Knowing Our Consumers Through Their Own Stories: Hispanics & Content Creation

Content production and distribution are now accessible to most people everywhere. Thanks to modern communication technologies, those who used to be passive spectators are now becoming active creators. In the U.S., Hispanics are driving this change.

According to 2010 Forrester’s report, “Social Media is Mainstream for Hispanics,” this population is ahead of the curve in what it calls high-order activities.

This means that Hispanics are more likely than their counterparts to be Creators: to publish a blog or webpage, upload videos or songs they’ve created, and write articles or stories and post them. Hispanics are also ahead of the game as Critics, posting ratings/reviews of product or services, commenting on someone else’s blog, and contributing to online forums. Finally, Hispanics are more engaged than other groups as Collectors using RSS feeds, voting for Web sites online, and adding tags to Web pages or photos.

This is heaven for us curious investigators of the Hispanic consumer. We now have access to this never-ending mine of information coming straight from those we want to understand.

With the content they create, Hispanics are feeding us with their stories, vision of the world, emotions, memories, aspirations, contradictions and, of course, what they want from products, services, and brands.

Consider, a blog written by a young Latina in Los Angeles. She writes in native Spanglish (not the made-up Spanglish that we sometimes see out there.) By reading her blog I have learned about her fashion style and the exact products she wants from Target’s Missoni Fall collection. Now I know which places she considers cool to hang out in because she showed me her favorite corners in Downtown L.A. (with great pictures taken by her).

I also know why she thinks “A Better Life” is a must-see movie, which New York Times columnist she reads, what political issues matter to her, and what makes her feel nostalgic about Mexico (Cantinflas!). I left her blog feeling I had talked for hours with an interesting woman. I’m sure I’ll be going back to her blog looking for more insights about bicultural Latinas.

But insight chasers and digital anthropologists are not the only ones who can benefit from keeping an eye on prolific Hispanic Creators. Look, for instance, at Kmart’s Latina Smart Facebook platform or Todobebe’s These smart marketers are already winning the digital space by partnering with Latino writers and providing them with platforms to share their stories and create community.

Every marketer can now build a stronger online dialogue with the Hispanic consumer. Some small steps can include contacting targeted Hispanics who love to create, collect, and share content, inviting them to try products and create original content (videos, photographs, stories, etc.) based on their experience. Similarly to what they would do off-line, marketers can reach out to the new breed of digital influencers who will spread the word through their own communities.

And you, Creators, keep up the good work and thanks for helping us see things we might otherwise never see!

Via MediaPost: Maria-Gracia Inglessis is an account planner at Wing.