Incorporating Spanish into your paid search strategy can grow conversions, clicks, & impressions
The importance of Hispanic marketing
For digital marketers, there has never been a better time to explore opportunities in Spanish marketing. Targeting individuals who have their browsers set in Spanish not only increases the reach of search campaigns, but also allows brands to build a relationship with an entirely new audience. “Hispanic consumers pay attention to online ads 20% more than the general online population. (Think with Google)
However despite all the data pointing to easy wins in the Hispanic market, many marketers are hesitant to start marketing to these consumers. Different search behaviors, values, and language barriers often make marketing to the Hispanic audience more difficult than the traditional marketing audiences.
It is no secret that the population of Spanish-speakers in the U.S. has been growing rapidly year over year. This growth has become increasingly apparent to marketers who are desperately trying to keep up with this different audience. Hispanics have a reputation for being highly brand loyal; 23% of Hispanics would rather go to another store to find their favorite brand if it was not available at their current location (Source: MediaPost). However, to earn that loyalty, brands need to empower their culture, or risk this audience turning away from them (Source: Forbes). With Hispanic buying power estimated to reach $1.5 trillion by the end of the year according to Nielsen, incorporating Spanish into your marketing strategy has never been more important.
At Seer, we began testing marketing ads to Hispanic consumers for a client in August. We had noticed that the client’s competitor had begun using Spanish in their PPC ads. Our primary goal was to ensure that we had coverage for the Spanish keywords our competitors were bidding on – and to take it a step further to understand this audience. We created a campaign in Spanish to test different ways to drive conversions.
Ultimately, we were able to increase our conversions from Hispanic consumers from 0 to 46 in a period of just three months.
When determining how to approach our Spanish campaigns, first we had to understand what resources we could dedicate to this campaign. Our client had one staff member who could respond to Spanish phone calls, but did not have the resources to build a landing page in Spanish. We decided to launch one Call Only campaign and direct all calls to the staff member who was fluent in Spanish.
Think beyond Spanglish
We took the top performing ad groups and keywords from our English campaign replicated and translated them into Spanish for the new campaign. Seer has several multi-lingual team members so we did not have to rely on an online translator. Using a human translator is highly recommended over an electronic one (like Google Translate) to reduce error, however to save time you can use an online translator first then have a fluent-speaker review your translation.
Taking the translations from above, and based on several tests outlined on the Hispanic Online Marketing blog, we decided to test Spanglish (a combination of English and Spanish) ad copy. Description line 2 often does not show on mobile devices, so it appeared that we were testing an English ad versus a Spanish ad. The results of our ad copy test saw some results when looking at impressions and clicks; however we did not receive any conversions, as shown in the chart below.
We failed in our first attempt. Disappointed but determined, we tried again. This first attempt taught us that we could not appeal to the Hispanic audience by translating our top English campaigns.
Each week after the launch, we performed a search query analysis. At the end of the month we performed an ad copy analysis. From these analyses, we learned what unique keywords, language, and themes appealed to Hispanic consumers:
- Be Broad – The decreased competition resulted in lower CPCs for Spanish keywords versus English keywords allowing us to bid on extremely broad keywords. This allowed us to cast a large net in order to identify trends to create new ad groups.
- Be Product Specific – Hispanic consumers have had less experiences with brands than English speaking consumers because larger brands have not seized the opportunity to target these consumers. Marketers in the Hispanic marketplace have many opportunities for smaller and fast moving brands to introduce their products to get firm footholds in the mindset of these consumers.
- Be Simple – Limit the number of your ad groups and keywords when you first launch your campaign. Managing a limited number of campaigns (especially when the audience is new) allows you to the pinpoint quick wins and easy optimizations.
Based on our learnings from these campaigns, we implemented new strategies. New modified broad match keywords were added, ad groups were created based on the themes we saw in search queries, and (based on the first ad copy analysis) we changed the ad copy away from Spanglish to all-Spanish.
In our second month, conversions increased from 0 to 19. The third month running, we continued the same process of listening to our consumers, by basing our optimizations on search query and ad copy analyses. Conversions increased 142% (19 to 46), impressions and clicks grew accordingly.
Applying this test to a bigger marketing strategy
While the results we’ve seen are only from one test, they have the ability to grow into much more. For us, Call Only ads were a great place to start, they allowed us to test our Spanish strategy without devoting the additional resources to a Spanish landing page. The ad copy language we used in the Call Only campaign can now be used to create a successful landing page. By testing Spanish keywords through PPC, you can greatly influence your SEO strategy by testing which keywords convert the best – and possibly turn those findings into an on-going content strategy.