October 3, 2013

Shutdown or Slimdown? Choose your words carefully

Every word has a meaning – but some words carry with them intense emotion, power, and impact. Changing a single word can completely change how your reader responds to that sentence. The difference between a government shutdown and a government slimdown can have enormous impact...
October 1, 2013

The Dos and Don’ts of Vine For a Business

Why is Vine an important marketing tool for a business? Because a fun, creative six second video caters to the short attention spans people experience in the digital space today. You have mere seconds to catch your viewer's attention....
September 26, 2013

Are You Following Me? How Retargeting can win new customers

Have you ever been researching some furniture or purchasing clothes or a pair of shoes online, only to find yourself being followed across the internet the next day by “pesky” ads from that very website you were on the day before? You are being retargeted. Retargeting can be a very effective means of advertising for your business to engage potential customers who have already expressed an interest in your products or services and stay top of mind....
September 24, 2013

How search works in a “Google It” world

In 2012 there were more than 5 billion Google searches per day. What is your business doing to make sure you appear in those search results? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can target your customer demographic and help your website appear on the first page of not only Google but any search engine...
September 19, 2013

Don’t be Foggy about Blogging (for your business!)

By the end of 2013 over 128 million people in the US will be blog readers. The one question you should ask yourself (if you haven’t already) is this – why haven’t I started writing a blog for my business? Moreover – how do I maximize both the effectiveness and efficiency of blogging and publishing content to reach this growing population of bloggers and blog readers?
September 17, 2013

“It’s All About Trust”: Conversations with Client Services

Here at Propel Marketing, we have a pretty fantastic team dedicated to helping all sorts of local businesses expand their digital reach. One of the people that helps make it happen? Ryan Mulligan, Client Services Manager and multi-tasker extraordinaire. I sat down with Ryan for a quick chat to hear more...
September 11, 2013

Rules of Engagement: Why you should care about Facebook’s Story Bump

We all moan and groan any time Facebook changes any feature on their social platform, claiming Facebook is no longer user friendly. Their latest move is a great game changer for business! Much like Google, Facebook has taken a turn in updating its algorithm, known as EdgeRank, to reward posts or stories with the most user engagement...
September 9, 2013

Bounce Rates and the Search for Self on your business website

Ever been window-shopping, and you’ve popped into a store only to immediately realize the store offers nothing you want? Same thing happens with websites. Sometimes a customer opens a website, looks for a matter of seconds, and immediately closes the window (or hits the back button on their browser) without even glancing at a second page...
September 6, 2013

How brands are using Vine

Still not sold on Vine videos for your business? What can those 6 second videos really do to promote your products, exhibit your services, and show off your company's great culture? You'd be surprised...
September 4, 2013

Extreme Makeover: Propel Marketing’s Responsive Redesign!

Notice anything different about us? We've just launched our newly redesigned website, thrivehive.com! Our snazzy new makeover comes with a more organized layout, flashy graphics, and a responsive design to help you view our website from any and all devices! What do you think of Propel's new look?
August 27, 2013

The New Word: Pre-Roll and Native Video Advertising in the Age of Content

Written online content will eventually become obsolete and replaced by video. According to Smashing Magazine, the total amount of digital content on the web as of way back in 2010, is 1 zettabyte. As the amount of human-generated, digital content skyrockets, new business pioneers will seek innovative new ways to engage their customers and separate themselves from their competition. Some already have...
August 22, 2013

Do’s and Don’ts to get your Website Found Locally

If you have a website, these quick “Do’s” and “Don’ts” are a great guide of how to make small tweaks in your website's design and the content of your site to help your customers organically find you. If you don’t have a website yet, then this is a good place to start on how to build one!...
August 20, 2013

Paving the way for businesses on Pinterest: J.Crew debuts fall catalog

As Pinterest continues to grow in popularity, major brands are devising new and innovative ways to use the visual-based social media network to both engage their current fans and reach a new audience. In an apparent first (and major shake-up), one major brand has used the network to roll out their fall catalogue. In addition to their traditional print catalog, J. Crew followers debuted their September looks on the official J. Crew Pinterest page!
August 16, 2013

The SMBs Who Cry Yelp!

It’s Friday night and you want to try a new restaurant. You know the drill- pull out your smartphone or jump online and Google that new hot spot that just opened up or simply type in “Best Restaurants (insert your location here).” How do restaurants and local businesses use online reviews and social media tools like Yelp to manage their reputation and leverage customer purchasing patterns?
August 9, 2013

The New Gmail: New Experiences for a New Generation

Turns out, Google embraces the inner organizer in all of us, and their new Gmail inbox not only accommodates the need to create harmony in an inbox, but it does it automatically! Talk about customer service! The new Gmail does just that. With five subcategories in a single Gmail inbox, emails are instantly sorted into relevant categories...
August 5, 2013

Reputation is everything – Even for your brand

For a small business owner, protecting your company's reputation is everything. Your personal brand is what defines you among your customer base, and helps drive business through your door. Nursing a damaged personal brand makes success much more difficult...
August 2, 2013

Back to Basics: Understanding Websites

When you begin the process of building a new website (or updating your old one), there are a few main points to keep in mind that are simple, yet extremely important. Remembering these simple tips will ensure your website helps your business connect effectively online with current and potential customers...
July 23, 2013

Hacking: a Real Problem for Small Businesses

Chances are, if you’re a small business owner, you’re trying to get informed on how to be safe and secure online. Good news! This could help you become part of the 17% of small businesses that have some sort of cyber security plan.... SMB owners don’t have the time or resources to protect themselves against something that could seemingly never happen to you – why would they? Here’s why…
July 11, 2013

2013’s Web Design Trends for Your Small Business

A well-designed, concise website is an extremely important tool for bring a potential customer into your small business. With constantly changing design trends, it's important to understand what is essential, with consideration to you your business’ budget. Let's take a look at the top web design trends for 2013, as chosen by Website Magazine, and what they mean for your small business’ marketing strategy...
July 9, 2013

Gone in 2 seconds: Impress your audience or lose ’em

“You have about 2 seconds to impress someone with your website, or they’re gone.” It’s a long-established, but still-lamented, fact in the newspaper business that readers seldom read much beyond the headline and first sentence, regardless of how much time, hustle, and wordsmithing went into crafting the article. It’s one of the reasons many newspapers emphasize splashy headlines and captivating first sentences – because they want to draw readers in. These same practices hold true for your website...
July 2, 2013

Can Guerrilla Marketing Exist Online?

Named after the irregular tactics used during warfare, guerrilla marketing is a marketing strategy used by some businesses that utilizes low-cost, unconventional means of reaching their desired audience. The objective of these strategies is to garner buzz and public interaction between the business and its customers. After seeing examples of guerrilla marketing in action, one has to wonder: can this same approach be taken into the online world?
June 28, 2013

Facebook Announces Photo Comments

Remember the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, this might have been Facebook’s inspiration when it launched its new photo comments. The social media giant's 1.1 billion members are now able to react to their friends’ status updates with photos and not just words alone...
June 26, 2013

Instagram Video versus Vine: Who Wins in the Video Arena?

Since the recent launch of Video on Instagram, the competition is heating up between video platforms for mobile, social media. How does Instagram's new video feature match up against apps like Vine?
June 25, 2013
Competitive Intelligence lets your spy on the competition

Competitive Intelligence for Your Business

It happens to all of us. No matter how well your marketing is going, there’s always that one competitor who seems to be doing better. What’s […]
June 24, 2013

How Facebook’s Graph Search Will Help Your Business

Graph Search is a new feature on Facebook that allows people to search for content across all their Facebook friends. Users can now view old posts and content they may like based on what they search. This gives people better visibility into what their friends like, which can then be used for businesses to gain a larger reach of customers....
June 20, 2013

In the News: Facebook Rolls out Video on Instagram!

It turns out the rumors around Facebook's big mystery announcement were true. On Thursday, June 20, Facebook announced the addition of video capability to Instagram! Kevin Systrom, Instragram co-founder, led a live video conference to announce the addition of video to Instagram....
June 19, 2013

Google Launches New Feature: Search Carousel!

Google's introduction of a new carousel feature to its search engine results page may not "let us travel the way a child travels," as the dapper Draper put it, but it does further raise the stakes when it comes to businesses jockeying for the ever-important top position on search results...
June 17, 2013

50th National Small Business Week

It's no secret that we love small, local businesses. We're proud to support our community and happy to announce the start of the 50th Anniversary of National Small Business Week! All week long, events are taking place around the country, celebrating small businesses, the owners that make them possible, and the things that matter most to them. From speakers to awards to lectures on great marketing tools, there's tons of information being shared...
June 13, 2013

Invited to the Party: Social Media and Small Business, Part 3 (of 3)

Social media is about the conversations that occur in comments and updates on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. This means that customer engagement, and providing a sense that you want them to ask questions, seek information, and interact on a personal level with you, is on the rise in dramatic fashion. What can a small/medium size business do to stay on target and engage their customers...
June 12, 2013

Invited to the Party: Social Media and Small Business, Part 2 (of 3)

Part 1 discussed the benefits on social media for small businesses. But where do small businesses, looking to get ahead of the curve and start their journey into social media, begin?...
June 11, 2013

Invited to the Party: Social Media and Small Business, Part 1 (of 3)

To small business owners, social media is simply pure gold. According to a recent study, customers who engage with a business via social media contribute more to the total sales revenue than those who don't. But outside of the obvious, what small business owners often don’t understand about social media is how beneficial it can be outside of just dollars and cents...
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)...
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 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 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 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 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...
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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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!
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.