Instagram How To...

How to Plan, Prepare, and Host an Instagram Takeover in 7 Simple Steps

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Curious to learn how an Instagram takeover is planned and implemented? You’ve landed in the right place.

This article contains essential knowledge on how to prepare and host your first Instagram takeover.

What is an Instagram takeover?

An Instagram takeover is a creative marketing tactic in which an influencer, celebrity, or relevant person posts and interacts from your social media account.

Essentially, you hand over your account credentials to a host of your choosing. Then you step back temporarily (for a few hours or a few days), and you let the magic unfold. Ideally, your host will bring a fresh outlook and, hopefully, more followers to your profile.  

To have traction, Instagram takeovers are usually hosted by influencers or celebrities with a substantial number of followers.

However, depending on what you’re after, you can also give the ‘key’ of your Instagram kingdom to a team-member, a relevant voice from your community, or a nano-influencer.

Why go through the trouble of doing an Instagram takeover

There are countless reasons for doing an Instagram takeover. Here’s how your business or brand can benefit:

Reach new followers

By putting a host in charge of running the show on your account, you’ll tap into their audience as well as your usual followers. Influencers and celebrities can help you expand your reach in an authentic, non-intrusive, and creative manner. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to reach a niche or market segment that’s hard to tackle. 

Boost engagement

Through its disruptive nature, an Instagram takeover is a unique event that will grab people’s attention. Fear of mission out or pure-and-simple curiosity can be an excellent incentive for people to tune in for your takeover and be more involved than usual. The best news, though? This piqued interest will translate into more likes, comments, and even shares.

Get social proof

83% of Instagrammers say they use the platform to discover new products. That’s excellent news for you, since more than 90% of these Instagrammers base their choices of their favourite influencers’ recommendations. 

By hitching your wagon to an influencer’s authority, you’ll get the social proof you need to win the trust of new audiences and deepen the connection with your current following.

Freshen up your content mix

Shaking things up from time to time is a great way to rekindle the interest of your audiences. Instagram takeovers are great opportunities for testing new content ideas or formats you’ve been thinking of for a while. You can also be bold and try things you wouldn’t otherwise think of trying. By lending your account to the voice of an influencer, you inherently gain the liberty of exploring new approaches.

7 steps to a successful Instagram Takeover

1. Set your objectives

Never start anything without setting an exact goal list — make this your golden rule, and you’ll be halfway closer to success. Establishing your expectations on what you aim to achieve with an Instagram takeover will guide the rest of your efforts. So, what are your goals?

Do you want to grow your audience, promote a new product, boost engagement during a live event, or maybe launch an upcoming campaign?

By being as precise as possible with your goals, you’ll also figure out what type of host would be appropriate or what kinds of content formats would work best.

2. Choose your Instagram takeover host wisely

Your host should match your brand’s personality and have an audience you’d like to tap into. They should also be known for creating the type of content that would align with your goals. Before setting your mind on any particular influencer or celebrity, research thoroughly.

Make a shortlist with your favourite hosts-to-be and weight in the pros and cons of working with each. Consider their popularity, but pay more attention to whether or not they are a great fit for your brand. Then, review their posts, stories, and engagements rates to grasp their style and professionalism. 

If you want even more insight into their compatibility with your brand, look at what other companies they’ve worked with in the past. Make sure they haven’t worked with direct competitors, as you wouldn’t want to associate with hosts that jump from one brand to another in a short period of time.

3. Create a comprehensive brief for your host

To ensure there are no hiccups along the way and that you enjoy a seamless collaboration with your host, discuss expectations for both sides. 

Having everything in writing will save you tons of trouble. That being said, create a document (aka brief) in which you include the essential details of the takeover, from goals to length, creative outputs, and logistics.

In your brief, you should include the takeover’s goals and a few metrics that will be used to assess the campaign’s success. You should also outline a set of guidelines for posts, stories, and comments, giving examples of dos and dont’s. 

Here’s where an Instagram style guide might come in handy. While you want to encourage your host to keep their originality, you also have to make sure the new content will easily incorporate your brand aesthetics.

Get down to the nitty-gritty details by mentioning how many posts you expect and how many stories or reels. And, in case you wish to have live or interactive features, dedicate a separate section in your brief to discuss these. 

4. Create the most important assets in advance

If posting in real-time is not essential, avoid logistical chaos by preparing your takeover assets in advance. Once you agree with your host on what the length, topic and format of your takeover will be, discuss a convenient logistic timeline.

Give your host the needed creative freedom to create unique, fresh, and exciting content. Remember that one of the reasons you’re doing a takeover is to reach a new audience with the help of an expert they trust. So trust them as well.

Once your host shares the assets with you, check whether or not the posts/stories/reels blend with your aesthetics. You can use Preppr’s feed planner to make sure everything fits. 

And, in case it doesn’t, don’t worry. Give your host constructive feedback and specific arguments regarding what could be tweaked visually or from a caption standpoint. You can even recommend some great editing tools or content creation apps.

5. Promote your takeover 

To make the most of your Instagram takeover, you want to get people excited with some time in advance. Building enthusiasm and igniting curiosity will get people to keep an eye on your account. 

To promote your takeover, you should create a couple of strong visual assets and, most importantly, a branded hashtag. Not only will a hashtag help followers find your takeover content more easily, but it will also drive more engagement. 

Instagram takeiver promo

With your assets and branded hashtag prepared, let everybody know that things are about to go down! With a few days before your Instagram takeover, spread the news on every social media account you own. The more places you announce the takeover on, the better. 

Make sure that your host also spreads the news on their accounts and that they rally up their followers — branded hashtag included.

6. Make it happen

If you go through steps 1 to 5 without skipping anything, you’ll be good to go! Give your Instagram credentials (login details) to your host and let the fun begin.  

At this point, your host will takeover your account and start interacting on your behalf. Of course, some of the planned takeover content might have already been scheduled with a tool such as Preppr

Instagram takeover kick-off

However, since an Instagram takeover can also be connected to a live event or imply responding to comments and interacting with followers, having your host at the wheel of your account is necessary. 

Just enjoy the ride.

7. Measure your impact

So how did it go? We hope it was all you’d wish for and more. But don’t let wishful thinking guide your strategy. Check your metrics before you celebrate your success. 

Based on the goals you set at the beginning, look into the relevant Instagram analytics and insights that can tell you what went great and what went south. 

Preppr your Instagram takeover

Help your Instagram takeover efforts take flight by scheduling your content in advance with Preppr. 

Our platform will help you make sure the takeover aesthetics aligns with your brand style, and that you post every piece of content at the best possible time.

Try Preppr for 10 days, free of charge. You’ll never want to leave posts unpreppred again. 

Start your 10-day Free Trial

Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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