You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your Instagram marketing program. You’ve carefully curated your feed and slowly grown your community of followers. An Instagram takeover might be a great next step to increase the impact of your Instagram account.
Instagram takeovers involve allowing another person or brand to post to your Instagram account, giving your followers original content from a fresh perspective. This is one of the easiest, most authentic, and least expensive forms of influencer marketing.
Are you launching a new licensed product line with a celebrity name? Are you hosting a workshop with a popular designer or instructor? Are you aware of a maker or artist who is using your product in an innovative way? Invite them to take over your Instagram account to showcase your product and their work.
Let’s take a look at the 6 steps to a successful IG takeover.
Step 1: Define your goals
What results do you expect from your IG takeover? How will you measure your success? Defining your goals up front will inform the rest of the decisions you make along the way.
An Instagram takeover can help you achieve the following:
- Increased brand awareness – measured by growth in number of followers, number of views, or number of mentions on other channels.
- Increased community engagement – measured by number of interactions, such as likes, comments, or re-posts.
- Promotion of a product or event – measured by traffic directed to your website, additions to your email list, sales of the featured product, or attendance at the event.
Step 2: Select and recruit your takeover guest
Ideally, your guest will have a sizeable Instagram following of their own which reflects your target audience. They will have a persona and aesthetic that align with your brand. They should be someone you trust to engage with your audience on your behalf.
Create a short-list of potential guests by listing designers, bloggers, and makers whose work you know and admire. These can be people you’ve worked with in the past, or those you’ve admired from a distance.
Then, dig a little deeper. Take a look at their Instagram feed. See how many followers they have. How do they interact with their community? Are their followers actively engaged? Do they respond to comments in a kind and professional way? Check their Facebook and Twitter feeds as well. If their social media presence reflects personal or political beliefs, are you comfortable associating those viewpoints with your brand?
Once you’ve vetted your potential guest, reach out with your takeover pitch. A brief email or direct message asking if they are interested in partnering with you for an Instagram takeover should be enough to get the conversation started.
Will you need to pay your guest? Unless you’re talking about a bonafide celebrity with hundreds of thousands of followers, probably not. Remember, this should be a win for everybody. You are giving your guest access to an entirely new audience, and vice versa.
Step 3: Lay out the logistics
Work with your guest to create a document spelling out all the details of the takeover. Make this a collaborative process, especially if you’re working with an influencer who has more Instagram experience and success than you do. Take advantage of their expertise, while staying true to your brand.
Here are some things to include:
- Date(s) and duration of the takeover – will it last a week? A day?
- What kind of posts will be included in the takeover? Photos with captions? Stories? Live video?
- How many posts, and on what sort of schedule?
- What will be the content of these posts? Project inspiration? Product reviews? Design process? Day-in-the-life? Is every post required to specifically highlight your product?
- What product will you provide in advance of the takeover, and when?
- Is anything off-limits for these posts? Are you comfortable with your guest mentioning a competitor’s product by name? Is it ok if a competitor’s product is shown in photos along with yours?
- What hashtags will be used on these posts? Consider using a branded hashtag specific to the takeover to help you measure results.
- Will you give your guest your IG login credentials for a complete takeover, or would you rather have them send the content for you to post? If you are handing over your password for a complete takeover, do you want to approve the posts in advance? Don’t forget to set a reminder to change your password once the takeover is complete.
- How will the takeover be promoted, by both you and your guest?
Step 4: Promote the takeover
Begin building buzz about the takeover about a week before it starts. Both you and your guest should promote the takeover via Instagram.
Don’t forget your other social media channels with this promotion. You may have followers on Facebook and Twitter who don’t already follow you on Instagram. Bring them on board with your takeover.
Step 5: Execute the takeover
Begin the takeover with a post introducing your guest to your community.
Make sure your guest has your login information, or that they’ve sent you all the content and you’ve scheduled the posts.
Monitor the comments on the takeover posts. Even if your guest has agreed to respond to comments, keep an eye on both the posts and the comments so you can gauge the reaction of your community and make corrections mid-stream if necessary.
Let your followers know when the takeover is complete with a post thanking your guest.
Step 6: Evaluate your results
Did you achieve your goals? Did you see a spike in traffic, or did your numbers stay pretty much the same?
Look beyond the metrics of followers and engagement. Did your community express a positive reaction to the takeover? Did you learn anything about your brand through this process? Are you eager to do it again?
Sandi Rosner writes for Stitchcraft Marketing, a niche agency specializing in social media for crafty companies. Stitchcraft Marketing can help you plan and execute a great Instagram takeover. Contact Leanne@stitchcraftmarketing.com to learn how we can help you grow your craft business.