Friday, January 26, 2007

The Era Of Online Internet Classified Advertising

A classified ad implies a short advertisement in a newspaper or a magazine that appears with other ads of the same type and usually has a local reach. Till a decade back, a classified ad was compiled essentially for local newspapers and the business owners looked to place classified ad in newspapers that had maximum readership in their area of operation. The classified ad copy was compiled by the advertiser in consultation with newspaper sales representatives. These representatives understood the market and were trained, formally or informally, to design effective classified ad campaigns. At the same time the newspaper that offered cheap classified ads essentially generated the maximum returns for advertisers because even though the investment was lesser, it tapped the right market.
The growth of online classifieds and free classifieds advertising
The rapid growth of Internet usage has augmented the need for entrepreneurs and service companies to place classified ad campaigns online. Also, with the changing scenario and the increasing usage of the Internet classified ad programs are now being designed essentially for web users. Also a number of classified ad sites now offer free online classifieds to deal with the competition created by free classifieds advertising offered by other mediums. The biggest advantage of free online classifieds is that they have a much higher viewer ship than that of classified ad that has been placed in a local newspaper or a magazine.
The market for online classified advertising is increasing at an astounding rate and with websites vying for more users, so are the opportunities for free classifieds advertising. Other mediums of free classifieds advertising offer a high readership too, but undoubtedly the reach of the Internet is definitely much wider. Be it an advertisement for real estate, employment, automotive industry, the electronics sector, personal advertising, business-to-business transactions, and advertisements meant for the local or global market, well designed classified ad programs can help in tapping the right market. Free online classifieds offer a potential that is still unexplored by most entrepreneurs and targeted classifieds ads placed on classified ad sites can lead to astounding results.
Advantages of online classified advertising
Online classified advertising has numerous advantages over a classified ad placed in the traditional print mediums. The most important being that an online classified advertising program is more convenient and easy to access, and in case of free classifieds advertising online the benefits are numerous. Another advantage of online advertising is that the user gets the latest and updated information on the classified ad sites. To have a winning edge over other mediums that offer free online classifieds, certain websites have designed their own structure for organizing the classified advertising information based on the feedback that is generated from an effective classified ad program. On the basis of this feedback, they segregate classified advertising information so as to ensure that it provides maximum benefits for the reader and the advertiser. Classified advertising information is now properly formatted so as to ensure easy understanding for all users. At the same time, keeping in mind the time constraints, advertisers try to place classified ad programs on sites that have a user-friendly format.
Designing a targeted ad campaign
Websites encourage targeted classified ads as these turn out to be much more effective than other ads.
Creating unique classified ads is an art as well as a science. To tap the right audience, a classified ad should start with a strong opening statement. Targeted classified ads essentially mention the key benefits that the product or service holds over the offerings of the competitors. Unique classified ads usually have a simple concept but capitalize on the USP of the product or the service. In the current times where consumers are bombarded with choices, only unique classified ads would be able to hold attention and generate the required response. Even if a business owner is placing free online classifieds or is opting for cheap classified ads, they need to take note of this and design the entire program accordingly else the entire campaign would fall flat.
A word of caution- Limitations and how to deal with them effectively
In spite of the numerous advantages, online advertising is still a developing format and making classified advertising available on the Internet has posed a problem for print publishers and advertisers. Though this medium attracts more users, it can also turn out to be more expensive and as a result even a proven classified advertising program might not generate profits for the advertiser. In these cases people opting for free online classifieds are in a better position because even if the ad campaign manages to get nominal returns, it would be an effective classified ad. Similarly cheap classified ads also are a less risky proposition than classified ad programs that involve high investment.

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