Connecting with Hispanics across the Radio airwaves


Radio reaches 97% of Hispanics every week, representing the highest penetration across demographics, ethnicities, and platforms, according to Nielsen.

Video killed the radio star… Not in all cases! Hispanic radio is still quite popular and an effective communications channel.

Take Carlos Munoz as an example. From a small, but vibrant Latino community in Norfolk, Virginia, the Latin disc jockey controls the airwaves on Saturdays evenings with “La Fiesta After Dark.” He appeals to a young, bilingual audience, spinning cuts by the hottest names Latin music artists. He mixes it up with information, interviews, and recommendations on cool Latin places.

Munoz’s popularity on air is not an isolated case, as radio continues to be an important news and entertainment source for Hispanic consumers. You hear it in homes and workplaces everywhere. It is the sound of family, connecting to their homeland and culture. It allows them to escape from the English language, which can seem cold to their ears.

Go Digital

Radio reaches nearly all Hispanic adults every week, but mobile acceptance is increasing, and smartphones reach 85% of the Hispanic people. With the increased demand of smartphones among this demographic, online radio consumption has also expanded significantly.

There’s been a boost in online radio listening in the car. When asked “have you ever listened to internet radio in a vehicle from a cellphone connected to a car audio system?”, a huge 40% agreed, contrasted with only 6% in 2010.

Entertaining with online radio keeps on developing at an enduring pace. A new research determined that 62% of the population now swings to online radio as indicated by the 2017 Infinite Dial Study, which examined at audio and video streaming technologies.

Share the Faith

Spanish religious programming is on the rise and growing fast as well. More than 100 stations across the nation broadcast Christian programs at least part-time in Spanish. Radio Nueva Vida (KLTX-AM) emerged in the Los Angeles market as the first 24-hour Spanish-language radio station in California. It offers a mix of Christian music in Spanish, biblical teaching and practical information on health, education and immigration issues. Pastors and others credit the network with bringing the Latino church community together.

Since radio is still a powerful channel to reach the Spanish-speaking audience, how can your ministry offer content in this format? Carmen Montgomery, executive director of Visión Para Vivir, the Spanish arm of Insight for Living, which broadcasts regularly on hundreds of stations, shares these practical suggestions:

  • Contextualize the message

In order to grab the attention of the Spanish audience, it’s very important to contextualize the message that you’re trying to share. It’s best not to translate verbatim, but rather to make it sound like the text was written just for them. A good example of this would be to mention a soccer match instead of a football game or sit down to enjoy a cup of coffee with sweet bread instead of a soft drink. Always look for a way, once again, to make them feel that your message was written with them in mind.

  • Communicate with warmth

Latins are very warm people by nature. It is very difficult to not encounter a warm embrace or even a peck on the cheek when meeting a Hispanic person. Try to convey that same emotion in your style of writing. Don’t just use words to try to convey your message, but rather find a way to make that emotional connection with the audience. Make it real, personable and relatable to the listener.

  • Convey family experiences

Family is key in the Hispanic culture. It’s not uncommon to find a single son or daughter still living at home with their grandma. Communicate the fact that you know and understand that it’s not just the nuclear family who you’re trying to reach, but all those other relatives who live close by and can influence a decision as well. A good way to accomplish this is to bring in experiences from your own family and start forming a common bond with your listening audience.

So remember, the Hispanic audience -be it on the radio or online- is a loyal listener, we can take advantage of this media to offer them the best product we have. A product with an eternal value.

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