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Online classified ads site

workingonanideaworkingonanidea subscriber Posts: 5
edited April 2006 in Marketing
Hi everyone,
I was wondering if you have some advertising / marketing ideas for my classified ads site idea.  I want to focus on autos and FSBO real estate.  I figure I`ll have to start out by offering free listings for a few months, but I need some ideas to drive traffic to the site.  I was thinking of some contests with prizes of gift certificates to local businesses in the area.  Any ideas? Have a good day!


  • theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    I have an idea... not sure if it`s what you`re looking for... or whether it`s any good.
    But I would do some competitive analysis and check out the newspapers and shoppers (normally the free classified tabloids) in your area.
    Then see if any are missing a web presence. Maybe you could partner with them. They add their ads to your site; you advertise your service in their paper... and then split the revenue.
    Or, if they do have websites, you could check out who`s advertising and visit them.
    At the very least, you`re gaining some info on whether or not your idea is viable in your area.
  • ScottyScotty subscriber Posts: 1
    Hey Ryan,Great idea. Since you are already consindering giving away your initial services until you are able to build up both brand identification and website traffic, here`s an idea: Why not go around to all the smaller car dealers in your area, and offer them free advertising? I`m not talking about the major dealerships, but the small guy, with 50 - 100 used cars on his lot. You could partner with them like thewaynester mentioned. Most of these dealers advertise in the local weekly community papers. See what they would think about splitting an ad with you. (co-op dollars) Offer to pay a "portion" of the ad, if they highlight your website. Wording like "this weeks specials are featured on www.*.com" Also consider having some sort of signage created for the dealer. A window cling or a sign that goes in the ground. The more dealers you get to sign up, the more cars you will have online. The more cars you have online, the better the selection for the buyers. And since each dealer would want to succeed at selling their cars on your site, the more interest they would have in pushing your brand. FSBO real estate is a bit tougher. I`ll have to think on that one. Scott
  • TemporarEaseTemporarEase subscriber Posts: 3
    OK my friend on this business issue you get lucky. I started a free job posting site in November TemporarEase.com and have done  alot of the work already. The first thing I would ask is do you have people posting to the site yet?
    The easiest way for you to get traffic would be to set up xml and rss feeds up on the site so the posting can be pulled to other sites. I have a list of sites about 5 or 6 in your case such as Edgio.com that will hit your feeds everyday and post your jour listings to their  sites. I was able to easily double my traffic with each new partner i signed up ( and they sign up quickly).
    Next you will need to do a little search engine optimiztion. I was able to do this on my own as well and can suggest a few sites that will get you going such as MyPageRank.net but i would concentrate first on getting your sites feeds out there. I would be interested in hearing how it goes and sharing info as we go it sounds like we are bith trying to achieve the same thing.
    Matthew Walden
  • ScottyScotty subscriber Posts: 1
    Matthew, what a great idea! XML and RSS feeds on other sites to feed to your site. Targeted linking is what makes the web work so great.Ryan, I`ve been thinking about your FSBO option. I think the best way to get targeted traffic in this area is to contact all the local directories that you can. The directories that I`m thinking of are the ones that you see at the entrances of restaurants and other small businesses. Some of them are free, and some of them are not. Look to your local bookseller also.I would contact the publishers of these directories, and see what they have to offer. Some of them have in directory adveretising. Others may even have mailing list that they sell or would even co-op a mailing with you. Getting a mailing list of FSBO advertisers could be a hit. A simple post card campaign inviting people to list on your site would a simple promotion. You could offer the first 1/2/3 months or so of listings for free, or even a dollar if you are looking to recapture some of your mailing cost. Who wouldn`t spend an extra buck to sell their house? As content and traffic grow, you could then begin to move your prices up to your targeted price point.
  • ScottyScotty subscriber Posts: 1
    An additional thought is content. Yes, you have to have people coming and placing ads, but also having content that educates the potential buyer or seller will give your site an edge over the competition. Articles on "How to kick the tires" on a used car. Or, "Ten things to look for when buying/selling a home"If you do not have the expertise to write these types of articles, check out some of the freelance writers that are available on the internet. A Google search turned up an interesting site: http://www.ezinearticles.com/ There are many others. Remember to read/respect the TOS when using this type of service.I`m sure you have already thought of it, but look for affiliate programs that compliment your services. CarFax comes to mind. Maybe even a local company that can do title searches would want to partner up with you.Possibilites are endless
  • workingonanideaworkingonanidea subscriber Posts: 5
    Hi Everyone!
    Thanks for all the hints and suggestions.  I am tweaking my plan a bit and will update next week.  I appreciate the input.  This board is great!
  • TemporarEaseTemporarEase subscriber Posts: 3
    I may have missed it but did you say what the name of the site is?
  • dawyattdawyatt subscriber Posts: 0
    Hey Ryan,
    I just went live with my classifieds site on Thursday... Now I am in what I would call a "grassroots" marketing campaign... With little or no funds for major advertising I find my creative juices are flowing...
    I am doing alot of giveaways... for example, I have some membership packages that offer a variety of classified ads for one price... this past weekend, I donated 3 packages to three different fund raising/auction events in our area... It gets me free exposure, traffic to my site and a tax deduction! 
    I am also planning on working with area non-profits to tailor specific packages for them to sell to raise funds... for every package they sell, they would receive a percentage of the sale... kind of like the typical candy sales or in our area schools/church groups sell discount cards which list varous business that will offer discounts when the card is presented... I have already contacted a few area church youth groups who just about jumped through the phone to give me a hug...!  It is a win-win situation... the group can raise funds, I get traffic and more importantly registered users & a tax deductible donation...
    I of course am using family & friends to help get the word out... this week I am going to start posting an ad in all the area newpaper classified ad sections!  Hoping to draw business away from them!
    Well hope this helps!  Check out my site at www.buckeye-classifeds.com</A> if you are interested... Again, this site just went live less than a week ago...still tweeking a few things.... 
    Good luck!
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