From e-commerce websites to furniture wholesalers, small businesses are discovering the marketing capability of Craigslist.org.
If you provide a service or sell wholesale or resale products, Craigslist is a tool to add to your marketing arsenal. On Craigslist, users know they will find what they are looking for nearby, so they don’t get stuck sifting through ads for service providers that are located on the other side of the country.
Posting on Craigslist does require that you follow their rules. The site has some general policies as well as specific ones that vary based on the category of your ad. Failure to follow these will cause your ad to be flagged and removed from view.
Excessive flags could lead your account being closed permanently, so stay up to date on any changes in policy that may occur from time to time.
It is possible to adhere to the rules and still get plenty of engagement with prospective buyers or clients.
If you’ve never considered using Craigslist for marketing, this information may help you decide.
Identify Your Market
The first thing you’ll need to do is determine where you want your ads to be posted. Not all areas are city specific. A good way to find your target areas is to start by choosing the State you reside in.
When you select a State, you will be given a list of all the Craigslist sites that are in that State.
For example, if you select Florida you will see a list that includes Orlando and Tallahassee but also shows the Treasure Coast, North Central FL, and South Florida with a notation that this option includes separate sections for Miami/Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.
From there you can determine which area or areas you want to target.
Build Your Ad
Once you’ve found your target areas, you want to develop a posting schedule for each one and create ads that are area specific.
Once upon a time, you could create an entire HTML and CSS coded ad from scratch that coordinated with your Branding. However, the site decided it wanted to focus on keeping a user-friendly option for everyone, not just the tech savvy or paid post designers.
Fortunately, they did improve the design of the basic ad layout, the biggest improvement being room for additional photos. Where you used to be limited to 6 and then 12 photos, you are now able to include up to 24. This is a huge advantage if you are selling a product.
Even though Craigslist is designed for the “common man” to easily post ads for sale, as a professional you want to make sure your ad looks as polished as possible.
Here are some easy ways to make sure you look like a business and not someone trying to clean out their garage:
Use High-Quality Photos
This means hiring a photographer or investing in a good camera and not just using the one that came with your smart phone. Make sure photos are well lit and most importantly, STRAIGHT.
If you choose to take the photos yourself, it would be a good idea to have access to photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, or creating an account with one of the online photo editors like PicMonkey.com.
Try to Use Headers and Bulleted or Numbered Lists
This makes the ad easier to read and less likely to be skipped by the user.
Since there isn’t a text editor available for posts, you can make headers stand out by capitalizing each word or making them all caps. To create a bullet list, you’ll need to use a symbol available on your keyboard like the asterisk found over the 8 or a dash.
Now you know that Craigslist is not just for people getting ready to move or looking for romance in the personal ads. If used properly, it can bring in new traffic and leads, introducing you to clients spanning a wide variety of interests and businesses.
For more information and to get up to date guidelines visit Craigslist.org and get started today.
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