If you’re looking to spice things up on your owned media channels, Instagram Takeovers may be just the approach you need. Takeovers have gained popularity in the last few years as influencers began infiltrating social media marketing – particularly on Instagram.
Alongside user-generated content, takeovers represent one of the best versions of authentic media in marketing today. Including takeovers into your Instagram influencer marketing strategy could be one of the smartest decisions you make.
For those who are nervous or don’t know what Influencer Takeovers entail, this guide is for you. Let’s begin by defining what an Instagram Takeover is.
What is an Instagram Takeover?
In an Instagram Takeover, brands give influencers the reigns from within their Instagram account page to create a post (or series of posts).
As you build deeper relationships with your best influencers, you’ll be able to trust them to try new things. Knowing that an influencer has so much love for your brand and product can nurture the kind of trust that would allow you to let an influencer temporarily “take over” your Instagram account.
While inside your Instagram account, the influencer’s post retains your branding. Within the post, an influencer identifies him/herself and publishes content to Instagram on your behalf.
The goal is to join forces in a more intimate way to reach more people on social media.
How Does an Instagram Takeover Work?
Before an Instagram Takeover event, the brand and influencer should discuss the goals of the campaign. Takeovers frequently happen around an event, product launch, or to raise awareness.
The Classic Takeover
After agreeing on logistics – objectives, message, hashtags, etc. – the brand invites the influencer as a contributor/editor of their Instagram page. Depending upon the length of the takeover campaign, the influencer might post from the brand page once or multiple times over several days.
Publishers Little, Brown and Company enjoy using Instagram Takeovers to promote new titles. In the example below, Little Brown and Company coordinated a takeover event with Anna Pitoniak (author) to promote the release of her book, Necessary People.
Among the many brands famous for using Instagram Takeovers with their influencers are Adidas, Fenty Beauty, Airbnb, Food Republic, Netflix, Sephora, and Stella Artois.
The Modified Takeover
In some cases, brands will upload content (usually a video) that an influencer created for the takeover event. If you’re concerned about security, this approach might be a better fit for your brand.
You can also copy/paste written content from your influencer in this modified Instagram Takeover approach.
For example, National Geographic used pre-recorded videos with the help of photographer Charlie Hamilton James. Together, they built content that gave followers a more in-depth look into life in remote parts of the world.
Even though Charlie recorded and edited his videos, National Geographic was still able to achieve the informality and authenticity of a takeover while protecting their account details.
Think of Instagram Takeovers as Social Media Hosting
When putting together a takeover campaign, think of yourself as a host inviting influencers into your social media “home”.
After setting some ground rules and agreeing to terms, allow your influencers to work their creative magic from the comfort of your social media page. Instagram Takeovers account for some of the most impactful and authentic content online.
Benefits of Using Instagram Takeovers With Influencers
The best part about Instagram Takeovers is that audiences love them.
Audiences expect to see their favorite social media personality post from their own account, but instead, the influencer says, “Over here! I’m behind you posting from [brand] ‘s Instagram account!” Similarly, seeing an influencer temporarily in the driver’s seat of your Instagram account will grab your followers’ attention.
Besides stirring up excitement among current audiences, Instagram Takeovers offer you the following benefits.
You can reach new followers and audiences.
Your influencers’ audiences will flock to your company page. As a result, you’ll get a notable boost in engagement,page likes, and new followers.
Additionally, successful Instagram story takeovers tend to attract users from outside of both your and the influencer’s audience. A takeover campaign can do terrific things for your brand awareness.
Overall, well-executed influencer takeover campaigns catch the attention of consumers. Brands and influencers alike tend to enjoy new and broader audiences in the wake of an Instagram Takeover.
You can create and share new content.
In a takeover campaign, you and your influencers work more closely than in a typical influencer campaign. Influencers posting from your Instagram account serve up a fresh recipe of content that further enhances your brand’s authenticity and relevance.
When an influencer creates their own posts on your Instagram, your organic content showcases more exotic locations, colors, and images. Your brand’s feed hosts more variety, and your brand page stories include content that you may not have been able to produce otherwise.
You will increase engagement.
Audience engagement happens – not on someone else’s page – but on your page.
Instagram Takeovers tend to boost post engagements on your company page by several percentage points. They are especially useful for increasing subscriptions, sales, event sign-ups, and survey responses.
Because takeover content deviates from the norm, audiences feel excitement and urgency to act sooner rather than later.
After seeing their favorite social media personality post on a brand’s page, consumers will engage your brand page directly. Those same consumers will feel more inclined to explore your company bio and click the link to your website.
The quality of engagement in an Instagram Takeover shortens the time it takes for consumers to follow your page, visit your site, and learn more about your brand’s mission.
How to Run a Successful Instagram Takeover with Influencers
Like any marketing plan, proper planning and execution ensure your success. If you are thinking seriously about launching an Instagram Takeover for the first time, here are five steps to get your takeover campaign underway.
Step 1: Outline and define your goals.
The first step is to establish what you hope to accomplish.
Your goals should be specific such as increased sales, user-generated content, or web traffic. It’s also okay to identify more than one campaign goal. From your goals, you can establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you track success.
Step 2: Make an event out of your Instagram takeover.
Decide how long you want your takeover campaign to last, as well as when it occurs.
Create a plan for sharing these takeover posts and stories. Inform critical employees, partners, and customers of the upcoming takeover event.
The goal is to create momentum early on and create as much organic hype as you can. Making an event out of your takeover campaign will generate a higher ROI.
In a recent Brands Working Remote Talking Influencers webinar, Organifi discussed using Instagram Takeovers to promote product giveaways and contests. Converting a campaign into an event gives the content more impact among audience members.
Step 3: Select your influencers.
Takeover campaigns are ideal for long-term influencer relationships. Instagram Takeovers work best when you and your influencer have done what is necessary to build trust with one another.
In the Organifi example above, the influencer marketing team uses long-term influencers – or brand ambassadors – for their takeover campaigns.
Besides being able to trust the influencer with whom you’re partnering, having experience working together will make it easier for you to nail down campaign logistics. Your collaborative tenure will keep miscommunication to a minimum.
Step 4: Create a campaign guide.
Much like in an Influencer Campaign Brief, be sure to discuss expectations, objectives, the type of posts your influencer will create, as well as the voice/tone of those posts.
Creating guidelines for your influencers is essential for making sure that your takeover does not violate company policies while maintaining the company vision. Even in an Instagram Takeover, your influencers should uphold the professional standards your brand has established online. Inform your influencers of those standards before launching the takeover campaign.
Your brand campaign guidelines should also direct your influencers carefully with examples of posts you’d like to mimic or tactics that have been successful for you in the past.
Put your campaign guide in written format so that you and your influencer can refer to it as often as necessary.
Step 5: Make your Instagram Takeover posts trackable.
You must be able to track campaign performance. Understanding how well a post is performing allows you to identify what works and what doesn’t.
Tags and hashtags are common ways to track takeover posts. You will also want to create links and/or promo codes unique to the influencer or post. That way, you can track engagement, ongoing user-generated content, page views, and sales originating from the takeover post.
Using an influencer automation platform like GRIN will generate these links and tracking tools for you. You can also quickly locate posts and allow the software to calculate engagement metrics automatically.
Conclusion: Expand Your Audience and Increase Engagement with Authentic Media Using Influencer Instagram Takeovers
Incorporating Instagram Takeovers into your influencer marketing mix will not only boost engagement directly on your company page, but it will also increase the authenticity of your social media presence.
As with any marketing approach, experimentation and data drive results. The more experience you gain in customizing the takeover approach to your brand and audience, the more effective it will be.
Finally, Instagram Takeovers are fun. Your audience will enjoy the fresh content, and you and your influencers will grow closer through the experience. The deeper relationship will foster more freedom and creativity in future influencer marketing campaigns.
This article originally appeared in the Grin.co blog and has been published here with permission.