As I always reiterate, the need for a significant online presence when looking to buy or sell can’t be overemphasized. The three key advantages online platforms offer are the ability to reach many more people, convenience of doing it from anywhere and on-the-go & relatively lesser costs incurred. It is common knowledge that advertising is central to ensuring that buying & selling efforts yield results. Now with increased internet activity, the unavoidable truth is that you must scale up your online advertising efforts.
However, most people don’t have the capacity to create online platforms where they can easily advertise their products, goods or services. That’s where free advertising websites come in. Free advertising websites are helpful in that you can advertise for free plus the reach is usually high because of the all-inclusiveness of categories of goods and services on them that generates lots of traffic. Then there are online platforms such as Facebook & WhatsApp which offer free advertising space.
You can sign-up by using your email account for free. The site encounters at least 500 000 visits every month so it’s a site worth posting your advert on, for free. Once you sign up you can now start posting free adverts for your products & services.
This is a free classifieds & marketplace platform. It also includes categorization by city. There is also a shopping cart incorporated on the website such that customers can actually pay for some goods or services online. Customers can also enjoy the convenience of sending free SMS responses to sellers. You can post, edit or delete adverts with ease. Recently they integrated the platform with Vaya Express (taxi service); therefore customers can now buy by paying with Ecocash & then get goods delivered through Vaya Express.
Once you have a Facebook account, you can either create a group or a page for your business, all for free. There are also plenty of Zimbabwe Facebook Groups which you can join for free. You can start posting images, text, videos or a combination of all three to market your products or services at zero cost. If you, however, want to widen your post reach you can sponsor/boost your posts (i.e. pay for them). Boosting helps you reach more people & choose your target metrics e.g. location, age or gender etc. It’s relatively affordable starting from US$1 per day, it’s up to your discretion to choose the amount, number of days for the ad to run and how much you want to use per day. You can also use the free Facebook Stories feature which is more like the WhatsApp status update feature. The profile picture & your basic profile are still free avenues that you can occupy with content to advertise your brand. Don’t forget to also take advantage of the Facebook Live feature which will only cost you the money to purchase data.
This is the most widely used instant messaging app in the world. You can create groups which you can use to market your products or services. There are also plenty of Zimbabwe Whatsapp Groups which you can join for free. WhatsApp allows images, text or video posts. There is also the status update feature where you can post images, text or short 30-second video clips. All these are avenues that you can use to advertise on WhatsApp; all this for free with just the cost of buying data to be online. Then you can also use the WhatsApp Business version. This version has more features such as being able to come up with a more detailed profile, the generation of a short link that prospective customers can click on to get in touch with you, customizable automated messages for when people contact you and you are offline & the ability to create keyboard shortcuts for quick frequently sent messages. To top that off, you’ll still have access to creating groups & posting status updates. Your profile pictures & your general profile statuses are also slots on which you can freely advertise your brand offerings.
Other Local Online Platforms
This is free platform to advertise products & services. It has 15 all-inclusive categories of goods & services you can advertise. For your ad, you will be able to add images, price, condition (state), description, your name & your contact details (phone numbers & email).
The ZimFreeAds website has 3357 ad categories. You register for free and then you are good to go.
This is a free site that connects buyers & sellers. If you want to get much more far-reaching results there is an option to pay a small fee to get that done for you. However, the general use of the platform for posting ads is free.
My Classifieds, owned by Alpha Media Holdings Pvt Ltd, promotes online trading of goods, services & products. You register to get a free account and that’s it, you can post your ads.
Zimbabwe Market Classifieds that offers free advertising for Zimbabwean artists who are into arts & crafts. The target markets they expose those ads to are SA, Africa (as a whole), Canada, USA & UK.
The domain of free advertising websites is quite vast and I can confidently say that there is still room for new players. More creativity & innovation needs to be infused into that domain. I say this because I realized that several websites have more or less the same interface format or design. However, don’t get too comfortable in leveraging on only the freebies. The paid-for features enhance your customer reach & also bring with them detailed analytic data to evaluate your online advertising initiatives.