Influencer marketing is a trendy topic these days, but it doesn’t require a lot of work or a ton of money to harness the power of social media influencers on your brand’s channels. One of the lowest-effort and most organic ways to work with another person or brand to advance your marketing goals is by hosting an Instagram takeover.
What Is an Instagram Takeover?
Instagram takeovers consist of one user taking over another Instagram account temporarily and sharing original content with their audience. Takeovers usually take place between influencer and brand Instagram accounts within the same industries or geographic locations.
Other types of Instagram takeovers include:
- Employee takeovers
- Customer or community member takeovers
- Event takeovers
- Product or offer promotions
Instagram takeovers are mutually beneficial for the guest Instagrammer and the host account. The host can bring valuable new content to their followers without having to create it themselves, and the guest is able to reach an entirely new audience by posting on another account. Plus, Instagram takeovers help cultivate good-faith relationships between influencers that can create inroads for future collaboration and cross-promotion.
Now, let’s dive into how to get started with your Instagram takeover.
Why Should You Host an Instagram Takeover?
Here are the three main reasons to host an Instagram Takeover:
- It means that for those 24 hours (or whatever amount of time you choose) someone else will do all of your Instagram work for you.
- Instagram is all about collaboration and networking. Hosting a takeover will help you get noticed on the network.
- It’s a good marketing move that will help you raise awareness of your brand, whether you’re a business or an individual. In other words, an Instagram Takeover can help you gain more followers on Instagram.
Now, of course #1 isn’t entirely true. There is a lot of work involved in hosting an effective Instagram Takeover. You have to do your research and make sure your followers are actually aware of what is going to happen. And the ultimate decision of whether it’s worth the work is yours in the end.
However, if you really want to get noticed on Instagram, this is a great way to collaborate with other users/influencers/brands to mutually promote your content and grow your following.
Finally, if you are not a professional photographer, it is easy to run out of ideas for new Instagram posts. Bringing in someone else with new ideas might help you gain a fresh perspective and keep your followers excited. If done right, an Instagram takeover can revive your Instagram feed and boost your presence on the network.
How to Host an Instagram Takeover?
While it’s true that you will need to do quite a bit of work to organize a successful takeover, the good news is it’s still just Instagram rather than rocket science. So if you decide to host an Instagram Takeover, you should follow these simple steps:
1. Set Your Goals
First things first. Think about what you’d like to accomplish by hosting an Instagram Takeover. Perhaps you are doing it to raise brand awareness by growing your Instagram following and reach. Perhaps you want to engage with the wider Instagram community, or maybe you just want to promote a certain product or event.
Don’t forget to measure certain metrics, like the number of followers, views, likes, comments, or mentions, before and after the takeover to see how successful it was and whether you reached any of your primary goals.
Instagram takeover goals could include:
- Increasing brand awareness. This can be measured by the number of new followers of the Instagram account as a result of the takeover.
- Promoting a product, event, or offer. This can be measured by the number of event registrations, offer redemptions, or lead form submissions as a result of the takeover.
- Driving engagement within the Instagram community. This can be measured by the number of likes, comments, video and Story views, and link clicks as a result of the takeover.
2. Choose the Mystery Guest
Next you need to identify your guest. Your guest is the person who is going to be afforded temporary access to your Instagram account to post their content.
Depending on your goals and objectives, you might want to consider choosing a certain type of guest. Aside from general community members, you can choose to invite an Instagram influencer, a colleague or employee, or maybe a customer (if you own a business account).
Generally speaking, we recommend choosing your guest with the most effective strategy in mind.
- Influencers will draw their audience of followers to your Instagram with their endorsement of your brand, so they are the best fit if your primary goal is to increase brand awareness by growing followers.
- Employees will attract interest from their friends and colleagues who want a behind-the-scenes look at what they do at work every day. They’re the best fit if your primary goal is to drive engagement on Instagram.
- Community members and customers will post enthusiastically about your brand and show the value of your product. They’re the best fit if your primary goal is to promote a product, event, offer, sign-up, or download.
Again, these goals aren’t mutually exclusive. Ideally, the content your guest creates will be highly engaging, shareable, and compelling to the viewer.
3. Decide on the Type of Takeover
Of course, you could just hand over all your passwords and your whole Instagram account to your guest and see what they do with it. However, it would be a much smarter move to focus on one type of Takeover. Place your guest in charge of Instagram Stories or your Instagram posts, or ask them to go live with your Instagram account.
4. Promote Your Takeover Ahead of Time
As we mentioned before, it’s always a good idea to give your followers a heads-up about an upcoming Instagram Takeover. There are a few ways you can do this, and it’s best to do all of the following. The easiest option is to announce the Takeover through an Instagram post some time in advance. You can also post a story about it a day before the Takeover starts.
You can also use other social media channels, like Twitter or Facebook, to promote your upcoming Instagram Takeover. And of course, don’t forget to ask your guest to do the same to help you spread the word about the Takeover.
5. Full Takeover or Semi-Takeover?
If you are still not comfortable lending your account details to another person, you can still do an Instagram Takeover.
You can do a Full Takeover, when you give your guest full access to your Instagram, or a Semi-Takeover, when you ask your guest to send you the content and you post it on their behalf. The latter will require more effort on your part, but it is a much safer option.
6. Launch the takeover
On the day of the takeover, it’s all systems go.
Make sure you have one team member monitoring comments and one team member uploading content to Instagram (if applicable). You can now upload content from desktop computers in addition to the mobile app to make the process easier from the office.
Throughout the day, cross-promote content that the guest is posting on their channels to help draw new people to your own Instagram takeover event.
Make sure to communicate when the takeover is starting and ending. Note in captions when the first and last posts are happening so viewers aren’t confused or abruptly left in the lurch, wondering if there’s more content forthcoming.
7. Analyze the results
Once the takeover is over, analyze how it performed, and use those learnings to determine how (or if) you will do your next takeover differently. Here are some questions to ask in your post-mortem analysis:
- Did we achieve our goal? Have you earned more Instagram followers, achieved high levels of engagement, or got visitors to sign up for your offer?
- Did we achieve secondary goals? Did the takeover result in other net benefits for your brand and your business?
- Was the takeover worthwhile? Did it save you time and energy creating your own content, or did it create extra work? Did it drive a push of traffic and engagement, or did numbers remain mostly the same?
Even if the takeover doesn’t drive hard numbers for your business’s bottom line, takeovers are authentic and real, and they provide an inside look at an aspect of your brand or community followers don’t normally see. Social media is about being social, so pay attention to qualitative feedback, too. If commenters respond positively to the takeover, take their feedback and use it for ideating future Instagram campaigns.
Who Will You Invite to Your Instagram Takeover?
Even if you don’t get a ton of new followers, likes, and comments out of your Instagram Takeover, it is still worth doing it for the potential exposure. Plus, it is fun to try and do something new with your Instagram account every now and then.
And who knows, maybe you will manage to land a big fish and persuade one of the biggest Instagram celebrities to do a Takeover for you.