Craigslist. We here at NSquared are almost positive you have heard of this website. But, did you know that this website can be an extremely beneficial tool for marketing your business and boosting profits? Check out, Marketing on Craiglist, below:
“Marketing Your Business on Craigslist
Learn how to showcase your products and services on this popular online marketplace.
From e-commerce websites to furniture wholesalers, small businesses both online and off are realizing the marketing power of Craigslist.org. Founded in 1996 by Craig Newmark, Craigslist.org gets an estimated 10 million unique visitors per day. With an online classified ads format organized by either region or city, Craigslist connects buyers and sellers in more than 300 communities; for the most part, posting on the site is free.
If you’ve never heard of Craigslist or never considered using the site to market your business, the following tips will help you determine whether it might be a good fit for you and offer another outlet for marketing your products and services.
What Sells Best on Craigslist
From services like tutoring, car repair and real estate to products such as wholesale furniture, consignment goods and retail e-commerce, Craigslist is the ultimate destination for online marketers. If you manufacture goods, provide services directly or sell products regionally, Craigslist is a marketing tool you should consider. You can also easily promote an eBay store, a franchise operation or a referral partner. And it’s a bourgeoning business opportunity for affiliates and webmasters looking for new ways to find customers.
Identifying Your Market
Like any other advertising medium, Craigslist requires some strategy, though paramount to its usefulness is simplicity. To start, you need to determine which city or cities you’re going to post an ad. If you’re a service provider, you can identify available cities on Craigslist that encompass your service region. Keep in mind that some regions overlap. For instance, if you’re a mobile groomer working in Orange County, California, but service from Los Angeles to San Diego, Craigslist reaches your service area across four cities. So you’d want to develop your messaging and a posting schedule in each of these regions to increase your exposure. If you sell a product or offer a service nationwide, the opportunity to reach new customers is even greater.
Posting on Craigslist, either nationally or locally, requires an understanding of the rules. Craigslist has in place–a set of rules that prohibits advertisers from over-posting or spamming users. You can follow these rules and still get excellent exposure. To start, develop unique ads for each city you post in, focus on specific products and rotate them on a promotional schedule. Never post the exact same ad within 48 hours, and be careful to delete your old ad. Craigslist users are quick to spot businesses that misuse the system and can be quite unforgiving. The Craigslist flagging system puts the power of spam control into the hands of the users.
Building an ad on Craigslist can be as simple as typing in some text, or you can incorporate html and images. Typically, what works best is the direct approach. For instance, if you’re a real estate agent using Craigslist to promote properties for sale, build a text ad that incorporates images of the properties for sale–you don’t need to know html to do this. Simply define what property specifications best sell the property and keep the sales pitch to a minimum. Be sure to include important search words, such as “three bedroom” or “condominium,” as well as regional identifiers including a ZIP code, city or community name. You do this so that people who search for specific items find you in the search results.
Craigslist’s search function isn’t based on a search algorithm; instead, search results are displayed first by date, then by keyword. This makes the text content of your ad extremely important. Ads with images only increase ad effectiveness. And adding images to your ad isn’t difficult. If you’re not web savvy, use the “upload image” function available during the posting process. (If you want to feature a large image or more than one, you’ll need to upload your images to your own web server and reference them inside your ad using basic html.) Images, however, are not required. Often the best performing ads on Craigslist are simple text ads that get straight to the point.”
…to be continued…
Contact us if you need inbound marketing, IT consulting, or an awesome website. Stay tuned for Part II on Monday. Until next time, stay groovy!