Banquet Industry Corona Virus – Looking forward is important.

Banquet industry Corona Virus days – You can still generate business even when the spread of Corona Virus is making everyone stay indoors.

You need to focus on future bookings.

Corona Virus is not going to stay here for long.

It is a difficult time, but it will pass.

People, especially optimists, are certainly planning ahead for their wedding, parties, sometime in the future, once the Corona Virus problem subsides.

Yes, it is true that banquet hall business cannot run as normal in these difficult times. However, that does not mean that you cannot think ahead and take bookings for new business.

I know it can be tough for many businesses to think long term in these difficult times, but that’s the only way when the short term makes it hard to operate.

I happen to serve a banquet hall client in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) has had 239 cases of COVID-19 reported in Toronto so far, and yesterday, March 23, 2020, Mayor John Tory declared an Emergency  in the city of Toronto. ( https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/8643-MOH-Statement_23March2020.pdf )

Banquet hall business prior to Covid-19 Corona Virus

Earlier I was averaging around 40 form fills every week ( at around $3.55 per form fill) and numerous phone calls, and inquiries over social media for which I do not have proper count because of difficulty in tracking them ( without client investing in client tracking etc.).

banquet hall industry corona virus

Banquet hall business in times of Covid-19

Last week, corona virus took all the news space. Corona Virus patient’s numbers kept on rising everyday. Bad news kept on coming like a tornado.

However there were still some people planning ahead, for their weddings, events and birthdays. – THIS IS IMPORTANT.

We got queries from people planning weddings in July, August, September and beyond.

Even a fund raiser was being planned.

Someone was planning a bridal shower, someone else was looking for a quote for engagement.

There was even a query for a little girl’s sweet sixteen being planned for mid April and they came to us because the girl was heart broken that other venue had cancelled the event.

Given the current situation, we could not be sure whether the government orders would allow us to host an event in April, but my point is that people still think of events in future.

Most banquet halls will just switch off their advertising to cut their losses but this is exactly what you should NOT do.

Think long term.

Think positive.

Things will change and be normal again.

Your business should be the one to hit the ground running once things normalize.

Get your bokings today.

Yes the cost to get leads has risen up because consumers are in a different mindset. Very few are thinking positive and long term but you must connect with those who are, so that your order books are ready once the Corona Virus problem subsides.

catering business corona virus covid19 banquet hall

Last week, amidst all the Corona virus gloom, we managed to get only 14 form fills, at alomst $15/form fill. I am hopeful of reducing this cost per lead due to an improvement in targeting which I have now implemented but it is not going to be like normal times for sure. The phone calls have reduced too. BUT I think it is very important to have those order books ready.

This applies to other business too

While this article is for banquet halls but I am sure there must be something positive for other business too, who might teporarily be facing huge loss in business.

Think positive. Think long term and stay in front of those looking for your services in the near future is my message to all businesses like Banquets Halls in Corona Virus days. Banquet Industry Corona Virus problems would hopefully end soon.  

Useful info on Google ads policy disapprovals

If you are a PPC pro then this article might be a useful read – https://www.ppchero.com/google-policy-ad-disapprovals-a-story-of-false-flags/

If you are a business owner managing your own PPC, then most probably you may not have time to check your Google ads account everyday. In such a case, do follow the “Email Notifications” section of the above article, to set up email notification for ad disapproval.

 

Free VPN for accessing Google Ads (adwords) web interface

Most people would not need a VPN solution to access Google ads web interface.

However if are using a VPN for accessing Google ads web interface, and if that VPN solution happens to be  Windscribe for Chrome then you would know that Windscribe is no longer working well. (as of November 2019)

You could try https://setupvpn.com/ or  http://freevpn.zone/ , instead of Windscribe.

Paid (premium) VPN solutions also exist and may be better in some contexts, but I find that above free VPNs work fine too.

Expired Domain – can I access WP dashboard?

Expired Domain – can I access WP dashboard?

If your WordPress website data is still on your old web host but your old domain name has expired you can still get your old WordPress site and move it to a new domain, as well as new web host.

Problem synopsis

1. Old domain expired hence your site is not reachable by old domain name.

2. WordPress admin dashboard cannot be accessed using old expired domain name.

3. WordPress data is still on old host.

4. Client wanted to use a new web host and new domain name, but wanted the same WordPress website as hosted on old expired domain name.

Solution Steps

1. Find out your old web host’s IP address from the cpanel of you old web host, where your old WordPress website data still resides.

2. Enter this IP address and old expired domain name in the hosts file on your computer. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_(file)  for more details on your hosts file location.

The file is usually present in
Windows: C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
Linux: /etc/hosts
Mac: /etc/private/hosts OR /etc/hosts

You may Google for how to edit hosts file or follow instruction on this article – https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/27350/beginner-geek-how-to-edit-your-hosts-file/

After editing your hosts file, your web browser should be able to resolve your old expired domain name to the IP address of your old web host. So, now clear your browser cache, or use an incognito window (private browsing mode of your browser) to access your old WordPress website, using your old expired domain name.

3. Once your WordPress website and WordPress dashboard is accessible using your old expired domain name, you should install the Duplicator plugin on your old WordPress website.

4. Next use the duplicator plugin to create “package files” (the backup file and installer script created by Duplicator plugin) on the old expired domain’s WordPress install. Download these package files to your system. The plugin is very intuitive to use but if you want details, please follow the instructions on this page – https://snapcreek.com/blog/wordpress/techniques/how-to-move-a-wordpress-site/

5. Upload these package files to the new web host of the new domain, using cpanel (or FTP) on the new host.

6. Create a new database, and a new database user, on the new web host. Note down this info as it will be required while restoring from the duplicator package file.

7. Execute duplicator plugin’s installer.php script and in most cases you will be successful in restoring your old (expired domain) website on the new domain, new host.

8. Your website should be accessible on the new domain name now.

9. Undo the changes you made to the hosts file on your computer.

10. If your old domain has expired you have fewer options in terms of preserving SEO, but if you already had a Google search console account on the old domain, you should use the “Change of address tool” at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9370220?hl=en&visit_id=637091560872705890-3050482164&rd=1 to inform Google about change of website address.

 

Google ads – Ad rotation “Optimize for clicks” does not always deliver the best results

  1. If you have a new ad that MUST run along side an old ad, it is advisable to manually switch campaign ad rotation settings from “Optimize for clicks” to “Rotate indefinitely” for some time.
    • Do NOT rely on “Optimize for clicks” because sometimes it does not give any impressions to the new ad – it does not test the new ad as it should. In my experience I have seen the algorithm fail too many times!
    • Sometimes the ad rotation algorithm decides in favour of the old ad in so few impressions that the new ad just does not get sufficient impressions to make any impact on the audience.
    • So manually switching ad rotation settings is advisable if you want to make sure that the new ad get a good chance to run along side the old ads.

  2. If you want to test a new ad, then also “Rotate indefinitely” might be better for some time. After some performance data is collected, then you could hand over ad rotation to the “Optimize for Clicks” algorithm if you want.

  3. In certain cases, where you want multiple messages to be shown to the same audience (for example if you want to highlight all the multiple product/ service benefits to your remarketing audience), again rotate indefinitely” might be a better option for you.

Without going into any details I will just link to an excellent article written on Adalysis in Sep 2018 –  https://adalysis.com/blog/google-ads-optimize-ad-serving-often-fails/

It’s over one year but the observations in this article are still very true. “Optimize for clicks” is not the best solution for all situations.

Piano Guys – social media marketing to sell pianos, to being a successful music group

Piano Guys are not a new music group.

I have been listening to them for the last few days but I didn’t know their story till today. I just read this wikipedia article and this entrepreneur.com article.

It’s interesting how it all started with them trying to make videos to sell pianos and while that didn’t work, they figured out something much bigger instead.

Copying text from the entrepreneur.com article

Before it was ever a musical quartet, The Piano Guys was the name of a piano store in St. George, Utah. As part of a social-media marketing strategy, the shop’s owner, Paul Anderson, asked Nelson and a local pianist named Jon Schmidt to perform in video clips he could post to the store’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

“In no time,” goes a joke Nelson tells onstage, “the four of us had 54 videos up on YouTube, 600 million video views, four albums with Sony and 3.7 million YouTube subscribers — and we still hadn’t sold a single piano.”

I found it funny that the videos were so successful but they did not help in achieving the intended goal.

At the same time, they did get results in a different way.

Their deal with Sony is also very interesting – it’s four years old now but it goes to show that tradidtional ways of doing things are fast breaking up. The internet is (or may be the platforms are?) the middle men what big media companies were at one time.

I just found the story interesting so thought of sharing it.

Piano Guys does make fabulous music. Here’s their website and youtube channel.