Ethnic marketing has always had its benefits for advertisers. Typically, ethnic marketing translated to purchasing ads within ethnic programming or publications, but there is much more to it than that. A few years back when I was working in spot cable sales for National Cable Communications we were often called upon to develop spot cable campaigns targeted to specific ethnic dominated areas of a television market, perhaps the first time that was widely possible. This type of targeting was not limited to the usual Hispanic or African American targets, but extended to such groups as concentrations of Irish or specific Asian groups.
So what is the best way to create ethnic efforts online? As I see it there are several approaches advertisers can take. The first is the most obvious, which would be to place ads or integrated sponsorship programs into ethnic content or websites. To expand upon this a second option would be to purchase or develop targeted email marketing lists and deliver your message directly to the target group you seek to reach.
A third option, which involves a greater commitment, would be to develop an ethnic marketing program utilizing your existing company website combined with creative search engine marketing. In today’s marketplace many businesses have strong secondary ethnic target groups, but they hesitate to reach out to them. Say your secondary target was recent Chinese immigrants. While potentially heavy users of the Internet, if you do not provide any content to interact with them in their language then your business may not be noticed. You can simply add specific information pages in the language of the targeted group, or even translate your entire website, if it is not too large, to provide these potential customers the opportunity to browse and understand your business.
To market to these targeted ethnic groups, search provides one of the easiest tools. Say your business is “tent rentals.” To market to a Spanish speaking user you would need to target the search term “alquiler de la tienda.” Of course, the pages targeted by either paid or organic search would be the new ethnic pages added.
One VERY important consideration that companies must consider and that is often overlooked when developing these programs is that you definitely need to have staff in place ready to interact with the group you are targeting. If you are reaching out to users researching your products or services via the ethnic search phrases, who then come to your translated pages, you MUST be able to speak with them in their language!