What You Need to Know to Create a Successful Instagram Takeover

As with any social media initiative, whether you are established or new, gaining organic followers can be challenging.  If you struggle with this, you should consider allowing a highly established person or company, an influencer, to temporarily take over your Instagram account.  Piggy-back on their success to bring much needed attention to your company.

What is an Instagram takeover? An Instagram takeover is when you give an influencer access to your Instagram account and let them publish on your brand’s behalf for a set amount of time; a few hours, a day or sometimes longer.  Takeovers are new but are becoming an increasingly popular marketing strategy for brands looking to grow their audience and find alternate ways to promote their content.  It’s also a mutually beneficial partnership between the influencer and brand owner as both will be cross promoting each other.

Now that you know what an Instagram takeover is, how do you implement it?  Here are some steps that will guide you to success:

Your GoalAsk yourself what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to drive engagement, promote a product, event, or offer or are you trying to increase brand awareness? Understanding your goal makes it easier to measure your success.  Just like any other marketing strategy, you will want to have clear objectives including what the goal is, what type of content will be produced, how you will implement the goal, the metrics you will use to measure the goal and what the end result will look like.  Of course you would love to see a lot of positive results, but you should keep the goals realistic and specific.  Trying to do too much at once could end up doing more harm than good.

The Right Influencer.  Now that you have identified your goals and metrics, you need to decide on the right influencer to take over your account.  You should do thorough background research on your influencer before asking them to host your site.  It’s important that the influencer aligns with your brand and goals and has a clear understanding of what their role will be. An influencer does not have to be a celebrity but should have a large online following and most importantly have the skill set needed to attract viewers to your page and the ability to convert them. Just because someone has one million followers, doesn’t mean they know how to engage or influence them.

Planning Process.  Instagram takeovers are fun and beneficial but they are not easy to do and will require a lot of advance planning in order to be successful.  Instagram is one of those networks where people post in the moment, but strategizing your takeover will yield higher results. So now that you have your goal set and your influencer picked out, it’s time to nail down the specifics of how the takeover will run. Be sure to include these few things:

  • Dates, Time and Frequency – What is the date of the takeover event? Will it be a few hours, a day or even longer? How often will the influencer post during that timeframe? Will there be a set schedule for when the influencer will post?
  • Type of Content – The influencer will now be in charge of your brand so clearly state what your expectations are. Will your influencer post pictures, live videos, Instagram stories or all of the above? Will there be a script to follow?
  • Hashtags – What hashtags will be used? This is a great time to create branded takeover hashtags that are easy to track for measuring purposes.
  • Loose Ends – You may want to create a one-page agreement that outlines what you and the influencer agreed on. For security purpose, you should consider creating a temporary password for the influencer rather than provide the actual password especially if that password is used across all your social media platforms.

Promotional Strategy.  The more the exposure the better when it comes to promoting your Instagram takeover, so your influencer should be open to promoting the takeover as well. To generate solid buzz and build anticipation about the takeover event, both you and the influencer should initially announce it to your audiences through all of your social media platforms, not just Instagram, at least 1-2 weeks prior to the event.  If there are any incentives like giveaways or contests make that clear when promoting.  Be sure to promote right up to the day of the event.

Measuring Success.  Once the takeover is completed, analyze how it performed against your goals.

  • Driving Engagement – This goal can be tracked by the number of video views, likes, comments, mentions and shares. Was it higher or lower than what you hoped for?
  • Product or Events – This goal can be tracked by how by many viewers purchased your product or registered for your event. Did you sell as many products or gain as many attendees as you hoped?
  • Brand Awareness – This goal can be tracked by how many new followers you gained during the takeover. Did it hit your goal number?

One more thing you should know is takeovers are not an exact science, so you may need to tweak them until you get the results that you want.  Happy Instagramming!


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