Hotel marketers have access to more marketing tools than ever before. It might even seem as though any hotel with a strong website, social media presence, email list, and a couple of booking partners would have their marketing game all figured out.
To really be on top of your game, you must increasingly think in terms of interactivity. Technological advances enable potential guests to be fully immersed in the experience of a hotel, as if they’re already there.
For those looking to offer a complete representation of what it’s like to stay at your venue, I’ve outlined four important tips on how to create a more interactive marketing strategy.
Use Facebook 360 video for an immersive experience of your hotel
With Facebook 360, you can take your content to the next level and show prospective guests your incredible facilities. The ultra-wide format will capture the eye of viewers as they scroll through their newsfeed, and the ability to click and drag on the scene—whether it’s of the inside of your property or a showcase of some of its amenities—will engage them longer than a traditional image or video. Viewers can stop the video anywhere they choose, and zoom in to explore a particular element—the hotel bar, lobby art, or pool—in greater detail.
You could use Facebook 360 to create a video of one of your best executive suites, or your leisure amenities, like the pool or spa, ensuring every detail in the room is perfect, should a viewer wish to get up close.
Engage customers with virtual reality experiences
The total market for AR and VR is estimated to reach $108 billion by 2021. Not a group to be left behind, more and more hotels are incorporating immersive media into their marketing initiatives. The sooner you follow in the footsteps of brands like Renaissance and Hilton, the more you’ll be able to benefit from the emerging possibilities in the B2C VR space.
The most powerful VR experiences take advantage of the unique aspects of your property or particular scenarios during which your hotel really shines. You might use a VR experience to market your property to a recently engaged couple looking for a wedding venue, or an event or meeting planner looking for conference spaces.
Whichever route you choose, it’s worth securing an experienced partner in the 360° space to ensure the technical elements of your campaign are taken care of and to help ensure every part of your campaign is ready to go.
Create a ‘1 second a day’ experiential video
There’s an interesting new app doing the rounds on social media, and it can give potential guests even more insight into your hotel, with very little effort or cost on your part.
Viewers can see your 1 Second Everyday video, which allows you to share an enormous amount of content in a short amount of time. Try creating one every month. Capture the best moments, events, and facilities at your hotel so your potential guests can get a fast and fun impression of what your hotel has to offer.
Tell a story within your hotel and choose alternative endings
Did you know that YouTube allows you to create image links within your YouTube video, so you can offer different versions of a single story? It’s called YouTube Annotations. Here’s a list of the top 10 uses of YouTube Annotations, compiled by Adweek. As for the uses of YouTube Annotations for your business, you could tell various stories about an aspect of your hotel, with each alternative “ending” taking viewers off to visit different aspects of your hotel.
Brightcove’s Interactive Marketing Report found that 35 percent of marketers who utilized YouTube Annotations increased conversions, and 25 percent increased sales. You could make these results even better, by making immersive choose-your-own-adventure videos in VR.
Your hotel is constantly evolving, and so should your marketing. Find ways to make your messaging more interactive to better engage prospective guests and help you stay a step ahead of the competition. YouVisit can work with you to create an interactive VR experience of your hotel with built-in CTAs that drive results. Learn more about how YouVisit can drive bookings and conversions for your hotels.
Alex Daniel is a travel writer and content strategist living in Brooklyn.