If your digital marketing strategy doesn’t include establishing a presence on Craigslist, make it a priority this year to incorporate it. Craigslist can provide your business with more exposure to potential customers as well as help increase your local SEO rankings. Just look at the facts: Established in 1996 by Craig Newmark, Craigslist receives about 10 million unique visitors every day, and features a no-frills online classified ads format organized into 300 communities around the country, according to Entrepreneur. The good news is, it’s basically free advertising. Here are some tips for how to use Craigslist to market your business today.


Promoting Your Brand

Whether you sell goods like car parts, books, crafty creations, or furniture, or your business offers services like tutoring or hair dressing, you can promote these goods and services on Craigslist as part of your online marketing strategy. The great advantage Craigslist has over eBay and other similar sites is its local flavor. You can sell your product within a certain region or city for convenience and target your marketing efforts to the community you’re most interested in engaging with.


Determine Your Audience

To kick start your online marketing strategy, you need to first identify who your target customers are and where they live. This is fairly easy if you’re a service provider. Simply select the city in which you operate, as well as any nearby communities you’d like to include. Because many geographic regions overlap, you can often target several areas to reach a targeted service area for even better exposure. Nationwide services give you even more opportunity because you don’t have to specify geographic regions. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules of Craigslist before you post, which are in place to avoid spamming and mass posting. For example, you shouldn’t post an identical ad within two days of the first, or you’ll be flagged.


Track Your Ads

To find out how effective your ads are and which ones are the most successful, especially if you post a lot in various cities, track your ads via e-mail, phone number or website referral. Gathering some data on how many responses you receive and whether any success comes as a result of an ad you place is a great way to test out messaging and fine-tune your strategy.


Tap into the Forums

The ad side of Craigslist is certainly a place you want to be as a business, but don’t forget about tapping into the community side as well. To take a gander at the unique community this site has built, try checking out the forums. This way, you can communicate with potential buyers as well as other sellers just like you to build relationships that can help you thrive in your business.


Improve SEO

You can even use Craigslist to boost your organic local SEO rankings through efforts such as link reclamation, email outreach and guest blogging, says Search Engine Watch. Compelling, original content is a must these days thanks to Panda and Penguin, which eliminated old and unnatural tactics employed by many online marketers. Search for terms like “blog content writing” to find anyone who needs excellent writers, and consider offering them a deal to contribute to their blog in exchange for a link to your bio, for instance. Screen potential applicants by offering puzzles they have to solve before submitting an application. Generate interest for a company promotion or free giveaway by posting something for sale with a link to your site to enter the contest.

Because Craigslist is so simple to use, with nothing too fancy to make it too complicated, you have to be a bit creative in how you craft your online marketing strategy.

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