Craigslist can be used as a gold mine for leads for any service provider or small business (in particular B2C) located in a large city such as Chicago. Your networking circle and traditional word of mouth marketing can only reach so many people. Marketing on Groupon or Yelp comes with a hefty price tag. Advertising on search engines with specialized pay-per-click ads often times requires a significant budget. Craigslist on the other hand, is for the most part completely free.
However, for the reason that barriers of entry are very small, marketing on Craigslist can be difficult and tricky. Your advertisement can be easily lost and forgotten in a matter of days.
That does not stop many local small businesses that have been remarkably successful on Craigslist. If you have ever looked for an apartment in the city, used car, or a handyman– chances are you went to Craigslist first and you inadvertently exposed yourself to marketing from local companies. Below are some of the most popular business fields marketing on Craigslist in Chicago
- Apartments – Property management, real estate agents
- Used cars – Car dealers, auto repair, mobile locksmith
- Furniture – furniture or mattress stores
- Movers – local moving companies
- Contractors – general contractors, painters, handymen, HVAC repair
- Cleaning services – house cleaning services, carpet cleaning
- Creative services – website designers, photographers, wedding djs
Marketing your business on Craigslist is not easy. Just like Google or Bing, Craigslist uses its own distinct search engine and algorithms to define which ads should be placed on top. If you plan to promote your small business on Craigslist, you should focus on the following:
- Title of ad: The title should include keywords of service that you are providing so that your ad can be indexed correctly
- Graphic design: You should include a graphic design that is eye-catching and readable on mobile devices
- Contact information: You absolutely have to promote your telephone number and website address. Having a small business website and advertising it in your Craigslist ad is a huge advantage over your competition that does not do it. They cannot expand more about their services and gain trust by having a website, which you can very well use to your advantage.