For many generations the lowly classified ad has been a source of steady revenue for newspapers across the globe. Classified ads sell everything from used clothing to luxury automobiles. Craigslist has taken the concept of classified ads to a whole new level on the Internet. This website has proven to be a major promotional tool for both consumers and small businesses as well. Craigslist.org has been able to help business owners increase profits and popularity through their advertising; in many instances this promotion is absolutely free.
There are instances in which payment is necessary in order to post on this website; job postings and housing listings in specific markets do require payment up front. Small business owners can use Craigslist as a means of keeping in touch with their local community or distant cities as long as they follow specific guidelines posted on the terms of service page.
Using Craigslist correctly to obtain consistent results
Although many businesses have thrived using Craigslist as an advertising source, others have not understood how to use it. There are certain practices that will allow you to make the most out of the service. Some folks will dive headlong into a promotion without understanding the culture of Craigslist communities. There are then disheartened when they do not experience their anticipated return.
It is very important that when you are trying to promote your business on Craigslist to take the categories they offer into account. Categorize your ad properly so that your intended audience will be able to receive your message. Follow the same rules you would for search engine marketing; target the right keywords and categories.
Do a bit of research before you begin crafting your advertising campaign for Craigslist. Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Look through the various ads and categories; take notes. Come back in a few days to see what changes have occurred in the categories relating to your niche market. Look carefully to see who the top dogs are. These are usually the ones who continue to place ads week after week because they have found success.
Craigslist is the ultimate clearinghouse for both online and off-line marketers in these times. You can find anything from Spanish tutors to car repair shops and even party clowns promoting their services. Whether you are promoting an eBay store, a franchise or a dry cleaning service, there is usually a place for you on Craigslist.
One of the key elements that will lead to success is properly identifying your market. Whether you are a local service or an online entrepreneur it is a good idea to identify a city or area in which to initially focus your efforts. Identify your niche and use that particular area as your test market. Once you have gained some measure of success you can take your campaign to other areas. Develop your messaging and your focus first before you branch out.
Play by the Craigslist rules
It is very important to understand the rules Craigslist.org has laid out for posting ads. Many users police the system to guard against unscrupulous posts. Be aware of your ad expiration deadlines and the posting schedule. Develop a continual source of fresh and unique material and keep track of your results. Use e-mail, website referrals, phone calls or list building results in your tracking mechanism. Craigslist will not provide tracking data for you therefore it is important to develop your own system for consistent results.
Selling within the Craigslist community
Keep in mind that you are entering a community of dedicated supporters when you begin posting on Craigslist. If you are new to the site, familiarize yourself with the culture. It can be very much like going to a new city or even a new country when you enter for the first time. Craigslist can be a dynamic addition to your marketing efforts once you familiarize yourself with their process.