“Somos Frontera” content platform engages English- and Spanish-speaking readers in critical local issues.
El Paso is located in one of the largest international border communities in North America, with Ciudad Juarez lying just across our border with Mexico.
Our team wanted to create a Web site that offered great content geared toward the special needs of a growing border. The violence across the border in Juarez has been so bad that many Mexican nationals have fled their homes in Juarez, and relocated to El Paso.
A few statistics about El Paso explain why this audience is such a vital part of our market:
- El Paso is the 14th largest Hispanic market in the United States. It has a population of 800,647 -- 82% of which is Hispanic.
- El Paso is one of the largest growing cities in Texas. Between 2000 and 2040, the population of the country is projected to grow by 70%.
- It is estimated that more than 100,000 people have relocated or immigrated to the El Paso/Las Cruces, New Mexico, area in the past two years.
- More than 70 Fortune 500 companies are based in El Paso, including Hoover, Eureka, Boeing, and Delphi.
The issues surrounding many of these border communities are complex, so we felt we needed to create a multi-cultural content solution on the Web to tap into this vital audience. We created a cross-functional SWAT team involving editorial, advertising, marketing, as well as other departments. Our goal was to help the border area stay up to date on the news, events, and entertainment relevant to it.
After conducting an internal focus group, we named the project Somos Frontera. Our design team created a logo that reflects an iconic bridge crossing in the area, and the star ties into the El Paso star on Franklin Mountain (a local landmark in the border area).
Our logo was in place and our editorial team was ready to begin working on the content. Now we needed a Web site. We created SomosFrontera.com
and SomosFrontera.mx to serve our online audience on both sides of the border. Our soft launch lasted several months and allowed our editorial teams to work out the process of porting the localised border content to the Web site in Spanish. We also tapped into some outstanding local photography from our editorial team for our branding ads. This was truly an effort from every department in the building -- an effort filled with pride.
Our traffic built slowly during the first several months of our soft launch. The first month, our pageviews were 40,000. The second month, they grew to 46,000. Then, at the end of 2011, we launched our branding campaign in print and online. The market started talking about SomosFronter, and the rate at which our traffic is growing is accelerating. In December, our pageviews grew more than 43%, to 66,000!
Our Web brand is starting to take hold, the images reflect our special culture on the border, and our creative tells that story — in English and in Spanish, which was an essential element of our strategy. The second phase of the branding campaign will involve additional images as well as TV spots.
The readers continue to respond positively. Our April Web traffic has reached more than 100,000, displaying a positive growth trend. And, as with our print competitors in Juarez, our photo galleries remain some of the most popular sections. It provides a vital social connection to the community.
Our traffic is growing, our brand is being talked about, and most importantly, we are serving our border with a content solution that did not exist before.