Classified ads are widely used for advertising any type of products or services. While it has been around for ages in the print media, its other manifestations such as online classified ads are a comparatively new phenomenon, fuelled by the rise of the Internet and the prevailing digital business environment. Traditionally, classified ads have been printed in newspapers but other periodicals completely catering to classified ads are published and distributed free of charge. Classified ads are cheaper than display advertising because of their size, generally being restricted to a few lines only. However, for businesses, display ads are a preferred option as a lot of information has to be crammed into a space.

Classified ads can be basically categorised into two –

  • Newspaper advertisements – Typically classified ads in newspapers are short and one newspaper column wide. Customers are charged by the line and one ad is generally about 4 to 5 lines. Images are not permitted in classified ads though display advertisements with images are often printed in the Classified Sections. Even though a few pages in newspapers are left exclusively for these ads, there are a few publications that deal exclusively in classified ads. Many of them are distributed free, revenue being generated from the ads itself.

Classified ads are grouped into sections, making them easy to find and read. These might be “for sale”, “rents”, “for hire” and “wanted” and can be for any item, products and services under the sun. Since they are categorised into classes, these are called classified ads.

Classified ads can be placed by local or general business and corporate or individuals advertising for personal goods.

  • Online Classified ads – Classified ads have now gone from the strict purview of newspapers to advertising on computer services and radio and television. Newspapers too have taken their classified sections online. One advantage of online ads is that they are very cost effective and can target specific audiences for maximum benefits. Hence companies can place ads in local websites or internationally if required. Ads may also be placed postal code-wise or specifically on sites catering to the urban or rural population. The response will be far greater when it is seen by a niche audience exclusively for which the ad is intended.

Hence it is always advisable to decide these things first before going for a classified ad, either online or in newspapers.