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Content is crucial for cashing in on Latin America: Experts

Experts are encouraging  Latin American businesses to cash in on the latest content marketing trends – without breaking the bank. But it’s a dream few small businesses and startups have been able to fully realize.

The region has a whopping 640 million customers, and since 2005 the percentage of Latin Americans who use the internet has increased from 16.6 % to 62.3 %.  Every year more and more Spanish speakers across the world are logging on to the internet and consuming much more content, user for user, than the rest of the world. In fact, according to VP of Marketing at HubSpot Nataly Kelly, Latin America is a modern marketer’s dream.

In order to establish their brand within specific markets and to meet the demands of an industry expected to be worth $300 billion by 2019, businesses worldwide are expanding their content marketing budgets. More than 43%  of businesses increased their content marketing staff levels in 2016, according to content marketing company Curata.

However many marketing teams – especially those of small businesses and startups – have not come up with a strategy to effectively target this audience. Because well, it’s pretty costly.

While big businesses may be able to afford to inundate a target audience with creative, shareable digital content, often enlisting relatively expensive content marketing services from Google and Facebook, small businesses and startups have had trouble keeping up.

Vertical Measures, a content marketing agency, gives us an idea of the costs of a respectable content marketing campaign:

-a complete research and strategy audit of a site: $5,000-$25,000

-consulting for a content strategy: $5,000-$50,000

-creation of content: $500-$3,000

So, what’s the ticket for Latin American small businesses and startups?

But for small Latin American businesses and startups, it’s more than just budgets that´s keeping them from reaching the Spanish-speaking world the way they could.  It’s what to put online, and where.

Latin Americans spend a greater percentage of their time online on social media than their counterparts anywhere else in the world – according to research from a 2015 report by comscore, users in Latin America spent 29 percent of their time connected to social media, as compared to 14 percent in North America. As Getty Images’s content marketing expert Alejandro Valencia points out, visual and video content is more important for customers in Latin America.

But according to Content Marketplace platform We Are Content founder Juan Carlos Samper, businesses limit their content too narrowly – they lack the video and audio content that Latin Americans and Latinos are online eating up.

In an interview with content platform Skyword, three global marketing experts gave advice on how to succeed with content marketing in Latin America. Firstly, Digital Marketing Director of Americas Market Intelligence Abel Delgado said one must  “reach out to your customers through a diverse range of channels and platforms.” He adds in Latin America, video tutorials work well.

International Advisor in Marketing and Digital Transformation and Engage Colombia  co-founder Juan Merodio says marketers should pay attention to regionalisms used in specific countries. Isra García – Merodio’s partner and Mapmakers co-founder – advises creating a focused strategy that takes into account the impact, strength, and purpose of the content.

“Companies in Latin America are learning fast how to build a content marketing strategy,” García says, “but some still confuse strategy with a simple mechanics of distribution of social objects thought social media.”

Good news and bad news

The good news: much of this is tactical and substantial progress with content is possible, even for those with small budgets. The bad news is that producing lots of content is still labor intensive, and consulting services can be invaluable.

Thankfully, there are emerging businesses aimed at offering affordable pricing structures. Among these is We Are Content, which bills itself as Latin America’s first Hispanic content marketing firm. In an attempt to level the playing field for small businesses and startups, it offers strategy consulting services as well as text, video/animation, audio/music, and design content from over 2,000 providers – creating content as cheap as $20 per article.

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