Show your stuff Rethink the power of classifieds with video

Posted by tom klein July 17, 2007

Need to list something in the classifieds? The likely online answer is Craigslist (much to the chagrin of eBay, GoogleBase, and others).

What’s surprising isn’t the success of Craigslist, but the fact that even though the site was started 12 years ago, the notion of what a classified is hasn’t really changed. Most online classifieds don’t even begin to represent what’s possible on the web.For example, check out RealPeopleRealStuff or Imoondo, two sites that represent the future direction of classifieds, spelled v-i-d-e-o. Maybe you’re considering the purchase of a top of the line dressage horse. Or, maybe you would like to unload your coveted gaming computer that lights up. When you compare these ads to stale print or even print with images, it’s easy to see where classified ads will move.The lesson here is that you have a window of opportunity to build out your own “video classified” capability. The faster you move up the learning curve, whether you’re selling puppies or million dollar homes, the more of a competitive edge you will build.

The most complicated aspect of the technology is learning the alphabet soup of video formats - .WMV, .AVI, .MOV, .MP4 and .MPG . Don’t let these letters be intimidating, they’re really just different flavors of the same thing. In nearly all cases, your video camera will output at least one of these formats and many software tools exist to convert from one to another, if need be.

Some products just need video to really highlight compelling benefits. If reduced to text or images, the ads for the gaming computer or the dressage horse would lose a lot - you wouldn’t see the light show from the computer and certainly couldn’t see the dazzling dance of the horse. If your product or service needs video to sizzle, don’t wait for your competitor to show you how to do it.

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