Advertising your cleaning business on Craigslist (www.craigslist.org) is a absolute must in today’s world.
This is true for both the beginner and the experienced cleaning company owner for several reasons. The first one is rather obvious, because it’s free! The second main reason is because it works extremely well.
Craigslist is vastly different from other commercial websites online today.¬†The sparse pages, though functional,¬†lack the finished look and feel that¬†fills the Internet today (admit it, we¬†have grown accustomed to high-impact designs filled with video and flashing banners with paid advertising opportunities).
Craigslist on the other hand has no banner ads of any kind and it is free to post in most sections (and it works extremely well as a result of this design). You might be thinking…
¬†“how can such a simple site work so well?”
The answer is because Craigslist manages to take the web and whittle it down to a smaller community,¬†which in turn¬†makes it easier to navigate. This is what makes Craigslist so utterly unique. Instead of your advertising message getting lost out in the vastness of the Internet (hoping someone will find you), you broadcast it only to your regional audience.
As you look around¬†Craigslist you’ll¬†find that it’s more than just¬†your run of the mill¬†classifieds section. Craigslist¬†is a magnet for website traffic, places “number one” for countless¬†local key phrases (the popular ones no less)¬†and serves as a nerve center of answers for every possible question. What does this mean for the owner of a commercial cleaning company looking to¬†advertise their business?
Highly Captive Audience + Targeted Ad Placement + Optimization = Sales
Now the question becomes “how do I make¬†Craiglistslist advertising¬†work for my cleaning business”. The equation for making money advertising¬†on Craigslist is¬†as simple as Craigslist itself. By understanding how Craigslist works, the market of people looking for cleaning services and¬†testing various ad layouts¬†for optimal conversion,¬†you can make a good money on Craigslist.
Craigslist will not only make your phone ring, it will increase traffic to your website (provided you have one).¬†It will also give¬†you a new and free advertising venue to market your business,¬†build powerful¬†customer relationships which continue to produce sales (through referrals) and allow you be part of an exciting new method for growing your business.
Why¬†Craigslist is¬†so popular (and why it will stay that way).
For starters it gives everyone a voice because it’s free¬†for virtually all users. Another reason is because¬†it’s just so¬†simple to use. There is not much of a learning curve for beginners¬†(even seniors¬†make use of the¬†site).
Some other reasons include the material posted on the site (its new and fresh, which keeps the¬†traffic strong all day).¬†And lastly (like we mentioned before ), there is no ads to be found. Which means no flashing banner ads¬†or those pesky pop up ones that drive you crazy.
It is for these reasons that I anticipate Craigslist being around for some time. It’s already a senior citizen (in Internet terms), as it was founded in 1995, so it has stood the test of time.¬†Making it a part of your marketing strategy sooner rather than later is highly recommended.
How Craigslist works.
Craigslist allows you to place a post in 9 major categories in more than 500 cities in 50 countries around the world.¬† All postings are free, except certain postings in some major cities¬†(even then, the cost to post is well below market average).
Craigslist¬†is an open market for every combination of business ¬≠you¬†can think of. This includes business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer and even consumer to business.
Craigslist is similar to eBay, but capable of much more.¬†Craigslist allows users to sell spare car parts, legal services, find a job or a soul mate all in one location. This captive audience of¬†50 million plus people each¬†year is a marketer’s paradise.
Craigslist “tricks of the trade” for advertisers.
Craigslist has a¬†basic “no-frills” look. Your ad should mimic that overall look and feel. How?¬†Just¬†by keeping it simple. Unlike some other, more content controlled websites, Craigslist users have¬†absolute freedom to post ads with little limit to what one can say (which is refreshing in a society dominated by corporations).
It’s very¬†important to create an advertisement that is equivalent in quality to one that would be used in any other marketing medium. With that said, in order to get the most out of¬† your¬†Craiglist efforts (or any type of advertising for that matter), you need to keep several things in mind.
Here is a short list of items to keep in mind when posting.
- Make sure your spelling,¬†punctuation and¬†grammar are spot on.
- Keep¬†the posting¬†simple, don’t ramble on unnecessarily (don’t put extra fluff content).
- Make sure the posting is up to date (if you had a special offer, did it expire? If so¬†take down the posting).
- If you have a website, make sure to include the link within the ad posting.
- Stay on top of your phone and email to ensure a quick reply to any inquiry.
One thing you need to keep in mind when posting is the “words you use” in the post.¬†As¬†with any major search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo)¬†search terms and phrases are important.¬†If used correctly, they can be effective marketing tools. From a advertisers (marketing) perspective, it’s vital¬†to get the most out of the terms directly associated with its posting and or website.
For example, a business advertising “Commercial Cleaning Services” would want to make sure to include the following terms in its ad in order to produce the highest number of “relevant” responses; cleaning company, janitorial, janitorial service and office cleaning to name a few.
Now¬†where¬†do we advertise our cleaning business?
The placement of your Craigslist listing is¬†a rather¬†important decision. There are 9 main categories (and roughly 169 sub-categories) in every¬†location. Craigslist is¬†generally a very regional based marketing outlet, so we will discuss placement with that in mind. With that said, pick the metro closest to your target area.
Next up is picking a category. Category placement is an important part of finding¬†the right customer. Some categories may attract more attention, but¬†may also be more competitive. You’ll notice that some of the main categories feature sub-categories that are¬†quite similar to others.
For our purposes we will be choosing the¬†“services” category. The sub-category will be “skill’d trade”.¬†Craigslist allows you to post ads for services here. People who visit this area are actively lookingto purchase specific services. I would recommend this category for commercial cleaning services (for house cleaning services you would probably want to post to¬†the “household” sub-category).
Now lets build an ad to market your commercial cleaning service
The following commercial cleaning advertisement portrays several elements that¬†indicate a well thought out and¬†effective Craigslist ad.
***Affordable Commercial Cleaning Services***
Do you have an office that needs to be cleaned regularly?
Choosing a quality office cleaning service can be a very stressful undertaking. With so many office cleaning companies to choose from, it can be very difficult to weed through all the less than reputable office cleaning /¬†janitorial companies that are out there.
YOUR NAME Cleaning Service set out to change all that. Our companies mission is to provide the best cleaning services found anywhere in YOUR STATE OR COUNTY. We maintain a loyal customer base¬†that includes not only many smaller commercial clients, but many¬†large¬†corporate¬†and municipal customers as well.
Benefits of our service include:
Free No Obligation Quotes
Security Of A Fully Bonded¬†Company
100% Satisfaction¬†Guarantee On All Services
Peace Of Mind By Dealing With A Fully Insured Company
We will work hard to craft a plan that meets your needs without breaking your budget. Though the needs of each customer are different, the basic cleaning service includes the following:
Break room cleaning
Bathroom cleaning and disinfecting
Sweeping and mopping of hard surface floors
Whether you need a¬†“highly detailed” or “just the basics” service plan, we can deliver where others have failed. We would love to have you as our next “satisfied customer”. Contact us at 555-555-5555 for a free no obligation quote.
Check us out on the web: http://www.your-website-here.com
Lets break down what we did with this posting.
- The title was simple, “Affordable Commercial Cleaning Company” summed up our service.
- I created a little “separation” from all the other ads by adding the triple asterisks (***) on each side of the title.
- I made sure to include the benefits of our service (free quotes, the fact that we are bonded etc…)
- Brief mention of what we offer (dusting, vacuuming and trash removal).
- Our website.
- Phone number.
- The simple design (copy is organized, aligned, and error free).
- I fit in several variations of “commercial cleaning” (janitorial, office cleaning, cleaning companies etc…) This can help ensure the ad shows up when the searcher types in different search phrases that also convey the same meaning as “commercial cleaning” (some people like to call our services “janitorial, office cleaning and¬†cleaning service to name a few).
We could have gone a little further and added a special offer for the first 3 callers (20% off the first month for example). The point is we got our point across without going overboard. Now what you need to do is track the response of this particular ad. This means how many people called, and how many turned into customers.
You will want to constantly test different posting to see what works best. Sometimes a simple tweak here or there can result in considerable improvement (or decrease) in an ads effectiveness. If you start out testing from day one, you will be an expert after six months to a year, so make sure to track the ads consistently.
As long as your service is professional and meets (and hopefully exceeds) the customer’s expectations, there is no limit to the positive buzz that will channel through the various discussion forums available on Craigslist. Word of your business may even appear on the “Best of Craigslist” (postings that are nominated by craigslist readers)¬†at some point.
At the end of the day,¬†customers want the facts about your business. Include the¬†pertinent information related to your cleaning service (like we did in the example ad). Feel free to use the example ad as a template for your first ad.
To summarize,¬†your commercial cleaning Craigslist ad should allow who you are to show through (what you and your company represent). Your ad should also express a level of professionalism consistent with how you want your cleaning service viewed.
Make use of this free advertising medium before your competition does!
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