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  • Optimizing the Hispanic Digital Experience

    Posted by on July 31, 2018

    Digital transformation is the new buzz phrase across many industries, including financial services. And while optimizing consumers’ experience should be the focus of digital transformation, a successful strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s important for credit union leaders to recognize that different consumer segments have different needs and wants when it comes to their use of digital tools.

    A new eMarketer study, U.S. Hispanics and Digital, reveals some of the unique digital characteristics of the Hispanic consumer segment. According to the study, the Hispanic “digital divide” has mostly closed, with about eight in 10 Hispanics now using the Internet.

    However, fewer than half of Hispanics have home broadband and nearly a quarter of Hispanic Internet users don’t own a computer. Meanwhile, nearly seven in 10 Hispanics have a smartphone, and their daily time spent using mobile (3 hours) is more than an hour higher than non-Hispanics.

    Digital video is popular among Hispanics, with 47 percent (vs. 32 percent of total respondents) saying they use streaming services such as Netflix more than they watch traditional TV. Additionally, Pew Research Center’s January polling identified 78 percent of Hispanic adults as YouTube viewers, compared to 73 percent of total adults.

    Hispanics also tend to be active on social media. Nearly two-thirds use social media, and about half are on Facebook. Data also suggests Hispanics are less likely than others to have a negative view of digital advertising.

    With these findings in mind, below are some best practices for credit union leaders to consider for enhancing the Hispanic digital experience.

    Optimize for mobile. Make sure your website and digital banking tools are mobile-friendly to accommodate Hispanics’ smartphone-centric behaviors. If your credit union doesn’t have a mobile app, consider implementing one.

    Opt for speed over complexity. Because many Hispanics don’t have home broadband and likely rely on their smartphone carrier data to access the Internet, make sure your website and digital banking tools aren’t overly complex. Large photos and fancy animations are fun but can be difficult to load on a phone that’s not connected to WiFi.

    Prioritize video. Video’s ability to grab consumers’ attention, create immersive experiences and spark engagement makes it a powerful means of communication, especially with Hispanics who over-index on digital video usage. Consider making video a key focus of your Hispanic marketing efforts.

    Adjust advertising budgets. Because Hispanics tend to use digital video and social media more than they watch traditional TV, advertising on places like YouTube, Facebook, and other mobile channels may be a better use of advertising dollars. The average cost of a 30-second primetime television commercial during the 2016-2017 season was $2,500. Think for a minute (or 30 seconds) about how many mobile and social media ads your credit union could deliver with that kind of investment.

    As with any Hispanic outreach strategy, the most important thing to keep in mind in your digital transformation journey is that different segments should not be treated as a single, undifferentiated market. Understanding various consumer segments and how they engage digitally is the first step to providing an exceptional consumer experience.

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    Meeting Hispanics Where They Are: Online and on Mobile

    Posted by on November 20, 2017

    Google recently surveyed more than 4,500 U.S. Hispanics ages 18-64 about their preferences related to online sources, digital ads and search. The study found U.S. Hispanics use online sources at a higher rate (54 percent) than the general population (46 percent) throughout the purchase journey. It also found:

    • Hispanic consumers tend to favor online sources over family, radio and TV.
    • 79 percent of those surveyed said they use search engines on a daily basis.
    • 68 percent of the respondents who use search engines at least monthly do so on their mobile devices.
    • More than half of respondents who use online sources use their smartphones specifically to gather information before making a purchase.

    How can credit unions and other organizations dedicated to serving the underserved Hispanic community meet them where they already are – online and on mobile? Below are a few examples of online and mobile resources being tapped by organizations to do just that.

    Crowdfunding
    According to Pew Research, 16 percent of Hispanics have contributed to a crowdsourced fundraising project. Since it launched in 2010, do-it-yourself crowdfunding website GoFundMe has raised more than $4 billion for personal causes from more than 40 million donors. When a licensed clinical social worker was struggling to afford providing low-cost mental health treatment to uninsured Spanish-speaking individuals in Louisville, Ky., for example, she turned to GoFundMe. She is currently well on her way to reaching her $5,000 goal to enable to her to continue providing therapy.

    Putting a twist on the GoFundMe model, PayPal just launched Money Pools, a service that lets people create pages to fundraise for a specific item or effort among family and friends. Could this become a digital tanda? Although the service is too new to have data on usage rates, the focus on family and friends could resonate among many within the Hispanic community.

    Social Media Influencers
    One way for an organization to increase its reach within a certain segment of the population is to connect with those who have influence inside that segment. Consider starting with the top 25 Hispanic influencers on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If your credit union has, for example, an important message to share with Hispanic members about helping children save for college, you could simply share with your social media followers. Or, you could try to get it in front of Jorge Narvaez, whose parenting-focused YouTube channel has more than 600,000 subscribers.

    Instagram Stories.
    After just one year in market, Instagram Stories has more than 200 million users – 50 million more users than Snapchat. At this rate, nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of 2018. A large portion of Instagram users, 38 percent, are Hispanic. In August, Instagram declared that JBalvin, an all-Spanish language music star, is the most-viewed Instagram Stories content provider in the U.S.. Brands interested in connecting with Instagram users, and with Hispanic Instagram users specifically, should consider mastering Instagram Stories. Here’s a how-to guide to get you started.

    Connecting with Hispanic consumers online requires not only understanding where they are, but also how they want to be connected with. Google’s study found that including culturally relevant content – food, family and traditions – resonates with U.S. Hispanics online. Consider incorporating content that Hispanic members care about or that which is unique to the Hispanic experience. While not as important as culture, language also matters. For some U.S. Hispanic consumers, Spanish and bilingual content are signals you want to engage with them.

    Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

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    These Are the Social Platforms Most Important to Hispanic Consumers

    Posted by on October 30, 2017

    There’s no question social media is an important channel for engaging Hispanic consumers. According to recent research by Viant, nearly 50 percent of Hispanic shoppers reported they had either discussed a brand online with others or used a brand’s hashtag in social messaging (this compared to 17 percent of non-Hispanic shoppers).

    Analyzing social media habits by channel, Viant said Hispanic Millennials are more active on Twitter and Instagram compared to non-Hispanic Millennials. However, the amount of time spent on Facebook is relatively similar between the two groups.

    Another platform that should not be discounted is video. In its report How Hispanic Consumers Engage with YouTube, Google shares some interesting insights:

    — 75 percent of Hispanics go to YouTube first when they want to learn more about a product or service by watching a video

    — Nearly 1 in 2 Hispanic smartphone video viewers look for video content relevant to them as Hispanics and are more likely to watch ads that contain aspects of Hispanic culture

    — Of U.S. Hispanics who visit YouTube at least once a month, 60 percent watch videos in English always/most of the time; 28 percent watch videos in English and Spanish equally; and 12 percent watch videos in Spanish always/most of the time.

    — 83 percent of Hispanic video viewers will read or post comments, watch recommended videos or like or rate videos

    BEST PRACTICE: To achieve the best results when engaging Hispanic consumer segments through YouTube and other social media channels, ensure the content is culturally relevant and language appropriate.

    How One Credit Union is Engaging Members on YouTube

    Ascentra Hispanic Youtube channelAscentra Credit Union in Bettendorf, Iowa, is leveraging the power of YouTube to engage consumers through a video series called Ascentra Making Cents. New videos focused on financial topics like credit scores, the home buying process, spending plans, tax returns and the credit union difference, are available monthly on Ascentra’s YouTube channel.

    The credit union is currently in the process of adding Spanish subtitles to the videos using funds it received from the 2017 Warren Morrow Hispanic Growth Fund Grant for Hispanic Outreach.

    “This will give us some content in Spanish that we can share on social media to interact in a new way with current members, future members and any Spanish-speaking individuals worldwide,” said Alvaro Macias, Ascentra’s AVP of community development. “These videos will be shared with our community partners, such as Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities, Esperanza Legal Assistance Center and the Floreciente Neighborhood Association – a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in Moline, Illinois, for them to share through their networks.”

    Ascentra also has a highly successful Facebook page, with nearly 2,500 followers and frequently updated content focused on Ascentra’s community involvement, as well as product and service updates.

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