I just had the pleasure of participating in a webinar hosted by Lionbridge entitled, “Spanish SEM Lessons from CNN Español” (SEM – Search Engine Marketing). The presentation was moderated by Nathalie Molina of Lionbridge, and the presenters were Christopher Crommett, formerly of CNN en Espanol, and Joe Kutchera of Acento Agency. The presentation included an overview of the Hispanic market in the U.S., as well as some of the best practices on how to best reach them linguistically.
Joe Kutchera presented data illustrating how Latinos increasingly access the internet through their smartphones. He also showed the opportunity in SEM targeting Hispanics; a simple search for something like “lavadoras” (washing machines) turns up results from all over the Spanish-speaking world, but nothing that would be relevant to a Hispanic in the U.S. Christopher Crommett then discussed some facts about the Hispanic market in the U.S.; one fact that I found impressive is that over the last 10 years, the Guatemalan population has grown 180 percent and the Salvadoran population has grown 151 percent. The Hispanic market is no longer just Mexican and Cuban.
CNN en Espanol employed journalists from all over the Spanish-speaking world to ensure that no linguistic flubs were made (i.e. an innocuous word in one country could be vulgar in another). The goal was to speak and write a brand of Spanish on air that all viewers could easily understand on first listen.