As an escape room owner or operator, you know that driving foot traffic and bookings is essential for your venue's success. But with a limited budget, finding effective and affordable advertising methods can be a challenge.
Fear not! In this article, we'll uncover eight cost-effective and proven ways to advertise your escape room. These creative tactics will attract potential players, help you build a strong online presence, and leverage the power of guest reviews to drive new business. Let's dive in and explore these game-changing strategies!
Master Local Search
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a game-changer for attracting potential players within your vicinity. Ensure your escape room's website is optimized for local searches by incorporating relevant keywords and location-based information.
Create a Google My Business (GMB) profile with accurate details, including your address, phone number, and opening hours. Encourage satisfied players to leave positive reviews on your GMB listing, as they are vital in boosting your local search rankings.
Key Benefit: Dominate local search results, making your escape room more visible to nearby players actively seeking entertainment options.
Here’s where to focus your SEO efforts:
- Keyword Research: Identify and use relevant keywords that incorporate your escape room's location and the type of experiences you offer. Think about phrases like "escape room [your city]," "best escape room near me," or "adventure games [your location]."
- Location Pages: Create dedicated pages on your website highlighting your escape room's presence in nearby cities or neighborhoods. Include unique content for each location, showcasing any city-specific themes or attractions.
- Consistent NAP Information: Ensure that your business's Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) are consistent across all online platforms, including your website, GMB, social media profiles, and directory listings.
- Local Citations: List your escape room on relevant local directories and platforms. These citations can boost your local SEO and validate your business's authenticity and presence in the community.
- Local Events and Sponsorships: Get involved in local events, sponsor community gatherings, or participate in fundraisers. Engaging with the local community boosts your escape room's reputation and enhances your local SEO presence.
By mastering local search strategies, your escape room can become a go-to destination for those seeking thrilling adventures in your area.
Generate Social Media Buzz
Embrace the power of social media to create a buzz around your escape room. Utilize platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase thrilling teasers, behind-the-scenes peeks, and player testimonials. Engaging content can captivate potential customers and encourage them to share your posts, exponentially expanding your reach.
Key Benefit: Increase brand awareness and attract new players through viral sharing and engagement.
Here’s what to consider when building your social strategy:
- Choose the Right Platforms: Identify the social media platforms that align with your target audience. Instagram and Facebook are popular choices but explore other channels like TikTok for creative and playful content.
- User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage players to share their escape room experiences using a branded hashtag on social media. Repost UGC on your official account to showcase real-life reactions and testimonials.
- Contests and Giveaways: Host interactive contests or giveaways on your social media channels to generate excitement and boost engagement. Offer free tickets or exclusive merchandise as prizes to incentivize participation.
- Behind-the-Scenes Content: Provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of your escape room's creation process, room design, and puzzle development.
Social media is your escape room's digital playground, where you can engage, entertain, and connect with potential players. Embrace the power of storytelling, visual appeal, and interactive content to build a thriving community of escape room enthusiasts eagerly awaiting their next adventure in your captivating realm.
Collaborate with Local Influencers
Team up with local influencers, bloggers, or vloggers who resonate with your target audience. Invite them to experience your escape room and share their thrilling adventures with their followers. Influencer partnerships can provide authentic recommendations and tap into new customer segments.
Key Benefit: Leverage the trust and reach of influencers to expand your escape room's visibility.
Here’s how to get started working with influencers:
- Research and Identify: Start by researching local influencers in your area who are active in entertainment, gaming, and exploration topics. Pay attention to their content style, audience demographics, and engagement levels.
- Relevance Matters: Look for influencers whose content aligns with your escape room's theme and values. An influencer who enjoys solving puzzles or embracing adventure or whose demographics closely match that of your target audience will help authentically promote your escape room.
- Engagement over Follower Count: While follower count is important, prioritize influencers with high engagement rates. Engaged followers are more likely to take action based on an influencer's recommendation.
- Check Reputation: Review the influencer's previous collaborations and partnerships to ensure they have a positive reputation and are professional.
- Personalized Outreach: Craft personalized messages when reaching out to potential influencers. Express genuine interest in their content and explain why you believe a collaboration would be mutually beneficial.
- Negotiate Terms: Discuss collaboration terms, such as the type of content they will create (Instagram posts, stories, YouTube videos), the number of posts, and the timing of promotions. Be open to negotiation and find a balance that works for both parties.
A successful partnership with the right influencer can drive bookings and establish your escape room as a must-visit destination for adventure enthusiasts in your community.
Host Engaging Online Contests
Host interactive online contests or challenges related to your escape room's theme. Encourage participants to share their experiences or create user-generated content. Offer enticing prizes like free tickets or merchandise to generate excitement and engagement.
Key Benefit: Generate user-generated content, foster engagement, and build a community around your escape room.
What to consider when running an online contest:
- User-Generated Content (UGC) Contests: Ask contestants to create videos, artwork, or short stories about their escape room experience. Repost and feature the best entries to showcase player creativity and enthusiasm.
- Voting Mechanism: Introduce a voting mechanism where participants and their friends can vote for their favorite entries. This generates excitement and encourages contestants to promote their submissions.
- Prizes and Incentives: Offer attractive prizes, such as free escape room tickets, merchandise, or exclusive experiences. The allure of winning exciting rewards motivates participation and can help drive new and repeat visitation to your venue.
- Social Sharing: Encourage participants to share their contest entries on their social media profiles, tagging your escape room's account and using a dedicated hashtag. This amplifies your contest's reach and exposes your escape room to new audiences.
- Engage with Participants: Respond to contest submissions and interact with participants throughout the contest period. Show appreciation for their efforts and create a sense of community among participants.
Engaging in online contests drives participation and excitement and creates a pool of user-generated content that showcases real players' enthusiasm.
Produce Eye-Catching Flyers & Posters
Design eye-catching flyers and posters featuring compelling visuals and essential details about your escape room. Distribute them strategically in local cafes, community centers, and tourist hotspots to attract potential players passing by.
Key Benefit: Offline marketing targeting a targeted local audience and piques curiosity.
Steps to crafting a well-designed flyer:
- Visual Appeal: Use high-quality graphics and images that reflect the themes and challenges of your escape rooms.
- Concise Information: Keep the text clear and concise, highlighting key details such as the location, contact information, and a call-to-action.
- Creative Messaging: Craft a compelling tagline or message that piques curiosity and entices readers to embark on their adventure.
- Strategic Distribution: Target areas with high foot traffic, such as shopping centers, local attractions, and college campuses.
Partner with Local Businesses
Forge partnerships with nearby hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Offer special packages or discounts to their customers, encouraging cross-promotion. A win-win collaboration can introduce your escape room to a broader audience.
Key Benefit: Tap into a ready-made customer base through strategic alliances with complementary businesses.
Considerations for developing local partnerships:
- Identify Suitable Partners: Look for businesses that align with your target audience and share similar values.
- Customized Packages: Collaborate on exclusive packages that bundle your escape room experience with your partner's products or services.
- Shared Promotions: Cross-promote through social media, websites, and newsletters to maximize exposure.
- In-Store Promotions: Display flyers or brochures at partner locations to showcase your escape room and special offers.
- Joint Events: Organize themed nights or joint events to create buzz and attract a diverse audience.
Gather Positive Guest Reviews
Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp. Genuine guest reviews influence potential players immensely, instilling trust and confidence in your escape room experience.
Key Benefit: Positive reviews act as powerful testimonials, driving new bookings and establishing credibility.
To take your guest feedback and reputation management to the next level, leverage ROLLER's Guest Experience Score (GXS). With GXS, you can unlock invaluable insights from guest feedback, analyze trends, and proactively address areas for improvement, ensuring an exceptional experience for every guest.
Here’s how the Guest Experience Score helps operators:
- Real-Time Feedback: ROLLER's Guest Experience Score lets you capture and analyze guest feedback in real time, empowering you to respond promptly and address concerns.
- Comprehensive Insights: Gain deep insights into your escape room's performance, analyzing strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth.
- Proactive Response: With GXS, identify areas for improvement early on, enabling you to take proactive measures to elevate the guest experience.
- Enhanced Guest Satisfaction: Implementing feedback-driven improvements leads to higher guest satisfaction, positive reviews, and increased word-of-mouth referrals. ROLLER customers who use GXS saw their scores increase by 27%.
By leveraging data-driven insights, you can exceed guest expectations, build a stellar reputation, and cement your escape room as the go-to destination for your community.
Read this next: How to Unlock Revenue Growth Through Guest Satisfaction
BONUS: Evaluate Your Online Checkout Experience
Ensure a seamless online checkout experience for your potential players. A user-friendly website with easy booking processes can significantly impact your conversion rates. Make it simple for guests to find information, book tickets, and pay securely.
ROLLER’s modern, mobile-friendly online checkout helps you convert more guests with fewer clicks to increase revenue. With contextual upsells and integrated payments functionality, you can provide your guests with a seamless online experience while increasing spend per head.
We are making money while we sleep! We get an extra $600-$700 per day from online bookings, and we don't have to chase them up since all of it's straightforward for the guest.
Key Benefit: Maximize advertising efforts by converting website traffic into confirmed bookings.
Promoting your escape room on a limited budget is indeed possible with these X cheap and proven advertising tactics. Leverage the power of social media, influencers, engaging contests, and strategic partnerships to attract new players and foster brand loyalty.
Additionally, harness the potential of guest reviews to build credibility and trust among your audience. Remember to optimize your website's checkout experience to ensure your advertising efforts translate into real business results. By getting creative and thoughtful with your advertising, you'll create an exciting buzz around your escape room and turn curious guests into loyal escapees.