Shafqat M. is a professional content writer who has helmed digital marketing projects for the last 5 years.
COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact on Digital Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Make it Imperative to Choose a Niche for your Digital Agency
The COVID-19 pandemic and the atmosphere of uncertainty it unleashed has hit digital marketing the hardest.
Forcing in its wake marketing agencies to go niche-specific and choose a particular industry to focus on amid the coronavirus crisis.
While some niches and industries promise great opportunities, others just don't offer anything.
What that implies for a digital agency is to tread carefully in the digital marketing realm in the COVID situation.
As agency owners and marketers, you need to take into consideration the changed consumer behaviour amidst the COVID-19-forced lockdown and social distancing norm to adapt to the new normal of digital-first commerce.
And also from the point of the state industries find themselves in, it's critical to go niche-specific.
In all likelihood, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to bring sweeping changes all across sectors in times to come.
To cash in on any opportunity that crops up along the way, digital agencies proactively need to look for niches promising positive results.
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COVID-19 and Reluctance of Some Niche Industries to Spend on Marketing
The digital agencies are faced with a sad fact that the coronavirus is raging unhindered, which is forcing some industries belonging to some niches to put off digital marketing spending.
It's partly due to the shrinking profits as demand and supply decline.
If we go by earlier estimates projected by the eMarketer report, global ad spending for 2020 was estimated to touch $712.02 billion, a whopping 7.4% increase from its figures in the year 2019.
But during the early days of the coronavirus outbreak when it was confined to China only and had not turned into a pandemic, the projected figure of $712.02 billion was slashed to $691.7 billion.
Global ad spending for 2020 was estimated to touch $712.02 billion before COVID-19 struck and slashed it to $691.7 billion.
Contrary to the belief that while the lockdown is in place staggering digital media consumption will push ad spending sky-high, the reality, however, is the opposite.
Even though China’s overall digital media consumption peaked but supply chain disruption due to lockdown made various sectors freeze their digital marketing spending.
Why Choosing a Niche for your Digital Agency is Must in the COVID Era?
Choosing a niche has become a marketing imperative for digital agencies.
- Firstly, not all sectors are willing to spend on advertising. They would rather spend the same amount to bailout out their business.
- Secondly, sectors that continue with their expenditure on marketing prefer digital agencies that offer specialized marketing services, not a one-solution-for-all-sectors kind of service.
Take, for example, the healthcare sector, it would prefer a digital marketing agency specialising in healthcare-related marketing service.
It's simply because strategies used to market the healthcare sector vary significantly from, say, the eCommerce sector.
From the pure business point of view, such an approach is profitable for digital agencies for they get a larger market share by specialising in a particular niche.
How to Choose a Niche for your Digital Agency Amid COVID-19 Pandemic?
The principal factor that will play its part in the choice you make to choose a niche for your digital agency is COVID-19 itself and the impact it has had on that niche-specific business.
Either directly or indirectly, the coronavirus impact has been tremendous on businesses and brought to a complete halt many sectors like tourism, hospitality, etc.
As a result, you have to be smart with your selection of niche and adhere to it ever after to master its subtle nuances in order to offer a specialized marketing service specific to that niche.
Which Industries to Focus on in the COVID Era to Keep your Digital Agency Up and Running?
To begin with, as a digital marketing agency, you can focus on the following industries while the world reels under the coronavirus pandemic.
A Coresight Research shows us that over 74% of internet users in the United States have been avoiding, ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, shopping in physical stores.
As a direct consequence, the demand for eCommerce skyrocketed across the US and other parts of the world.
Consequently, the demand for digital marketing in the eCommerce sector has opened up new opportunities for digital agencies.
From website optimization to lower bounce rate, the eCommerce industry is vying for specialized eCommerce marketing services to bring a larger portion of the population under the ambit of eCommerce.
Therefore, it is obvious as more offline businesses shift online, the need for niche-specific digital marketing agencies will only grow and there are significant benefits to reap for agencies.
Over 74% of internet users in the United States have been avoiding shopping in physical stores ever since the COVID-19 outbreak.
In recent times, fitness consciousness has become mainstream, almost a rage among millennials who are fitness freaks.
As gyms come up everywhere, a new industry of fitness and health has risen to the occasion, and everyone from millennials to olds is falling for it.
But coronavirus and lockdown imposed to curtail its spread, put this nascent industry on backfoot as brick-and-mortar gym centres remained shut.
But the closure of physical facilities gave rise to a concomitant increase in the consumption of online fitness classes and workout sessions.
As a result, watching fitness videos has become a new norm when it comes to behavioural change due to physical distancing or quarantine.
Fitness as an industry, therefore, has gone digital, and it's most likely to invest in a digital agency to market itself digitally.
As a specialized marketing agency, offering services like SEO, PPC, content, etc., time is ripe for your agency to turn the tide in your favour, and cash in on the opportunity.
Undoubtedly healthcare promises the budget and willingness to spend on digital marketing.
Be it a pharmaceutical company delivering medicines, or an institution trying to get across its message of social distancing, or the importance of maintaining hygiene to at least mitigate the severity of the highly contagious coronavirus infection, their dependence on digital marketing is but evident.
Similarly for online consultation too, health professionals need effective digital marketing strategies to reach a wider audience and expand their digital footprint.
Shortest to say, healthcare presents long-term opportunities for digital agencies, and it could be the best industry to choose as a niche for your digital agency.
NGOs played a significant role in mobilizing help to needy ones during the lockdown.
What they all have been doing is using digital mediums to get like-minded people on board on a grand scale.
In a way, NGOs completely rely on digital platforms to spread the word, receive donations, disburse payments, reach donors, and people in need.
Therefore, it's quite obvious that digital marketing can play its part to help non-profit organisations spread its message far and wide, and also to raise money from people living far away.
Here too, specialization is needed. As the marketing needs of cause-based NGOs differ from those of businesses, it's on the lookout for a digital agency specialising in content marketing.
Since work from home has become a new normal, leveraging SaaS has become indispensable for companies to make working remotely feasible.
A robust IT infrastructure is needed to help businesses function remotely. Playing its part as a saviour of businesses in the current COVID-19 pandemic, SaaS implementation is as a result of a top right now.
As it goes, SaaS service providers leverage digital marketing to catch hold of companies looking for SaaS implementation.
Hence, as a digital marketing agency, you can choose it as your marketing niche in the COVID-19 Era, and expect great dividends.
Since COVID-19 has disrupted the business world as we know it, digital marketing agencies need to adapt to the changing business behavior to remain relevant.
That's to say, a digital marketing agency has to choose a niche that is willing to invest in marketing to remain profitable.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Shafqat M
Shafqat M (author) from UK on October 11, 2020:
Thanks, Amy! Glad that you liked it and found it informative!
Amy on October 11, 2020:
This is such a great informative article.Thanks for sharing.