Hispanic Heritage Month takes place every year (September 15-October 15) to celebrate and honor Hispanic Americans. This year, the 2020 U.S. Census Report was released, revealing tremendous growth and change in the Hispanic population, plus a confirmation that the country is becoming more diverse.
Taking valuable information from the report – from spending to language preferences – and understanding how the Hispanic community has been impacted by COVID-19 can be helpful when distributing news to this population.
Here are six key takeaways about Hispanic Americans that every marketer should know.
1. Population is not Based on Immigration
It’s a common misconception that immigrants make up most of the Hispanic population in the United States. In 2010, 74% of Latinos living in the country were U.S. citizens, which increased to about 80% in 2018. Currently, four in five Hispanics are U.S. citizens. This includes those born in the U.S. and its territories, children born abroad to American parents, and immigrants who have become naturalized citizens.
The 2020 Census reveals the overall Hispanic population in the U.S. grew by 23%, to a total of 62.1 million. In the past 10 years, 51.1% of the total U.S. population growth came from the Latino population.
By 2019, 12 states had Hispanic populations of at least 1 million – Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
These population figures are just one reason why so many organizations are beginning to actively build relationships within various segments of the U.S. Hispanic community.
2. Language and News Consumption
There are two main misconceptions when communicating with today’s Latinx audiences.
The first is that the only way to communicate with U.S. Hispanic audiences is in Spanish.
Driven by younger generations, the number of English-speaking Latinos in the United States is growing. In 2018, 71% of Latinos ages five and older spoke English proficiently, up from 59% in 2000. U.S.-born Latinos are driving this growth, as their share on this measure has grown from 81% to 90% during this time.
The second false assumption is that Hispanic Americans only consume their news in Spanish.
According to the Pew Research Center, 82% consume English content from television, print, radio, and internet outlets. A typical household spends more than 29 hours a week watching TV and 13 hours a week listening to the radio. Surprisingly, radio remains one of the most reliable ways to reach this consumer.
Similar to mainstream news consumption trends, the U.S.-Hispanic newspaper audience has declined while broadcast viewership has increased. For instance, Univision and Telemundo have fared better with both network and local television audiences.
At Business Wire, these numbers are why we focus on building relationships with an extensive list of Hispanic publishers. We understand the opportunities companies have within this continuously growing market. Through this targeted reach, which includes translation, we ensure Hispanic media outlets can use your news to reach both English- and Spanish-speaking audiences.
For communications teams, this kind of consumption data not only provides guidance on media outlets to pitch, it helps inform multimedia creation decisions. For example, this data suggests that public relations teams should focus on building relationships with broadcast media outlets. To do this successfully, PR teams should consider creating and providing video assets, such as B-roll, designed specifically for these broadcasters to use.
Multimedia is a very important tool in the multicultural communications toolbox. Not only is it required by reporters to supplement coverage pieces, but visuals require no translations. The right visual can attract readers to your story, build relationships, and drive deeper connections within seconds of viewing.
3. Latina Economic Power and the Future Latinx Consumer
Buying power is a key reason why so many organizations are turning their attention to Hispanic audiences.
Hispanic buying power has grown substantially over the last 30 years, increasing from $213 billion in 1990 to $1.9 trillion in 2020. It accounted for 11.1% of total U.S. buying power in 2020. This upswing is attributed to population growth, favorable demographics, entrepreneurial activity, and rising levels of educational attainment.
When teams want to activate Hispanic audiences, Latina moms are often the first target audience. And for good reason. By 2060, Latina women are expected to become 30% of the total U.S. female population, creating a new power shift within the U.S. economic force. Latina moms are the main economic drivers of Latino economic purchasing power. They are often the key decision-makers in household purchasing decisions.
Additional demographics to consider are the Latinx Millennials and Gen Zs under 25 years old who now account for nearly 50% of the total Latino population.
When building a communications program to reach Hispanic media, you must design your pitches based on your audience. What will appeal to a Latina mom may not resonate with a Latinx Millennial. Know who you want to reach and then build your pitch and content accordingly.
4. Voting Power
The 2020 U.S. Census Report also suggests a political power shift within the Latino population. In 2020, a record 32 million Latinos were eligible to vote, up from 27.3 million in 2016. As a result, Hispanics are now the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the electorate, accounting for just over 13% of eligible voters. Since 2018, two-thirds of all eligible Latino voters were from five states: California (7.9 million), Texas (5.6 million), Florida (3.1 million), New York (2.0 million), and Arizona (1.2 million).
It is important to highlight the political influence wielded by today’s Latina moms. U.S. Latinas’ voting power extends far beyond their individual votes – they are often the key force in influencing the votes of friends and family members.
For organizations impacted by national, statewide, or local politics, a strong public policy program supported by a local, grassroots marketing campaign can be highly successful. Business Wire simplifies this by offering a wide range of ways to reach and activate Hispanic and political audiences.
5. Social Media and Mobile Influence
Latinos are attached to their mobile phones, especially during the pandemic. According to a new Nielsen report, Latinos use social media, mobile apps, and other digital platforms at higher rates than the general U.S. population amid social distancing guidelines. On average, they spend 27 hours a week on apps and websites and more than one hour each week on social networking sites via their smartphones.
During the pandemic, Latinos have come to rely on media and social channels to educate, inform, and entertain. According to a 2018 Pew Research study, 34% are likely using Instagram. Facebook remains popular, regardless of race or ethnicity, with nearly 71% of adult internet users continuing to use the site.
For communications teams, this provides a challenge. While media and social consumption is prevalent, each platform has its own unique communication style. This means communicators must consider not only language choice, but multimedia asset choice, to drive the highest rate of success.
The more content you have designed specifically to meet the needs of each media platform’s specific audience, the easier it is for reporters to tell your story and readers to share it.
To truly engage these audiences, listen first, then identify the platforms and localized language choices needed for your message to be heard. Once created, test your messaging to ensure it resonates, not agitates.
6. Effect of COVID-19
The global coronavirus pandemic continues to affect communities around the world, and any available sentiments from niche demographics should be factored into communications strategies, at least for the near future.
According to a recent Pew Research Report, about half of Latinos say they or someone close to them has faced health or financial hardships during COVID-19. Despite this, most are optimistic about the future. Nearly two-thirds say the worst of the coronavirus outbreak is behind the country. The majority believes their financial situation will improve over the next year.
Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on this community and their outlook for the future means more opportunities to make deeper connections through communications.
The 2020 U.S. Census Report confirms that changes in the Hispanic population require today’s organizations to change the way they engage with these audiences. The Hispanic population is growing, and their voting and spending power has dramatically increased. Providing news and content in the ways and channels most used by this demographic is key to making connections.
Business Wire offers more than 1,600 ways to reach today’s Hispanic consumer. Translated and distributed in Spanish and English, Business Wire’s LatinoWire puts your press release into the hands of the U.S. Hispanic, Latino/a, Latinx audiences throughout the United States.
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