In today’s highly competitive hospitality industry, having an effective sales strategy is crucial for hotels to attract guests and maximize revenue. Virtual tours are an emerging tool that has proven highly effective in driving sales and enhancing customer experience. In this article, we will explore the power of virtual tour marketing and how it can significantly impact your hotel’s sales strategy.
What are Virtual Tours?
Virtual tours are interactive multimedia presentations that allow potential guests to explore a hotel’s facilities and rooms virtually. By leveraging technologies such as 360-degree photography, videography, and virtual reality, hotels can provide a realistic and immersive experience that gives guests a feel for staying at their property.
Various types of virtual tours apply to hotels, ranging from virtual walkthroughs of the entire property to detailed room tours and interactive maps. These tours can be accessed through the hotel’s website, online travel agencies (OTAs), social media platforms, and even virtual reality devices.
The benefits of virtual tours for hotel sales are manifold. Firstly, they allow potential guests to visualize themselves in the hotel, creating an emotional connection and increasing the likelihood of bookings. Additionally, virtual tours save guests and hotel staff time by providing comprehensive information upfront, reducing the need for extensive inquiries.
The Impact of Virtual Tours on Hotel Sales Strategy
Enhancing customer experience through virtual tours: Virtual tours offer guests a glimpse into the hotel’s ambiance, decor, amenities, and surroundings. Moreover, by providing an immersive and interactive experience, hotels can showcase their unique features and create a sense of anticipation and excitement in potential guests.
- Increased engagement and booking conversion rates: Virtual tours have significantly increased user engagement on hotel websites. Visitors spend more time exploring the virtual tour, leading to higher conversion rates and a greater likelihood of direct bookings. The ability to virtually «walk through» rooms and public spaces creates transparency and trust that can sway potential guests to choose your hotel over competitors.
- Gaining a competitive edge in the market: While virtual tours are still relatively new in the hospitality industry, they are gaining traction quickly. By adopting this innovative marketing tool early on, hotels can differentiate themselves from competitors, attract tech-savvy travelers, and position themselves as industry leaders committed to providing exceptional guest experiences.
Virtual Tours in Marketing Strategies
Within immersive content, virtual tours for marketing and sales stand out. However, the hotel sector can benefit from other content you should know.
First, virtual tours and other immersive content have a variety of uses for marketing. Did you know that virtual tours can extract multiple images in high quality? This is an inexhaustible source of resources that can be used for social networks, web content, or hotel promotional content, such as brochures. In other words, it can be used both digitally and offline.
On the other hand, although virtual tours for marketing are exciting, they are also very interesting for sales strategy. In fact, it has been shown that virtual tours in hotel booking engines increase the conversion rate. They also make the user feel that the value of the hotel is higher and provides quality.
Some examples of immersive content, beyond virtual tours for marketing and that you should know to boost your sales are:
- Aerial View 360º: recorded with a drone, the aerial view is a virtual tour offering a breathtaking view. It serves as marketing content and sales content as well.
- Virtual Sales Platform: technology developed by FirstView. From the VSP (Virtual Sales Platform), not only hotels can access all their virtual content for marketing uses, but for sales teams as well. It is compiled in one single place and can be used according to all the team’s needs.
- 3D diagramming platform. It seems like a virtual tour but it has been 3D designed. In fact, hotels use it to configure and personalize events.
Implementing Virtual Tours in Your Hotel Sales Strategy
How can you create and implement virtual tours for your marketing and sales strategy?
1. Selecting the Right Virtual Tour Solution
Choosing a reputable virtual tour provider that aligns with your hotel’s specific needs is essential to make the most of virtual tour marketing. Factors to consider include the provider’s experience, the quality of their tours, the level of customization available, and their pricing structure. Evaluating these factors will help you select a virtual tour platform that meets your requirements and enhances your sales strategy.
Another critical factor is the technology and the team’s expertise with it. Virtual tour recording cameras are constantly being updated, and being on the cutting edge is essential.
Remember that, in the sample jobs you order, the camera should not appear in the reflections of the mirrors. Also, the equipment needs to be reflected. And finally, the entire room is recorded, and there are no empty spaces, resulting from a quick and unprofessional recording.
2. Optimizing Virtual Tours for Search Engines
Optimizing your virtual tours for search engines is crucial to ensure maximum visibility. Incorporate relevant keywords in the tour titles, descriptions, and alt tags. Also, consider embedding the virtual tours directly on your website to enhance SEO performance. By optimizing your virtual tours, you increase the likelihood of your hotel appearing in search engine results when potential guests search for accommodations in your area.
Take into account that users can get to your hotel through different searches. The more optimized you have for your landings and virtual tours, the better results in terms of traffic you will get.
3. Integrating Virtual Tours into Your Hotel’s Website and Online Listings
Place your virtual tours strategically on your hotel’s website to capture visitors’ attention and encourage exploration. Integrate virtual tours into your room and amenity descriptions, ensuring they are easily accessible on relevant pages.
Work with OTAs and review sites to showcase your virtual tours, as they can significantly impact your booking conversion rates on these platforms.
However, you must know something about working with virtual tours in your direct booking channels. As this high-quality and immersive content attracts and engages users, the time they spend on your website also increases. Thus, virtual tours can help you increase the reservations on your brand.com against the OTAs.
4. Promoting Virtual Tours through Social Media and Email Marketing
Leverage your social media channels to showcase snippets of virtual tours and entice followers to explore further. In this area is where virtual tours for marketing gain relevance.
Share visually captivating content and encourage user engagement. Additionally, incorporate virtual tours in your email marketing campaigns by including links or embedded videos, enabling recipients to experience your property firsthand. These strategies can increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and boost your hotel’s sales.
Case Studies: Successful Hotel Sales Strategies with Virtual Tours
To further illustrate the power of virtual tour marketing, let’s take a look at a couple of real-life examples:
Increase between 8% and 20% the conversion rate
FirstView is an experienced technology company in virtual tours and immersive experiences for the hospitality industry. Currently, we are partners with more than 500 hotels worldwide. If you wonder how much your conversion rate can increase thanks to virtual tours, here’s the case study you are looking for.
International Hotel Chain triples its conversion rate
FirstView has been working with an International Hotel Chain to enhance direct reservations and sales. We created virtual tours, 3D immersive content, and 360º digital twins. Additionally, this strategic move aimed to ensure customer loyalty by discouraging the Online Travel Agencies’ (OTAs) preference for booking.
Virtual tours have become a game-changer in the hotel industry, revolutionizing how guests explore and book accommodations. Thus, by incorporating virtual tour marketing into your hotel’s sales strategy, you can enhance customer experiences, increase engagement, and gain a competitive advantage in the market.