A Complete Guide to Online Classifieds Advertising

The Digital Transformation of Online Classifieds

The Challenges Facing Online Classifieds

  • Building a Customer Overview: While not a concern from a paper ad perspective, digital advertising allows for some level of data collection, providing more insight into who is making purchases. However, as the first-party information available is often limited, there’s no good way to follow the entire customer journey.
  • Inventory Management: Managing inventory across numerous different platforms can be a challenge, leading to complications with booking efficiently. Automated tools and self-service portals can alleviate the burden, but this means putting the right solutions into place in advance.
  • Diversification Across Many Platforms: When data is spread across numerous platforms, like multiple classified sites, manual data collection can be both a crucial part of the process — but it can also lead to errors and issues with creating a full picture of target customer behavior.
  • Streamlining Ad Sales: Adding a new advertising approach can benefit your business, but it can also add a new layer of complexity to your process. To avoid extra work, finding a way to streamline ad sales is key, and that usually means leveraging new resources.
  • Managing Buying and Selling Activities: Without the right approach to buying and selling activities, it’s easy for key data to get lost in the fray. Adding a new strategy means more management responsibilities.

Online Classified Trends

  • Mobile Advertisements: The evolution of mobile, including mobile wallets for payment, has had a big impact on the direction of online classifieds. With smartphones on the rise — an estimated 7.7 billion smartphones will be in use by 2022 — and the evolution of mobile display advertising, there’s a lot of opportunity in the mobile device space.
  • Enhanced Videos and Images: Photos and videos are a compelling way to encourage a sale. Many consumers are hesitant to make any kind of purchase without examining what they’re going to be buying, even minor ones. To drive a sale like a car or a home, images will help close the deal in a way that words alone can’t.
  • First-Party Data: With the end of third-party cookies on the horizon, brands are working to leverage first-party data in new and innovative ways. Using classified ads to capture customer information will allow for brands to more effectively target the right buyers at the right time in the right place.
  • Artificial Intelligence: AI is changing the landscape of digital advertising in general, so it’s not surprising this extends to classifieds. From collecting customer data to reducing the likelihood of spam and scammers, AI has the potential to improve revenues and cut down on waste.

The Benefits of Self-Serve Advertising Platforms

Benefits for Publishers

  • Less Involvement: With advertisers doing their part independently, publishers have far fewer responsibilities to manage.
  • Streamlined Process: Self-serve platforms are designed to minimize the hassle in placing ads, streamlining the process in a way that reduces manual steps for publishers.
  • Increased Sales: When publishers aren’t busy doing the heavy lifting of facilitating ad placement, they have more available resources to dedicate to other areas, leading to increased sales overall.
  • Standing Out from the Crowd: When one publisher has an easy-to-use self-service platform, advertisers are far more likely to bite. They want an easy process, too, and handling things solo versus working with a person can be very appealing.

Benefits for Advertisers

  • More Control: When the publisher isn’t holding the reins, advertisers automatically have more control. All available options are clear from the start without needing to talk things through with a publisher or working around a publisher’s schedule.
  • Quicker Turnarounds: With no one else involved in the placement process, ads can be placed quickly and easily at whatever time works best for an advertiser.
  • Self-Sufficiency: Self-sufficient platforms mean that advertisers can drive every element of their campaigns without requiring a publisher to adjust or push certain solutions. Data is available in real time, and changes can be made without going through another person.
  • User-Friendly Approach: Self-serve platforms are designed to be user-friendly, giving advertisers access to the features they need in a way that is easy to manage without any confusion.

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