as a market research tool (for both the client’s online marketing and its general marketing) is something that I rarely see applied. Search can tell you not only what the market is looking for, but also how they are looking for it, and which proposition they find the most appealing. This is invaluable information that in most cases gets used only as feedback for the very same search campaign it came from. I think this is one of search marketing’s hidden gems.