Instagram is a social network that offers many ways to build relationships between your brand and customers that go far beyond influencers posting about your products.
One method that has remained popular since it started is the Instagram takeover. A takeover is where someone who appeals to your audience takes over your account to create and share content. This individual can be an influencer, another brand, or a member of your staff who creates content on your brand’s behalf for a defined period.
In this post, you’ll learn what Instagram takeovers are, their benefits, how to run one yourself, and some examples to inspire you.
How Instagram takeovers work
Using takeovers as part of your marketing strategy helps you collaborate with influencers in your niche to build brand awareness. But you can also use a takeover to show your audience what happens behind the scenes when team members temporarily run the account.
Sounds like fun, right? Let’s take a deeper look at some different types of takeovers.
Different types of takeovers
There are three main types of takeovers:
- Influencer takeover: Partnering with an influencer within your niche to have them post content on your Instagram account.
- Brand takeover: Working with indirect competition within your niche, which offers a great opportunity for cross-promotion.
- Staff takeover: If your business has employees, having them manage the brand account and provide “day in the life” style content is a popular (and cheaper) option.
This social media strategy can deliver many benefits no matter which type of takeover content you’re interested in.
Benefits of Instagram takeovers
Successful takeovers are generally win-win. Some advantages include:
- Exposure to a new audience, which often leads to audience growth (i.e., new followers).
- Boosted engagement — especially if your brand doesn’t do takeovers very often.
- Increased credibility if you’re working with a particularly notable brand or influencer.
Some not-as-obvious (but still awesome) benefits from takeovers also include:
- Someone else creates the content—which means less work for you!
- While this content is promotional, they’re generally not paid ads or “sponsored content,” allowing you to circumvent ad blockers.
- An estimated 62% of agencies have seen increased sales from working with influencers on Instagram. This means your takeover campaign can help boost your conversions too.
Now you know what Instagram takeovers are and how your brand can benefit from using them in your social media marketing strategy. Let’s dig into the steps involved in hosting one.
How to host a successful Instagram takeover
To host a successful takeover campaign—whether it’s a one-off or a regular occurrence—you’ll need to follow six basic steps.
1. Set goals and metrics
First, you’ll want to define the goals and the metrics that’ll determine your takeover’s success.
Let’s say you want to increase brand awareness. In this case, you’re likely better off seeking a brand or influencer with a large audience. Alternatively, if sales are your highest priority, then finding an account with a highly engaged audience (not necessarily the biggest) will serve you better.
Whichever goals you choose, write them down alongside measurable metrics. For example:
- Increase brand awareness: The number of impressions, new followers growth %, brand mentions, per-post reach/views, etc.
- Increase sales: The number of sales, conversion rate, leads generated/inbound inquiries, and average order value.
- Increase brand engagement rate: The number of likes/comments, the new followers, and direct messages.
Create a document with your goals and metrics that communicates the status of your social media account where you can record results after/during your campaign.
As you can see from the example above, you can use Google Sheets or any spreadsheet software of your choice. You could also use a service like Databox to help you record your progress towards your goals.
2. Choose your host/takeover partner
One of the harder parts of this strategy is researching and deciding who you’d want as a takeover host. To help you narrow down your potential candidates, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I want to work with an Instagram influencer, another brand, or staff?
- Does their content or values align with mine or my brand’s?
- Have they worked with a similar brand before?
- What is my budget for this campaign (and is it to be a one-off or ongoing)?
These basic questions will help you put together a list of realistic options to choose from. If you decide to work with an influencer, it’s wise to do a quick audit of their accounts to make sure the relationship will be worthwhile before contacting them. Check for things like genuine engagement on their posts, as well as the post and Instagram Stories content itself. Then be sure to read our tips for contacting influencers.
3. Choose format and duration
After determining your goals, metrics, and who you’re going to work with, the fun begins! From here you’ll want to figure out the style of your takeover, i.e., the format and duration. There are a few options to choose from; you can pick one or mix and match them:
- Instagram Story takeover: Instagram Stories are a great way to increase customer responses. What’s more, you don’t need to have the other party log into your account (keeping your account secure), as they can send you the videos. Story takeovers typically last about a day.
- IGTV or Reels takeover: You can use Reels to drive leads for your business, and as with Stories, the other party can send you the content they’ve created that you can post on their behalf.
- Instagram account takeover: This traditional approach offers flexibility in terms of duration and repeatability (e.g., takeovertuesday) and is the least amount of work for you because someone else is creating the posts that will go live in your main feed. However, if your brand has strict post guidelines, it might be more difficult to work around.
- Instagram Live. Try having your partner go live on your account. Instagram Live’s main benefit is the tendency for posts to show up prominently in the app and get quick attention. The main downside is that your campaign partner will need to log into your account to do it, which is a security risk you’ll have to consider.
The other main takeover aspect to think about is the type of content you want to publish. Do you want your stand-in to portray day-in-the-life style content or cover a specific event? This question will most likely be easier to answer when you think about your campaign goals.
4. Create a hashtag
The next step you can take is to create a unique hashtag for your takeover. (A unique hashtag is especially critical if you intend for your takeover to be a one-off event.)
Using a hashtag like #TakeoverTuesday can cause your campaign to get lost among all the other accounts using the same one. So generating a hashtag specifically for your takeover campaign can help your target audience search for it more easily.
You can use your brand name + takeover for a basic hashtag, but you could also get more creative by relating it to the name of your campaign, product, or service.
As a bonus, you can also incorporate your new hashtag into a larger Instagram hashtag strategy to help grow your audience further.
5. Promote the takeover
Once you’ve got everything planned out, it’s time to start promoting the takeover to build hype around the event. The most basic way to promote the takeover is to create a post about it that includes the details (as you’ll see in the Vinovia Direct example later).
However, there are more interesting and creative ways to promote your takeover:
- Connect with people via Messenger: Since Instagram DM’s have merged with Facebook Messenger, you can use ManyChat to send out Messenger alerts to your contact list about the takeover’s intended date, then a few times more (when it’s about to start and afterward as a follow-up).
- Use click-to-Messenger ads: If you want a quicker way to build your contact list or promote a specific takeover event to a broader audience, you can try using ads that click to Instagram Messenger. Using the ManyChat flow builder, you can create a bot that enables people to sign up to receive notices about your next takeover campaign.
The benefit of either of these methods is that you can grow your contact list outside of your Instagram followers—and you can contact them directly about future Instagram marketing campaigns.
6. Launch the takeover
The final stage is the day of the takeover! Depending on the style or format of the takeover, you’ll either have your content already prepped and ready to go from the brand/influencer, or you’ll be doing the takeover live (or having otherwise granted them access to your account). Whether you’ve prepared content ahead of time and scheduled them to post or posting live, make sure you’re still around to respond to comments.
If you’re looking for ideas on how you can generate solid leads from the takeover, try including a giveaway element in the campaign. Within this giveaway, you can use ManyChat’s Keyword Automation (either in posts or from Stories) to lead followers into a chatbot flow designed to convert them into customers.
You can have your campaign partner talk up the giveaway, or you can use it as a follow-up to re-engage those who interacted with your takeover content.
Of course, don’t forget to measure the results of your takeover in the tracking document you made back in step one! Once you have your results, you can figure out how you can improve your approach for your next one.
Inspiration station: Instagram takeover examples and ideas
At this point, you probably have a few ideas on how you’ll host your first takeover. But if you’re still unsure, here are some examples of smaller brands executing the types of takeovers explained in this article that prove you don’t need a huge budget to do an amazing job.
For our first example, we’re heading over to the folks of Nestlé Nordic. While the Nestlé brand is one of the biggest in the world, not many people know of their regional accounts, such as the Nordic one.
What makes this account fun and relatable is that they have employees take over the Instagram account every week:
The chosen employee first introduces themselves, and then they talk about their lives as Nestlé employees in the week that follows.
Tea Chest is a small Hawaii-based tea company that took over Pacific Edge magazine’s account for the day:
The rationale behind this particular campaign was for Pacific Edge to promote local businesses in Hawaii, which culminated in them having the Tea Chest brand (i.e., the founders) share content as guests for their takeover.
Our final example shows the most popular type of takeover, an influencer takeover. This example comes from Vinovia Direct, a wine subscription company that worked with the wine blogger and influencer @thebrookeblend.
As you can see from the screenshot above, Vinovia created the post to promote its upcoming takeover shared through Instagram Stories. The takeover showed Brooke behind the scenes at the Vinovia Direct warehouse, tasting wines and getting to know the staff.
At the end of the takeover, Brooke used her own account to offer her followers a discount code to Vinovia.
This example shows how you can use takeovers not only to boost brand awareness but also to generate more leads and sales.
Run better takeovers with ManyChat
Great takeovers all have the same elements: thoughtful planning, a suitable host, promotion prior to the event, and a buzzworthy launch. No matter what your follower count is on Instagram, it’s possible to host a successful takeover if you follow the steps above. Here’s a final pro tip: If your brand is relatively new, don’t be afraid to approach micro-influencers instead of someone with a massive following.
You can also improve your takeovers’ effectiveness with Instagram Automation by ManyChat. Features such as Keyword Automation and the Comments Growth Tool 2.0 can not only boost your engagement, but also turn your takeovers into sales opportunities by automatically initiating conversations and adding contacts into your CRM. Try it for free today!