Interview: Greek Businesses at a Brussels Event

Greek Businesses at a Brussels Event

On February 26 Google invited entrepreneurs from all over Europe who have managed to rapidly expand their businesses via the internet and the tools it offers...

How do you create a successful business in Greece? How will you make it known to the public, and also promote your product in the right way? Whether you are a farmer, florist, watchmaker, shoemaker, fashion designer, accountant, artist, photographer, or programmer, the internet can aid the development of small and medium-sized businesses. Seeking out clients for your business in Greece during a time of crisis and zero development is like hunting for wild boar with a fishing rod. The internet is here to help you. It will spread the word about your business to the world, bringing you closer to new clients and services. Thus, you can add new domestic markets, as well as clients from the other side of the world, to your clientele. Entrepreneurs who use the internet systematically see their businesses grow even faster. And so long as new businesses can can off, more new jobs will be created.

On February 26 Google, in collaboration with Digital Europe and the Lisbon Council, organized an event in Brussels in order to celebrate the success of small European businesses. It invited entrepreneurs from all over Europe who achieved rapid development in their businesses using the internet and the tools it offers. We spoke to the representatives of three Greek businesses who attended the event, from the fields of agritourism, hospitality, and architecture. Here is what they told us.

How difficult is it to find clients via the internet?

Zoi Antoniadi: 90% of ArchZone’s clients have found us via the internet. For that reason, I wouldn’t say it is difficult. The difficulty lies in winning the clients over, as they haven’t come to you via word-of-mouth. The quality of our work and our honesty are our greatest assets.

Which tools did you use and why?

Z.A.: Using AdWords, we aimed at promoting specific services, addressing the fields that interest us the most, and streamlining our webpage so that it is more interactive and effective.

Are you satisfied with the results?

Z.A.: The results are very encouraging. At the same time, because of the large traffic of potential clients, you learn to better appreciate the market, and you are always on your toes. Moreover, you are able to streamline your work, and take it to the next level.

How did you succeed in increasing visitors and reservations at the agritourism unit you run?

Fragiskos Karelas: We employed a plethora of tools, mainly social media, in order to promote our efforts, and we also had the support of various media representatives who were interested in our idea. “Eumelia” is not just a hotel; it encompasses many sustainability and environmental technology elements. We use our newsletter for the people who have already visited “Eumelia” to reminisce about their experience and share it with friends. Our website, on the other hand, is constantly updated with new photographs and material, putting us very high at the search results for people looking for organic farms and ecotourism. Other tools, such as Google AdWords, allowed us to promote our business in specific markets, for example the UK, the USA, and Canada, countries that have a special interest in alternative tourism.

What did your strategy comprise?

F.K.: Our strategy aims at acquainting people with our efforts, by promoting our activities and making them known. We wanted “Eumelia” to become a means of bringing people in contact with nature. Content is key, as it expresses a continuation. Creating photos and YouTube videos that present the farm and its various agricultural activities, and also interacting with visitors from abroad via social media such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, and doing all that with spontaneity and a lack of pretense, are things that people seem to like. Moreover, it serves educational purposes, as it informs the public and other entrepreneurs that follow us about our business approach, as well as all new endeavors in this field.

How did you use the tools to your advantage?

F.K.: Content certainly plays an important role. These tools cannot be used authentically only with photos and videos from our events, that is why we provide the text that allows us to share all our activities, and not just our traffic and products. Our target audience needs to see the entirety of our efforts on social media, not isolated activities. Our aim is to become educated in new technologies and innovations, which will lead to an increase in product sales.

How did you utilize technology and the internet to make your hotel known to the public?

Iro Hatzilia: The first step was to create a modern website (http://www.herahotel.gr), which will present all of the experiences and services offered by the hotel in an easy and interactive way. A hotel’s website is its façade in the digital world, that is why the next step is to advertise your company’s website. With the right collaborations and targeted actions, we are directing our advertising towards our existing market, as well as new ones, in order to attract new clients. At the same time, it is important to be active on social media platforms. A traveler’s decision and final choice will be largely determined by their impression of the hotel’s or service’s online presence. Thus, we have to be present in all platforms the client will use, if we want to win them over; for example, apart from our website, a prospective client will also look at our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts, as well as read the comments of other tourists in review sites such as Tripadvisor. We have organized all our platforms, so that the traveler can get the correct and full picture of our hospitality and services.

What was your aim, and do you believe the tools you used were adequate?

I.H.: Our aim was to increase our online sales, and more specifically direct bookings via our own website. A further aim was to create brand awareness for other services of the hotel as well, such as the restaurant, in order to increase our sales, there, too. Apart from increasing sales, we also aim to create experiences and pleasant memories, and that is achieved through the hotel’s proper presence and promotion on social media.

And the result?

I.H.: With our advertising strategy thus far, within a year we have managed to increase Hera Hotel’s direct online bookings by 60%, and our restaurant’s profits by 50%.

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ArchZone operates with safety measures in relation to the Coronavirus COVID-19. We wear cloth face coverings and keep a safe distance. We ask the same from you..

COVID 19
ArchZone operates with safety measures in relation to the Coronavirus COVID-19. We wear cloth face coverings and keep a safe distance. We ask the same from you.