It might have happened to you — you opened your Instagram app and realized that someone you don’t recognize or usually see has appeared in your stories, or even in your feed. That’s odd, isn’t it? You probably started to wonder if you’d followed this person by mistake.
You probably then thought nothing more of it, checking out the “new” profile. When you look at the account, you realize that they were just simply taking over one of the accounts that you follow, which is why they looked unfamiliar.
It could’ve been an intern or employee taking over so you could get to know the newest team member. Maybe it was an executive or company founder giving people a look at their day-to-day life and answering any particular questions.
It might have even been an influencer or authority in the niche sharing unique and interesting content related to their life and the brand or business that you follow. Regardless, you likely paid attention because it was not what you’d normally expect to see, and likely to be an interesting and fun change of pace.
Instagram takeovers are most common between a brand and an influencer, but it’s by no means the only time it happens. Hosting an Instagram takeover can be a great way to expand your brand and your audience, promote your products and/or services, or build a new partnership with another Instagram user, employee, industry expert, and more.
There are plenty of different ways you can take advantage of an Instagram takeover, including through stories, lives, and posts. We’re going to discuss all three of them in detail in just a bit.
This article will help you to understand exactly what an Instagram takeover is, why they benefit you, and how to do an Instagram takeover in different steps. Let’s take a look!
What is an Instagram Takeover?
An Instagram takeover is something that you can plan so that another user of your choice will do all of your posting and content creation for a day. That means they might do a string of Instagram stories, post content to your feed, go live, etc.
It’s a great way to engage your followers in something new and can achieve a variety of things:
- Give people a look behind the scenes
- Let people see what a typical day in your company or brand is like
- Partner with influencers or other niche players to expand your reach
- Generate interest in your profile and content
- And more!
Now that we know what an Instagram takeover is, why should you care? What are the benefits of hosting an Instagram takeover?
Well, there are plenty! Let’s check them out.
How a Successful Instagram Takeover Can Benefit You
Along the same lines of influencer marketing and brand partnerships, doing an Instagram takeover is an excellent way to get more Instagram followers and generate interest in your profile. It also breathes some life into your marketing strategy.
Get More Instagram Followers with an Instagram Takeover
No matter if you take over an influencer’s Instagram account or they take over yours, you’ll gain access to a wider audience and more people checking out your Instagram profile. While both types are possible, for the sake of this article, we’re going to focus on how to host an Instagram takeover on your profile.
When an influencer, team member, expert, or someone else takes over your Instagram account for a few hours or for a whole day, the idea is that they tell their audience about it in advance so they can make sure to be a part of it. You’ll likely gain followers and engagement through this.
This encourages their audience to come over and check out their takeover content. That way, you’ll gain more visibility and tap into a whole new pool of your target audience. Hosting an Instagram takeover can be an awesome way to change up your content and capture the attention of new users and current followers alike.
Enhance Your Marketing Strategy with an Instagram Takeover
At the end of the day, the Instagram takeover is another piece to your Instagram marketing toolbox. It’s a popular strategy all across Instagram in any niche, but not so overdone that people think they’re played out.
Introducing different tactics into your marketing strategy and trying out different methods on your account can help you to generate as much interest in your profile as possible. You’ll no doubt be creating some buzz around your account and growing Instagram followers and engagement.
Let’s find out how you can host an Instagram takeover in a few steps.
How to Do an Instagram Takeover for Brand Success
There are six basic steps to hosting an Instagram takeover, and in this section we’re going to review each one so that after you read, you’ll be able to get right to Instagram planning and start setting up your Instagram takeover.
1. Establish Your Goals and Measurables
The first thing you should do, as with any other marketing plan, is establish specific goals you want to hit and measurable metrics that can help you gage the success of the takeover.
If you don’t have any measurable goals with metrics to measure them, you’ll never truly know whether or not the Instagram takeover helped your account or not. It works for a majority of brands and businesses, but each one is different.
That said, what is a reasonable goal for an Instagram takeover, and which metrics do you need to keep an eye on? This will ultimately depend on your business. Here are a couple examples.
One goal that you can set for your Instagram takeover is to promote a product, sale, product launch, event, or even a giveaway that’s coming up soon. The possibilities are really limitless depending on your creativity.
If that’s your goal, you should then measure things like purchases or signups/registrations. You can use a promo code to help you track these purchases and know which ones came from the Instagram takeover.
Another key thing to keep in mind is that the person you select to take over your account should align with your brand image and make sense for your particular audience and goals.
An alternate idea for an Instagram takeaway goal is to boost your engagement levels on Instagram. This leads you to some pretty straightforward metrics such as likes, comments, DMs, saves, shares — basically whichever type of engagement you are targeting.
If you’re really looking to spice up your marketing strategy and want to get people engaging with your Instagram story content, you should choose a takeover host that is able to create content like this and maximize on the use of Instagram stories during their takeover.
Last but not least, you can host an Instagram takeover that will help to boost brand awareness and get more Instagram followers for your account. This is when it’s especially useful to have an influencer do your takeover.
Because Instagram influencers have a large following of users in your target audience, they know just how to get people to follow and can use the trust of their audience to help get some of those people over to your account.
Again, make sure that this person has not only a strong and loyal audience but also aligns with your brand, vision, and goals.
2. Identify Your Takeover Host
As we mentioned above, you really want to make sure you get the right person to host your takeover. After all, the success of your takeover rides on the person that you choose and the audience that they have.
This person could be an influencer, but it doesn’t have to be. It depends on your goals. You can choose an influencer, someone in your company, another brand, an audience member, an expert, an executive, or whoever else you think can connect with your brand and target audience.
For instance, you could have someone who works at your company host your Instagram takeover and give a look at the behind the scenes work of the company, or of a special event that you’re hosting.
Your Instagram followers will get to know more about who your company is and who is a part of it, they’ll be able to see some new and interesting content, access a new perspective, and also feel like they’re completely included in the event.
It could also be an executive of the company. Most of the time, people don’t really get to see the people behind the company at higher levels, so bringing a top-tier employee in to connect with your audience is a great way to be relatable and build a relationship with your followers and viewers.
Alternatively, you could partner with another brand that complements your account. This is perfect if you have niche partners and want to use each other to combine audiences and get more exposure. You can also do a takeover for them so that the relationship is reciprocal.
While these are all great options, the traditional Instagram takeover is usually hosted by a relevant influencer in your niche. This could be someone you’ve worked with before, or someone completely new to you and your brand.
You’ll gain more reach for your content because the influencer will share the takeover with their audience and will also be able to infuse your Instagram with their expert knowledge on the niche as well as their content creation skills.
Your audience wants to see content that’s valuable, so having someone who is good at creating it and engaging the audience will provide something that people really want to check out.
3. Choose Your Takeover Type
Now that you’ve got the goals and the person all set, you can think about what type of Instagram takeover you want to focus on. We’re going to discuss the three types in this section and see how you can implement one or all of them.
The Story Takeover
Hosting an Instagram takeover in stories is the most common and most popular type. This can be “live” in the sense that it’s happening in real time and the person is uploading the content after they film it, or the takeover could be filmed in advance and then posted on the day of the takeover.
If it’s a live takeover, it’s great for events or a place where the guest host needs to be actively participating in whatever is happening and actively posting throughout the day or the event.
These live takeovers typically work best if you are working with someone that you’ve worked with before who is familiar with your brand and profile, or even an employee or someone connected to your company. Why?
They should already have a clear idea about what the content should look like and they won’t have to spend a lot of time trying to get it right. You may be with the takeover guest as they’re doing it, or you’ll need to pass over the credentials to access your Instagram account.
You can host takeovers that are posted after the fact for pretty much anything else, as long as it doesn’t rely on a minute-to-minute update as a live event would. For instance, a company that provides programs for people to go abroad to different countries could have one of their employees or participants share a day in the life in the country that they’re in.
This type of prepared story takeovers are perfect in the sense that the guest host can create their content based on the schedule that you set for them, and you can check it out in advance to make sure that it looks good and that it fits with your brand image.
After you review and approve it, you can plan the takeover day and you’ll even be able to post all of the content yourself if you so choose.
The Live Takeover
The Instagram live takeover isn’t quite the same as the “live” takeover we mentioned above. Even though the person is uploading your content as it’s happening, they’re doing it on Instagram stories, not on a live stream.
It’s common that this type of Instagram takeover is done with someone that’s already within your company or someone that you trust because you’ll need to provide them with the login credentials to access your account.
A live takeover can give a true sense of connection to your audience and make them feel special and that they’re a part of whatever you are showcasing on Instagram live. There’s also features to include other people in the live, so the guest host can pull in other people throughout the day if they so choose.
The Feed Takeover
An Instagram takeover using posts is also a very simple and straightforward type to host. The person that is going to be your guest host just needs to create posts that meet your criteria and then send it over to you by the agreed upon deadline.
You’ll then be able to post it on the day that you planned to have the takeover and promote it with your Instagram followers (we’ll discuss promotion strategies in a few sections).
This is especially great if you want to showcase a client, audience member, person who makes an impact, or anyone else who resonates with your brand and target audience.
The thing to remember here is that all of these posts are going to be put onto your feed, so they’ll be a sort of permanent fixture in your Instagram feed. It may be overwhelming if you have the guest host post tons of pictures into your feed, which can be a bit spammy for your followers.
You could also consider having your guest host do a combo takeover where they do some Instagram stories, have a scheduled Instagram live, and also post something— either a single photo/video or even a carousel post.
4. Pitch Your Instagram Takeover Idea
After you’ve determined what kind of Instagram takeover you want to host and who you want to do it, you’ll now need to make a pitch to get them on board. If it is a person that works with you or is a part of the company, it should be straightforward.
If it’s someone outside of your company, though, you’ll need to create a good pitch in order for them to want to be a part of it.
The first thing you should do is introduce yourself and your brand. Let them know who you are, what you do, and how you are setting yourself apart in your industry. When you share clear and concise information, they’ll be able to truly understand you and see if they connect with your brand.
After that, you’ll want to introduce them to some of the mutual benefits of the takeover. It’s not hard to understand the benefit you get from the takeover, but how will it be good for them? Maybe they’ll be getting more exposure, perhaps they can connect with your brand or another incentive, but be clear about what the value is for them if they’re involved.
Hopefully after that they’ll agree to do the takeover, you can discuss the requirements in detail so that there’s no confusion about expectations. Discuss deadlines, format, needs, and anything else you think is important, including shooting guidelines, scripts or must-include info, music recommendations, etc.
5. Promote Your Instagram Takeover
Now that you’ve completed steps 1 to 4, you’re ready to get the word out about your Instagram takeover. You don’t want to spam your followers, but you have to make sure they know what’s going on so that they can tune in.
They’ll be able to get excited about the takeover when you promote it a few days in advance and they can even tell their friends and get other people involved.
Cross-promotion works especially well for this. If you’re hosting an Instagram takeover via posts, you can discuss it in your stories. If you’re planning a story takeover, go live to announce it and post it in your feed. Use all methods and even other social networks to promote your Instagram takeover.
Also, your guest host should also be promoting their participation in your Instagram takeover, and they can do that however they see fit.
When promoting through Instagram stories, have a lot of fun with countdowns, polls, questions, ratings, and more so that your audience can get jazzed up about the takeover. They can then share those posts and also get excited about what’s to come.
6. Track Your Performance
Once your takeover is ready to go, review your goals and make sure you know which metrics you’re going to be tracking. You can analyze these metrics by looking at the before numbers and after numbers to see what impact the takeover had.
Was your Instagram takeover successful in achieving your goal? For instance, If you were trying to generate interest in your profile and boost brand awareness, check out your profile visits, reach, and impressions to see if they grew during the takeover.
At the end of the day, it all depends on the numbers. If you don’t set a goal and don’t know what your numbers were before you started the takeover, you’ll never be able to know what the impact was, and that seems like a lot of good work wasted.
You can also then plan accordingly for your next Instagram takeover using your findings from this one.
Wrap Up Your Instagram Takeover
And, there you have it! Your Instagram takeover is in the books! You now know all of the components of a successful Instagram takeover. Hopefully, you will be able to get the results you plan for, but even if you don’t, just use your analysis to make adjustments and try for better results on the next one.
If you host a story takeover, you can save it to your highlights and pin it to your profile so that people can check it out later. Instagram takeovers are a great way to engage with your audience, get more reach for your Instagram, and spice up your content in a fun way!
It can also be great to generate interest in a new product or service, as well as spotlight an employee or someone else connected with your brand.
Are you ready for your Instagram takeover? Now’s the time to get planning! Good luck!