Instagram Story Takeover 101

The What, Why, and How of It.

Recently, we gave you an inside look into the world of Instagram Stories and offered some tips on how to implement stories successfully to grow your business. This week, we’re expanding on a particular area of interest – the Instagram Story takeover. Full of collaborative and creative potential, Story takeovers are an innovative solution for brands looking to grow their reach. 

Ready to become an Instagram Story takeover expert? In this guide, we’ll help you learn what they are exactly, why they’re a win-win, plus how to plan and execute the perfect Story takeover. 

Why Do an Instagram Story Takeover?

An offshoot of the traditional Instagram takeover, Story takeovers don’t happen on your main business profile, but on your Stories, which appear at the top of your Instagram feed. 

When you host a takeover, you give someone else your account’s log-in credentials and allow them to post content to your account. This person could be an employee, influencer, or a happy customer. For however long your takeover lasts, this person publishes content directly to your Stories, giving your followers a fresh new face to meet. 

Aside from being a really fun way to liven up your editorial calendar, Instagram Story Takeovers are becoming a fresh social media marketing strategy that not all businesses are utilizing quite yet. But there are several reasons to start.

Reaches new customers.

When you collaborate with an influencer, not only will your brand’s audience tune in to your takeover, but their followers will as well, putting your brand in front of a whole new set of eyes. 

Gives your audience a fresh perspective.

I’m sure your followers love hearing from you, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little change. Allowing someone to take over your account and post content that reflects their unique personality (while still aligning with your brand) is a great way to humanize your brand and form new connections with your followers. 

It’s a win/win collaboration.

When you host an Instagram Stories takeover, it’s a win for both you and the influencer you’re collaborating with. You as a host get valuable new content to share with your followers, and your takeover partner gets the opportunity to share themselves with a brand new audience! 

How Do You Plan Your First Story Takeover?

Ready to start planning your first official Instagram Story takeover? The good news is, it’s a pretty straightforward process. But there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you get started. 

Set Specific Goals.

First, you’ll want to sit down and have a brainstorming session with your marketing team. Some questions to consider include,

  • What goals do I want to achieve from this takeover?
  • Do I want the content to have a certain theme?
  • Am I okay with handing full creative control over to an influencer?
  • What guidelines do I want to set? 

Having a clearly defined set of goals will ensure the whole process runs smoothly from start to finish, and will give you a set of metrics to evaluate the finished products success after the fact. 

Choose Who You Want to Partner With.

Who you decide to partner with for your Instagram Story takeover can make it a huge success – or leave your audiences confused and uninspired. That’s why it’s so critical to really take your time when researching potential partners. An ideal candidate would be someone who,

  1. is already familiar with your brand;
  2. has strong engagement levels with their follower base; and
  3. demonstrates the ability to create great content. 

Depending on the person, you may be able to reach out to them directly via direct message or email. If you’re targeting a larger account, you may have to send a business inquiry to their management agency. 

Most brands typically choose to partner with influencers. The benefits of

++working with influencers include knowing what kind of new audience you’ll potentially be tapping into, and knowing what style/kind of content they’ll be posting on your Stories.

 Pro Tip: If you’re considering working with an influencer, don’t discount micro-influencers in your local area! Accounts with 1,000k followers or less generate a much higher engagement ratio than their more Insta-famous peers. 

If you don’t want to go the influencer route, one of your own employees or favorite customers could be the perfect person to rep your brand during a takeover. Smaller accounts will typically require smaller incentives to partner with, such as a gift certificate or company merchandise. 

Decide How You Want Your Partner to Share Content.

Once you’ve picked who you want to work with, you’ll want to set some guidelines regarding logistics. Do you want to give your partner log-in access and let them post content on the fly throughout the day? Or do you want to receive all of their content and ideas beforehand to get your approval?

Depending on whether or not this is your first foray into Instagram Story takeovers, it might be a good idea (and would give you more peace of mind) to pre-approve content ideas beforehand.

Generate Some Buzz.

In the week leading up to your takeover, you (and the influencer you’re working with) should promote to your audiences. Consider announcing the takeover via Story and/or regular post, and share those announcements via other social channels if you have an active audience there. 

The more you promote, the more likely people will be to tune in! 

Analyze, Rinse & Repeat!

Once the last Story post fades into the virtual abyss, your work isn’t done yet! Spend time analyzing your Instagram Story takeover’s performance to see how it lines up with your original goals and milestones. Key metrics you’ll want to check are,

  • before and after follower count;
  • engagement; and
  • click-through rate (if you shared a link as a part of your takeover). 

Note: If you happened to share your brand’s log-in creds with your takeover partner, it might be a good idea to update your password once the takeover is complete. 

And boom! It’s as simple as that. Now get out there and create the best Instagram Story takeover the world has ever seen. Learn how to connect with influencers in your area here


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