Reaching a multi-cultural audience through Search

As Canada becomes increasingly diverse and our multicultural population grows, keeping in mind the importance of valuable connections with these diverse audiences is more crucial than ever. While search is often the first stage in a new Canadian arrival’s journey, search strategies are too often done without these multicultural audiences in mind.  Media Experts’ Search team takes us through the space that Search marketing platforms occupies in the information journeys of multicultural audiences and how we as media professionals can approach our media strategies through a diverse multicultural lens.

Who uses search?

The purpose of search engines has always been to categorize valuable information and make it universally accessible to people around the world. In Canada, Google accounts for 92% market share with BING, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia and Yandex making up the rest1.  According to Google, there are 5.6 billion searches per day across the globe made by searchers from all different countries, races, languages, incomes, and socio-economic backgrounds. There are slight differences in demographics between the various search engines as well.  BING skews slightly older with the searcher’s average age being 45, as well as more educated, with 50% having  college degrees and 17% holding an advanced degree2.  We turn to Search to learn about new topics and find the helpful information that allows us to make important decisions, making it a key channel to reach a multi-cultural audience and ensure that important messages are being delivered.

When is Search an important part of the information journey?

For most Multicultural Canadians, Search is a vital part of their entire information journey. Those immigrating to Canada use Google Search as a planning tool for their new venture. They plan their method of travel, what province, city, or neighbourhood could be a potential fit for themselves and their families, and where to find the nearest essentials (grocery store near me, banks near me, best cellphone plan, etc…) once they’ve settled in. By preparing for this next chapter in advance, they enter the country with more confidence and with a stronger sense of belonging..

Canadians born in Canada with diverse family backgrounds often have a foot in two worlds and look to find a balance between their roots and the Canadian culture they’ve grown up with. Most will first turn to family and friends to help fill the knowledge gaps and then look to Google search to further expand their knowledge. They search to better understand their current Canadian lifestyle and the traditions that are deeply rooted in their own countries of origin. The most common searches stem from a desire to understand cultural celebrations and key moments such as “who celebrates the lunar new year” and “when is Diwali?”.

Why is Search an important source of information for multicultural Canadians?

Search is an important resource for multi-cultural Canadians because it can be used to learn more about Canadian traditions and their own culture as well as others.   Phones are often the first device purchased by newcomers, who may  lack the network (family/friends) to turn to for answers. The search engines often become their go-to for answers and resources as they are settling in. As Search is  available in every language, it caters to a wide variety of searchers.. In essence, search is an important avenue to consider if marketers want to reach a wide variety of people.

How Media Experts leverages search to promote multiculturalism

There are numerous ways that Media Experts uses search to reach a multi-cultural audience.  For example, Media Experts often leverages the search demand created by holidays/multicultural events to promote offers or specific campaigns to increase client reach. Holiday/event specific keywords are layered in to tap into the increased demand and customized ad copy is utilized to speak to the specific events themselves. This ensures that we reach the wide audience range who partake in different events, allowing us to target  a multi-cultural demographic in our campaigns.

Search ads can be set-up and adapted into many languages and we’re able leverage these using the resources on our team and our global partners. We’ve run campaigns in English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and more! We’re always looking for ways to reach a more diverse audience and catering to different languages help us achieve this goal.

In order to speak to audiences who have just arrived in Canada and may not have their desktop/laptop set-up, we always ensure that ads are set-up on desktop/tablet and mobile devices so that all audiences can be reached. In addition, demographic targeting can be used to reach different education levels, parental status and income levels while adjusting bids around certain FSAs can help us better reach different communities across Canada.

We include question-based terms and misspellings to address specific queries derived from people on the go and those who may not speak English as their first language, as these individuals may be turning to Google to get the answers that they need if they have just arrived in Canada.


Search is an important channel to consider to reach audiences across the globe as well as multi-cultural Canadians.  It provides easy access to information and trends and can be accessed anywhere and from any device. If marketers want to ensure that they are reaching a diverse audience with their marketing messages, it is important that search is considered as a vital part of the digital journey.  Specific search strategies can also be leveraged in order to cater to diverse audiences. If you want to learn more, please reach out to