Employees, Freelances, or Agencies? What’s the best way for Startups to succeed in the Spanish-speaking market

The Spanish-speaking market has more than 500 million people, a very good number for a Startup that wants to grow fast and steadily. See the facts that make this market so interesting, and just one translation away.

Approaching a market always demands prior knowledge of its features, both common and particular. For this reason, the Marketing and SEO departments of those companies whose intention is to establish a business in Ibero-America must become familiar with the culture of their nations. One of the best ways for growing the audience is to work with quality Spanish content.

Such action is essential when adopting a language and forms of communication suitable for a specific set of countries. In this way, those in charge of the promotion and sales of a company acquire the capacity to diversify the diffusion of their brand. Consequently, marketing beyond any border, custom, or tradition is facilitated.

Characteristics of the Spanish-speaking market

Which countries make it up?

There are currently 21 countries whose official language is Spanish or Castilian. They can be grouped according to the subcontinent or geographic formation to which they belong. In Central America and the Caribbean Sea region are Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

In South America, there are Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Likewise, Spain is the Spanish-speaking country with the best economic health and a member of the European Union. Finally, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is the only representative from Africa.

The case of Equatorial Guinea

The small sub-Saharan nation with coasts bathed by the Gulf of Guinea is not usually included in the Spanish-speaking market due to its geographical location. However, according to the Diario del Exportador (2022), Equatorial Guinea represents the best option for Latin American companies to enter the African market. Here are some reasons:

  • Like the other Spanish-speaking territories, more than 80% of Equatoguineans are Christians (mainly Catholics);
  • It is the third-largest producer of hydrocarbons in Africa;
  • It currently has several productive sectors with good investment prospects; Among them: construction, electricity (infrastructure), agriculture, fishing, transportation, and telecommunications;

How much is the economic potential?

In general, the analyzes of the financial perspectives of the Spanish-speaking territories take Brazil into account, that is, they speak of Ibero-America. According to El País, (2021), the group of Ibero-American countries is home to more than 648 million people and reports a GDP of US$ 7.4 billion. Such a figure is only surpassed by the US (US$ 20.93 billion) and China (US$ 14.72 billion).

Source: https://cincodias.elpais.com/cincodias/2021/11/04/economia/1636031166_419666.html

Countries with the highest use of technology

The Global Innovation Index — GII, in English — of the World Intellectual Property Organization (2022) is a reliable measure of the use of technology. According to the said summary, Spain occupies the 30th position in the world and the first among the Spanish-speaking nations with 45.4 points. Then the Spanish-speaking countries mentioned below appear:

  • Chile: 35.1 points. (position 53 globally);
  • Mexico: 34.5 points. (55 overall);
  • Costa Rica: 34.5 points. (56 overall);
  • Uruguay: 32.2 points. (65 overall);
  • Colombia: 31.7 points. (67 overall).

Countries with the highest per capita income (2020 data)

  • Spain: US$27,057.16;
  • Uruguay: US$17,020.65;
  • Chile: US$16,502.84;
  • Costa Rica: US$12,508.62;
  • Argentina: US$10,729.23;
  • Mexico: US$9,926.42;
  • Dominican Republic: $8,603.79.

Countries with the most access to the Internet

The Spanish-speaking country with the highest percentage of the population with Internet access is Spain (94%). According to Data Reportal, at the beginning of 2022, there were approximately 43.93 million active users in cyberspace in the Iberian nation. Similarly, Latin America shows impressive numbers regarding the use of social networks.

Although the number of Social Media users is not an economic parameter per se, but it is relevant when digital marketing plans are designed. Similarly, the audience of a product or service on the internet is very significant in determining the possible reach of a brand. In this regard, Global Media Insight and Statista (2022) have published some of the following statistics for this market:

  • With 40.7 million users, the penetration level of YouTube in Spain reaches 91.6% of the population, the tenth highest in the world;
  • With 80.6 million users, Mexico is the Spanish-speaking country (and seventh in the world) with the most active people on YouTube;
  • The Dominican Republic is the territory of the Caribbean islands with the highest number of YouTube users, 4.75 million;
  • In Spain there are 20.2 million users on Facebook, 22.85 million on Instagram, 13.73 million on TikTok, and 14 million on Linkedin;
  • Mexico and Colombia are the Spanish-speaking countries with the most Facebook users (105 and 41 million, respectively);
  • In Latin America there are around 120 million TikTok users;
  • As for Instagram, the Spanish-speaking countries with the most users are Mexico (41 million), Argentina (25.34 million), and Chile (19.02 million).

Ways a Startup can enter the Spanish-speaking market

Recruitment of in-house talent


The hiring party (startup) controls the schedule and salary of the hired;
It works according to a series of skills and needs known in advance (both by the contracting party and by the contracted party);
Greater sense of belonging on the part of the hired talent concerning the brand or the entrepreneurial project;
Transfer of skills and knowledge.


  • From the outset, it is necessary to consider the long-term terms and costs;
  • Candidates with the best skills for a certain position or task may lack enthusiasm or stay within their "comfort zone";
  • Some candidates for the position may lack sufficient support (academic and/or work experience);
  • Less adaptability to the incorporation of new activities.

Hiring freelancers


  • Flexibility and selection of expert knowledge;
  • Best cost-benefit ratio;
  • Access to specialized talent;
  • Possibilities of new perspectives and creative solutions.


  • Lack of supervision and less control of work schedules;
  • There is usually a negotiation for salary, in which the contracted party has the last word;
  • Security risk (data leaks, intellectual property, private information…);
  • Difficulties in payment methods due to currency exchange.

Agency Recruitment

Key aspects:

  • Estimate the type of recruitment agency for human resources
  • Determine if the recruiter is going to focus on internal talent (in-house), external ( freelancers ), or mixed;
  • The payment commissions usually range between 15 and 25% of the total annual salary of the contracted person;
  • Retention commissions (executed only if the contracted party meets all expectations), which amount to up to 50% of the amount of the first year's salary.

Contracting an Spanish-speaking Agency that knows the Market


  • The company can free employees' time.
  • They can clearly set KPIs, metrics, goals, and deadlines.
  • A lot of time can be saved doing research, outreach, and hiring advisors.
  • The right agency will know about the differences in doing business with different Spanish-speaking countries.


  • It can be costly for most starting startups.
  • If the communication is not crystal-clear, then it can be a problem.
  • The client always needs to set clear expectations about the agency's work.
  • A regular follow-up on the Agency results should be done.

Success stories: Clipchamp

Clipchamp is an Australian Startup that started as an element within a corporate Suite, the Suite did not have the expected success, so the founders decided to reinvent themselves and give attention to that online video editor they had designed for the Suite.

They started with the Software As A Service (SAAS) in English, and years later, they contacted the founder of Unmaze It to help them enter the Spanish-speaking market. After following a constant and well-thought-out link building plan, they reached the top of the market within a year. After staying in those ranks for a longer time Microsoft acquired them. Today Clipchamp is still a customer of Unmaze It.

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