With almost half a billion daily users, Instagram Stories provide plenty of opportunities to promote your business or brand. From behind the scenes videos and product demonstrations to Q'n'A sessions and new product teasers, there are many fun and creative ways to make the most of Instagram Stories and incorporate this feature into your Instagram marketing strategy. Takeovers are also among them.
An Instagram Stories takeover allows you to engage your existing followers and introduce your brand to a whole new audience. Teaming up with an Instagram celebrity for 24 hours is a great way to grow your followers and reach audiences that may be interested in your brand but haven’t yet heard about it.
What Is an Instagram Stories Takeover?
As you may already know, an Instagram Stories takeover involves another Instagram user taking over your account for a short period of time, usually 24 hours. Unlike regular Instagram takeovers where another user takes control of your whole profile, Stories takeovers – as their name suggests – only apply to Instagram Stories. The person you choose will create their own stories according to a plan you agree upon ahead of the event and post them to your Instagram account so that your followers can see them.
There are many ways to approach your Stories takeover creatively. The person you choose to run your account for the day can answer your followers’ questions, post short videos from an interesting location, or do a series of stories where they will give followers a glimpse into their everyday life and the role your brand plays in it. They can also take the audience behind the scenes of some event you’re organizing and/or they are taking part in or go on a day-long trip around town and report from each of their stops.
Due to the ephemeral nature of Instagram Stories, this type of takeover is very time-sensitive. All stories posted on Instagram disappear exactly 24 hours after they’ve been posted, giving your followers just a day to see them. It is thus important not only to approach the takeover creatively but also to make sure that your followers, as well as the followers of the star of your takeover, tune in on the day of the event.
How to Run a Successful Stories Takeover
If you are preparing to host your first Instagram Stories takeover, the following five tips should help you make the most of this unique marketing opportunity.
1. Set the Goals for Your Takeover
Though they can be fun and exciting, Stories takeovers are primarily part of your social media marketing efforts. You should thus treat your upcoming takeover as you would any other marketing campaign and set your goals for it first. That way, you will know exactly what you want to achieve from the event.
Do you want to use this takeover to engage your followers? Are you looking to grab the attention of new audiences that your previous campaigns failed to reach? Perhaps you’re launching a new product and need a bit of star power to promote it? Whatever the case, to ensure the success of your takeover, you need to set a clear target (or several of them) that you want to reach by hosting the event.
2. Determine Your Budget
After you have set your goals, you also need to determine your budget. Consider how much you are expecting to benefit from running the takeover and set your budget accordingly. There is no rule as to how much a Stories takeover should cost, but you will probably have to pay a few thousand dollars.
Just like you’re not in this for the sheer fun of it all, neither is the person you choose to host the takeover. Depending on the number and quality of their followers, Instagram influencers can charge anywhere between a few hundred to a thousand dollars for a single post. Add to that the cost of transport and accommodation (if you want them to report from a specific location, that is) and you’ll get an approximate cost of your upcoming Stories takeover.
3. Find the Right Partner for Your Brand
Speaking of influencers, it is very important that you find the right partner to run this takeover with. On the one hand, the person you choose needs to align with your brand image and the values it stands for. The host of your Stories takeover should be someone your followers will respond to well, but also someone who is popular with the audiences that aren’t following you yet but that you want to reach.
You also have to keep your goals and your budget in mind when choosing your takeover partner. If you’re running a small business or brand, a micro-influencer (someone with 10,000 followers) in your niche will do just fine and probably won’t charge you too much. However, if you have set your goals much higher, you will have to find an influencer with a much larger following and pay accordingly.
4. Create Guidelines for the Event
After you have enlisted the help of an influencer of your choice, you should talk to them to develop a strategy for your Stories takeover. Share your goals and expectations with your partner and have a short brainstorming session to see what each of you has in mind as far as the event is concerned.
There are some things that you should plan ahead, including how many stories you will release during the takeover and how you will schedule them to achieve optimal engagement. Make sure to include your host in the planning and to leave them enough room and freedom to express themselves creatively.
5. Promote Your Takeover
Once you’ve planned everything, you have to promote your takeover and make sure that people will actually show up for the event. Both you and your guest host should announce it to your Instagram followers via Instagram Stories. You should both also post it to your feeds so that even those followers who don’t follow Stories but are interested in what either of you has to say can tune in.
Don’t forget to promote your Stories takeover on all your social media accounts, not just on Instagram. Invite your Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat followers to your takeover and let them know what they’ll be missing if they fail to show up. If you do a good job, they’ll come to Instagram for your takeover and stay for the high-quality original content that you regularly post on your profile.
The Final Word
Running a 24-hour Instagram Stories takeover is a great way to engage your followers and introduce your brand to new audiences. Many brands are adding Stories takeovers to their social media marketing strategy and you should do it, too. With the right choice of guest host, careful planning, and effective promotion, a well-organized takeover can help you convert one-time visitors into lifelong followers.