Starting in the sixteenth century, but really picking up steam in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Spanish and the French greatly expanded their overseas colonies in the Americas. While there were some aspects of imperialism that they shared, the differences were more pronounced.
Both the Spanish and the French were Catholic empires. As such, there was a large missionary element to their colonial efforts. Spanish and French missionaries were established throughout their colonies with the goal of converting the Indigenous populations. For the Spanish, this was often done through coercive means, and whole communities were sometimes forcibly brought into the faith. The French, on the other hand, tended to be less forceful about finding converts. French missionaries would seek out Indigenous communities that were responsive to their message and set up missions within those communities.
Overall, when the Spanish arrived in a new territory, they quickly set about implementing their strategy of total conquest. Whole populations were enslaved or forced into the encomienda system. They labored to extract the resources of the New World to be sent to Spain to enrich the Crown. To achieve this, European-style feudal estates were set up and many new cities and towns were founded to resemble those in Europe.
For their part, the French were less interested in establishing large urban centers and landholdings. While they did create some larger cities modeled after ones in Europe, such as Quebec and New Orleans, they were more interested in setting up beneficial commercial and trading relationships with the Indigenous populations. The French were particularly interested in the fur trade and maintained trading alliances with various tribes to exploit this.
As you might imagine, the more total conquest by the Spanish required many more European settlers than the French model did. It is estimated that 1.86 million Spaniards settled in the American colonies during the colonial period. The French, however, kept a comparatively small population of colonists in North America. For instance, at its height, French Quebec only had about 70,000 French settlers. An exception to this lighter approach to imperialism was in the Caribbean. There, the French completely colonized several islands and established large plantations reliant on slave labor. In this region, French colonization more closely resembled the Spanish model.