Business owners know marketing in the 21st Century is difficult and very time consuming. Keeping up with the multitude of marketing tools is overwhelming and most small- to medium-sized businesses feel like they can’t compete with the bigger competitors who have more resources and money. Times News Group offers a unique way to help these businesses compete through Propel Marketing. Propel Marketing offers improvements and helps those without a quality online presence to create one. Propel Marketing offers web and mobile site creation and management services, social marketing, Search Engine Marking (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing as well as reputation monitoring and targeted online advertising. The Times News Group has teamed up with Propel Marketing to bring small to medium-sized businesses these necessary tools with options that fit all budgets. “One the most exciting products we offer is a cutting edge website design program called ‘Responsive Design.’ Responsive Design makes a website user-friendly by responding to the platform the user is on, whether it’s a computer, tablet or smartphone. It customizes the contents of the website to fit,” Times News Group sales manager Mike Mehl said. “Most sites haven’t been made to give the user a quality experience on their smartphone, which is a rapidly growing tool that is replacing desktop computers daily. Responsive Design creates a website ready for every device and for those still to come,” Mehl said. Responsive Design also offers the business the ability to choose to make changes to their website themselves or to have a Propel designer conduct monthly interviews with the business and make changes for them. Propel also offers services for businesses who may have a website they love and is working for them but they’re lacking a good mobile presence. “We can create mobile sites that make visits to your site a much more enjoyable experience, which can keep them at your site longer,” Mehl said. “A quality website is something that every business needs to be relevant in today’s world because consumers are overwhelmingly following a pattern that when they respond to an ad or they need a service, their first step is to go to the website,” Mehl said. “In the old days people would call or go in to the store. Now they’re going to go to a website first. That visitor forms an opinion about your business from your website. It better be there and ready to impress. It’s a second business location that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.” In addition to web design services, Times News Group also now offers social media options through Propel. “Eighty percent of Internet users visit social media sites and other blogs. This is professional design for customers who don’t have the knowledge or time to stay engaged with their customers,” Mehl said. “It can also offer increases in traffic and followers and higher ranking in searches.” Within the social offerings is another valuable package called Social Suite. This service provides a library of useful information that users can post to their social media sites. It also monitors your work and “grades” your performance. The better you stay engaged with your followers the better your “grade.” Social Suite makes something that can be a hassle, which is posting the right things on a regular basis, and makes it more enjoyable. Propel does offer a service to those who would rather have their social marketing done for them. Some of Propel’s other online marketing tools include: Propel Rep which is a reputation monitoring service that tracks feedback left of all the review sites. “Ignoring bad reviews or not even being aware of them is not good business. Would you want a person standing along the roadside with a sign saying ‘DON’T GO TO’?” Mehl said. “No way, you’d do everything you could to stop that. A bad review is no different. Responding to reviews illustrates the level of professionalism at which your business operates and it helps make those bad reviews disappear. Rep also lets you connect with those who give you good reviews. Those are the people you need to connect with; this make it easy. Other digital marketing tools the Times News Group offers through Propel Marketing are Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing both of which are needed in today’s world. “In the past, businesses would name themselves AAA Plumbing or buy the biggest ad in the phonebook. Now being on page 1 in search results is key,” Mehl said. “Traditional advertising is also important to getting the clicks. Why? Consumers will click on the businesses they are familiar with — those they’ve heard of or read about. Consistent advertising builds trust. Trust means clicks.” “With these and other tools offered through Propel Marketing and the Times News Group, a small- to medium-sized business can have the same advantages as the big boys,” Mehl said. “Due to the high level of quality work done by Propel Marketing, price shouldn’t be a factor, but to give an example of the kind of opportunities available, an amazing 10-page, Responsive website can be purchased for $699 plus a small, monthly fee for maintenance and hosting, and if you choose, for all the changes you want to make along the way to be done for you. Contact Mike Mehl to learn more about your opportunities. Call 309-686-3106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.