Latin American PR Trends: A Focus on Creating ValueLatin American leaders in digital technology and innovation grapple with how they should integrate social media and digital content into their products and services. Many are trying to taking a page from Alex Rodriguez, a.k.a. A-Rod and owner of Arod Corp, who said in his keynote at the recent eMerge Americas: “Every business I have has a huge digital component. As an entrepreneur, you always have to be looking around the corner. What’s next, what is the competition? Whoever figures out digital will be the winner.”
In today’s media-saturated market, information overload is a real concern, especially if you’re trying to keep track of your brand and community on all the forms of digital media available to us and our audiences. Minute-by-minute social media generates a firehose of images, words, videos, and ideas. Many of us in PR are looking for just the right balance in integrating social media and other digital channels into our messaging strategy. How do we focus on value while letting go of the chatter?
At the recent eMerge Americas conference in Miami, Latin American companies shared their technological solutions for addressing distinctly Latin American audiences. Companies with a buzz factor were there, including the multimodal travel platform, Voyhoy, or MediaMerse, one of the first ad networks to deliver ads embedded with 360° videos. It was clear that the bulk of the discussions happening in hallways or on the conference floor revolved around the changing nature of digital information consumption and its effects on those living and working in Latin America.
From those conversations, we came away with these four communication trends that brands working in Latin America need to take into consideration to stay innovative.
1. Information Is Consumed on Mobile
According to one Latin American Comscore and IMS media study, 9 out of 10 people connect to the Internet in Latin America via a smartphone.
“Smartphones are used to access social networks in Latin America, 90% of the time, so why not to take advantage of this engaged digital audience? When we’re creating a PR strategy for clients, we consider the place of mobile as the most important online platform in the region. Nothing will go viral if you can’t share it on mobile.” says, Janet Rodriguez, co-founder of Mexican PR agency Trends Bureau.
For Latin America, competing online, whether you’re a B2C or B2B brand means a mobile-first strategy. If you’re not creating a mobile experience, whether that’s via a native app or a mobile-optimized site for small screens, you’re sitting out on business opportunities.
2. Meet Content Challenges Through Partnerships
When approaching content creation, marketing departments are now looking close to home for on-brand content that aligns with business objectives. If the last decade of influencer marketing has shown us anything, it’s that content is better created by those familiar with a brand or industry. Strategic content partners know your industry and may already be customers and fans. At Meltwater, we’ve seen the benefits of this strategy in our content collaboration (in Spanish) with the Latin American agency Publicar. By sharing our experience as leaders in media intelligence to an audience of PR pros, we both benefitted. They, by leveraging our PR industry insights, and us, with an opportunity to directly address our intended audience of highly engaged PR folks.
YouTube uses this strategy in Latin America. When they decided to expand to Latin America, they worked with Televisa and Telefe, two prominent Latin American content producers. The alliance was a natural fit (article in Spanish), YouTube provided a new platform for the local production companies to spread content they were already producing and Televisa and Telefe provided expertise in programming and production of hyper-relevant and local content for YouTube’s Latin American audience. This partnership has been so successful for Televisa and Telefe that they’ve replicated the same type of partnership with Israel-based Keshet International’s expansion into Latin America.
3. Consumers Are Platform Agnostic
With the abundance of apps, websites, and social media platforms, audiences have more places than ever before to distract themselves. As consumers, the unlimited possibility is attractive, but this reality presents a challenge for companies producing, distributing, and responding to digital content. Without a hefty budget, business decisions need to be made on how to produce content for your intended audience. And if more than two or three platforms are identified, custom content will need to fit the demands and expectations of each. Brands need to not only meet their chosen audience where they are but also offer appropriate content for that platform.
Beyond the resource challenge of creating custom campaign content for multiple platforms, tracking how audiences are responding to and spreading your campaign messages becomes more difficult as well. Knowing what audiences are saying about your brand because of the content you’re producing and brand messages you’re broadcasting is essential to an effective digital PR strategy. That’s why having a social listening and media monitoring solution in place will help you take the ongoing pulse of your brand messages, allowing you agility in a response framework.
When Aeromexico received the top prize in advertising at the Cannes Lions Awards, Barbrha Ibañez, Media Relations Director for Aeromexico and her team found it valuable to be able to track their mentions in real-time.
“Seeing in real-time, how well-received we were on social media by winning a Lion, has reaffirmed our current brand strategy. I was able to immediately tag and send key mentions by international media outlets to the C-Suite. It was definitely a high point in our year. And the ability to track the multiple instances of congratulations via Meltwater will assist me when I ask for a bigger program budget next year,” said Ibañez.
Aeromexico’s media mentions on the Meltwater media intelligence platform.
4. Software Solutions Need to Be Robust
With a rapidly evolving communications landscape in Latin America, PR pros are finding it increasingly difficult to sort through the firehose that is social media content for nuggets of actionable mentions. For that reason, these professionals are relying on software solutions that allow them to plan for possible eventualities while also being responsive when facing a PR crisis. That’s why the software they’re using is increasingly equipped with geographic segmentation and scheduling capabilities, helping PR folks send customized messages to target specific media outlets in regions/countries in Latin America.
If you’re already working in Latin America, or considering expanding operations, keep these digital trends in mind. You’ll want to make sure your media monitoring and social listening capabilities are truly global and that your strategy takes into account the latest trends in digital PR in Latin America.