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Multicultural Marketing Trends Make Dollars and Sense

When one stops to assess the relationship between branding and marketing in the past year, it is vital to note the profound ways that multicultural groups – especially Hispanics – are shaping marketing trends. President and lead strategist for Culturally Connected Communications, Pam Jones, points out, “Our research shows Hispanics continue to be among the top target audiences for brands. With more than 31 million Hispanics on Facebook, 18 million on Twitter, and 11 million on Instagram, the Hispanic community is an audience that marketers and businesses can’t afford to overlook.“

With a purchasing power of $1.5 trillion and an expected population of 130 million by 2030, Hispanics remain one of the top target audiences for smart marketers and brands.  Their combined influence as consumers and active presence on social media means that members of the Hispanic community will continue to drive marketing trends in the following ways:

Brand advocacy and social listening
Imagine you could pick up a telephone and listen in on all the thousands of conversations taking place right now in Spanish and Spanglish on social media. Essentially, that’s what brands are doing when they track conversations, influencers, and trends to identify opportunities to engage beyond their own content and build brand advocates that drive positive brand association. Ultimately, social listening serves to better understand target audiences and create strategies that address their needs.

Native advertising and the live streaming phenomenon
‘Native video’ has become one of the top channels for marketers in 2017. Native video formats are unique to each social platform and are designed to maximize engagement (i.e., number of views), discovery, and distribution of material, and have become one of the most consumed video mediums. This idea of developing website-specific content should also translate over when considering multicultural audiences. Messaging does not translate universally and acknowledging cultural variations in video production is vital to the success of marketing campaigns.

The visual web is also changing the way content is created and applied using live streaming. Users seek authentic content that’s in the moment. Look no further than Facebook for proof:  Facebook users spend three times longer watching live video than prerecorded video, and Hispanics specifically spend above average time on video consumption. Brands and publishers have taken note, live streaming from their own platforms or in partnership with media outlets’ live platforms. Bottom line: If it’s not in real-time, it’s old news.

Visual storytelling or micro-stories
Snapchat and Instagram are prime examples of how daily users share their ‘micro-stories’:  photos or 10-second mini videos that disappear after 24 hours. This form of visual ‘storytelling’ is a version of live streaming that’s not quite “live” but is real-time. On Snapchat alone, users generated more than 10 billion views per day in 2016. In 2017, brands and their influencer partners have capitalized on developing micro-stories designed to drive app installs and website traffic while cultivating new brand followers.

Influencer marketing
Hispanic influencers continue to be a vital link to consumers. Whether it’s well-known lifestyle bloggers or media personalities, social influencers possess a keen understanding of their audiences, their online families. Consequently, influencers can communicate brand messages in a way that is innovative and genuine. For this reason, influencer marketing can prove particularly effective for not only social media but also traditional media.

Rethinking diversity and niche marketing campaigns
Diversity is not just about ethnicity – it is also about culture. One of the greatest pitfalls of multicultural marketing in 2016 was basing campaigns on the assumption that different cultural groups are homogeneous. Learning from previous mistakes, companies have restructured their branding strategy to include tactics and messaging across platforms that resonate with their target consumers, including Hispanics, more inclusively. Ultimately, brands and marketing agencies who have embraced the deeper needs of more niche multicultural groups have capitalized the most on making dollars from, and sense of today’s multicultural marketing trends.