Craigslist Advertising isn't something that you should simply leave to chance - your small business marketing can have a huge impact on the success of your Craigslist advertising. I have put together the following tips to help you understand Craigslist Marketing and put it to use for your small business.
Craigslist Marketing Tip #1 - Identify Your Target Market
Consumers purchase products or services for three basic reasons:
- To satisfy basic needs.
- To solve problems.
- To make themselves feel good.
You should understand which of the above reason best fits your product or service and learn how to market it to your potential customer. Remember, you may fit into more than one (or all) of them. Understanding WHO your target customer is can help you determine if they're looking on Craigslist to locate a small business like yours.
Craigslist Marketing Tip #2 - Learning What Sells On Craigslist
There are hundreds of thousands of posts generated on Craigslist every week. In order to ensure that your Craigslist Marketing gains important visibility you need to understand what works best in terms of Craigslist Marketing. Remember, Craigslist should be considered the ultimate online marketing resource. If your small business manufactures goods, provides local (or national) services directly or sell products regionally, Craigslist is a marketing tool you should consider using.
Craigslist Marketing Tip #3 - Identifying Your Market
Like any other advertising medium, Craigslist requires a little bit of know-how and strategy. You will need to determine which city (or cities) you're going to start posting ads to. If you are a service provider, you can identify available cities on Craigslist that are within the region that you serve. Remember, some areas of Craigslist overlap and you will want to develop your messaging to increase exosure. For instance, if you're a automobile repair shop working in Orange County, California, but you also offer road-side oil changes to Los Angeles and San Diego, Craigslist reaches your service area across four total cities. It is important to post to each of these regions to increase your overall exposure.
Understanding the rules of Craigslist is beneficial to you when posting on Craigslist. If you are either posting nationally or locally you should know that Craigslist has rules that prohibit advertisers from over-posting (spamming) their community of users. It is important to try and follow these rules while still getting the exposure you require. If you focus on developing unique ads (hire a professional Craigslist designer) for each city you want to be posting in, focus on your products and rotate them in and out on a regular schedule.
Important: The Craigslist community will flag your ad very quickly if you overpost. Never post the exact same ad many times in one day. Some Craigslist users are militant in their flagging and quick to spot businesses that abuse the system. For better or worse -- the Craigslist flagging system puts the monitoring power into the hands of it's community of users.
Craigslist Marketing Tip #4 - Building Ads That Convert!
Craigslist marketing is more than just slapping ads all over Craigslist and hoping for the best, even though this is how many small business owners begin advertising on Craigslist. You should work with your graphic designer and plan your ads so that they offer seasonal coupons, one-time special offers or very clear & strong call-to-actions. Using clear images that best illustrate your product or services is important when marketing on Craigslist. You want your ads to appear professional and the reader knows, without a doubt, that you're a reputable company that they can trust. Utilize any logos of groups that you belong to such as a Chamber of Commerce, the BBB or a trade group.
Craigslist Marketing Tip #5 - Always Link Your Ads Back To Your Website.
Your Craigslist ad should be short and to the point. Reader want to get a feel for what it is that you do and then, if interested, read more about your products and services. Allowing your reader to click through from your Craigslist ad design to your website is a great way to drive traffic to your site and further educate/inform your prospective client. Be certain that the page you send them to is exactly what they're expecting to see when they arrive on your site. Many times I see ads make the mistake of sending people back to their home page of the website - which can be frustrating for the reader if they have to find the navigation to get more information on the topic they were reading about. It would have saved them time by linking directly to the page that you wanted them to go to.
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you ever have any questions about advertising on Craigslist - please call my office at (315) 307-3359.