Who’s not trying to save money with their business in 2020? That’s why you’re here reading this blog right now. This blog is aimed at one of the most popular internet advertising strategies still being used today and continuously moving along into the future…CRAIGSLIST! As a reference I will refer to Craigslist as “CL” in this blog. If you’re a CL advertiser you know the game by now, get up every day and try to post as many ads as you can in as many categories as possible before the competition gets ahead for that day. Nobody said it was easy, to be honest it’s downright annoying but a lot cheaper than paying some advertising company a bunch of money and not get any calls right? If you agree, you are right!
Advertising companies aren’t looking to help small businesses like the ones that use CL. I am referring to the pressure washing companies, movers, plumbers, HVAC companies, home remodeling contractors, mechanics, stylists, etc. These seem to be the most popular categories on CL when searching in the services section of any city. What if there was an easier way to get the traffic you deserve that guaranteed you would get results, would you still use CL?
Craigslist is Fantastic!
It’s totally 100% absolutely free and you can manage it yourself! You have total control over your ad/posting and the only one responsible for it is yourself. I am telling you what you already know, however there are so many flaws on CL if you’re looking to keep the phone ringing. Things like:
- Flagged posts
- Overstuffing of duplicate listings
- Category confusion
- User conversion
Let’s think about this rationally for a moment. I am a home remodeling specialist, my business mostly relies on word of mouth referrals and daily calls I get from CL of people asking me for a price quote. I love the word of mouth referrals, I can always count on those. What I could do without are these cheap shoppers that are looking for the cheapest price calling me. You know the ones that call and ask how much do you charge? I hate to give them a flat rate, I really don’t have one because it depends on what they need. You can’t just go sit down at a restaurant and ask how much is the food, it depends on what you want or need right? I wish there was a way I could gain more customers from the internet without the pesky cheap price shoppers I get all day from my CL postings, oh and I would love it if my competition would quit posting the same ad 10 times a day…How are they doing that?
Your Way or Your Customer’s Way
You know that old saying, “The customer is always right”. Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at how you are marketing your business. Is it your way, or is it your customer’s way? There’s only one way to answer that question. Think about the people in your life whom are closest to you, family, friends, etc. Let’s say one of your family members comes home from work after a long day and finds their house is flooded because a water pipe broke near the water heater so all of the carpet is ruined and the water is still running. There are approximately 5 options that person has when that happens including:
- Go to Craigslist, click on the home services tab and click around until they find one that says they are local and has a phone number, hopefully they answer.
- Call a family member or friend and ask if they know a good plumber and possibly someone who can dry out carpet and pets.
- Go on Facebook and type a status looking for recommendations from 500 of their closest friends they’ve never met, and then wait.
- Get a pipe wrench, teflon tape and a shopvac and get started fixing it.
- Go to Google and type in “Emergency Plumber City, St” and call each one in the top 5 of the search results and find out how fast they can get to the house.
Some might say that different people do different things under different circumstances right? That’s very true, but what do the majority of people do when they need a service and they need it quickly? They use GOOGLE. If a customer needs a product or service but it’s not an emergency they will still use Google, but they also might consider Facebook and Craigslist. How are you supposed to know if your customers are using Google or not though? Well, luckily there is an answer! Go to trends.google.com and type in the search term of what your business specializes in, select the city you’re located in and hit the search button and Google will show you actual analytics of how many people in your city are searching for what you do on Google.
Google is Great, but Craigslist is Free
Using Google Trends, which is a free tool Google provides at trends.google.com, shows that 85% of consumers use Google when searching for a product or service they intend to spend money on, whereas 45% of consumers use social media channels when shopping for a product but not intending to buy, and only 12% of consumers use avenues such as Craigslist, YP, HIBU and other online directories when considering a product or a service. Before I tell you how free Google is let’s evaluate that for just a second please. Only 12%…Why do you think that is? If you read my other blogs you’ll see I have written a plethora of information about consumer habits when buying a product or a service. Convenience, Trust, Service are the 3 pillars of what drives consumer traffic headed into 2020. It takes too long to search on Craigslist unless you’re shopping for the cheapest deal you can possibly find. Consumers want value, consistency and honesty when spending their hard earned money. The serious shoppers are on Google because it’s fast and the information is clear and concise with what the consumer searched.
There are many ways to appear on Google without spending a lot of money, if any at all. They include tools like:
- Google My Business
- Google Places
- Google Maps
- Google Trends
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Sites
- and so much more…
It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to be on Google. It just takes time and a commitment to be the best in your industry. No business wants to be known as the cheaper alternative in their respective industry, so don’t be! Do your research, be smart about your decisions and move your business where your REAL customers are looking – Google.
I’m a small business, Google traffic would make me too busy!!!
If you’re a Craigslist advertiser you can certainly identify with this statement above. Just because you’re on Google doesn’t mean your phone will ring off the hook day and night. You get to choose how you want your business to appear to your consumers so you can attract the right demographic for what you can offer. No sense in building a bridge that is 10 miles long if the lake is only 5 miles across. Get the proper placement on Google and Facebook and target your consumers that you wish to serve. DO NOT EVER wait for people to come to you. They more than likely won’t anyway, in this fast evolving digital marketplace you have to appear to your customers when they need you most. Set a firm call to action, take control of what’s yours and claim the success you deserve. Remember, success doesn’t come in a day, a week or a month…It comes when it’s time and because you earned it and you deserve it. Do not forget that!
Who Are We?
We are Wave Media Group; we pride ourselves on being a consultation based digital marketing agency that helps small businesses just like yours claim the success they deserve online. With so many advertising options out there to choose from, it’s hell on Earth trying to figure out which one is best for you without worrying about getting robbed for some monthly fee every month. At Wave Media Group, we take that guess work out of it for you and work with you to make sure you have a comprehensive strategy to succeed that you can manage yourself and be your own boss of your marketing as well as your business.
Call us today for a free consultation and speak with me. I’ll be glad to help you find the answer to your future commerce.