The Latinx Video Opportunity Requires A Nuanced Approach

By Ben Leff (COO, NGL Collective)
Video. Such a short word and yet it’s been at the center of much media discussion over the years; especially in the digital media landscape. What’s the power behind this medium? What makes it essential in 2018 and a vital resource for today’s marketer? We’ve all heard the age-old statements before… “Video Everywhere,” “Power of Sight, Sound and Motion,” and don’t forget “Content is King!” Then there’s the different types of video: “in-stream” and “out-stream”, “pre-roll” and “mid-roll.”        We’ve also generated a slew of great new acronyms (which you know we love in digital media) like “OTT,” “CTV,” “FEP,” and of course “OLV.” All that is great and there’s no denying that video as digital media’s darling has truly arrived. But what we here at NGL Collective think is particularly important for marketers to understand is what makes digital video so relevant for today’s U.S. Latinx consumer. More importantly, why should marketers care and how should they leverage video effectively to reach the Latinx audience?
Latinx Is Complex & Multi-faceted
As the Latinx market continues to shift from 1st generation to 2nd and beyond, some have begun referring to this audience as “the 200%,” a group that is both Latinx and American. However, the reality is that the term 200% does not do this audience justice, as the Latinx identity is significantly more complex and multi-faceted. As my business partner and CEO of NGL Collective, David Chitel, recently pointed out in his article entitled ‘Change Our Story. Change Our Outcome. I’m 300% Sure Of it,’ it’s really about leveraging the sum of language, culture and context in order effectively tap into the total power that the U.S. Latinx market represents.This very diverse and fragmented NGL market is in search of equally diverse and fragmented content. For video in particular, the digital space has proven to be a great place to find it. It’s important to point out that today’s young NGL’s (who make up a large and growing percentage of the Latinx market) didn’t transition to the Internet; they were “born connected.” Nielsen’s September 2018 report: Descubrimiento Digital, The Online Lives of Latinx Consumers states that 60% of today’s Latinx’ers were either born or grew up in the internet age with 52% of them spending 1 or more hours/day on social networks versus 38% of other segments. They are cord-cutters (or cord-nevers) and more open to receiving video content from digital only outlets. In the digital space (where unlike traditional TV) anyone can create and distribute video content, New Generation Latinos can find an infinite amount of video content that appeals to their unique identities.   That’s why YouTube stars like Venezuelan-American Lele Pons or Facebook Watch shows like Living With Latins are able to garner significant audiences next to more traditional Spanish-language digital properties from the usual suspects.    We’ve also seen an emergence of a variety of digital-first media companies feed the pipeline like Zoe Saldana’s BESE, Remezcla, Sofia Vergara’s Raze, and our very own NGL Studios backed by our partner and co-founder, actor, John Leguizamo.
Video Provides Latinx Self-expression
And what’s not being produced by media entities, Latinx’ers are producing themselves. The Latinx audience as a segment is extremely creative; and as such, digital video provides them a unique means for self-expression. Many in the space have chosen to tackle it head-on and simply create the content themselves. It’s a logical intersection. Just think about it. Start with a group of consumers that over-index across the board in technology – devices, platforms and time-spent and couple that with their savvy ability and comfort level to work with tools, apps and resources that help them easily create video, often resulting in content that’s ripe for authentic and relevant brand association.
Video Reflects Who They Are
Another point as to why video is so important to today’s U.S. Latinx is that video is a natural and sharable resource – a reflection of who they are. The Latinx community has always been one that thrives on sharing and word-of-mouth, sharing social content 5 times more often than non-Hispanic Whites do to be exact. Truth is, innate to all Latinx, both here in the U.S. and in their countries of origin is a unique sense of pride, further amplified by subtle nuances. Be it a social influencer’s accent, a universal food recipe that’s culturally tweaked, the skin color of their go-to digital DYI’er or even the hair texture of their favorite beauty blogger, it’s all about the nuances and how authentically the content communicates them. The power of seeing, sharing and celebrating such nuances in content that Latinx deem relevant is extremely powerful – powerful enough for some good ol’ brand association as well. The benefit for brands is in their ability to effectively create and/or align with video content that resonates with Latinx audience segments, providing them greater potential for that content to be shared and co-signed by Latinx fans.
Video & Latinx Is All About Nuance
So the question many marketers are facing is not “Do I use video to reach New Gen Latino consumers”, but “How?” Video is here to stay and it’s only going to get more intricate and nuanced. If brands want to remain relevant with NGL’s, they need to connect with experts who continuously evolve with this segment – companies that know how to spot the trends and stay ahead of the Latinx curve. Be it through branded content all the way down the funnel to programmatic, tapping into the Latinx audience through video is all about nuance in language, in culture and in context.