A growing number of hotel owners are turning to virtual reality companies to assist with their hotel marketing strategies. Indeed, in many ways, virtual reality is the ultimate marketing tool for those in the travel and hospitality industries, helping to showcase facilities and increase bookings. Moreover, modern VR video tours can be viewed on all devices, including desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet, meaning specialist VR headsets are no longer a necessity.

In this article, you will find out more about the ways a VR company can help you with your hotel marketing efforts.

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What is Hotel Marketing?

Hotel marketing is the collective term used to describe the various methods hotels deploy to promote their properties to guests. Through hotel marketing efforts, it can be made clear to customers why they should book a room in your hotel. Ultimately, the intention is to generate bookings, increase brand awareness and/or improve financial results. Learn more about hotel marketing trends in our article “Hotel Marketing; The Latest Trends in the Hotel Industry”.

What is Virtual Reality Marketing?

Virtual reality technology involves the creation of realistic, virtual environments, which users can immerse themselves in. The computer-generated environment will be three-dimensional and life-like, with users having the ability to turn 360 degrees to explore their surroundings.

With this in mind, virtual reality marketing refers to marketing content that is delivered through the use of virtual reality images, videos or interactive media. It has become especially popular within the travel industry in recent years, due to its ability to allow users to experience a different environment from the one they are in.

Why Virtual Reality Marketing is Becoming the New Trend

There are several key reasons why virtual reality marketing is emerging as the new hotel marketing trend. For instance, video content, in general, is popular with travellers, because it is engaging and provides a realistic picture of what they can expect to see. Working with VR companies allows hotels to take this to the next level.

It is also important to note that the latest VR videos are web-based and can be displayed on all modern browsers. This allows them to be accessed on desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and various other devices, without the need for a VR headset. With that said, when paired with a VR headset, the experience becomes even more immersive.

7 Ways a Virtual Reality Company Can Help Hotels with Hotel Marketing

Virtual reality companies can help hotels with their marketing efforts in a number of ways, and below, you will learn more about seven of these.

1. Deliver Experiential Marketing

The hotel industry thrives on delivering excellent experiences, and one of the top ways a VR company can help your hotel’s marketing efforts is through experiential marketing. In essence, a virtual reality video allows customers to ‘experience‘ your hotel before they commit to it, helping them to book with real confidence.

Customers of all kinds will be able to better understand what you have to offer, and how they will feel in your hotel. You can use the video to showcase different room types, the reception area, the pool, the bar and your hotel restaurant. You can also allow business customers or event planners to experience your facilities before they book them.

2. Create Value for Customers

A key part of successfully running a hotel involves explaining the value of your hotel to customers through your marketing efforts, and virtual reality companies can help you here. In general, it is difficult for hotels to clearly explain what makes them unique, what makes their rooms worth the price, and so on, as this often needs to be experienced.

Yet, VR hotel tours can communicate this quite clearly, allowing customers to see what makes your property distinctive, regardless of whether it is the decor, the facilities, the views, or the pool area. While pictures and videos can do this to some extent, the immersion provided by VR tours makes them many times more effective.

3. Communicate Hotel Features

One of the exciting things about VR video productions is the ability to add interactive elements to them and this can provide opportunities to creatively communicate what the hotel’s main features are. This can be done in a way that really showcases not only the facilities, but also the kind of service provided by staff members.

For example, your video tour could include a welcome from a receptionist, or from a senior member of staff, who can then speak to the user as they navigate the hotel. You can also allow users to interact with rooms in different ways, allowing them to see meeting rooms with different layouts and event rooms being used for different purposes.

4. Attract More Direct Bookings

A key challenge for hotels looking to maximise revenue is attracting direct bookings in an age where online travel agents like Expedia and Booking.com offer the convenience of price comparisons. The main reason why direct bookings are preferable is that no commission needs to be paid on them, meaning you keep more of the money.

A virtual reality company can help you to increase direct bookings by offering booking functionality within a VR video. This allows potential customers to enjoy an immersive hotel experience, see precisely what your hotel has to offer, and then book their hotel room, restaurant meals and other services, all from the same place.

5. Boost Up-Selling and Cross-Selling

A customer actually experiencing hotel facilities, when combined with booking service, can also significantly boost your up-selling and cross-selling efforts. This occurs because customers can easily see the benefits of upgrading their room size, changing to a king-size bed, and opting for a room with a sea view or a balcony.

When potential guests can see the benefits for themselves, they become more likely to upgrade. Moreover, cross-selling can be enhanced in a number of innovative ways. For instance, a VR company can include a section in the video where additional products, such as bottles of alcohol, are showcased in order to encourage purchases.

6. Reach Social Media Users

Another major advantage of working with virtual reality companies is the ability to gain video content that can be easily shared on social media platforms. This is beneficial, because it allows you to reach people who may not actively be seeking a hotel, but who might be tempted to book a hotel room when they see the content.

Content shared on social media can also boost awareness, encouraging future bookings. Furthermore, modern VR hotel tours can be displayed on almost all devices that social media platforms can be used on, offering excellent compatibility. Of course, the experience is enhanced further when viewed using a VR headset, but this is not essential.

7. Gain a Competitive Advantage

Finally, the hotel industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world and tourists have an abundance of options to choose from. Therefore, one of the key ways of working with a virtual reality company can be beneficial is related to the competitive advantage it can provide over hotels that do not offer VR video tours.

Indeed, even when rivals do offer VR video, working with the right VR company can provide a competitive advantage through innovative marketing messages contained within the video. This provides a clear scope for you to differentiate your property and offer customers an incentive to book with you instead of other similar hotels or resorts.

Virtual reality video tours are helping to transform hotel marketing strategies, providing potential guests with the ability to immerse themselves in a property, experience its offerings first-hand, interact with the digital environment, and book a hotel room at the point in the customer journey where they are most engaged.

More (Virtual) Video Marketing Tips

Videos are a powerful marketing tool, especially for the hospitality and travel industry. After all, they have the ability to capture the attention of the audience much quicker than text or images. In the following articles you will learn more about video marketing:

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Revfine.com is a knowledge platform for the hospitality & travel industry. Professionals use our insights, strategies and actionable tips to get inspired, optimise revenue, innovate processes and improve customer experience. You can find all hotel & hospitality tips in the categories Revenue Management, Marketing & Distribution, Hotel Operations, Staffing & Career, Technology and Software.

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