5 Ways Marketing Virtual Escape Rooms Is Different To Normal Escape Rooms

Hello and welcome to the latest in our special series of escape room marketing blogs centred around the ongoing worldwide pandemic. Before I get started, I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are healthy.

Last week I shared the best 5 strategies for getting your first virtual escape room customers. Virtual ERs are popping up everywhere, more and more each day. And with good reason: It’s a great way for ERs to make some money whilst their doors are temporarily closed.

When it comes to comparing Virtual to normal “physical” ERs, there are clear differences. But when it comes to Marketing them both, it can be easy to mistakenly take the same approach. Sure, they’re both ER experiences that require a group of players, team-work, challenges, time limits, etc.

But that doesn’t mean you should market to them exactly the same. To help you to best market your virtual experiences and to maximise your customers and income during this difficult time, I’m today going to share with you 5 ways marketing virtual escape rooms is different to marketing normal escape rooms.

1. Audiences

Let’s start with something that is critical to any marketing – not just escape room marketing: Audiences. WHO you’re targeting will determine HOW you advertise and WHAT you say in your marketing.

Primarily, people play virtual escape rooms at home via the internet. And especially during the lockdown experienced worldwide, teams are restricted to those they live with: Mainly family members. So focus on targeting families, at least until the lockdown is over.

Running virtual experiences also opens up a huge new target audience. See normally you’re limited to marketing to people who live nearby – in your town/city. Sure, there’s always some hardcore ER players and teams who travel countries, even continents, to conquer as many as possible. But the idea of blanket marketing say your entire country, is just not feasible.

BUT, with virtual escape rooms it is. In fact, not only can people play your virtual experiences anywhere in the country, they can also play them anywhere in the world – technology and language barriers depending.

So as you can see, virtual experiences narrow your audiences to some degree, but also open them up significantly too!

2. Methods of Marketing

Next, I want to talk about methods of marketing, because HOW you market needs to be different for virtual experiences compared to physical too. Like with the audiences, there’s two parts to this. The virtual element, and the current lockdown element.

The current lockdown makes certain forms of marketing undesirable and at best avoided. Things like direct mail, or face-to-face networking. However, once the lockdown is “down” these methods would work OK for virtual ERs.

But not brilliant. Why? Let’s think back to the whole virtual experience itself. Would somebody who didn’t go online much, or have a laptop/computer/smart phone, or even an internet connection(!), ever be interested in a virtual escape room experience? Nope!

So the bottom line is this; Advertise your VIRTUAL experiences, VIRTUALLY. Online, on social media, on Google, on your website, via text messages, emails, PPC.

Do that, and you set yourself up to get instant customers.

3. Educating

For this next one, let’s think back for a moment. Let’s go back 10-15 years. Escape rooms were practically unheard of. Not only were they unheard of, they were not understood. And it stayed like this for years. But as more and more ERs opened up, people started to hear about them more and see them. They started to understand how they work, who they appeal to, and why they should consider booking one.

Virtual experiences are still in their infancy, in comparison to normal escape rooms. The current worldwide pandemic has indeed led to a spike in them and that will keep on going. But for the time being at least, virtual escape rooms are relatively unheard of – and misunderstood.

That’s why when marketing, be sure to also educate – Explain how virtual escape rooms work, what the audience can expect, what technology they need. Make everything crystal clear, so they’re more confident to make that booking.

4. Reviews

There’s a reason why you celebrate your positive reviews – why you post them on social media, why they’re all over your website, why they’re on your booking page. You know people are more likely to make a booking if they can see the reviews of happy customers.

But what makes reviews truly impactful on peoples decision making, is how they relate to the potential customer. The more relatable they are, the more confident the potential customer will be in clicking that BOOK button.

So when it comes to marketing your brand new virtual experiences, your existing reviews are no good. Ok that’s not quite fair. Using your normal ER experience reviews WILL help you to get bookings for your virtual experiences.

BUT, the sooner you can start getting and using reviews that are specific to virtual experiences, the more customers you’ll start to get.

5. Competition

The last point I want to make today is this.

There are significantly fewer virtual ER experiences available in the world today compared to normal ERs. But that list is getting bigger by the day. The decision to try something new, especially in these difficult times, is not easy – I honestly do get that.

But the sooner you decide to take action or not, the better. Because your competition is increasing by the day. And with that, the harder it will be to get new customers. Sure, not impossible – far from it.

Just know that the fantastic opportunity to make some cashflow right now even when you’re temporarily closed, won’t be around forever.

If you’re going to start offering virtual experiences, you need to start thinking about it and doing it – sooner, rather than later.

I want to help

I hope todays post has been helpful in understanding how to best market your virtual escape room experiences, whether you run them already, or are still considering the option.

But I want to go a bit further and help you that bit more. I know so many of you are struggling right now, because your rooms are temporarily closed. I also know that starting virtual experiences is a big decision. You may be worried that nobody will start booking your experiences, wasting your time and money that has never been more vital than it is today.

As I’ve been writing todays blog, I’ve been thinking just how I can go that bit further for you – to give you the confidence to start virtual experiences, knowing you’ll have customers lined up.

And I think I know exactly the thing!

If you’ve visited my blog before, you’ve probably heard me talk about the importance of using mini-games to engage with potential customers, before getting them to book.

And there’s now a way you can challenge visitors to your website to a mini-game, making them more likely to book with you.

And the best part is, you can install this mini-game onto your website in 5 minutes and for FREE. There’s no cost to you for the first 30-days, so you can use it to get customers for your virtual escape room at no risk!

If you’d like to learn more, I’d encourage you to go to www.virallybot.com/pixel and try a demo out for yourself!

Before I head off, on a personal note I wish you all and your loved ones all the best in the coming days and weeks.

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