The pandemic has been a challenging time for businesses across the globe. It goes without saying, however, that some industries have had it harder than others. Whole countries relying on tourism have seen their GDP slashed, though many Californian companies have managed to stay afloat and even make money, especially those with digital offerings or a business model that uses technology to drive sales.
Technology to market your business is one of the most valuable tools that businesses have in the current state of affairs. Digital marketing gives you the opportunity to connect with customers you haven’t been able to see in ages, as well as reaffirm brand awareness and reach new customers that you could never have connected with via traditional marketing practices. This guide outlines the most valuable digital marketing tips for businesses that have suffered the most in 2020. With the right digital strategy, many businesses will be able to drive their sales and start the process of recovery, so they can get back to focusing on their growth.
What Industries Were Hit Hardest in California in the Pandemic?
Recent data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that unemployment rates were significantly higher in December 2020 than they were at the same time the previous year. Although this seems to be an almost universal problem throughout America, some industries were hit harder than others in 2020. The hardest hit industries last year were:
1. The Leisure and Hospitality Industry
The unemployment rate for those in the leisure and hospitality industry jumped from 5% in December 2019 to 16.7% in December 2020. That is a year-over-year increase of 11.7%. In real terms, that means that 1.3 million fewer people were employed in the leisure and hospitality industry in December 2020 than in the year before.
2. Mining, Oil and Gas Industry
It may strike you as odd that the mining oil and gas industries suffered so much, but remember that oil distribution issues compounding with low cost per barrel had a serious impact on oil last year. The unemployment rate in December 2020 was 12.2% compared with 3.8% the year before.
3. Travel and Transport
It is no surprise that the travel and transport industry was badly hit. They reported an unemployment rate of 8.4% in December 2020, compared to 2.6% in December 2019.
Construction workers also suffered in 2020, with contractors being hit specifically hard. 9.6% was the December 2020 unemployment rate compared to 5% in 2019.
5. Motion Picture and Music Industry
The motion picture and music industry has many freelance workers who have found themselves with very little salary. 6.4% of motion picture and music workers were unemployed in December 2020, compared to just 1.9% the previous year.
As precautionary measures and restrictions continue into this year, it is likely that many of those working in these industries will continue to suffer in 2021. However, digital marketing can help some mitigate the risks. Not all industries will benefit to the same extent – those working for the mining, oil and gas industries will likely benefit very little from digital marketing compared to the other industries on this list, as they sell B2B and rely on handfuls of clients to make their bread and butter.
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Focus on Highly Relevant Content
One of the first things you need to think about when you’re undertaking a digital marketing strategy is how you are going to drive viewers to your website, where you will then be able to draw them down the conversion funnel and eventually make a sale to a few of them. One of the most popular ways to draw people into your site and give page viewers some genuine value is to focus on highly relevant content. The content you create is seen by some observers as being the most important part of digital marketing in the modern-day, as it allows you, as a business, to build trust with your target audience, It also helps your other marketing techniques, as you can promote your company in many ways by offering different types of content – whether that is an interesting blog, an engaging video or a free webinar.
Content can help you to educate your audience, so they make informed decisions when choosing between you and your competitors. It is also consequently a great way to establish yourself as a trustworthy source. Content can also help you to become more visible online, both on search engines and in the social media that you use, as content gets shared between those who find it valuable. Quality content can also be linked in other people’s blogs, which directs traffic towards your site and helps your search engine rankings, as search engines can tell that you are a good source of information.
Highly relevant content can more specifically help out some of those industries that were the hardest hit in 2020:
1. Travel and Transportation
Taxi firms can benefit from regular output of highly relevant content as they can use it to educate their customers on the measures they are putting in place to ensure their safety – e.g. face masks, cleaning, hand-sanitizer and a plastic screen between driver and rider. Promotional content can be highly valuable, too, as you can try to match offers from companies like Uber and Lyft when they crop up. People love saving money, so that content is sure to be shared on social media.
2. Construction industry
The construction industry execs can also use highly relevant content to their advantage – they can use it to battle their competitors that might be offering cheap services because they have none of the requisite licenses or insurance policies (sometimes known as cowboy contractors). Content ideas that help to tackle cowboy competition include showcasing their legal status as meeting general contractor license requirements and educating their audience about the dangers of employing someone who doesn’t meet these requirements. Interviews with clients who might have had bad experiences with cowboys are a good idea too.
3. Motion Picture and Music Industry
You can keep your audience interested and up to date by posting content about up-and-coming projects. They can also maintain relevance and brand awareness by posting interesting content about past projects. As a media company, you likely have truck-loads of potential content, so be sure you’re hitting that sweet spot between satisfying those hungry for your content and not posting too much that you become less interesting.
Google My Business
Google My Business aims to easily connect you with potential customers by posting photos and offers to your profile to show customers what makes your business unique. This makes it incredibly easy for a customer to check out your offerings and if they are interested, to connect with you by giving you a call, visiting your website, or sending you a quick message.
Try to encourage regulars and happy customers to leave a review on your Google My Business page, as this will help to boost your online presence as you are easily identified as a trusted business. It’s also good as it provides you with valuable insights of what your customers are looking for.
Google My Business is great for local businesses that had a tough time during 2020.
- Cafes and hospitality venues, even though they might have to be closed, can use the service to show that they are open for take-away. They can post their take-away menu and encourage customers to share their favorites.
- Construction companies can show their location and become more easily findable for those looking for construction work in the local area. They might also be able to show their construction sites if customers can come and ask the foreman for company information, which can serve as digital construction signs.
- Transportation businesses like taxi companies can show their opening hours and contact details to customers looking for such services in the area.
It may sound old fashioned, but email marketing works extremely well in the modern day when you have a good, healthy email list. It makes sense – there are almost 4 billion users of email throughout the world and the average number of business emails sent and received per day is 293 billion. You don’t need to worry about whether your email recipients will delete an email instead of clicking through and buying one of your products – 59% of email respondents admit that marketing emails influence them to buy, especially when they are paired with great offers. As a result, email marketing produces a great ROI compared to other marketing tools.
Email marketing is also quick, easy (as long as you do your research), and free. It’s a great way to reach customers and remind them of your brand when they have not had an experience with your business for a while. Every company that has been hit hard in 2020 can benefit from email marketing. Some might even want to use it to offer discounts to their customers, others to remind customers that they are open. Some who still have restrictions to their work might want to send email marketing with content that they think might interest their customers to help to engage customers and establish brand loyalty.