How to Survive your First Year as a Small Business Owner Using Marketing


Fact: 80% of small business owners, in the U.S., will survive their first year in business.

Although this is a remarkable number, let’s look at the statistic as half empty for a second. What about the 20%? What did they do wrong for them to not survive their first year? And the answer is marketing. The website hosting company, GoDaddy, states that 60% of start ups do not build a website for their company in their first year and only 13% of them use social media to promote their business or communicate with customers.

As a person with a potential start up, looking at the stats this way can be disappointing and discouraging, to say the least. This post will help you avoid being in that 20%.

Developing Online Presence

Whether you are a start up or veteran business in your community, having online presence is still essential to having success. Not only is having a website important but you should also have presence on several social media platforms. A website is there to inform potential customers while social media is there to engage with them. When it comes to both, you must make sure that content and images are current, this is key to ensuring that your presence is effective.

Getting Testimonials

After you have developed your online presence, the next step is to receive testimonials. Testimonials is the best type of “word of mouth” marketing. Before people buy anything, they look at the reviews, whether it be from Google, social media, Yelp, etc. Try to get your customers to leave reviews online. We suggest including an incentive when they leave one, such as a discount on their next purchase once you see their review on a credible site. This will also be a great way to increase engagement with your current customers.

As a small business owner, it can be very difficult your first year. Along with operations and possibly hiring employees, marketing can be the last thing on your mind. Luckily there’s 219 Group, and we are here to help every step of the way. Let us help you avoid being a part of that 20% your first year.

Taking Your SEO Strategy to the Next Level


For the vast majority of businesses and organizations that have adopted a Search Engine Optimization strategy, their goal is simple: they want to be seen. In other words, they want to achieve the highest search engine result placement that they possibly can for specific keywords relevant to their business. If you own a barbershop in Fayetteville, you want internet users who search for “barbershop Fayetteville nc” to find you. If you are a veterinarian practicing in Raleigh, you want someone to find you fast when they search for “vet Raleigh nc”. SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page, and when it comes to SEO, no one wants to settle for page two. Fortunately, with a good SEO strategy in place and a support team to implement it, your business or organization doesn’t have to.

Over the last 25 years, search engines have changed how they rank search engine placement over and over again. A lot of the changes can be directly related to the way that communication and the internet has changed over that time. In the early nineties, the majority of the world wide web was made up of simple websites. By the mid-2000’s, the internet was being introduced to blogging platforms and dynamic websites. In the last ten years, we have seen the domination of the smartphone. As a matter of fact, more web searches happen on smartphones today then they do on a desktop or a laptop. As we prepare for whatever the technological future will hold, it is vital that business owners and organizations understand how SEO is changing and how they can get a step in front of others who are not paying attention. An SEO trend surely coming soon? Voice search.

This is where 219 Group shines. Our SEO game has been strong since the beginning of our company. Our team more than understands the importance of Search Engine Optimization for that barber in Fayetteville or that veterinarian in Raleigh. It’s what we do. By now we all know that the one constant is change. We make it our business to keep up with the latest trends in SEO Marketing, and when it comes to SEO strategy, you can trust that we know what you need and how to get you there. As your digital marketing team, 219 Group can take your Search Engine Optimization strategy to the next level.

Creating Websites That Aren’t Just Pretty


Website Design has come a long way in the last three decades. Gone are the days of blue hyperlinks on a white screen, adding sparkly clip art and visitor counters to the bottom of personal websites, design element spacing issues on the homepage, and flash websites, which looked good on computer screens but didn’t translate to better search engine optimization because of lack of written content and also, simply caused mobile users frustration when the websites didn’t work on their phones.

One thing has not changed in regards to website design over time though. The very vast majority of website designers have always created their websites with the goal of their websites looking good. Website visitors appreciate pretty websites, and it is just common sense that websites that are aesthetically pleasing and simple in their functionality drive up more website traffic than websites that are not.

219 Group makes pretty websites. We want customers drawn to your business website because it looks good. We want your website visitors to appreciate your websites functionality. We certainly want them to get what they are looking for when they visit your website. Yes, 219 Group makes pretty websites all day long.

The thing is though, the website designers at 219 Group know that creating a pretty website is not enough for your business or organization to be successful on the internet. Our web design team goes several steps forward from simply beautiful design. Our websites are custom made to bring you success. That is why we also concentrate on Search Engine Optimization strategies to help your website visitors find your website when they search for the services you provide. If you are a solar power company in Fayetteville, North Carolina, we want people to find you first when they search for solar panels in Fayetteville.

That is also why 219 Group ensures that our websites are designed to react to the screen size of whatever device they are being viewed on. More people are using smartphones to search the internet today than any other device. We understand that your website has to look good and function correctly then too.

Our talented team of website designers at 219 Group go above and beyond to create websites for our clients that function well, increase your internet visibility, handle any user safety concerns you may have, and also look pretty. No sparkly clip art needed.

Success Begins With A Great Logo Design


The importance of great logo design for a business or organization simply cannot be overstated. If you do not believe us, just google logo design fails and you will see what we mean. For many of your key audience your logo design will be their first impression of your business or organization. You know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? A good logo is vital to your marketing strategy. Believe it or not, your logo could turn people away from your business or organization before you ever have a chance to interact with them. When it comes to your branding, your logo is one element that you do not want to get wrong.

The creative team at 219 Group includes graphic designers who create award winning marketing materials for a living. It’s what we do. Your logo design will become a huge part of your business or organization’s identity. People will know you by your logo. Our graphic designers will carefully craft a logo that is smart and well thought out, with input from you. We won’t settle until we get your logo right.

Our team will not stop there though. Our talented team will handle all of your branding needs including everything from stationary to brochures, billboards, business cards, menus, invitations, t-shirts, even beer bottle labels! If there is a marketing material that you can come up, chances are we can create it. We will ensure that your brand is seamless, between marketing materials, your website and your social media presence.

Business branding and corporate identity marketing come easy to us. Our marketing clients range from government organizations to popular local restaurants, from family entertainment businesses to education services and so much more. In this growing economy, where small businesses are popping up everyday, you will want to make sure that your logo design and your branding strategy work for you and get you the right kind of attention. 219 group can do that for you.

Are you ready to make a statement with your logo design and marketing strategy? Call 219 Group today and let’s get started! Your business logo does not have to be another logo design fail.


How to Design the Perfect Product Label


You may not know it, but the look and the design of your product determines the future outcome of it and if it will be successful. In any product market that you dive into, it will be competitive, and shoppers do not have time to research every product that is presented to them. So, they will more and likely pick up the product that appeals to their eye the most.

That is why it is very important that you have the perfect product label when selling.

In this article, we will list a few tips on how to design the best product label. Whether you are just entering a competitive market or a veteran that has room for improvement, this article can help.

In Living Color

The colors that you use when designing your label is essential because each color conveys a message. The right color can either add a striking look to your product and make it stand out on the shelves or it can make it invisible amongst your competitors. So, it is important that you don’t just use your favorite color when designing the label but instead use research.

Ask yourself “What message am I trying convey with this color?”

Here is a list of messages that each color conveys.

Yellow: Happy, Soft, and Full of Energy.

Orange: Friendly, Change

Red: Bold and Exciting

Green: Growth and Refreshing

Blue: Calming and Dependable

Purple: Creative and Mystic

Black: Elegant, Edgy, and Simple

Choosing the Right Font

Unlike your high school/college days, Times New Roman is not always the go to when choosing a font. When designing your label, you want to choose a font that complements both your color and brand. If you were designing a label for a kids’ cereal, you wouldn’t choose an Calibri font. For it can be too serious and might not catch the eye of children. Instead you would look for a more fun/inviting font that will stand out to both kids and parents.

Find a font that is unique and eye catching but can be readable a mile away.

“… a thousand words”

A picture is worth a thousand words and the picture/image that you use when designing your label determines what those words are.  Just like when you are choosing the right color or font, there must be research involved. Look at your competitors and see what type of graphics or images that they are using and seek inspiration from that.

Again, using research and not just your opinion is critical when designing a product label. What looks good to you may not look good to your consumers. At 219 Group, we do thorough research to create a product label that fits your company’s culture and that conveys a message that you want to deliver. Call us!

Tips on How to Have a successful Public Relations profile


For any business owner, public relations is a very difficult task. When it comes to PR, doing it a certain way can either grow your business or hurt it. Here are a few tips on how to do public relations successfully.

What is Public Relations

Before we start diving into those tips, we need to first understand what public relations is. The definition of public relations is to professionally maintain the public’s perception of someone’s or something (organization/business) image. We at 219 Group summarize PR into three categories, which are PRESS RELEASES, BIG IDEAS, & PUBLICITY STUNTS. For when dealing with PR they can fall under either category if not all.

Tip #1 Identify Your Message

Have you ever seen a fragrance commercial and you ask yourself “What are they trying to sell me here?”. Not a clear message, right? Well that shouldn’t be your PR campaign. Your campaign should be able to grasp someone’s attention but also deliver a clear message.  Your message should involve your company culture as well as why your company is unique. Identifying your message should be the firststep when developing a PR plan. Creating a message “along the way” can result in it getting lost or changing.

Tip #2 Know Your Audience

Along with identifying your message, knowing your audience is a major key as well. Over the years, we at 219 Group have seen companies miss their mark during a campaign because they just didn’t know their audience. Don’t let that be you. Knowing your audience will be beneficial when knowing what media outlets, you should use, when delivering press releases and ad spots.

Tip #3 Create a Calendar

PR Campaigns can go from six months to a year, so it is common for someone to get lost or mixed up on what to do day by day. That’s why it is important to have a calendar that has your campaign planned out. Having a PR calendar is a great way to plan ahead and accordingly.

Tip #4 Find a PR Firm to Work With

Running a PR campaign along with your business can be very stressful. That’s why it is important to find a PR company that can do the work for you. We at 219 Group have years of experience in public relations; creating campaigns for companies across the sandhills region, as well as in the triangle and inner banks areas. Not only will we develop a clear message, but we will also find your audience, with market research, and create a thorough PR schedule.

Give us a call! Or click here to learn more.

Pantone Has Named Ultra Violet as this Year’s Color


What does rock legends Jimmi Hendrix, Prince, and David Bowie have in common? The same thing that 2018 will have. Pantone, the color institute, has named Ultra Violet as this year’s color and we couldn’t be more excited!

A very vibrant and complex purple, Pantone states that ultra violet communicates creativity and innovation. It is a mystery color, that resembles the cosmos, which means no one knows what lies ahead but are still fascinated as to what can happen next; a perfect match for the new year. It is a boundless color, that has been a popular pick amongst music and fashion icons for years and now it can be yours for building/rebuilding your brand in 2018.

You can include this year’s hue by painting a few of the office walls and adding a striking look to your workplace or by simply changing the style of your business cards and Facebook page. If you want to stand out this year among your competitors, then including ultra violet in your brand is a great way to start off.

Don’t agree? Then tell us why in the comment section and let us know what color, you think, should be for the new year.

Why User Experience (UX) is important to your web site


As a business with an online presence, you have heard from all the reputable sources that SEO is a key part of your business. Internet and search marketing also play a huge role in building a successful business. We cannot deny the importance of good search engine optimization and a strong supporting campaign. These are the things that will pull customers to your website. However, what does your website say once your customer arrives? Generally more important than the information itself is how the end user access it.

User experience is what will keep your customers both happy and returning. Now, more than ever, users engage with their favorite brands through the internet. Your customers are not just using your websites they are reviewing them and sharing their experiences with the world at large through the power of social media. To disregard this is a huge misstep that may cost you customers and eventually your business. Gone are the days when you only needed to focus on creating a visually appealing website, now it needs to be easy to navigate as well.

The design of a website’s navigation has a bigger impact on success or failure than almost any other factor. It affects traffic and search engine rankings. It affects conversions and user-friendliness. Yes, marketing is about differentiation, but your navigation style isn’t the place to do it. Your goal is to help people find your content, not show them a new way to get around a website. Website navigation mistakes are expensive and avoidable. One mistake could affect both search rankings and user friendliness.  

The data shows that user experience is a key differentiator between business that succeed and those that fail. Customer happiness is a leading indicator of the future health of any company. If you are making people happy, and continually invest and innovate to make people happy, then they will keep giving you their money for your product or service. It’s such a simple equation that it goes without saying, and because it goes without saying it is often forgotten. Make your website experience work well for both human visitors and search engine programs. Your customers and your analytics will thank you for it!

Is Camera-Based Messaging The Way Of The Future?


Is ‘snapping’ and real-time video the way of the Future? Facebook is betting on it.

Facebook just rolled out three new features to its platform, in what seems like a move to remain relevant and dominate in the social media space. These new features are being called Facebook Camera, Direct, and Stories.

The Facebook camera feature, like Snapchat, gives you all the effects and filter fun you can ask for. It provides reactive effects along with style effects that can add things like falling leaves or artistic filters. Integrated with the new camera effects is the stories feature. In stories, you’re able to add photos and videos to a storyline throughout the day which will last 24 hours. To add any photo or video to your story, you simply tap on the “your story” icon in the ‘stories’ bar at the top of your news feed. The main difference is that unlike Snapchat’s pre-approved lenses and filters, Facebook’s camera effects are mainly created by the community. People and pages will be able to develop and submit frames that, once approved, can be used by other people, offering more choices and creativity to the interaction.

The Facebook Direct feature is an in-app messenger which allows users to send photos or videos only to specific friends or family. Once they are viewed, a person can reply or react before they disappear. All three features, when used together, allow you to the same thing you can do in Snapchat, but interacting instead with the friends you currently have on Facebook. By integrating these features, the platform is cementing the idea that camera-based messaging represents the future of social interaction. “Content is changing from text to photo and videos,” says a representative from Facebook.

Thinking about how you can start integrating more visuals and videos into your social media marketing? 219 Group is ready to help your Fayetteville business get in front of your customers and stay on top of these marketing trends. Call us today at 919-483-4749!

How to use Instagram to tell your story and connect with your customers.


Instagram has become a widely popular social media platform over over the last year or so. With 400 million active users every month, it may be something you want to consider using in your social media marketing efforts. It’s important to do this the right way for it to be effective. The most important thing to remember with Instagram is that it’s a visual platform where photos and being able to tell a story through them, matters.

Instagram offers a variety of features that will allow you to connect with your ideal customers. The first of these is the use of hashtags. Using hashtags in your photo posts will help users find you through their mobile instagram searches. You should be using general hashtags when you’re posting product or lifestyle images. If you’re running a particular campaign, use tags that are specific to that, including your business name. Like most other social media platforms, it’s important to monitor your hashtags (specifically for your business name), so that you can respond to customer’s comments and questions.

Some other useful features are Instagram Stories and the Geo Tracking feature. Instagram Stories is very similar to Snapchat in the way that the stories disappear after 24 hours. The story feature allows you to tell a better story to your followers. The geo tracking feature allows you to add your location to your photos when you post. If your building/office is open to customers, you can add your location so they know where to find you.

This platform can be a lot of fun when used correctly. You can use it to show off products and services, show behind the scenes looks into your business and offer exclusive deals. It’s an amazing way to really bring your business to life and put a human face on it. This will help to establish a certain amount of trust between you and your customer and will keep your business fresh in their mind.

For help using Instagram marketing and social media marketing in general to further your business goals and attract more customers, give us a call today! 219 Group is experienced in handling many social media accounts for our customers and would love to discuss how we could help you with yours!

102 Person St, Suite D
Fayetteville NC 28301
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