Friday briefing 21/10

The marketing team gives us a roundup of this week's hot topics


Tala Byrne. Joannie McLellan. Robert Ferguson.

Tala, Joannie and Robert have hand picked a few stories that grabbed their attention: A closer look at Instagram Stories, a new feature of Google Flights, and the introduction of demographic targeting in paid search. Of course there are further implications, but all three stories demonstrate that Google and Instagram are making it easier for us to research, book and make our friends jealous of our holidays - read on!

Instagram Stories - More to explore!

The social media team at Dog have loved Instagram Stories ever since they launched back in August. They're a great way to bring an Instagram feed to life with behind the scenes content, showcase the teams behind the brand, and dip your toes in the water if you're not quite sure that Snapchat is right for your brand but like the roving-reporter style of the content. BUT there were a couple of things holding us back from giving Instagram Stories an enthusiastic 10/10 - one of the key drawbacks being that it's difficult as a brand to get your stories viewed and engaged with by anyone outside of your existing followers. Without being able to use hashtags or location tags in your Stories, it was less likely that users would stumble across your Instagram Story if they didn't already follow you.

But earlier this week Instagram answered our prayers - starting now (you may already have this in your Instagram app!) Instagram will recommend Stories they think you might be interested in on the Explore tab. These appear at the top of the screen for you to cycle through just like regular Instagram Stories, and with just a quick tap on the username of the user who posted the story, you can browse their profile and give them a follow. This could be a big game-changer in the debate about whether Snapchat or Instagram Stories have more value to offer brands, since Instagram Stories could prove to be a great tool for growing your following and boosting engagement. All the more reason to spend time creating some engaging Instagram Stories for your brand! Find out more over on Instagram.

Tala Byrne, Social Media Manager.


Google Flights Now Tells You the Best Time to Book a Flight

Google Flights will now help travellers get the best price for flights by using historic data to try and find the optimum date to book. When users search for a flight, a notification may appear to advise when the current fare will expire and how much they could save by booking now.

Updates to Google Flights will now include a notification bar for certain travel routes to help users find their cheapest option. Tips can include recommendations for alternative airports or dates.

Users can set up travel alerts to receive email notifications when prices are expected to change in order to save money.

This update to Google Flights will be rolling out worldwide over the next few weeks.

For more information on the updates to Google Flights visit Google's blog on less stressful holiday planning.

Joannie McLellan, Search Marketing Executive.


Demographics For Search - This time it's personal!

Demographics for search ads (DFSA), which was previously only available to a select number of beta advertisers, has started rolling out to all advertisers globally. DFSA lets you adjust keyword bids for ages and genders, and even exclude them, to help you reach specific groups of customers, as well as report on how they impact your campaigns.

This is a concept that any advertiser who has run social or display advertising campaigns will be familiar with, but marks a new dimension to add to the effectiveness of search campaigns.

When combined with insights drawn from the rich demographic data available in Google Analytics, this new release has the potential to allow advertisers to zero in on their best-performing audiences more easily.

Google’s case studies indicate that companies who have used demographic targeting options in addition to traditional search targeting methods have seen decreases to cost per acquisition of between 15% & 25%.

Google announced the global roll-out at the end of September, but as with all big updates to AdWords, the changes can take some time to appear in all advertisers’ accounts. If you are excited by the possibilities of DFSA, why not get in touch with Dog to see if we can help you implement this into your paid search strategy.

Robert Ferguson, PPC Manager.


An interesting week in the world of digital marketing, particularly for social media communications and paid search. As ever, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to tweet us or hit us up on Facebook!