THE REACH OF CRAIGSLIST
With millions of users and hundreds of postings PER MINUTE, Craigslist is the most trafficked and visited classifieds site in the world. At times, web traffic ranking sites have shown Craigslist to be more popular than auction-site, eBay (at the time this article was written, eBay was the 23rd most popular site in the world, Craigslist was 33rd). When compared to non-search engine sites, Craigslist is consistently within the top ten sites in the world, often breaching the top five.
With this much traffic and so many people using the site for buying, selling, or just connecting to others, it would make sense for traditional sales-based businesses to jump on the trend by listing their goods and services for sale. As Craigslist offers sellers the ability to post their goods and services by region, sellers can connect with their local demographic.
AUTOMOTIVE DEALERSHIPS AND CRAIGSLIST
One sector that has seen particular success in using Craigslist for increased sales is automotive. At the dealership level, Craigslist gives dealers the ability to list their inventories on a highly trafficked site, by region, and for free. On paper, this seems like a pretty sweet deal.
However, many dealerships have felt that the aesthetics of a Craigslist advertisement – the ‘look,’ ‘feel,’ and layout – doesn’t do justice to the brand of vehicle they are selling nor the image of the dealership itself. In an industry that spends billions of dollars annually on advertising – much of the time in an effort to promote an upper-echelon image and lifestyle – the generic Craigslist advertisement design falls quite flat for mid to upper tier dealers.
Though it is a relatively quick process to list an item on Craigslist, the end result is a heavily text-based listing (though sellers can also upload a few still images of the item being sold). But imagine you are a multi-million dollar Mercedes-Benz dealer, for example. You probably have a huge advertising budget – a budget that is largely allocated towards maintaining the prestige associated with the Mercedes-Benz brand. So in essence, though the exposure is good, the Craigslist advertising method really isn’t in line with the advertising strategy of the brand, as the upper echelon lifestyle is, at best, poorly represented using a standard Craigslist ad. So, is there a solution for dealers?
THE CRAIGSLIST DEALER SHOWROOM
But what if there was a way that dealerships could advertise on Craigslist while at the same maintaining the image and prestige that is so frequently sought after? A Canadian based company – Vehicle Gateway Corporation – has recently come up with a viable solution. Using a full colour ad format that promotes both the brand and the individual dealership, Vehicle Gateway Corporation has recently developed what they call the ‘Craigslist Dealer Showroom’.
Vehicle Gateway Corporation – owners of online automotive marketplace VehicleGateway.com – has created a way to merge inventory listings from their automotive marketplace directly onto Craigslist in a manner that advertises the vehicles professionally. Now, dealers have a way to list their vehicles on Craigslist in a way that maintains a high end image for both their vehicles, and the dealership itself.
Using an attractive and enticing advertisement format, dealers can plug their vehicle inventory and dealership logo into an enticing ad template, producing an advertisement that is far superior to the standard Craigslist ad. This is a highly cost effective way for dealerships to get their inventories listed in a way that drives traffic, generates new customers, and most importantly, maintains image and prestige.