December 28, 2012

12 Social Media Headlines of ‘12

As 2012 draws to a close, it’s nice to take a step back and reflect on the last year. Much has changed in the digital world in the last 12 months, most notably the shift in marketing focus to social media. We asked our illustrious Social Media Manager to take us back through the top Social stories from this year...
December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from Propel!

'Tis the season to be merry and celebrate the good things in life - good friends, good family, and good food! We hope you sit back and relax this holiday season and enjoy the little things that make life wonderful. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! -- The team at Propel
December 20, 2012

5 Digital New Year’s Resolutions for Your Small Business

As the holidays come and go and we kick off the New Year, it’s time to start evaluating your marketing efforts. Consider it a clean slate. You may have worked with digital marketing in the past with little or great success, or this digital world might be completely new to you, but it doesn’t matter. Start off the year on the right foot with some digital resolutions, and you can look forward to a very successful 2013....
December 18, 2012
Website Analytics Confusion

6 Actions to Take Based On Your Website Analytics

Many business owners either feel intimidated by website analytics or they look at the analytics and don’t know what actions to take based on the data. […]
December 14, 2012
Generate phone calls from your AdWords campaigns

How to Generate Phone Calls from AdWords

Your business has a website, and you’re advertising online.  You have a form on your website that is collecting lead information from the people who visit, […]
December 12, 2012

Is Your Website Costing You Customers?

Most businesses know that their customers remember bad experiences much more than good experiences, and this truth also applies to customers visiting a business’ website. You can test this yourself by answering the following questions: 1. When was the last time a website left a lasting positive impression on you? 2. And when was the last time you were frustrated by a website? Most people struggle to think of a positive experience, but can easily recall a negative experience from...
December 4, 2012

What Smartphones Can Do For Your Business

As you walk around today, you constantly see people on their phones. They are on the go, talking, texting, posting pictures, etc. What you may not realize is that they are running their whole business through their phone. It can be difficult for small business owners to keep up with rapidly changing technology, but one thing that all business owners “must have” is a smart phone. These days, owning a business and owning a smartphone go hand in hand...
December 3, 2012
Wow Moment

Get to the "Wow" With Your Customers

Picture this: Your auto is in need of repair, so you call your local dealership and schedule service. Upon arriving, you enter a spacious and clean […]
November 27, 2012
AA Advantage Apologies

How To Win Customers Back

You might have read our recent blog post on word of mouth marketing where we talked about providing a great customer experience. Unfortunately we aren’t all perfect […]
November 19, 2012

Email List Best Practices for Small Business Owners

  Our customers often come to us when they’re ready to start sending emails to their contacts, but aren’t sure if they did what they needed […]
November 19, 2012

Be thankful for social media

When you’re sitting down with your family at the table this Thanksgiving, you may be talking about your small business. It might be a barber shop, a restaurant, or even a specialized store selling cute little vases. No matter what your niche, without social media, your business could still be in the dark ages. You could be spending thousands of dollars on advertising that few people might even see. Tell your family how thankful you are for social media...
November 14, 2012

Tablets and what they mean for your small business

As I write this blog with my new 7 inch tablet, I’m thinking about how these small, lightweight devices will drastically affect how people browse the web. In the past couple of years, it seems people have been swarming to get their hands on the newest and greatest tablets on the market, from iPads and iPad Minis to Nexus 7 Android tablets and more. According to TechCrunch, the number of tablet users in the US...
November 8, 2012

Local Business Listings: Don’t Lose Your Business to a Competitor

As a small business owner, how would you expect potential customers to find you? An easy way to gain online presence is through local listings. Online listings can help boost your business visibility in the local area. When a user searches for a business, the search engine will list the local business profile, which provides the user with key information...
November 8, 2012

Do You Have a Holiday Marketing Plan for Your Small Business?

The holidays are just around the corner. Have you planned your marketing? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. Many small business owners find themselves in the […]
October 31, 2012

Online Reputation: The New Public Relations Frontier

With the rise of social media and customer review sites, public relations efforts have shifted gears to focus on businesses’ Online Reputation Management. The general public now has the ability to publish content across the web –about YOUR business...
October 25, 2012
Invest in your marketing

How Much Should I Spend on Marketing?

We hear this question numerous times every week from small business owners who want to understand how much money it will take to get more customers […]
October 17, 2012
Juggling Your Marketing Tasks

6 Services You Probably Haven’t Heard of That Can Help You Grow Your Small Business

Sometimes, being a small business owner can make you feel like you need to do everything yourself.  It can feel like a juggling act and if […]
October 17, 2012

Display Ads: Giving local businesses the ability to run with the big dogs!

How great would it be to see your business name in bright, shining lights online? Have you ever seen a banner ad from national advertisers like Home Depot, Stanley Steemer and Terminix online? Would you like to see your business in the same spot? Most consumers love to help support local businesses with their purchases. When they look online, however, the first thing they see is major retailers' ads. How do small businesses get online...
October 11, 2012

How influential is your business online?

How do you know that your company’s social media pages are working? Is it by the number of Likes, connections, and followers you have? The number of posts, comments, retweets, and shares you get? What if there was a way to take all those numbers and boil them down to one score? The good news is, there is. It’s called Klout...
October 8, 2012

What will you discover with digital?

Columbus may not have set out to discover America, but he stumbled upon it by happy accident. When customers search online for things to do, places to go, and people to see, they’re not setting out to discover your business. They find you by happy accident or, thanks to search engines, by good online marketing...
October 4, 2012

Pay-Per-Click: What’s in it for you?

If you’re the owner of a growing business, it’s likely that you’ve heard of search engine advertising, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. PPC ads are those that appear at the top, and down the right side of Google search results pages. These ads cost the advertiser a defined cost each time someone clicks on a paid search result. Paid ads can range from 50 cents per click, up to several dollars per pick (the cost is variable, determined by complex formulas created by the search engine)...
October 1, 2012
inconsistent marketing

How to Grow Your Small Business

Every successful business owner knows that starting or running your small local business isn’t easy. Every day brings new challenges, from sales and marketing to accounting […]
September 26, 2012

SEO bad practices: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Good SEO isn’t either

Many small business owners are aware that their online presence needs work but don’t have either the time or technical knowledge to know what to do next. This is especially true when it comes to building good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which is a crucial component of any business' online presence. If your business does not appear on page one of a potential customer’s search results, you are likely to be overlooked by consumers who...
September 21, 2012

Why Your Small Business Should Care About iPhone 5

This week Apple launched the new iPhone 5 along with an update to the operating system, iOS. If you’re not an Apple fan, you might be […]
September 19, 2012
Peregrine Falcon in Boston

How to Turn Your Business into a Bird of Prey

The Peregrine Falcon is one of the most widely spread predatory birds, or raptors, in the world.  Their range is prolific across almost every land mass […]
September 19, 2012

Fall back to basics for your small business

Saturday is the first official day of Fall, and that's got us thinking; how do businesses transition from summer to fall in their marketing? Fall means many things to people. For some it's Back to School, for others it's the notion that Oktoberfest is right around the corner... Most importantly, it's Back to Basics for your Business. Follow these simple steps to increase branding and profitability for your business!
September 13, 2012

Top 5 Features of The New iPhone 5

As you might have heard, yesterday Apple unveiled the newest incarnation of their smartphone in a much talked-about press conference. This was big news across the internet, cable news, and Apple fan-boys alike. People love their technology, and our team here at Propel is no exception. Here are our top five favorite features of the new iPhone 5...
September 13, 2012
SEO Redflag 2

8 Signs That You’re Being Offered Bad SEO Services

I get a lot of spam emails from companies offering SEO services.  The emails are annoying, but more importantly the quality of the services that they […]
September 11, 2012
3 Types of Websites

The 3 Types of Business Websites – Do You Have the Right Site?

With 97% of consumers searching online for local businesses today, websites are an essential part of a small businesses marketing efforts.  There are three common types […]
September 7, 2012

Call Tracking Does Your Marketing Campaigns Good

Have you thought about the success rate of your marketing campaigns? No? Well, call tracking may be the right tool for you. Call tracking has been around for several years, but not many local businesses are utilizing this tool to track the success of their marketing campaigns. This tool allows you to see precisely what you’re getting out of your marketing efforts through the use of a unique local or toll-free number which is separate...
August 31, 2012
Baby Walking Down a Beach

Are You Using Enough Images in Your Online Marketing?

The concept of the power of images over text is not new. In 1911, a newspaper article quoted editor Arthur Brisbane as saying, “Use a picture. […]
August 24, 2012

Small business’ new best friend: Mobile payments

LevelUp is not alone in the world of mobile payment apps, but they are the first to eliminate processing fees. Now Square, too, has changed their policies. They are now offering lower, monthly fees for small businesses who bring in less than $250,000 per year instead of the usual per-transaction fee. As this movement gains ground, it will be a trend that is good for both small businesses and their customers. So now, customers still get the ease of payment that they want and businesses don’t have to incur the extra costs.
August 17, 2012

3 things you should know about Pinterest for your small business

Now that Pinterest has stopped requiring invites, it’s easier than ever to join. Pinterest is a social sharing site that launched in 2010 and already has an estimated 20M unique visitors per month. It’s now the third most popular social networking site in the U.S, just behind Twitter. Pinterest can be a great tool for small businesses to connect with current customers and attract new ones thanks to engaging images. In a lot of ways, customers do the work for you. If users see a pin and like it, they share it with their friends, who in turn share with their friends, and so on. Not sure how to make it work for your business? Here are 3 things you should know about Pinterest for your business.
August 15, 2012

How to Manage Your Small Business Contacts

Every local business owner communicates with customers on a daily basis, whether it’s on the phone, by email, or in person. Every one of these customers […]
August 8, 2012

Commit to monitoring and managing your business’ reputation

It is no secret that dissatisfied customers tend to share their complaints with others. Word-of-mouth has always posed a threat to your brand and reputation, but with roughly 2.27 billion users on the internet, the damage caused by word-of-mouth is in a whole new arena...
August 8, 2012
Advertising Money

How Much Should You Spend on Advertising to Get a New Customer?

A large pizza around Boston usually costs less than $15.  If it’s a cheese pizza, the cost of the ingredients is relatively low, so let’s assume […]
July 27, 2012

Mobile Ads: Here’s proof they work really well

You know the saying, “Numbers don’t lie?” Well, read a bit of truth about the numbers mobile ads are putting up. You’ll find that the numbers on mobile advertising and response rates have burst through whatever glass ceiling used to be in place.
July 25, 2012
Should you pay to promote page likes?

Should You Promote Your Small Business' Facebook Page?

Facebook offers a few different types of advertising, but one that caught my eye as being potentially helpful for a small business building their social presence […]
July 20, 2012
Email Frustration

4 Reasons Why Spending Too Much Time on Email Newsletters is a Bad Idea

Email newsletters are great, but spending too much time on them is not. If you’re a small business, there’s a good chance that you should be […]
July 18, 2012

In social media, timing is everything

You’re on Facebook and Twitter! Now what? So you’ve done it! You have finished creating attractive social pages for your business or organization.
July 13, 2012

What you need to know about your brand’s voice

Tone of voice. It’s not just something your mom scolds you for using improperly. Your business has a tone of voice, and, just like when talking to your mother, you need to be aware of how you’re using it and whether it’s conveying your message appropriately.
July 9, 2012

ThriveHive Closes $1.5 M in Seed Funding to Transform Local Small Business Marketing

  Funding Enables ThriveHive to Accelerate Growth and Acquisition in the Local Small Business Market Cambridge, MA – July 9, 2012 – ThriveHive, an innovative marketing […]
June 29, 2012

The Responsive Design approach: What you need to know

Responsive Design. You've heard of it, we've talked about it before, and it is quickly becoming a hot topic in the world of mobile. We're going to walk you through the nitty-gritty technical details of how to make responsive work for your business. So grab your web guy and read on.
June 26, 2012

Overwhelmed with your online marketing? Here are 4 ideas to get you started

In today’s day and age, advertising has taken on a whole new meaning. With the internet taking over traditional forms of advertising, a lot of questions are left for the business owner on what to do, how to do it, and the time it might take.
June 22, 2012

Brand research in the form of a Captcha

Recently, Ad Age caught our eye with a post about a cool new tool which combines brand research with customer engagement and practical functionality in the form of a Captcha.
June 15, 2012

Propel Marketing welcomes the Quincy Chamber

Yesterday, Propel Marketing welcomed the Quincy Chamber of Commerce, hosting current and prospective Chamber members for the afternoon. Attendees got to mingle with Propel staff, Quincy Chamber staff, and local business owners to learn more about what the Chamber does and how it can help businesses thrive. A good time was had by all, and we at Propel thank the Quincy Chamber and our local business owner attendees for taking the time out to meet...
June 14, 2012

How to gain Facebook fans and convert them into customers

When Facebook first started gaining ground, it was mainly used as a way of staying connected with friends and family. Over the last 5 years it has gone from roughly 100 million users to a staggering 901 million monthly active users.
June 6, 2012

Respond, don’t react: How Responsive Web Design can help your business

For years, businesses have taken it for granted that customers were viewing websites on 15-to-19-inch computer screens. But times are changing and consumers are now using multiple devices to view websites and even to make purchases.
June 1, 2012

Keeping your business out of the summer social media slump

You’ve spent all those cold dreary winter days building a successful online presence for your business, don’t let a bit of sunshine leave you in a summer social media slump!
May 24, 2012

Virtual Brick and Mortar: What is your digital first impression?

When consumers shop on Main Street, what do they look for in their local store? When consumers need a local service, what do they expect from that provider? A pleasurable experience includes quality of product/service, convenience, and a knowledgeable courteous staff.
May 21, 2012

It’s National Small Business Week!

As we noted earlier this month, May is National Small Business Month. In addition, the Small Business Administration has designated this week, May 20–26, National Small Business Week.
May 17, 2012

Why your business needs a mobile-friendly website

Is your website optimized for mobile? Is the load time on your smartphone fast enough? Is your site easy to navigate on a smartphone or other mobile devices? If you answered NO to any of these questions, it is time to revamp your site to target smartphone users.
May 15, 2012
tips for maintaining brand consistency

Tips for Maintaining Brand Consistency

With so many different avenues to display your small business, it can be easy for your messaging to become inconsistent across things like print, online and TV advertisements. In order to help potential customers recognize your business, it is important to maintain your branding. Consistency is an important aspect in marketing your company because it helps others remember who you are and recognize you later. If potential clients and customers can distinguish your name and logo...
May 8, 2012

5 tips for improving your local place pages

Does your business listing stand out to potential customers in their local searches? According to recent statistics, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Search engines like Google and Yahoo recognize this and have created Place Pages which can easily move your business to the top of the search results.
May 1, 2012

Did you know that May is National Small Business Month?

Since 1963, the United States has recognized small businesses and their impact on American culture and economy. The designated month aims to honor the close to 30 million small businesses and the amazing people who run them.
April 27, 2012

3 Reasons why your business should use Google Analytics

Are you using Analytics to get the most out of your website? Google Analytics is tracking software that can provide detailed information about how people found your site, what they did on it, and display data that can help you improve the user experience. When used properly, Google Analytics can increase ROI no matter how you generate revenue.
April 21, 2012
Small Business Toolbox

Don't Build It; Use Tools to Grow Your Small Business

Successful business owners are a group who know how to get things done. They’ve built something from the ground up and have the skills to make […]
April 19, 2012

5 tips and trends in web design

Just 8 seconds. That’s the average attention span of humans. You only have 8 seconds to grab your audience’s attention. That’s not very long. Using the following trends in web design may help increase the time a user spends on your website and help gain customers.
April 10, 2012

Mobile advertising: Generate new leads and customers for your business

Is mobile advertising another solution for your business? Mobile advertising is trending its way into the advertising world each year; it’s not all about advertising the traditional way anymore. According to comScore, 42% of U.S. mobile phone owners are now smartphone users (approximately 98 million...
April 5, 2012

How online display advertising can help your business

There are a multitude of different advertising channels your business can use to market your products or services and build awareness. Being the visual creatures that we are, television, billboard, and print ads have always been obvious avenues for businesses to advertise on. However, one question always remains the same: Which one will give you the best return on your investment? With people spending more time on the internet, online display advertising gives small and...
March 29, 2012
Community

5 Ways to Build an Online Audience

You have built a website and you already have your SEO working the right way. Potential customers are coming your way, but for some reason people […]
March 26, 2012

Facebook Timeline for Business Pages: What You Need to Know

In the weeks since Facebook's Timeline was introduced for businesses, much has been written and said about the format: pros, cons, support, and criticism. Here’s what’s new and what you need to know to take full advantage of the new format and be ready to make the switch by the Friday deadline! Facebook timeline for individuals was introduced late last year, and was soon followed by the launch of timeline for business pages. So what’s...
March 20, 2012

Spring cleaning: 5 ways to spruce up your internet marketing

Ahhh ... the first day of spring. Warmer weather, longer days, flip flops and Spring Cleaning! Not only does Spring Cleaning apply to your closets, but it also applies toward your business. The reasoning behind Spring Cleaning? Clean up, clean out and refresh! How often do you look at your website, google yourself, or check for updated listings? If you’re not doing it weekly, you’re not doing it enough!
March 20, 2012
facebook

8 Tips to Help You Prepare for Facebook’s New Business Pages

You might have heard that Facebook is rolling out a new business page design. You need to prepare your page and customize it to ensure that […]
March 12, 2012

Understanding how websites help your business: A 4-part series

What are the do's and don’ts of business websites? What needs to be on them? Who should you listen to? Lots of websites and business bloggers write about small businesses and their websites. They come up with lists of all sorts of facts about what you should or should not do, include or do not include, and more. Over the past week, we’ve compiled some of the information that we think is most helpful for you
March 9, 2012

Website tips and tricks for your business

We've covered how important it is to have a website, how to get started, and the must-haves for your site. What now?
March 9, 2012

9 of the Most Successful B2B Viral Videos Ever

What do a glass manufacturer, a toilet seat company, a phone system provider, a printing company, and a repo man all have in common?  They all […]
March 8, 2012

7 must-haves for your business website

Here’s a quick look at a few things your business website absolutely cannot do without.
March 7, 2012

Websites for your local business: How do you get started?

Having a website for your business is crucial in this day and age. But how do you do it? We know it can be daunting to try to figure out what to do, but we’re here to help!
March 6, 2012
Google+ for Small Business

How To Create a Google+ Page For Your Small Business

Your business is active on Twitter, you’re posting regularly to Facebook, but are you on Google+?  This new social network may be the smallest of the […]
February 29, 2012

Engaging Content: How to Increase Web Traffic and Reduce Bounce Rate

Creating engaging content is critical if you want to attract people to your website and keep them on the site once they get there.  This article […]
February 28, 2012

3 reasons blogging is important for your business

Why is blogging so important for your business? As a business owner, you most likely did not open your doors to start blogging. You wear a multitude of hats of all shapes and sizes, and blogging is probably at the bottom of the totem pole. Even though blogging is such a low priority task on the To Do List, a business’ online market share depends on it.
February 22, 2012

Reputation Management: What is it, and why you should care

How many customers are you losing out on due to a bad review? The dangers of not knowing what’s being said about your business are immeasurable. A bad review that goes unanswered can seriously tarnish your business’ reputation!
February 15, 2012

Success Stories: Social media marketing

It’s 2012, and the topic still remains around social media marketing for small businesses. Before social media became popular, getting your name out there would have been from word-of-mouth by way of your customers, or advertising. Times have changed; more businesses are turning towards social media marketing to increase their audience reach.
February 8, 2012

Register for National Small Business Week!

National Small Business week is May 20th-26th. The conference, held in Washington, DC, boasts a series of events recognizing the impact and importance of small businesses in the US.
February 7, 2012
Chiropractors Greatest Challenges in Finding New Patients

Top 3 Marketing Approaches from The Chiropractor Marketing Report

Today, ThriveHive is excited to release “The Chiropractor Marketing Report”, a detailed look into the current marketing trends in the chiropractic industry based on a survey […]
January 23, 2012
Twitter Checklist

10 Things Your Small Business Can Tweet About Today

When it comes to Twitter, one of the problems most small business owners face is “what do I tweet about?”  It’s a good question.  You’re busy […]
January 19, 2012

How to make Social Media work for your business

In sales, I hear all kinds of objections, the biggest being, “I get all my business from word of mouth.” The next question I ask after hearing this is, “Are you taking advantage of social media?” The answer is almost always no, that social media is for college kids, and that it wouldn’t work for their business.
January 18, 2012
Foursquare Logo

How to Start Using Foursquare to Market Your Business

What is Foursquare? Not everyone is intimately familiar with Foursquare yet, but its popularity is increasing quickly and it’s a great marketing channel for many small businesses. […]
January 11, 2012

How to Start Using LinkedIn for Your Small Business

It’s time to include another powerful social networking site to your list of To Do’s for your business. Are you familiar with LinkedIn? LinkedIn is the […]
January 6, 2012

3 Steps to Better Search Engine Rankings Using Google Places

Do a search for just about any kind of business, add your city’s name, and you’ll see Google prioritizing local businesses in the search results.  You […]
September 19, 2011
Don't Build It

Don’t Build It – 5 Online Partners for Restaurants

As small business owners with limited resources, there’s often a feeling that we need to build everything ourselves. Paying someone else to do something you could […]
September 15, 2011
Baseball player hits the ball

5 Free Quick Hits That Can Improve Your Online Presence

The Internet has changed the way a business can reach its customers. There are always new tools and ways to establish your online presence. However many small […]
August 23, 2011

Small Business Marketing 101 – Part 2

First, let’s recap part one of Small Business Marketing 101. We already discussed the importance of marketing orientation and market research. We also explained how to […]
August 18, 2011

Is AdWords Express Right for Your Small Business?

For many small, local businesses, advertising on Google seems complicated, expensive and intimidating. There’s a lot to learn, and besides, there’s an entire industry built on […]
August 17, 2011

How to Get the Most Out of QR Codes

QR codes are everywhere these days. For those not in the know, a QR or “quick response” code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be read […]
August 16, 2011

Small Business Marketing 101 – Part 1

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business and it is important to understand the theory behind it. This blog post […]
August 8, 2011

Phones – How to Use Them to Track Offline Marketing

How to Measure Offline Marketing You already monitor your web traffic, but is that really enough to understand all of your marketing? Many businesses, particularly local […]
August 5, 2011
Blog

How Can a Blog Help Attract New Customers for Your Business?

Why should your business have a blog? Many small and medium sized businesses wonder whether starting a business blog is a good idea for them. A […]
August 2, 2011
Facebook Small Business

Should Your Business Be on Facebook?

Over 750 million people are on Facebook at the time of writing this article.  There are users all over the world, in every age group, with […]
August 1, 2011

3 Steps to Get More Customers and Grow Your Business

If you offer a great product or service and want people to line up outside your door, this article will give you a formula to accomplish […]
July 25, 2011

Twitter for Small Business: Keeping it Fun Keeps it Effective

After mentioning whiskey in a tweet several weeks back, I noticed I had picked up a new follower to my Twitter account. It was a stone […]
July 22, 2011
generate business yelp

3 Steps to Get More Business than You Can Handle from Yelp

Morgan Cohen’s passion for homes led him to start a Boston area home inspection business in 2005.  Today, with a little help from Yelp, he has reached […]
June 27, 2011

Three Quick Tips for Online Marketing

The amount of money small businesses spend on marketing increases every year, with a lot of that spend happening online.  According to a study by Clutch, small […]
June 16, 2011
Woman Typing a Review

4 Lessons from Zappos That Can Help Your Small Business Get More Online Reviews

Does your business rely heavily on word of mouth marketing?  Today the online version of word of mouth is reviews.  If your business doesn’t have any online reviews, it’s […]