What do you think of when you hear the words “Free Online Classified Advertising”?
Does it send a thrill up your back or do you get the chills thinking about creating a free online classified ad?
While many people especially those who are used to the soft sell of social media say that free online classified advertising does not work, the fact is they do and they work very well IF you understand what you are doing.
While we use social media for many reasons such as entertainment, inspiration or education classified advertising is not for pleasure. People read free classifieds because they have an interest in something in particular and people have a preconceived idea of what they are looking for – in other words they have a set goal or criteria in mind.
The purpose of any ad you write is not to sell anything, but to motivate the person reading to take the next step which is to contact you either in person or by going to your website. In many ways I liken a classified advertisement to creating an announcement telling people about what you are selling and because it is an immediate action, you can tell if it is working very quickly. The great thing about using free online classifieds is that if you are not getting the expected results, you can have it changed virtually overnight!
I would like to make a suggestion to you that will prove very helpful and that is to use the AIDA formula. AIDA is an acronym for the formula used in creating powerful and effective marketing communications and is widely used in advertising as well.
AIDA stands for Awareness – Interest _ Desire – Action
A – Attention (Awareness): in a free classified ad, it is the listing heading. You need to capture a prospect’s attention very quickly. Offer a benefit in the headline, use good images as part of your way to grab a persons attention, offer a discount or give away free information.
I – Interest: raise customer interest by demonstrating features, advantages, and benefits. Remember, customers buy on benefits not on features. If you are selling a weight loss product you would state the price, the benefits of weight loss and improved health by using such a product.
D – Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs. The best way to create that desire is to offer free bonuses, offer a no risk guarantee or with tangible items such as selling a car, a free test drive or car inspection.
A – Action: lead customers towards taking a specific and measurable action. As with any form of marketing you want people to do something and you need to tell them what to do, so leaving it to chance is not going to be very workable. When you say to people “order now” “click here” “call [phone number] for a private consultation, these are time proven and effective calls to action. Make sure that you make it easy for people contact you, always provide an e-mail address, contact form or feedback mechanism. After talking to some local people over the last few days I have also heard that many people are not always trusting of the internet so be sure to offer an alternative way for people to contact you by Listing your street address, telephone or land number and fax number.
Free online advertising is not rocket science, but it does take practice, hopefully this will help you writing your next killer ad. Like anything in life, take what works and drop the rest.
Let me know how you are doing and and if you know of anyone who is needing help understanding how to write a good ad, then please share this post.