The use of interactive virtual reality video technology within the hospitality industry can provide a competitive advantage and allow customers to experience what a hotel is really like before committing to a booking. However, there are also other advantages to utilising this particular marketing method as well. In this article, you will learn more about six of the key reasons why every hotel operating today should have its own virtual reality video.

What is Virtual Marketing?

Virtual reality is a technology based around immersing users within realistic digital environments, which allows users to look around and see the digital setting, rather than the real-world setting they are actually in. Virtual marketing is the practice of using virtual reality video and image technology to promote products and services. It is especially popular with the tourism industry, because it is an industry that is based on ‘experiences’. VR video can provide realistic virtual experiences, which can accurately showcase hotels and attractions.

Technology and Consumers Are Ready for Virtual Reality

Things have changed and consumers are very much ready for VR video. Modern travel virtual reality videos are also web-based, can be displayed on all modern web browsers, and can be experienced on almost all devices, like mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers and of course on VR headsets.

Also, these days video content is popular among travellers planning their next trip, because it is more engaging than text and can provide a real-life picture of what to expect. Consumers also tend to like videos, because they are entertaining and easy to digest, while marketers appreciate their potential to deliver an excellent return on investment (ROI).

In recent times, the rise of video marketing has also been complimented by the rise of virtual reality marketing, and in many ways the two types of marketing go hand-in-hand. However, traditionally, one of the obstacles for virtual marketers was the cost of virtual reality headsets and the need for specialist software.

6 Reasons Your Hotel Should Have a Virtual Reality Video

For a hotel, there are a number of reasons why interactive virtual reality video can be beneficial. Below, you will find six of the most important reasons why your property should utilise VR video technology.

1. Experience Marketing

Potential guests are looking for the ideal holiday, and need to know they are making the right decision when they book your hotel. Therefore, one of the key benefits of virtual reality video is the ability for customers to experience a property and its facilities before booking, providing them with added reassurance. A VR video allows potential guests to get to know your property and where everything is before they visit, from the reception, to the different room types, and even the pool area, gym, restaurant and other facilities. It can also assist event planners, allowing them to understand what the hotel can offer them before committing to a booking.

2. Value Creation

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a thousand pictures. If this is the case, virtual reality video is priceless, and its use for demonstrating value is an example of this. With hotels, explaining your USP in text, and conveying the distinctive look and feel of your property can be a real challenge. Still images may be able to assist with this, but an interactive virtual reality video is the next best thing to being physically present. As a result, potential customers will be able to see the unique qualities of your hotel first-hand, and gain a much clearer sense of why your rooms have a better price-to-quality ratio than rivals.

3. Interactive Elements

One of the best things about VR video productions is the ability to add interactive elements. For instance, when a user virtually enters your hotel, you can ensure they are welcomed warmly and professionally by a receptionist, who can give them advice on how to navigate the property; providing them with an example of your customer service. Additionally, interactive “information points” can also be set up to trigger certain events. Customers can use these to receive more information, open up hotel room and restaurant booking forms, see meetings taking place in different settings (e.g. banquet style vs. boardroom style), see event set ups (e.g. weddings, business meetings) or listen to a chef introducing their team and explaining your hotel restaurant menu.

4. Increase Direct Bookings

Direct bookings are preferable for hotels, due to the lack of commission that needs to be paid on them. Yet, actually generating direct bookings is a real challenge in the modern world, especially when online travel agents like Expedia and offer convenience, instant price comparisons and other benefits. A VR hotel tour can be a real difference maker here, however, as the immersive experience can help users to make up their minds up quickly. Adding direct booking functionality to your virtual reality video can capitalise on this, resulting in faster conversions. The increase in bookings can then have revenue management benefits too.

5. Increase Up-Sell and Cross-Sell

Potential customers experiencing your hotel and its facilities in “reality” – in combination with additional interactive information – provides you with innovative ways of inspiring guests to purchase complimentary products, or to understand the value of upgrading. With this in mind, it is perfect for up-selling and cross-selling strategies. For instance, travellers can easily visualise different room types and what makes them unique, from bed size and view, through to the presence of a balcony. This makes it easier to inspire guests to upgrade. Alternatively, a bottle of champagne could be set up to appear on the hotel video when potential customers view one of your wedding suites. This then serves as an ideal opportunity to prompt users to purchase champagne as an additional product.

6. Beat the Competition

Ultimately, VR video marketing can be beneficial in what is a highly competitive industry, where travellers have a huge range of options to choose from. After all, virtual reality is an innovative marketing tool. Adopting this method will distinguish your hotel from rivals who do not use VR video, presenting your property as modern and forward-thinking. By providing a virtual reality video, you can boost the chances of customers booking your hotel. This can help to provide you with a competitive advantage over rival hotels in the same city or region, rival hotels in similar destinations around the world, or even rival hotels in vastly different locations, offering a broadly similar travel experience.

The use of VR video within hotels is increasingly widespread, as it affords customers the ability to experience what a property is like, and offers hotels opportunities to showcase their USP(s), up-sell, cross-sell, demonstrate value and increase the number of direct bookings that are made.

More 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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