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In 2011 Colombia’s Internet audience grew by 15%, very close to Latin America’s overall growth of 16% in terms of Internet users. While comScore reports that Colombia has 14.3 million Internet users, Internet WorldStats lists 25 million. The discrepancy may be due to the varied ways that Latin Americans access the Internet—in certain calculations, users who go online from Internet cafes aren’t counted.
Regardless, even using comScore’s 14.3 million figure, Colombia is #3 in Latin America in terms of the amount of Internet users. It has more than Argentina (13.4 million), Chile (7.4 million) and Venezuela (4.8 million), trailing only Brazil and Mexico. Combining this large audience with a 2010 comScore study that showed that 94% of Colombians say the Internet is important in providing information for purchase decisions, it’s not surprise that online ad spend went up 33% in Colombia in 2011.
After analyzing Futuro Digital, ComScore’s latest study on Colombian Internet users, we spotted 5 effective ways for media, marketing and advertising professionals to reach this audience.
#1 Social media. They have a deep penetration in Colombia, as they do in all of Latin America. In Colombia, social media have a penetration rate of 96% among Internet users. And Colombia is among the top 10 countries on the planet in terms time spent on social networks: its users average 7.6 hours per month on them.
While Facebook is #1 in reach (90%) and time spent (492 minutes a month, other growing social media sites in Colombia include Badoo, Twitter and Slideshare. In fact, Colombia is among the top 10 countries in terms of Twitter reach, ahead of the United States, Spain and Mexico.
#2 Entertainment sites. Around 96% of Colombian Internet users visited an entertainment site in January 2012. Within entertainment, multimedia is the most popular subcategory, with 83% reach among Colombia’s online audience. In March 2012, comScore results show that the top multimedia sites for Colombia are YouTube, iTunes Software, Daily Motion, Real.com and Cuevana.tv.
#3 Newspapers. In Colombia, newspapers attract a significant audience, nearly 50% of Internet users, which is more than the average for Latin America (43%) and the world (40.8%). In March 2012, El Tiempo was the #7 Web site in Colombia, drawing 5.2 million unique users, while El Espectador drew 1.9 million. Typically, users spend more time on newspaper sites, so it’s easier for advertising to stand out and draw attention—as opposed to some of the larger portals that people use primarily for webmail and instant messaging.
#4 Search. Last year comScore indicated that Colombian Internet users do more searches per user (233) than internautas from any other country. While Futuro Digital didn’t specify if Colombians are still #1, their average of 226 per user suggests strongly that search is a good way to reach this audience.
#5 Mobile. In 2011 Colombia’s Information Technology and Communications Ministry reported that mobile phone penetration in Colombia had reached 100%. That same year El Tiempo.com reported that out of every two mobile phones that are replaced in Colombia, one of them is a smartphone. More recently, Futuro Digital cites data from late 2011 that indicates that tablets are the source of 41% of non-computer web traffic in Colombia. Overall, Colombia ranks #3 in Latin America in terms of percentage of web traffic from non-computer devices. When put together, these facts suggest that mobile ads show strong potential to reach a key segment of Colombia’s Internet audience.