Using Craigslist to Market Your Business

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CraigslistFrom 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.

Monitoring the social media marketing landscape is vital to your success. If you’d like to have access

to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

 

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How to Market Your Service Based Business

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33978299870_dab0c3260d_oWhat is a Sales Promotion?

When selling a product, marketing usually comes fairly easy. Your marketing campaign revolves around the product for sale and how it can be used.

When you own a service-based business, the marketing may require a different approach. Instead of marketing product features, you have to market yourself and your team.  The good news is, people are always looking for reliable services, no matter the type.  You just need to make sure they find you and not your competitors.   Here are some techniques that will help you accomplish this.

Connect with Your Own Community

Established local businesses have their own clientele.  And, they may only be able to handle a certain number of clients.  So, if you treat these businesses respectfully, they may refer clients to you when they are at their capacity.  A good way to connect with your community is to be involved with the local Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce. These associations will connect you with other businesses that welcome assistance from a peer.

Use Social Media and Networking

By now you’ve probably created your business website.  Now, you need to consider establishing your presence on Social Media.  Starting with each of the following will give you a strong foothold:

 

  • Facebook Business Page
  • Twitter Account
  • LinkedIn profile

There are a number of other social networks out there you may also find suitable. Once your pages are all set up, stay on top of them.  This can be achieved by responding to customer inquiries, posting valuable information, and providing relevant updates.

As you cultivate this audience, you will build a following that will continue to reach more and more people over time.

Offer Incentives

Customers like to take advantage of a good deal.  Special promotions are a great way to let them. While a promotion might cut into your profits initially if it brings in new customers the payoff could be worth it.  You need to make sure you find a balance between your pricing needs and your customer’s idea of a good deal.  You can even utilize your Social Media presence to promote your incentives without extra cost to you.

Empower Your Clients

Often with services, the service providers have so much control over how the service is provided, this can sometimes cause a feeling of detachment for the clients.  To prevent this separation, try to make your clients feel involved in the process by underlining their significance in the process and reducing the visible influence of your own position.

Stock Up on Business Cards

Even within the Digital Age, business cards are still a valuable tool, especially if you are an individual or small business.  You can network with other local businesses, asking if you can leave a stack of cards in their lobbies.  You can also pass them out to other business owners at networking events, social engagements, and class reunions.  They can also be passed from customer to customer the way word-of-mouth advertising is accomplished.  These days you can even get your first set the same day by taking advantage of in-store printers, like the ones found at Staples and Office Depot.

In the long run, the success of your business will depend on the quality of your services.  Here we’ve provided a few easy ways to get your marketing and your service-based business off the ground and increase your ability to communicate what you have to offer to a potential client.

For more ideas on how to market your service business check out this post at the wix.com blog:

5 Ways to Market Your Service Business Like a Stellar Product

You may find that not all marketing techniques will work with every target market, but, with patience you will find what methods will work for you and help you develop an effective strategy.

Photo by Perzonseo Webbyra

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5 Ways to Increase Paid Click Through Rates

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SEOPlanter3An effect paid advertising campaign depends on your ability to get people to click on your ad. At the same time, you want to get the right people to click on your ad. You want visitors that are actually interested in what you’ve got to offer.

When pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements aren’t bringing in the sales leads that you expected, you don’t need to scrap your entire campaign. You just need to start tweaking your campaign to improve click through rates (CTR).

Here are 5 ways to increase paid click through rates.

Improve the Headline

The first place to start is with your headline. It’s the first thing that people see and it’s how you get them to click on your ad. This makes the headline the most important part of your PPC ad campaign.

The headline needs to be 25 characters or less. You have limited space. Use it wisely. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Use keyword phrases in your headline
  • Don’t use your business name in the headline
  • Solve a problem or ask a question

Include Keyword in Display URL

The focus keyword of your PPC ad should be used in your display URL. This is the visible URL that appears under your headline. You’re allowed to edit the display URL, even if it doesn’t match the destination URL.

You can include up to 35 characters in the display URL. This will include your domain name, along with space for your keyword. The ad will direct users to the URL that you specify in your

Don’t Include the Price in the Ad

When you include the price of a product or service in your headline or description, people are reminded that they’ll be spending money.

Instead of showing the price, you could display a discount or savings. For example, if you’ve got a product that regularly costs $50 and it’s on sale for $25, you could highlight the 50% off or the $25 discount.

Deliver a Specific Message

Before you go live with an ad, you should review it and ensure it delivers one specific message. Your ad can’t be ambiguous.

You should never try to promote more than one thing at a time. When a person views your ad, they should know exactly what they’re going to find when they click the link.

When you finish writing your ad, read it and ensure its direct and to the point. Don’t fill it with keywords. Write in a way that a person can easily understand.

Use Ad Extensions

Google introduced ad extensions several years ago, and they are available for free. They offer additional ways to entice people to click your ads. This includes site links. Site links allow you to include additional links in your ads.

Your ability to include extensions depend on your Ad Rank. The Ad Rank is determined based on the quality of your ad and your landing page.

In the end, improving your click through rate depends on a quality ad. You need to use a short headline that gets to the point quickly.

The body of the ad provides a line or two to elaborate on the message presented in the headline. You only have a few lines to make an impression and attract the right visitors.

As a final suggestion, you should take a look at what your competition is up to. View ads for relevant keywords and examine their landing pages.

Tweak your PPC campaign using these tips to boost click through rates. If you want more internet marketing suggestions, plus a way to generate conversion-ready prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

 

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Photo by SEOPlanter

How to Expand Your Online Marketing to the Global Marketplace

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world-network-red-background_zkjbs_9oWhen you first launch your website, the quickest way to gain traction and expand your brand is to focus on a niche market. This means zeroing in on a smaller market with less competition. But, at some point, you may find that you’ve reached your full potential in your limited market.

If you’ve outgrown your niche market, it could be time to expand. Though, before you try to reach the global marketplace, you should take the time to carefully plan your new marketing strategy.

Targeting the global market is a lot different that targeting a niche market. You have a larger audience, but you also have more competition. The following tips will help you with this transition.

Don’t Ignore Your Niche Market

First, I’ve got to say that you shouldn’t ignore your niche market. Don’t forget where you came from. You can continue to hold onto your hold of your niche market while targeting a larger audience.

So, continue what you’ve been doing. Keep your existing strategies in place to maintain sales through your niche market. You’ll simply develop new strategies to reach a larger market.

Don’t Discuss Politics in Your Marketing

Before starting your global marketing campaign, it’s also important to pay attention to what you say. Unless your business is involved in politics or religion, there’s no reason to discuss these topics through your social media account.

This shouldn’t have to be stated, but it becomes increasingly important when targeting a global market. Other countries may not share the same sensibilities. You could easily create a negative reputation in a region by showcasing your political or religious affiliations. You don’t want to alienate any of your audience.

Translate Your Marketing and Advertising

About two-thirds of the world’s population are non-native English speakers. Most of these people, even if they can speak English, prefer to browse the web and shop online in their native language.

It’s easy to add the option to translate your web pages into a different language. This can be achieved using a Google Translate plugin. But, if you’re using marketing and advertising material, you may not have this option.

So, you’ll need to handle the translation of marketing and advertising. This isn’t difficult. Use a translation application to translate your content into another language and then use this translated content in your marketing efforts.

If you’re launching a marketing campaign in Germany, translate your material to German. If you’re marketing in Japan, translate your material into Japanese.

Localize Your Content to Each Region

Have you ever targeted multiple cities? You’ll create an individual landing page for each city. You’ll then use content to refer to places, people, and things that people in that city will recognize. This is localization and you’ll use it in your global marketing campaigns.

In addition to translating your content, you should edit it to speak to the locals in the country that you’re targeting. This means using phrases and wording that your target audience is familiar with. You can also reference facts, details, or landmarks in these regions.

Use an International Payment Gateway

The next consideration is the payment gateway that you use. PayPal can accept payments from other currencies. If you choose an option other than PayPal, make sure that it accepts international payments and automatic currency exchange.

If you’re ready for the big time, then use these tips to begin reaching a global market. If you’d like to have access to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

 

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5 Social Media Advertising Techniques to Adopt

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rosaura-ochoaOnline advertising spending has surpassed spending on television advertising. While PPC advertising is a big chunk of this spending, social media advertising is becoming just as important.

If you’re not already using social media ads to gain new followers or more prospects, then there are a few techniques that you should adopt.

Use Ads to Highlight Non-Sales Efforts

You don’t need to use social media ads to direct users to your various landing pages. There’s more that you can do, such as highlighting non-sales efforts. For example, you can use ads to let consumers know about your charitable efforts or upcoming events.

Many of the biggest corporations employ this method, but it can be just as effective for your own personal brand. You’re able to highlight details that allow people to connect with your brand on a personable level.

Use Ads to Encourage Participation

Another option is to use ads to encourage participation. You could use this to learn more about your target market. Learn more about their interests by using an ad to direct visitors to an online poll or survey.

One option that’s been used quite effectively by various brands lately is to simply ask a question in your ad and direct users to comment on a specific post. This spurs conversation, all of which revolves around your brand, helping you gain new followers.

Use Sponsored Posts to Gain New Followers

Most social media networks have their own form of sponsored posts. These are essentially paid ads, in the form of a social media post. This lets you instantly reach more social media users, increasing your chances of gaining followers.

Sponsored posts can be combined with the other techniques. You can use sponsored posts for your online polls or highlight your achievements. The idea is to gain more attention than you might with other forms of paid advertisements. 

Use Targeted Social Media Advertisements

With any social media ad, you can target specific regions, areas, or demographics. Use this to narrow down the focus of some of your advertisements. Consider a form of niche marketing.

When you target a smaller market, you’re likely to face less competition. You can also alter your ads for different regions. This easiest with Facebook targeted ads.

Facebook provides numerous options for targeted ads. For example, you can target Facebook users that have a specific interest or hobby. You can also target users based on their age range or geographic location.

When using Facebook ads, another option is to exclude visitors to your website. If you decide that you want to focus solely on people that haven’t visited your site or know about your brand, this is a great option. You can even alter this to include retargeting.

With retargeting, you’ve got the option to only display ads to users that have previously visited your website. You can even set the time since they last visited your site. This helps increase overall engagement.

Use a Combination of Marketing and Ads

You can’t just rely on paid ads. You also need to stick to your existing marketing strategy. Continue to post on a regular basis. Don’t count your sponsored ads or paid ads as another post on your regular schedule.

You want to continue growing followers and engaging with your audience. Use paid ads as a supplemental technique to boost your social media presence. All of this is geared towards increasing your overall online presence and helping you grow your brand.

Start thinking outside the box. Don’t just use social media ads to direct visitors to a landing page. If you’d like to have access to even more powerful marketing solutions, along with a program for getting conversion-ready internet marketing prospects each month, then click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

 

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Photo by Rosaura Ochoa 

5 Ways to Personalize Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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stefan-erschwendner-strategyUsing a personalized approach to your marketing strategy can help increase conversions and boost customer retention. Though, this isn’t always easy. You need to consider every stage of your sales funnel, from emails to landing pages.

We’ll cover each of these areas and show you how to personalize your digital marketing strategy.

 

Create a Buyer Persona

The first step is to create a buyer persona. You want to start the personalization before you even capture your customer’s name and information. This is done with a buyer persona, which is basically an outline of your typical customer.

The information used in a buyer persona includes age, location, income level, occupation, interests, hobbies, and any other details that you want to include. You can get as detailed as you want. The main idea is to create an image in your head of the type of customer that you want to attract.

You’ll use this buyer persona throughout marketing campaign. You can even create multiple personas, each with their own campaign.

Customize Your Landing Pages

Once you’ve created your buyer personas, you can begin incorporating this into your landing pages and other marketing material. Basically, whenever you create content, imagine that you are speaking directly to the buyer persona that you created.

You’ll be surprised by how effective this step is. It helps you stick to your main point and address issues that your buyer cares about. Overall, this helps increase your conversion rates, after a visitor lands on a landing page.

So, starting with the title of your landing page, think about what it takes to grab the attention of the buyer that you created. What is the main problem that they face that your product or service addresses? Come up with a catchy title that directly speaks to this fear or issue.

This same practice can be applied to all your marketing content. In addition to landing pages, you’ll use your buyer persona when creating targeted ads, social media posts, and blog articles.

Create Personalized Email Campaigns

The next step uses real personalization. Here’s where you’ll actually use your potential customer’s name in the content. Using an email marketing program or software, you can easily set the campaign to automatically insert the subscriber’s name into the email or subject line.

In addition to inserting their name into the email, remember to write the body of the email while focusing on your buyer persona.

Also, you can use this opportunity to provide product or service recommendations based on their past purchases or the pages that they’ve visited. The recommendations provide a simple solution for personalizing your marketing efforts.

Use Location-Based Advertising and Marketing

By tracking the physical location of your visitors, you can direct them to pages or content that’s geared towards a specific market.

For example, visitors from Maine may not have the exact same interests as visitors from Florida. You could use to offer different products or simply incorporate different manner of speech that appeals to a specific region.

Use Personalized Surveys to Learn More

The final step is to use personalized surveys to learn more about the interests of your customers. This offers two major benefits. These surveys help build trust with your customers, due to the fact that you’re showing them that you care about their interests and needs.

In addition to building trust, it also provides you with valuable insight. You’ll be able to learn more about their specific needs and desires, which can be used to enhance your marketing content or revise your buyer personas.

Personalizing your digital marketing strategy can be difficult, but it is definitely beneficial. It’s an extra step with major rewards. If you’d like to have access to more powerful marketing tips and suggestions, as well as a way to gain conversion-ready internet marketing prospects each month, then click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

 

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Photo by Stefan Erschwendner