Tag Archives: using content to think outside the banner

Speaking Latam

Can English-Only Sites Offer Big Reach to Latam?

Nearly all the top 40 Web sites in Latin America are either in Spanish or Portuguese. But 5 are only in English—and they still draw millions of unique visitors from the region. Here’s why.

Top 40 Countdown
Not surprisingly, per comScore the 40 most popular Web sites in Latin America include big brands like Microsoft, Facebook, Terra, iG and Vevo.

While almost all of them are in Spanish or Portuguese, 5 are not—their content is English-only:

Site comScore Latam
rank
# of uniques per month
MTV Networks Music #21 13.5 million
Conduit #28 12.8 million
Amazon sites #33 12.8 million
CBS Interactive #34 10.94 million
English-language Wikipedia #9* 9 million


A Handy Tool
Do these numbers mean that these 5 web properties are pulling a desirable, high-income audience that’s highly fluent in English? Not exactly. With all of these sites, Google Toolbar provides a rough translation into Spanish or Portuguese. It’s not perfect or similar in quality to content originally written in these languages for the audience, but it works. As such, users can go to all of them and get what they want. With MTV, they’re likely to be watching videos, TV shows and movie trailers that don’t need a pitch-perfect translation to enjoy them. The same applies with a shopping site like Amazon or a tech site like Conduit: as long as you can follow the basic directions, navigation is relatively easy. With Wikipedia, the start page lets you choose Spanish or Portuguese as an option. Or you can use the toolbar to translate English Wikipedia content into either language.

English Exceptionalism
However, toolbar translations don’t drive traffic. These 5 English-language exceptions attract a combined 64 million Latam users because of:

  • Worldwide brand equity
  • Unique services

And CBS Interactive is the exception to the exceptions. Unlike most of these other sites, it draws readers with content. CBS’ site portfolio offers tech news, reviews and downloads with CNET and ZDNET (4.6 million combined monthly uniques), playing tips and reviews for gamers with Gamespot (1.7 million), music downloads via last.fm (3.6 million) and news/entertainment info through CBS News and TV.com (1 million).

This broad mix delivers a deeper reach with different audiences that tend to skew A/B in terms of socioeconomic class. And because of the unique, high-quality content on CBS Interactive’s sites, they’re stickier, so users stay longer—all the better to reach them with ads.

*#9 ranking is for all Wikipedia sites, including Spanish Wikipedia and Portuguese Wikipedia

To find out more about reaching Latin America with online advertising, contact us at info@usmediaconsulting.com.

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Reaching Around Segmentation in Latam

Typically, segmentation is key to a campaign’s success. Know your customer, tailor your campaign to that knowledge and enjoy your success. But segmentation isn’t the only path to success.

Redefining the Segment
Recently, one of our tech clients was looking for buying strategies for Latam sites. They wanted their ads to deliver unit sales, not branding. So these ads needed to get in front of eyeballs and convert a user into a buyer. While a tech site would have been an obvious route to try to yield segmentation, the client wanted to sell computers. We realized quickly that anyone who’s online is potentially a customer—all Internet users were the segment to go after.

Quality Content = Conversion
With that in mind, we looked to high-traffic sites. Typically, portals for certain countries like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are a good target. And they worked. However, this one size didn’t fit all. We discovered that for certain Latam countries, newspaper sites also worked well. Examples include Colombia’s El Espectador and El Tiempo and Argentina’s Clarín and La Nación. Why? Local content. Running traffic numbers through comScore, we noticed that the highest traffic from portals for certain countries ran through e-mail or IM programs. People see the ads when checking e-mail or sending IMs to friends and family, but they often responded better when the ads ran in content-rich sites like newspapers. They spent more time browsing these sites. So they were more receptive to the messaging from the ads than when they were focused on checking and responding to emails and IMs.
     This is not to say that portals don’t offer great reach—they do, especially if they have local content for the market. But the content made the difference in conversion with this campaign, and we noticed that in certain markets, like Peru and Central America, local newspapers function as de facto portals because of their brand equity.

Tighten the Pitch
Of course, strategic placement to deliver big reach was only part of why this campaign worked so well. The client created time-sensitive ads with great offers and strong calls to action—and they refreshed them regularly. Combining this with high-reach sites is what drove the success.

The Takeaway

  • Reach can be more important than segmentation if the product has broad appeal
  • Latam portals have great reach, but in certain markets local newspapers work just as well or better because they have millions of loyal readers who migrated from the print
  • Look at what users DO on high-traffic sites. E-mails and downloads keep them too busy to focus on ads. But quality content gets them to browse around and makes them more open to add messaging.

 To learn more about how we can create a powerful online ad campaign for you, contact us at info@usmediaconsulting.com.

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