My blog went on a hiatus last week while I headed to Miami to attend the 7th annual Hispanicize conference. Hispanicize is the largest Hispanic marketing conference in the country. It’s an event that pulls together the nation’s top Latino bloggers and social media influencers (and some international ones), brands who are already reaching out to or want to reach out to Hispanic markets, celebrities, journalists, and many others. And you learn a lot.
It’s a great opportunity to learn from top brands about what’s working with Hispanic audiences, in English and Spanish. We get to learn from social media stars about what’s working with online audiences — I’m talking about people who reach from 100,000 to more than 1,000,000 people on their social channels and bloggers who actually have larger readership than some newspapers. You get to actually meet (offline and in person) people you may only know through articles and videos, as well as representatives from some of the nation’s most trusted brands (including State Farm, Kelley Blue Book, Home Depot, etc.). And you get to be a total fangirl when you see Rosario Dawson waiting for an elevator … wait, that may just be me.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend this conference several times before. And this year I did actually speak. There were a few trends I observed that you may want to note:
I need to get over this procrastination and get onto video. I’ve been promising to get more active in video, both for SandraSays.com as well as for HispanicHouston.com, but I always have a good reason why that hasn’t happened. And there are so many options for video now that it’s become a joke that I’m still resisting. YouTube may still be the granddaddy, but it’s not the only option and it’s not the “hot” channel either. Blogs and bloggers are doing great work with Periscope and Blab. They’re doing great work with short-form video on Instagram and Snapchat. And now they’re all praising Facebook live video.
The reality is that video is simply going to continue becoming more important. And since it’s now so easy, and mobile-accessible, to create video, we can expect to see personal and company brands use it more. At some point it will include me.
There’s still room for new blogs, as long as their content is good. There are a lot of crappy blogs out there. They pop up every day, they post regularly, and they make us cringe when we see the content. But I met quite a few bloggers at the conference that had launched their sites in the last year, and were making them a success. Yes, even in the crowded Internet, there’s room for new blogs. The key is that they need to be providing content that’s exceptional and, most importantly, not trying to copy what others are doing. Individuality is essential.
Podcasts are hot hot hot. I launched my podcast last year after thinking about doing it for two years. The reason I finally launched it? I found the time. There were several sessions at this year’s conference from podcasters, teaching everything from how to get started to how to monetize. And several of the long-time bloggers I know were talking about launching their own podcasts this year.
You need to start thinking about Generation Z. When it comes to online influencers, the new crop of personalities is already creating content. Tweens already contributing to online channels or who are starring in their own channels were on hand to talk about what they want to see in content targeted to them. They also discussed how they “work.” There were even sessions to educate parents on the best ways to get their kids “online” in videos, blogs and other social channels.
The last thing I noticed wasn’t precisely a trend, just something I noticed: there was a large Texas presence at this year’s conference. And I loved seeing all the Tejanos showing up and demonstrating our influence and expertise.
Missed it? You should really think about attending next year.
And for those of you in the Houston area … join us on May 5, 2016 for Hispanicize Texas: Cinco De Mayo Houston Celebration!
SAVE THE DATE – May 5, 2016 – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Center Stage Gallery
3527 Highway 6, Suite 250
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
More details to come, but please RSVP now to join us for the official Hispanicize Texas Cinco de Mayo Celebration in Houston. This is a FREE event, but you MUST REGISTER on EVENTBRITE to attend – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hispanicize-texas-cinco-de-mayo-houston-celebration-tickets-24309109200.