219 Group makes Agency Acquisition


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. ­ 219 Group, a Fayetteville-­based advertising and marketing agency, announced today that it has acquired Access Consulting in Dunn, North Carolina. Access Consulting is a full service marketing group that provides services in print & design, digital, and mass media.

“This acquisition is part of our overall growth plan, but more importantly it is about adding the right kind of people to our team,” said Kirk deViere, President and Owner of 219 Group. “We are fortunate to have Becky Hamilton come aboard our creative team. She was previously an owner of Access Consulting and is a great addition to our award­winning team.”

219 Group has been gaining new clients over the last few months including Kidsville News, Capitol Encore Academy, Manna Church, and Mash House, and the Access Consulting acquisition will provide additional talent and resources for further growth.

“Access Consulting saw a valuable opportunity to be part of something bigger with 219 Group,” said Becky Hamilton . “I am excited about being part of the 219 Group team while being able to provide additional resources to my established clients.”

219 Group is also in acquisition discussions with other companies as part of its growth strategy, and expects other announcements soon.

About 219 Group: 219 Group is an award winning marketing and advertising agency offering a full suite of marketing services to help clients of all sizes and types achieve their desired results, in ways that make sense for varied budgets, and brands. Our services include creative design, branding, responsive website design and development, search marketing, public relations, content and social media marketing, and media buying and planning.

Leveraging the Power of Lead Generation

Is your business using lead generation to its advantage?

In order to bring in new customers and expand reach, businesses must keep lead generation at the forefront of their marketing plan. Living in such a digitally-connected society provides businesses with an excellent outlet to advertise their brand and reach customers. We at 219 Group recommend paid digital advertising techniques to increase lead generation, garner potential customers’ interest, and capitalize on leads.

In 2013, the average number of searches on Google per day was 5.9 billion, and the number continues to grow each year. If your business hasn’t considered using Google AdWords, now is the time to take advantage of this service. By financially committing to pay-per-click advertising through Google and selecting the right keywords, businesses can increase traffic to their website and bring in leads that may have not come in with organic advertising alone. Pay per click is beneficial to reach users searching information relevant to the brand being advertised, and since it is pay per click, money is only spent when an interested user clicks on the ad. Google provides useful tools to see analytics and gauge an ad’s performance.

fb_iconAnother affordable way to increase lead generation is advertising through social media. At 219 Group, we understand the importance of promoting your business through social media to capitalize on leads that may not have come through the search engine pipeline.  These outlets, like Facebook and twitter, have upwards of one billion users, providing a great opportunity to reach out to followers and generate leads that may have not been found using a search engine.

These outlets provide numerous opportunities to invest in advertising. For instance, businesses on Facebook can promote a post, whether it is an old, well-performing one or a brand new post. By financially backing a post, it appears higher in users’ news feed, thus increasing the amount of views and expanding a business’s reach. This generates interest and ultimately spawns more clicks. In addition, pay per click has made its way to Facebook in the way of paid ads appearing on the right side of a user’s screen. Facebook allows businesses to create targeted ads, which direct users to their website or landing page, or instruct users to like their Facebook page.

These advertising capabilities are highly advantageous, because they create highly targeted ads. Facebook takes demographics to a new level – beyond just age and gender – allowing businesses to create a very specific vertical. The social media outlet allows business to target users based on interests, location, and likes, even it can even target based on workplace and education information.

Lead generation is not limited to just Facebook. These capabilities also exist in twitter through the use of promoted posts. Possessing the same idea as promoted posts on Facebook, these posts appear in users’ news feed.

If you’re ready to step up your advertising and reach new customers, paid advertising can be highly beneficial. With years of experience under our belt, we’re speKITTENSts in these digital advertising techniques.

If you’re ready to help your business increase lead generation and website traffic, we’re here to help.

The shift from SEO to Inbound Marketing

We’ve been living in a world where SEO dominates the marketing scene. It’s all about picking the right keywords to get the search engine to rank a company as high as possible in search results, making it look like the authority on a particular topic. But lately there’s been a need to shift away from SEO and toward inbound marketing. From using multiple devices to changing the way we phrase things in our search, search engines are becoming increasingly intelligent so they can keep up. Google, for instance, pulls information on the searcher’s location, preferences, and search history to get the best search result possible. But these personalized search results edit_findinhibit accurate SEO reports. Not to mention that SEO can’t tap into mobile apps and select content based on the user.  Google took it one step further when it rolled out its Hummingbird update last year. This algorithm makes it easier for Google to interpret conversational language, helping the search engine understand the intent of a given search rather than interpreting just a series of words.

Typing a simple question into Google’s search bar will tell you just how far the search platform has come. Translating words, giving facts and answering questions directly in the results page eliminates the user from having to click on the link for a website. If one searches a specific question, such as the best restaurant in his area, will Google will answer his question by ranking results based on the highest ratings and reviews. In addition to changes in the way we search eliminating the use of SEO, pay to play is dominating the web now, making SEO a less productive strategy.

Search engines like Google and social media sites such as Facebook benefit from showing ads, and companies benefit from getting clicks on these ads.

When you have high relevancy and great targeting with this valuable content, you please both ends.

So what does this mean for the future of marketing? Simply put, your business should adopt inbound marketing techniques and focus less efforts on SEO. There’s no longer a need to select keywords that “trick” a search engine to rank your website higher than the competitor in search results.

Why switch to inbound marketing?

Switching to an Inbound strategy can be highly advantageous to your brand because, first and foremost, it draws people into your brand. Whether people are drawn to your company via social media, a share from a friend or coworker, or through your own site, you’re bringing consumers to your website and social media sites organically, thus driving traffic and producing leads.

Producing rich, quality content on your outlets builds expertise and trust among your consumers. When people find value in your content, it leads to shares. This link building can lead to professionals in your industry sharing your content on their site. By using your knowledge and expertise to write quality content, build a helpful website, and interact on social media, your consumers will find more value in your company than your ability to manipulate a robot to bring your website to the forefront of searches. Leverage your content marketing, PR and social to get your SEO value without relying just on search engine optimization. Ultimately, having a strong Inbound strategy will help to find and convert leads and keep your current customers happy and loyal.


Want to focus more efforts on Inbound Marketing? Check out our Inbound Marketing capabilities and we’ll work together to create a powerful plan to bring in new business.

Responsive Web Design – not just an option, a necessity

“Your site doesn’t sit on a desk anymore” -Sparkbox

It used to be if you had a website you only had to design a website that would be seen from a computer, either a desktop or a laptop. Now with the invention of smart phones, netbooks, and tablets you have no way of knowing on what platform your customers are using to view your site.There are countless different versions of the before mentioned products. Companies offer several different sizes of tablets or smart phones and all with different screen sizes. It used to be enough just to create a “mobile version” site but on different platforms this type of design can make viewing and navigating the site needlessly difficult. Responsive design was created to help solve these problems. Instead of designing a website for each individual platform, why not just design one website that “responds” to the platform used and resizes the website to accommodate the resolution needs of each individual platform.

Responsive web design is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience, easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a wide range of devices. If a user switches from a laptop to an iPad, the website will automatically switch to accommodate the resolution, image size and scripting abilities. It also involves resizing the website when Apple users switch their devices from portrait to landscape mode. Though these details might seems small, responsive website design can provide a pleasant user experience that draws in potential customers that are using mobile devices and since mobile users are a growing marketing platform, having a responsive website can help extend your content to a targeted audience.

Do you need to make your site responsive for your audience, Contact Us now and get a free quote.

Mobile Marketing: The Emerging Platform

The future of marketing has come and it’s mobile. Mobile marketing has been around for quite some time but now it is becoming more and more mainstream thanks to companies like Facebook and Google. It is marketing that appears on apps that are specifically for a mobile device, like a smart phone. Marketing professor Andreas Kapla defines it as “any marketing activity conducted through a ubiquitous network to which consumers are constantly connected using a personal mobile device.”  It can provide customers time and location sensitive information, and personalized info that promotes services, goods, and ideas that relate to information received from the customers phone. It works by using various apps that have ads exclusively tailored for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. The ads are formatted, and customized with the sole intention of creating a responsive marketing campaign that is mobile.

Try to count how much time you spend on your phone. If you’re like us you use it while you’re waiting in line at the coffee shop, while you wait for a doctors appointment and while you’re bored at work. You could be playing games, on your favorite social networking site or reading the news on your news app. The chances are you have seen countless ads for various products. Companies are becoming more aggressive with their mobile marketing precisely because of how much time people spend on their phones. Facebook alone has over 470 million monthly active mobile app users. An additional 134 million users simply use the mobile web to get their Facebook fix. These numbers are from 2013 and they don’t even include other social networking apps like Twitter and Instagram. A study conducted in the US during December 2013 by The Nielsen Company showed that people use their mobile devices about 34 hours a month. That is about 7 hours more than the 27 hours per month spent on the Internet. These numbers show that more and more people are spending more and more time on their mobile devices. Being able to market to such a huge audience on a continually growing marketing platform is the reason why your company should start thinking about mobile marketing.

Five things to remember when branding your company

While there are countless things to do when it comes to branding your company, we’d like to offer these five tips:

  • Keep in mind that your company’s identity is mainly for your customers. Your brand is what your customers see and identify with when they think of your company. In today’s world, having a memorable logo is important for brand recognition. Consumers can start to attach meaning to these logos.
  • Keep it related to your company. Make sure it reflects the aesthetic your company has or that you are striving for it to reflect. This is so you have a powerful design that does not confuse your customers. Remember that your logo and your brand is usually the first thing a customer sees, and that they generate their impression of your company from this. Your design needs to make a memorable first impression.
  • Keep it clean. Adding too many design elements can confuse consumers and make your identity look messy and unprofessional. It may be tempting to make a design which incorporates more in it, but less is better. You need consumers to see your company as professional, and that means making your logo and branding look clean and professional. Remember the old adage “Keep it Simple Stupid”.
  • Keep it continuous. Don’t change your design when you change mediums. Keep the design the same when you go from business cards, to flyers, to social media graphics. Show in your graphics that they are all part of a whole encompassing design that is your brand identity. This way, customers can identify your company no matter what medium you use.
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative. There are more than just a few ways to brand and market a company. Make sure you are on the lookout for unique ways to brand your company. Doing something that no one else has done will go a long way in making sure people who see your brand will remember your company.

Branding with 219group can give you the creativity + results your business needs.

“If you do it right, it will last forever.” – Massimo Vignelli.

Social Media in 2014

The focus of social media in 2014 will be to become more integrated into essential business activities. With the IPO’s of the largest social media channels coming and going, they will continue to find new ways to monetize, which means additional ways for small businesses to reach out to their customer base.

Social Media as a Sales Tool

Social Media has always been looked at as a sales tool, however there are three key advances in the last 12 months that are causing social media to get a much harder look for increased spending by CMO’s.

The first is the integration into enterprise level CRM’s for use directly with sales agents. CRM’s are now coming equipped with social (mostly LinkedIn) integration showing the connection to the leads. Also with one click, seeing the browsing history and allowing you to send them a message in an informal way through a site like LinkedIn. It is also more affordable using cloud solutions to small businesses than they were in the past. This level of integration however, pushed social media deeper into the business processes and forces the marketing and sales departments to become closer to a cooperative unit.

Second is that these networks are working for the shareholder now and not the end-user. Sure they will say that they are only worried about the users (Zuckerberg), but the fact remains that if they are not keeping shareholders happy they will fade away. Companies that large need money; they have to monetize. No more Twitter founders saying they do not care about monetizing users. Twitter for example, has greatly increased their sponsored tweets and is integrating re-marketing into their platform ad programs. This by default, will allow more advertising opportunities for small business owners.

Third, with these additional lanes of digital advertising, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), the cost-per-click (CPC) has been driven down to a point where you can use growth hacking tactics to optimize your customer acquisition costs lower than ever. With big data being neatly organized in new platforms at much lower costs than in the past, there is no way possible to get a better customer acquisition cost than there is using social media PPC and growth hacking tweaks over a 6 month period, outside of maybe free PR from local media outlets.

social-circles-vertSocial Media for SEO

Google+ (G+) launched a social network. They now own 2 of the top 3 social networks. They have integrated this network into their search and video social platforms to a point where it cannot be ignored. Like when Google said running PPC would not affect your ranking, (our research showed otherwise) they say that all social media activity affects Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but not Google+ any more than the others. However, many experts have seen dramatic increases when they started engaging publicly on G+, not posting on G+, but actually engaging as in +1’ing, sharing and commenting on G+ updates.

Google is right though, that good social indicators do help SEO and that is all the more reason to have a solid social media plan when you are working on your overall marketing. As a matter of fact, research done at the end of 2013 shows that over 90% of marketing professionals are planning to increase spending on digital advertising in 2014, with 40% planning to significantly increase it.

Social Video

Video has always been huge, but engagement rates are through the roof since Facebook started auto playing videos embedded in the newsfeeds. With the increase in promoted posts directly in the newsfeed you can use a good PPC campaign and a compelling offer through video to get massive results for your product or service.

Ensure that the video is professionally done. This is a very key point. Unprofessional video will actually cause a negative effect. However unprofessional does not mean high budget.  Hand-held cellphone videos will work as long as the audio is clear and the message is upbeat. Like the singing of your only child, you might think your videos are amazing. Get feedback from others just to be sure (Make sure they are honest with you!).

Do not forget about the Fringe

Not everyone can be in the top 5 social media platforms, however it does not mean that it isn’t a viable way to market your business. I call these networks the fringe networks. They get a good amount of traffic, and if the user base fits your demographic, it can be very lucrative.

With Instagram’s acquisition by Facebook (and the increased awareness of the bottom line that being owned by a public company brings), they are working on ways to bring ads to the stream, which will include video and still images. The word is that these ads are VERY effective, even though the comments might suggest otherwise.

Soundcloud, a music sharing site for independent artists is actually #4 on the list of platforms, but is a very good place to market your business, if it fits the demographic. If your customers are in their teens or early 20’s, you can hit your demographic very effectively using this platform. Since they are audio ads, they will stand out like a sore thumb. Pandora is also a great ad platform. They allow highly targeted ads based on listening preferences and location, which can be perfect for your business.

We cannot forget about social platforms from other countries, most of these platforms were monetized from the beginning and their users are accustomed to seeing ads so it is not a negative to the advertiser. In most cases, the rates are super cheap and they are far less strict than our US based platforms are. Conversions on these sites are much lower if you are selling a tangible product, but if it is digital or a service, you can do really well in this area.

Should you buy great Search Engine Optimization?

I get maybe 20 emails a day from outsourced search engine optimization (SEO) firms claiming to that they can get me #1 for a variety of keywords. They then go into letting me know which Keywords they can get me ranked highly for.  9 out of 10 times these keywords are already keywords I rank #1 for. What does this tell me? it tells me that a lot of the companies providing SEO are liars. They run a script for a specific keyword, pull everyone on the lower page 1 and on and send them a spam email telling them they can get them ranked for keywords, and then attach keywords related to the one they searched for. The truth is  correctly done SEO takes time.

But what if you do not have that time and you want to come up #1 right now? Can you afford to buy your great placement?

The answer is sure, but you have to find out if it is worth it, because in some cases your customer acquisition costs are just too high compared to traditional forms of advertising, that is just the honest truth. In the long run great SEO is essential to making your new customer acquisition costs go lower and lower, but until that day you have to fill up the appointment book, right?

First off what would be a successful campaign for you? You have to know the answer to this question, so that you can say I can spend $_ or every new lead you get me. I am talking about people wanting your product or service and being willing to pay for it not just tire kickers.

For instance, factoring in the time of your marketing firm and the actual cost per click (CPC) of your campaign you might pay $15-$25 per lead (Assuming a $500 spend). The crazy part is though that the more you spend on your ad budget the lower that $ gets. Since for the most part your firm retainer fees are fixed. You will normally negotiate a rate to setup and maintain your ad spends and the firm will take it from there. If your budget for clicks is not high enough you still have to pay the firms cost to setup, maintain and edit that campaign.

What if you took money from other things and at least in the short term diverted it in to a larger ad buy? What if you went from spending $500 a month on digital ads to 4k? Do you think your management would go up that much? The answer is probably no, or at least not by 8 like your spend. You would be be paying around $15-$25 when you spend that $500, but when you jump to $4k you spend $5-$7 per lead. (On a 4k spend you are looking at roughly 1,000 new leads depending on your market and offer.)

Obviously this depends on if there is the demand for your product or service in your area. If you are a Bee herder then you probably will have a hard time maxing out a 4k budget, but any firm can work with that and get you into a plan that makes sense $ wise.

So to answer your question, yes it will be expensive, but how much are you willing to pay to be slammed with new leads & business?

219 Group Inks a Deal with Santa Claus


For Immediate Release
December 19, 2013

Ryan Harrell, Creative Director

219 Group Inks a Deal with Santa Claus

Fayetteville NC – 219 Group an advertising and marketing firm today announced a new client, Santa Claus. Santa Claus is world renowned for his 1 night delivery method, which government agencies and shipping companies have been trying to duplicated for over 25 years. 219 Group will assist Mr Claus in the rebranding of his new South Pole Fulfillment center. “With the global population expanding so rapidly it is only fitting that our efforts to produce toys and gifts be expanding as well, Ho Ho Ho.” Said Mr Claus. “Mrs Claus and I are extremely excited to work with a great group of millennials, since we know they know how to reach the younger parents of today, and they are great break dancers.”

219 Group will start rolling out the brand in February or March. “We got a late start on this after I used one of Mrs Claus’s nephews to work on the logo, website and social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. What a waste of time. I should have hired professionals earlier. 219 Group knows all about social media which is huge for us. I have kids Instagramming me shopping lists and parents Facebooking info to me. Frankly it is a little overwhelming.” Said Santa.

“Our team will work with Santa and his team of elves to get the brand perfect, and then work side by side with them to ensure the kids and parents stay engaged throughout the off season.” says Ryan Harrell, Creative Director for 219 Group.

About 219 Group – Marketing & Advertising

219 Group (www.219group.com) is a full service marketing and advertising agency specializing in digital advertising and connecting with millennials located in Fayetteville NC. The creative team has won over 70 national and international awards for marketing and design since 2005.

219 Group – Marketing & Advertising, 2929 Breezewood Ave, Suite 201, Fayetteville, NC 28303

219 Group Monthly Reports: Decoded

Each month we send out monthly reports to our clients. With that report we provide an executive summary with highlights of the month, a recap of the work 219 Group accomplished on behalf of our client, the plan for the upcoming month, and what it all means. Knowing the meanings of the words we use is important so you can get the most out of the report and understand our plan for your business or brand. Here’s a list of some of the key terms we use often and what they mean:

Rankings: This tab is where you can view where your site ranks in search engines. It’s a third party assessment that displays where your site lands in searches for the particular keyword on the left.

Analytics: This tab is where you can view the analytics of your site like how many hits your site received, the average time spent on the site, the average amount of page views, etc. It also has the percentage of organic traffic, referral traffic and direct traffic.

Organic traffic: Traffic from search engines searches — a user typed in a search term and your site was listed among the results that they clicked on

Referral visits: Traffic that comes from another site. In other words, a link to your site has been placed on another web page or site, people clicked on, it and landed on your site

Direct traffic: This means visitors typed in your web address directly into their browser to reach your site

Backlinks: This tab shows you the other sites that have a link to your website

Social: On this tab you’ll see the social networks we’re using regularly for your brand. You can see the content we’ve posted, how many followers you have on each network, and your engagement level.

As always, if you have any questions about the reports or want more information reach out to your account manager and they’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

102 Person St, Suite D
Fayetteville NC 28301
1 Glenwood Ave, 5th Floor
Raleigh, NC 27603