The escape room industry is relatively young but has seen massive growth in the past half-decade. Although due to the Covid-19 pandemic there is a 4.3% decline in the number of facilities, it is still a thriving industry and we can expect healthy growth in the years to come.
On the one hand, it means that the escape room business is still a lucrative business opportunity, but on the other hand, the competition especially in bigger cities is very tight.
Meaning, you’ll need a proper escape room marketing plan if you really want to succeed. Yes, the quality of your games and rooms does matter a lot, but if your marketing is low quality or non-existent, you won’t be able to optimally attract more clients to enjoy your games.
In this guide, we will discuss all you need to know about escape room marketing, but let us begin by discussing the unique challenges in marketing escape room businesses.
Escape Room Marketing: Unique Challenges
When marketing an escape room, there are three core unique challenges we should consider:
- An escape room is a fairly ‘young’ concept, and there are many potential customers who don’t understand the concept of escape rooms
- Most people will only play one escape room game once, so it can be difficult to generate repeat purchases
- Marketing is essentially showcasing what we offer to attract customers, but the value of escape rooms is secrets and mysteries. We cannot showcase too many details about the escape rooms, limiting our options.
When discussing the different marketing tactics for escape rooms below, we will address these three challenges.
Escape Room Marketing Tactics:
1. Optimize Your Website
Treat your business as your digital storefront and your business card. Your website should properly showcase what your escape room is about and is catered towards your target audience.
Also, make sure it’s functioning properly with an intuitive online reservation system. You can integrate an escape room reservation system like Bookeo with your website to easily gain online booking functionalities on your website. With Bookeo, your clients can seamlessly book your escape room from anywhere on their mobile devices, and your staff will get automated emails with each booking.
Also, optimize your website to ensure a great experience, especially in the following areas:
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to test your website and test on as many devices as possible.
- Make sure it loads fast. According to Google, 50% of visitors will leave a website that loads in more than 3 seconds
- Develop high-quality content, make sure it is free from grammatical error and typos
2. Optimize for Google Maps SEO
We have to consider that nowadays, Google and the other search engines are one of the primary ways people learn for new local businesses, along with social media.
With that being said, we’d want to maximize our business’s presence when people search for queries like “escape room near me”, “escape room in (your city name)”, and similar keywords.
The thing is, Google now pulls results from Google Maps for these types of keywords, and this is why we should aim to rank on Google Maps’ top results.
Although Google Maps SEO or local SEO might seem complicated at first, actually we should only perform four key steps:
- Claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing
- Optimizing your Google My Business listing. Focus on providing accurate information rather than optimizing for keywords
- Listing your business in online directories relevant to your location to build local citations
- Get more reviews from your customers, especially on your Google Maps listing but also on other review sites and platforms
3. Build Mutual Relationships
Since an escape room is a brick-and-mortar business, you should focus on targeting your local communities to grow your clientele. Besides Google Maps SEO, which we have discussed above, another effective way is to partner with other local businesses in your area to exchange promotional materials and attract each other’s audience.
For example, you can offer discount coupons on local restaurants and coffee shops, while at the same time they can offer their promotions on your premises.
For this tactic, it’s important to focus on building long-term relationships rather than treating them as a one-off thing. You’ll never know how these businesses can help yours in the future.
4. Offer Special Offers for First Visit
People love special offers, and you can offer first-visit offers in various forms: freebies, discount coupons, and so on.
You can, for example, offer a 20%-50% discount for their next visit if they bring their friends. If they’ve beaten your escape room game, they might want to brag about it with their friends and bring more people to your escape room. You can leverage this by offering discounts so they’ll be more encouraged to make another visit.
5. Host Contests and Giveaways
You offer raffles and giveaways on your social media to attract more people to your escape room, while also growing your social media engagement and followers.
For example, you can ask people to follow your profile, link your post and tag the friend they want to play your escape room with. This can help amplify your reach on social media, and you can use paid social media options to further enhance the post’s performance.
While marketing your escape room business can be challenging, the secret of growing your customer base is to provide a great experience.
Yes, your escape room game and props are important but don’t forget the service side of things. Aim to always provide high-quality service to your visitors, keep them happy, and encourage them to bring their friends to your games. This is how you can organically grow your clientele.