Instagram Takeover: Tips, Strategies, Examples
In the age of all things Instagram, it’s becoming more and more important to create engaging visuals and have attention-grabbing, informative, or humorous content to keep your audience and followers locked in. For the past decade of influencers, one very popular tactic is to have an Instagram takeover. In this article, let’s go over what exactly an Instagram takeover is, why it is helpful to a brand, and how to execute one for your own Instagram.
What is an Instagram takeover?
Have you ever gone to a brand’s page and noticed another Instagram user (whether an influencer, professional/expert in a certain field, or celebrity) speaking to you through posts or videos or an Instagram Story? That’s a takeover. An Instagram takeover is formally defined as when another individual takes over a brand’s account to share and post content.
What are the benefits of having an Instagram takeover?
Hosting an Instagram takeover is helpful to both the personality taking over and the brand hosting. It allows the audiences of both accounts to see one another and view the content being created. This creates a greater chance of gaining new followers while using content to leverage niche expertise.
For example, if you are a skincare brand, it would make perfect sense to have a board-certified dermatologist or registered nurse to do a takeover. The dermatologist or nurse could provide tips on skincare, sun protection, and beauty treatments. This would make your skincare brand look more credible for aligning yourself with an industry professional; the takeover personality on the other hand, would earn points for giving advice to a product brand’s audience.
How to do an Instagram takeover
An Instagram takeover usually involves some behind-the-scenes work. Finding the right influencer or media personality takes time. You should consider things such as:
The personality’s overall brand
See if the user’s captions and overall voice align with your brand. Does the user have way too many sponsored posts and not enough organic content?
The personality’s engagement rate
While you can’t see a personality’s metrics, you can gauge by measuring follower count versus likes and comments. SocialBlade is also a great tool for engagement rate insight.
The personality’s brand partnership history
Who has he/she worked with? Do these partnerships look good? What was the content like?
SocialBlade screen that shows engagement rate for tank.sinatra, a popular meme account.
Once you find the right influencer or personality to work with, you have to reach out.
Here are some steps you can take:
- DM (direct message) the personality in question or email (most brands seem to do this more) and propose an Instagram takeover idea. It’s crucial to start with what your desired goal for both parties is (ex. Build awareness for a cause, promote a new product, grow following).
- You can let them know your idea (ex. Please post a series of Stories talking about the importance of sunscreen and different kind of formulations on the market; also throw in some product suggestions at the end) and any specifications you may have (create an image post or a video for a feed or an Instagram Story video). Also be sure to ask the personality if he or she has any ideas to bring to the table. This helps kickstart a collaborative mindset.
- Once you and the personality work out a content plan, decide on a production and posting schedule. Make sure to have your marketing or brands manager approve of the final image/post/video before posting. Also ensure you and the personality cross-promote one another when the takeover goes live.
Examples of an Instagram takeover
Need some real-world ideas? Here are some cool takeovers between some brands and Instagram personalities.
Dr. Shereene Idriss, a popular dermatologist and social personality, speaks of an Instagram takeover.
Idriss did a Story takeover for women’s fashion magazine Allure.
In the example above, Dr. Shereen Idriss, a New York City-based dermatologist who often gives skincare advice on Instagram, teamed up with women’s publication Allure to host an Instagram Story takeover. This collaboration makes perfect sense because Idriss works in skincare and beauty treatments, which is of interest to the female demographic of Allure magazine.
Reske shares one outfit and her thoughts on the look.
She showcases a second look to followers.
Reske closes the Story takeover with a swipe-up link.
The swipe-up link leads viewers to shop the newest online arrivals for women.
Above, we can see Karina Reske, a style blogger and influencer whom Express partnered with for an Instagram Story takeover. Since Express sells both women’s and men’s clothing, it makes sense to work with a fashion influencer to reach a target audience — in this case, a female personality to drive traffic to shop women’s clothes. Reske shows outfits she picked to connect to Express’ audience of shoppers. Her takeover story will also bring her own followers to connect with the Express brand. Reske finishes off her looks with a swipe-up link that leads to a landing page for Story viewers to shop.
Instagram account for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Maryland.
Another example of a well-executed (yet super simple) takeover is this one done by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Maryland.
One of its students, Shervin Kashani, takes over the account.
Kashani shows some of what he does as a student in the major.
He also shares some internship experience, detailing what specific things he learned and worked on.
Hoping to motivate and inspire fellow department students, he shares an upcoming internship he will be having.
The University of Maryland Instagram account regularly has takeovers done by students to share their experience. This allows the department to make a personal connection to viewers and those who are enrolled at the university or in the same department major. The takeover shines a spotlight on a fellow outstanding student while bolstering the department’s account as one that is informative and inspiring.
This takeover example also highlights that sometimes, you don’t even need to seek out an actual media personality or figure. You can use the very people in your company to make a personable connection — and the University of Maryland’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department does this very well by using actual students. Entrepreneur states that this act of “humanizing” a brand does wonders, and can help showcase the faces or people behind an account.
Popular meme account Tank Sinatra.
We showcase successful meme account tank.sinatra a lot, but Tank’s success also comes from the fact that he puts a face (his very own) to a brand. His success has made him recognizable and has helped him gain press and media attention for his own publicity.
Tank on “The Ellen Show.”
Tank also has landed press, further getting his account name out there.
SUMMARY: Instagram takeovers are a great way to strengthen your brand credibility and connection to your audience. By finding the right influencer or personality, you can forge a deep relationship that shares informative (or funny) content to your audience and that of the party taking over. If you want to lift the veil on your brand, it also is a great idea to showcase actual faces (team members, CEOs, students, staff, etc.) behind the company to create a humanizing factor. Learn more on how to work with influencers on Instagram here.