Classified ads are a cheap (and sometimes free) way to generate leads for a variety of purposes from local, regional and national audiences. From print publications to a variety of online platforms, classified ads are everywhere; Online you can find classified ads on social media, blogs and even some websites that only serve classified ads. No matter where you live, the size of your business, or your budget, creating the right classifieds can have the impact you’re looking for.
- Category selection: It is important to choose the correct category or categories. If you’re not sure which category your product or service falls into, consider checking which categories are used by competing businesses. Being able to choose categories for your product or service lets you target the right audience for your offer.
- Choose the right title: the most important part of your ad is the title. This is where you will probably spend most of your time preparing your ad. The shorter you can make your headline, the better; try to aim for six words or less. Some ideas to get started: What benefits does your product or service offer? If your product will solve a problem, focus your title on the problem or solution. One more tip for headline writing: All caps or bold can help catch the reader’s eye.
- Writing a winning ad body: Your next step is to write the body of your ad. Most publications and sites have a word limit on ads, so keep this in mind when you’re preparing your content. Start by including all the necessary information to know in the first sentence; if you have space, you can always include more details. Don’t forget to use abbreviations where needed to get the most out of your classified.
- Post Selection: Familiarize yourself with your audience and industry to find out where you’ll get the most reach with your ad. Which posts reach people who want to buy what you’re selling? Newspapers are often the starting point for many when they think of classifieds, but don’t forget magazines, niche websites and newsletters.
- Call to action: the title’s job is to grab the reader’s attention; the job of the call to action is to get the reader to act. What do you want the reader to do when they see your ad? Whether it’s clicking a link, emailing for more information, or making a phone call, make sure your call to action is clear.
After your ads have been running for a few weeks, you’ll have an idea of what’s working and what’s not. Take the lessons learned from your tests to determine the best route for your future advertising needs.