Instagram boasts over 2 billion monthly active users, making it the fourth most popular social platform. 90% of these users follow at least one brand.
Due to its large audience, Instagram is a great platform to popularize your brand and connect with your clients. One of the best ways to do so is to host successful Instagram takeovers.
This Instagram marketing strategy can help you increase engagement, get new followers, and boost your conversion rates.
In this guide, I will show you how to run a successful Instagram takeover and share Instagram takeover ideas that have worked well for different brands and influencers. I’ll also share some good examples to inspire your takeover campaigns.
To run a successful Instagram takeover, you should:
- Clearly define your campaign goal, which could be increasing brand awareness, promoting an event, or showcasing a new product.
- Collaborate with your preferred guest (influencer or industry expert) to develop a content plan that includes engaging visuals, videos, and captions.
- Provide the guest access to your account with clear guidelines about your brand voice and conduct.
- Use your existing social media channels to create buzz around the takeover and build anticipation by leveraging hashtags and teasers.
- Measure results and optimize your takeover campaign strategy on the go for maximum exposure, engagement, and sales.
What is an Instagram Takeover?
An Instagram takeover is when an Instagram user temporarily takes control of another Instagram account to create and share content for a specified period of time.
The host account, which is most often a brand, allows the guest to create and share content on their account.
Why Should You Do an Instagram Takeover?
You should do an Instagram takeover to increase engagement, gain new followers, and promote new products or upcoming events.
Takeovers often attract more views, likes, comments, and followers for both the host and guest accounts. It helps them reach a broader audience and gain exposure to each other's followers.
How to Do an Instagram Takeover Successfully (The Ideas You Need)
Instagram takeovers require prior planning to be successful. There are some factors to consider and big decisions to make for you to achieve your intended goals from the takeover.
Here’s how you can run an Instagram takeover successfully:
1. Identify the Goal for the Instagram Takeover
What do you want to achieve from this takeover campaign?
You must define clear goals for your Instagram takeover. For example, you can plan to do one for:
- Increasing brand visibility
- Engaging a new audience
- Driving traffic to your website or a particular landing page
- Promoting a specific product or service
- Creating hype around an upcoming event
2. Choose a Guest to Take Over Your Instagram Account
Once you’ve defined your goals for the takeover, you must choose a guest. Select someone whose audience aligns with your target audience’s demographics.
The guest could be an influencer, a partner brand, an employee, or a customer with a strong online presence.
Choosing someone whose audience is similar to yours means the takeover campaign will help you attract similar audiences. Plus, the content they share will likely capture your audience’s interest and engage them.
3. Decide on a Format for Your Instagram Takeover
There are various formats you could use for an Instagram takeover. Coordinate with the guest to determine a takeover format that suits both parties and ensures maximum visibility and engagement.
- Instagram Stories takeover: You allow the guest to post content on your IG Stories during the takeover. IG Stories are a great way to experiment when trying something new on your account. You can save the top-performing Stories as Highlights so they don’t disappear after 24 hours.
- Instagram Live takeover: You let the guest go Live from your Instagram account. Through Live sessions, they could unbox your new product and host a giveaway or share their life experiences with your audience.
Giving someone control over your Instagram Live requires a lot of trust since there will be no chance to edit what is said and done during the Live session.
- Instagram Feed takeover: You allow the guest to post content on your main feed. Ensure the posts are consistent with your brand’s aesthetics and values. You can co-create content or share your guidelines and give them the creative freedom to experiment.
4. Develop a Content Plan for Your Instagram Takeover Campaign
Collaborate with the guest to create a content plan for the takeover campaign. It could include photos, videos, Stories, and captions that will be shared during the takeover.
Collaborating helps the guest and host understand the goal of the takeover. It also helps diversify the content type and tone to keep the audience interested. The content must align with your brand's image and messaging.
5. Schedule the Takeover Period Posts in Advance
Unless you’re hosting an Instagram Live, you must establish a posting schedule to maintain a consistent flow of content throughout the takeover. Decide on the frequency of posts and Stories to keep the audience engaged.
Scheduling posts in advance using a tool like Sprout Social will help ensure that the guest’s content goes live on your account when your audience is most active on Instagram. This is especially critical if your target audience is in different time zones.
You want to make sure as many people as possible see the takeover posts.
It’s good to consider the most active times of your guest’s audience as well when planning the posting schedule. That’s because you want to engage their audience with the collaboration.
6. Provide Account Access and Brand Guidelines to the Guest
Give your account’s login details to the guest who is taking over your Instagram account. Provide clear guidelines to them about your brand’s voice, content style, posting times, and expectations from the takeover.
Let them have creative freedom to engage your audience the way they want to. Trust that they master the art of influencing people.
7. Promote the Takeover
Build anticipation for the takeover by announcing it on your official Instagram account and other social media platforms. Share content teasers and introduce the guest to your audience. Let them know what they can expect.
For example, Broadway Plus announced that Katy Geraghty is going to take over their Stories the next day with an Instagram post. The post received ovr 5K likes and lots of comments.
8. Ensure the Guest Engages with Your Audience
Encourage the guest to engage with your audience during the takeover period. They should respond to people’s comments on the posts, answer their questions, and participate in discussions.
Not just the guest influencer, your brand should also answer users’ questions, respond to comments, and build connections.
Having an effective engagement strategy in place will help build people’s interest in your brand.
For example, see how both the brand and the guest nutritionist engages people through comments on this post during the takeover period.
9. Evaluate Content Performance
After the takeover, analyze the performance of the content by reviewing metrics such as reach, engagement, follower growth, website visits, and conversions.
Use this data to evaluate the success of the takeover campaign and enhance the outcomes of future collaborations.
10. Build Long-Term Relationships with the Guest
Thank the guest for their participation and promote their account to your audience. Depending on the success of the takeover, you can do it again in the future or collaborate with them in other ways for giveaways or brand ambassadorships.
5 Best Instagram Takeover Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign
In this section, I’ll share five of the best Instagram takeover examples to inspire your next campaign.
These examples show how you can partner with influencers or industry experts to create engaging and effective content that resonates with your target audience.
1. NikkieTutorials and Sephora Takeover
Nikkie de Jager, is a famous Dutch makeup artist and beauty influencer with a massive following of over 18 million on Instagram. She shares creative makeup tutorials and showcases her beauty looks on her account by the name, “NikkieTutorials.”
The makeup and skincare brand, Sephora, invited NikkieTutorials to do an Instagram takeover on their official account.
With her vast following and influence in the beauty community, NikkieTutorials shared her exclusive makeup routines using her favorite products during the takeover period.
The takeover provided Sephora with an opportunity to tap into her extensive fanbase. She showcased her preferred products and illustrated how to achieve stunning makeup looks using them.
The takeover helped increase Sephora’s brand awareness to Nikkie’s audience. The interactions during the takeover exposed Sephora's offerings to a broader audience of makeup enthusiasts.
2. Hoyeon Jung and Calvin Klein Takeover
In a much-anticipated Instagram takeover, the spotlight was on Hoyeon Jung, the talented actress from Squid Game, as she took control of Calvin Klein's Instagram account.
Calvin Klein is known for hosting Instagram takeovers with celebrity guests such as comedian, Pete Davidson, and rockstar, Machine Gun Kelly.
As the day commenced, Hoyeon Jung showed her love for Calvin Klein by starting in morning attire.
Hoyeon Jung grooved to Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” in an oversized white shirt paired with her Calvin Klein underwear set.
The Livestream showed the audience a glimpse of Hoyeon Jung changing into different outfits. One of these outfits was a vibrant, red, cropped Calvin Klein hoodie.
The takeover helped Calvin Klein tap into Hoyeon’s fanbase and benefited her by offering fans a glimpse into her relatable approach to life's little pleasures.
3. Ohio State University Takeover by Their Students
The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy allowed their students to take over their Instagram account and share glimpses from a day in their lives.
They let different students share their points of view, and what their experiences are in the university regarding education, facilities, trips, and fun things they do outside class.
This takeover allowed the students to express themselves and helped the university gain engagement. It helped them receive comments from a younger population of aspiring students.
At the same time, the students who participated in the takeover also gained new followers. It gave them a boost in confidence to express themselves.
4. Julia Guardiola and VI Peel Takeover
Julia Guardiola is the founder of Social Glow Up. She has collaborated with similar brands to run takeovers and other kinds of campaigns on Instagram.
During one of her best takeovers with VI Peel, she gained over 1,000 followers along with many shares and comments on her posts.
She recommends that if you’re going to run an Instagram takeover, you should collaborate with a brand whose audience aligns with yours.
5. Little, Brown and Company and Their Authors Takeover
Little, Brown and Company are American publishers who have published numerous books by celebrities, politicians, and world-famous authors.
They use Instagram takeovers when introducing a new author and their book.
Here’s an example of Meryl Feinstein from Pasta Social Club introducing her new book, “Pasta Every Day,” on Little Brown’s official IG account:
The publishing company uses this exposure to create a buzz around the book and to popularize their authors to their audience.
Some authors, such as Kerry Washington and Michelle Obama, are already famous and have their own following. They leverage these massive numbers to break into new markets and create brand awareness about their publishing company.
How to Promote Your Instagram Takeover Like a Pro
For your Instagram takeover to be successful, you must promote it to your audience. Let’s look at ways to promote and build interest around an Instagram takeover.
1. Announce the Upcoming Takeover
Make formal announcement posts on your and your guest’s accounts way before the takeover. Provide details about the takeover's date, time, and purpose to generate interest.
You can also utilize Instagram Stories to create teaser content about the upcoming takeover. Include countdowns and sneak peeks of what the audience can expect during the takeover to generate excitement.
2. Mention the Takeover on Other Social Channels
Include information about the takeover in your email newsletters or blog posts. Encourage your subscribers and readers to follow both Instagram accounts and participate in the event.
Promote the takeover on your other social media platforms, such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, or TikTok. Leverage your existing audience to drive traffic to your Instagram account.
3. Create a Hashtag for Your Takeover Campaign
Develop a unique and catchy hashtag specific to the takeover and encourage the audience to use it when discussing or sharing content related to the event.
A branded hashtag will also be helpful when tracking the overall visibility and increasing engagement.
4. Partner with the Right Influencers or Guests
Partner with the right influencers or complementary brands to do the Instagram takeover. Ensure that they cross-promote their takeover-related content on their accounts and drive their followers to engage with the event.
5. Use Instagram Ads to Boost Your Takeover Content Reach
Invest in Instagram Ads to promote the takeover to a broader audience, especially if you want to reach people outside of your existing followers. Instagram allows you to target the ads to groups that fit your target audience's demographics, interests, and behaviors.
How to Measure the Success of Your Instagram Takeover
To evaluate whether or not your Instagram takeover was a success, check for these metrics:
- Follower growth: Track the number of new followers gained during and after the takeover on your (host) account. Compare this to your typical follower growth rate to assess the impact.
- Engagement metrics: Analyze engagement metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and saves on the takeover posts. Compare these metrics to your account's average engagement rates to determine if the takeover outperformed your usual content.
- Hashtag performance: If you used a specific takeover-related hashtag, track its usage and reach. Analyze the hashtag's volume of posts during the takeover period and its impact on engagement.
- Cost analysis: If you incurred costs for the takeover, for example, paying a guest influencer or placing ads for promotion, calculate the return on investment (ROI) by comparing the costs against the benefits, such as increased sales or greater brand visibility.
- Story views and interactions: Measure the number of views, taps, replies, and interactions on the Stories shared during the takeover. Compare these metrics to your typical Story performance.
- Conversion metrics: If you had specific goals like tool or newsletter sign-ups or product purchases, track these actions attributed to the takeover. Measure the conversion rate and compare it to your usual conversion rates.
- Audience sentiments: Monitor comments, direct messages, and mentions related to the takeover. Evaluate the direction of the comments to understand the audience's perception and feedback.
- Takeover poll: Conduct a poll on your Instagram Stories to gather feedback from your audience about the takeover. Ask about their satisfaction score, what they enjoyed, and areas for improvement.
- Guest feedback: Collect feedback from the guests who conducted the takeover to understand their views on the event's success. Ask them for insights about engagement and audience reception.
Do I need to pay my takeover partner?
Whether or not you need to pay your takeover partner depends on your specific collaboration agreement and the nature of the partnership.
Some Instagram takeover partnerships are mutually beneficial and don't involve monetary transactions. In such cases, both parties gain exposure to a new audience.
However, if your takeover partner is a professional influencer or content creator with a significant following, they may expect compensation for their time, effort, and influence.
Discuss the expectations and compensation details upfront to ensure clarity.
What should I ask my Instagram takeover partner to do?
Be clear about your expectations from the takeover and share guidelines that are important for your brand. This is the first step to hosting a successful Instagram takeover.
Here are a few things you should discuss in advance:
– The type of content you'd like them to create, such as photos, videos, IG Stories, or a combination of any of these. The content should resonate with your audience and represent your brand.
– The takeover date and time and the frequency and timing of posts. Also, decide on a posting schedule to maintain consistency and engagement throughout the event.
– Guidelines about your brand’s voice, messaging, and style to ensure they maintain a cohesive brand image during the takeover.
– Promotional strategies for the takeover content by both the host and the guest, to maximize reach and participation.
When is the best time for an Instagram takeover?
The ideal timing for an Instagram takeover depends on your audience's behavior and the purpose of the takeover.
Here are some factors to consider:
– Weekdays often have higher engagement rates, especially Tuesday to Thursday. However, weekends might also work well, particularly if your target audience is more active during those days.
– Conduct the takeover during peak engagement hours when your target audience is most active on Instagram.
– Align the takeover with relevant events, holidays, product launches, or marketing campaigns
to capitalize on increased interest and engagement.
– Analyze your audience's behavior using Instagram Insights to identify when they are most active. Tailor the takeover schedule to match these busy periods.
– If your audience is based in multiple time zones, plan the takeover to accommodate a broad range of your audience. Consider publishing according to different time zones.