3 Helpful Tips for Writing Effective Classified Ads


3 Helpful Tips for Writing Effective Classified Ads

Classified ads are everywhere. You'll see them littering pages of newspapers and magazines. And you'll see them staring at you on most web pages. That's enough proof that they're widely used for business promotion.

Although classified ads can be very effective for generating leads and increasing brand awareness, most of them wind up being unproductive because they're not well crafted to stand out and attract attention.

Everyone and their dog will tell you that a compelling headline, clear body message, and call-to-action are the recipes for a good classified ad. But there's more to crafting productive classifieds than those stale stuff. There are some powerful tips for crafting powerful classifieds that nobody seems to be talking about—and here are three of them.

1. Narrow your focus

No matter how large your target market is, you'd be better off with classified ads that are laser-focused on a smaller segment of that market. This is because being specific tends to attract more attention than being otherwise.

For example, if you're running an online job board, you'd get better results from a classified ad whose headline reads, "Need an Accounting Job?" than from another whose headline reads, "Need a Good Job?" Of course, the former is more attractive and powerful because it's laser-targeted at a specific group of job seekers—not all job seekers in general.

Also, if you sell different types of weighing scales, it’s better to target smaller segments of your market with specific weighing scales that suits them and then create multiple ads than to target the whole market with a single ad.

2. Copy effective ads

The smartest way to come up with a winning classified ad is to copy other ads that are well-crafted. You'll find many compelling ads on classified ad websites like Craigslist. But an easier alternative is to use a classified ads search engine which allows you to quickly find related ads by entering a relevant keyword.

Now, the question is, how would you know a well-written classified ad? Here's the simple trick: Identify ads that attract your attention with their headlines, and read them carefully. Any ad that piques your interest and almost prompts you to take a specified action is a great ad. If it could grab your attention, then it will do the same to others. So, if you copy such an ad, you’re unlikely to go wrong.

3. Include visual elements

This is one of the trends in content marketing today: Images attract attention more than pure text does. So, including them in your classified ads will get better results. There's a big challenge, though: most classified ad platforms don't allow images. But a smart approach is to focus only on the few platforms that allow ads with images, since such ads are more effective.

Truth is, classified ads with pure text tend to blend with the rest of the content on the page, while those with graphics tend to stand out and attract more attention. To confirm this, try scanning a number of web pages and take note of the ads that got your attention. Chances are they're ads with images.

That's not to mean you shouldn't use pure-text classified ads. But where you have the option of adding images, doing that will get better results.


Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at HowToCreateABlog.org. Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at Jimmy@HowToCreateABlog.org

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