We are currently living in unsettling times and unchartered territories. The COVID-19 era has brought immense change to the world. Whether it is how individuals behave or how industries operate, it is predicted that the virus has, and will continue to change it all.
This also holds true for digital marketing agencies. Niches that were once popular are now going to be reluctant to spend in marketing at all. This is because many sectors are likely to see a contraction in demand and profits.
Why do you need to pick your niche?
You might wonder, why do you need to pick niches, to begin with? This is because now, sectors look for specialized services. Techniques that might work for one business might not work for another.
For instance, while digital marketing strategies required by the healthcare sector are much more regulated, that required by the Ecommerce platform is much more thorough and extensive, since the sector primarily operates online.
Rather than trying to be good at it all, it is much better to specialize in a few sectors and gain a significant market share in them, instead of holding a small market share in a large pie.
Why will COVID-19 play a role in your choice?
When selecting the best niches for digital marketing agency in modern times, you will have to consider the impact of COVID-19 on the given sector. This is because the virus has brought lasting changes to the economies of various countries.
Let’s take the airline industry as an example.
According to WHO, social distancing is key to breaking the chain of the quick spread of the virus. As a response, many countries have or had gone into lockdown and have closed down their borders.
Naturally, the airline industry has been heavily hit by it. In fact, according to Business Insider, the sector is estimated to lose at least 314 billion USD due to the outbreak. Not to mention that behaviorists think that many will continue to avoid travel long after the outbreak is over, due to the fear.
A sector related to travel is also suffering – the tourism industry.
According to Statista, in 2019, the tourism sector accounted for a whopping 10 percent of the global GDP. Previously, this would have been a great niche for a digital marketing agency. However, now the World Travel and Tourism Council has predicted that 50 million jobs will be eliminated in the sector.
Any sector that is facing a contraction in demand or restrictions in its operations is likely to witness a cash flow crunch. In other words, they won’t have the required budget to invest in marketing. Therefore, in the COVID-19 world, it is imperative to select niches very carefully.
Industries to focus on for digital agencies
Not all sectors are experiencing contraction. The world has now divided businesses into two kinds – essential and non-essential. Most essential service businesses are thriving and hence are some of the best niches for marketing agencies. Some non-essential services are trying to alter their business model for better relevancy as well.
Here are some of the industries you should focus on during the COVID-19 era
As per a survey conducted by Coresight Research, over 74 percent of US internet users have been actively avoiding shopping in brick and mortar stores. As consumers’ behavior changes in light of coronavirus, demand for Ecommerce has increased.
Whether it be countries on lockdown or those who have resumed operations, many are now preferring to shop online. So, to say that the demand for Ecommerce stores will remain steady in the future is a safe prediction to make.
Currently, within the ecommerce sector, Grocery and essential good sales are skyrocketing. As per data collected by Big Commerce, many people turned to online grocery stores when their local stores ran out of items.
The digital marketing needs of an Ecommerce store are unique. Here, the website needs to be effectively optimized for a low bounce rate, and an efficient paid campaign must be run to ensure that customers know about the brand.
As more businesses begin their online store, niche agencies that choose Ecommerce as one of their niches are likely to benefit.
As gyms around the world close down, the fitness sector is experiencing a crunch as well. Many personal trainers, as well as gym staff, have been made redundant. For instance, Solidcore, a pilates place in New York, had to lay off 98 percent of its employees!
While brick-and-mortar facilities suffer losses, there is a surge in demand for online classes and workouts in the fitness sector. According to Statista, 16 percent of adults now watch more fitness videos during quarantine than they did before.
Additionally, businesses are also trying to find alternate ways to make revenue and reach their audience. And the online world has had a huge role to play in doing so.
Now, many gyms are offering virtual classes, combined with zoom personal training sessions, live streams, and online classes.
For a business model that thrives on a digital platform, it comes as no surprise that the sector is likely to invest in digital marketing, whether it be SEO, ad placement, or writing content. Therefore, it is an excellent sector for a digital niche agency.
No other sector has been as impacted by the virus as healthcare. After all, the industry is at the front line of fighting the novel coronavirus. Whether it be pharmaceutical companies or hospitals, every healthcare provider and researcher is trying to deal with the overwhelming number of cases and how to best treat them.
The practice of social distancing was meant to support healthcare providers. According to the World Health Organization, it is imperative to flatten the curve of the spread of the disease so that healthcare systems of given countries don’t get overwhelmed.
If there is one sector that has the budget and desire to invest in digital marketing, it is healthcare. Here, the objective of content created and ads run is to create awareness among people to stay indoors or practice hygiene.
Additionally, OPDs around the world have been shut down to further prevent the spread of disease. This has led to a rise in the online consultation. As healthcare providers begin offering their services online, effective digital marketing can help them in boosting their online presence.
Among the other digital marketing niches, the goals, concerns, and regulations faced by this sector are starkly different and require an expert. You can check the expert healthcare digital marketing agencies to view how they solve problems.
As people fight the pandemic and struggle to make ends meet, various non-profit organizations have taken the lead in an attempt to make lives of the masses as liveable as possible.
For instance, Feeding America has established a COVID-19 Response Fund that ensures that the needy population of America does not starve. Doctors Without Borders is sending its resources to hard-hit countries.
To help during such a time, non-profit organizations require adequate funding. Here, marketing online can help a non-profit organization in getting its message across and raise money.
Just like other industries, this niche requires specialization. The content needs of a non-profit organization are very different from corporations. Here, the key is not to promote your business, but the cause.
Generally, non-profit organizations value content more than any other tool used in digital marketing. Whether it be blog posts, videos, podcasts or webinars, anything that helps push their mission forward is appreciated.
For agencies planning to specialize in this niche, having a firm grasp on content marketing is a must.
According to a Markets and Markets report, SaaS is among the industries that are likely to grow as a result of COVID-19. It is being predicted that by 2022, the cloud market size will be multiplied.
This is because companies around the world now require IT infrastructure that can help support a remote workforce. For instance, in the US alone, a few weeks after the outbreak, over 16 million people were working from home. Cloud Service Providers serve as saviors in this equation.
Similarly, as people stay indoors, their internet usage is increasing, further benefiting internet service providers.
Since it is a service that both companies and individuals are likely to avail, and hence search for, SaaS companies require a strong online presence to emerge as the choice of the masses. Hence, they are likely to avail digital marketing services from agencies.
Real Estate sector has been severely impacted for the worse. People are reluctant to invest in properties as prices of plots are witnessing a decline.
As its number of customer shrink, it is likely that the industry will take measures to retain its clientele and expand its reach. Here, niche agencies from the real estate industry are better suited than an in-house marketer.
Within the sector, there are various sub-categories. This includes renovators, sellers of apartments, condos, and villas. By specializing in real estate, digital marketers are still given the room to work with a variety of clients.
Depending on where the company is located and the type of real estate it offers, marketers will have to cater to novel needs. While in some cases, a paid ad would be enough, others might require blog management.
Gone are the days when people preferred dining in restaurants to home deliveries. Now, to curb the spread of the virus, many restaurants and food outlets have been shut down. At such a time, coffees, bars, and cafes are now operating on home deliveries.
As profits are dwindling and fixed costs still have to be met, the food sector can benefit from leveraging the online platform. After all, what other better way to reach customers during the lockdown than through their screens?
Therefore, the sector is likely to invest in paid digital marketing, whether it be search engine ads or social media management.
Why would companies look for specialized digital agencies for this matter?
This is because food industries tend to have a unique semi-formal mode of communication that few copywriters can get right. So, make sure to understand the different brand images that such companies strive for when specializing in the niche.
In light of COVID-19, many court hearings have been postponed. Fewer cases have been filed. In short, it will be wrong to say that the legal sector hasn’t been hit. However, according to a report by McKinsey, the law firm industry has had a better track record in weathering downturns of the economy.
While the focus of businesses has shifted, many believe that the post-COVID-19 era will bring regulatory and transactional changes – which will require the help of legal services.
Therefore, having a robust online presence and establishing your credibility must begin now if you are a law firm. Since legal services have very complex content requirements, a niche agency is best suited for it.
COVID-19 has had a drastic impact on everything around us, including how businesses operate. As many corporations face a decline in demand, not everyone will be willing to invest in marketing.
Therefore, you must pick a niche that is profitable in today’s landscape. Playing it safe is better than specializing in the wrong niche. It is quite unfortunate that there aren’t many sectors that now fall into the category. Choose wisely. Specialize and help companies gain a digital presence.