The Power of Classified Advertising May Shock You
Many people believe the classifieds have gone the way of the dinosaur, associating this antiquated and stodgy advertising mechanism with their grandfathers and pipe tobacco and overstuffed armchairs. Or perhaps with old power tools and weird romantic shout-outs. This concept couldn’t be more wrong.
Here at MarketBlazer, we are consistently surprised by how few business owners understand the power of classified advertising, which in a way is lucky: Knowing what many of your competitors do not gives you an awesome edge over the competition! In order to build a solid classified advertising program, let’s dig in to what it can do for you and how you can build one.
What Is Classified Advertising?
Although classified ads may take many different forms, they all operate on the same basic principle: You pay a periodical, website, magazine or other platform (typically an information source that is free or low-cost to users) to run your ad. The classic example is a newspaper, where businesses or people post short, informative advertisements with the key details, price and contact information.
The circulation of print periodicals has been substantially reduced in the last decade (accounting for the widespread assumption that classified advertising is in many ways dead), but digital classifieds today use the same model they always have: short, info-rich blurbs designed to draw in prospective clients or customers. A good classified does the same thing as all other types of demand marketing: it creates an urge to buy your product or use your services.
How Have Classifieds Changed?
With the inception of the digital age, however, classified advertising has changed. Importing the classified marketing strategy onto an online platform has meant that classifieds can be longer (since they often get their own pages rather than being crammed together in limited print space). This allows you to create much more specific content. Moreover, you can reach a wider audience than was often previously possible, so if your business can theoretically serve markets all across the country (or world), you may want to consider how best to create a national/international marketing plan. Lastly, digital classifieds are often cheaper, meaning you can create more.
Where Does Craigslist Fit Into Demand Marketing
You may already know that Craigslist offers classified ad services, but have simply not been thinking about it that way. However, every time you post a product or service to the “For Sale,” “Gigs” or “Services” sections on the site, you are actually posting a classified. Again: a classified ad is just one where your prospects can browse through many ads in the same category. Craigslist is beneficial in that it is accessible to most people, you can refresh it every 48 hours, and it links with your email. However, you are technically NOT supposed to post outside your local area, making Craigslist limiting for some business types.
Use Classifieds, Find Success
Craigslist isn’t the only online place to post classified ads, though. Facebook has recently jumped into the game as well, as has eBay. Sites such as Oodle are dedicated to providing the best possible classified ad service by aggregating classifieds from a wealth of different sites. Doing thorough research to find the best platforms for you will yield many options and a robust classified program.
Your particular classified strategy will also rest on your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if you have strong brand recognition, you can play that up. If you serve a very defined audience, you can tailor your classified content directly to them, and consequently edge out competition that is appealing to a broader user base. Perhaps you have knowledge that only you can offer, and promising unique expertise is your best strategy. Whatever the case, classifieds can substantially contribute to the success of most businesses, so get started today. Need help? Hire an expert: MarketBlazer.