Greece is known as the cradle of western civilization, one of the best foodie destinations in Europe, and one of the most beautiful countries on earth.
These world-class attributes, however, remain underappreciated, with tourists primarily flocking to its islands and beaches during the summer holidays.
The challenge: promoting everything Greece offers and relaunching an out-of-date website and mobile experience
“The main challenge is to move beyond our primary tourism product, sun and beach, which is the reason people mostly visit Greece,” explains Nikos Diamantopoulos, Digital Marketing Director of Marketing Greece. “We've been trying for years now to enhance other products and move towards culture, gastronomy and experience-based tourism.”
Until recently, however, their website, DiscoverGreece.com, took an outdated approach, both in terms of content and design. Built in 2013, the website hadn’t kept up with trends and best practices and the mobile version wasn’t great.
“The old website had a separate mobile site which was sub-par, both in design and functionality,” explains Diamantopoulos. “We were experiencing big bounce rates and we weren’t giving our users the best experience.”
The solution: a revitalized and refreshed website that embraces new types of content
In early 2019, Marketing Greece underwent a complete overhaul of its website, starting with the underlying software and content management system. With the new website, however, also came an opportunity to explore new forms of content, specifically those that emphasize experience-based tourism.
“We wanted content that was list-type, like ‘best of’ articles and itineraries, and created a few templates that combined activities and experiences,” explains Diamantopoulos. “We found that users responded very well to it. And at the same time, it represented an opportunity to describe experiences that extend the travel period in Greece. So all of this new content has been incorporated as part of the redesign. We had to make a shift.”
The new Discover Greece website.
Not only would such a shift encourage travelers to visit during less busy seasons, but it would also help Marketing Greece showcase the country’s other attractions and attributes.
“Of course, one of the main reasons [to visit] is the beach and all the experiences related to the beach, but if we have a 'top 10' list we have the opportunity, with visual content, to showcase all the other [attributes] that might interest the traveler,” says Diamantopoulos.
Tapping into CrowdRiff to source user-generated content for every destination and experience
Though Marketing Greece had been utilizing CrowdRiff for nearly two years, when the website redesign effort began last year, Diamantopoulos says the platform became even more valuable.
“When we created these templates, we dreamt about adding all the content produced over the previous two years,” he says. “Now, we’ve created a complete picture for each destination and experience and users have a full picture with inspiring images through user-generated content that enhances the authenticity of every destination and experience.”
A gallery on the Discover Greece website.
Today, DiscoverGreece.com features 350 individual image galleries that utilize approximately 18,000 visual assets, alongside more experience-based marketing content that’s heavy on best-of and listicle-style articles. Similarly, the experience pages incorporate UGC galleries put together using CrowdRiff.
“We always want to showcase the local feeling, so UGC is a nice solution,” adds Diamantopoulos. “You can see that we don't just promote the main product, but also other trends that are interesting and relevant to travelers, such as localhood and sustainability.”
Adding UGC to their website and social channels lets them showcase the authentic experience of real travelers
Diamantopoulos adds that CrowdRiff has been instrumental in enabling the organization to easily gather and showcase the user-generated content that now populates its website and social media channels.
“Our hands were tied before because we didn’t have the content. Now we have access to content from real people experiencing Greece,” explains Diamantopoulos. “CrowdRiff helped us step it up.”
Every step you take in Astypalea’s main town fills you with a special energy you’ll be telling everyone about. 😍 #DiscoverGreece • Shout out to @diokaminaris for this splendid shot! •⠀ Want to be featured too? Follow the simple steps in bio! • • • • #Greece #GreekIslands #Dodecanese #travelinspiration #bucketlisttravel #vacationdestination #bestplacestogo #placestogo #bestdestinations #traveldreamseekers #beautifuldestinations #voyaged #greece_is_awesome #traveldrops #perfect_worldplaces #topeuropephotos #living_destinations #europe_greatshots #travelinspiration #stayandwander #beautifuldestinations #discovernewplaces #takemethere #wheretofindme #travellingthroughtheworld #liveauthentic #postcardplaces #living_europe #weliketotravel
Diamantopoulos explains how Marketing Greece’s content priorities for each month are created based on seasonal trends and its social media channels and online galleries are populated with relevant and timely user-generated content.
“Every month a brief is created, outlining all the destinations, experiences and in general everything we want to promote and the reasons behind it (booking windows, audience targeting, etc.),” he says. “The Social Media Manager receives the brief and tries to match these needs with available UGC content through CrowdRiff and with our own content and then formats each post/story.”
Moving forward: Adding more features to the new website, creating more content and increasing the use of UGC
Diamantopoulos explains that Marketing Greece will continue to add new features to the website, which has just re-launched in March 2020.
“Our goal is to first complete all [local destination pages] with a minimum of five to seven experiences, create more content and fill all our pages with user-generated content,” he says. “Even though we have content from our own campaigns, UGC always helps in the user experience.”
He adds: “In the future, we are also hoping to utilize user-generated content to promote bookable activities, matching the ever-growing digital demand with the supply offered. Crowdriff will help us to achieve that.”