How to Run an Instagram Story Takeover

An Instagram story takeover is a fun way to introduce yourself to a new audience. It can also allow you to interact with new people and showcase your brand in a new way. Giving your audience a new way to engage with your brand if critical if you want to remain top of mind. Keep reading to find out how an Instagram story takeover can help.

How to Run an Instagram Story Takeover

Getting your business on Instagram can be an intimidating process, but it’s one that is well worth the effort as Instagram continues to grow.

Money is rolling in fast. Credit Suisse analysts estimate that Instagram brought in $570 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2016, which is nearly 10% of Facebook’s overall projected revenue for the period. The app will contribute $3.2 billion to Facebook’s revenue for all of 2016, Credit Suisse predicts. For comparison, Twitter generated $2.2 billion in all of 2015.


Your involvement in an Instagam story takeover just might turn into larger profits too. With so many people using the app every day, you’ll be getting a lot of exposure for your brand.

What’s an Instagram Story Takeover?

Taking over an Instagram story is a little different from taking over an Instagram account. In the past, it’s been easy for someone to take over an Instagram account temporarily for special events to grow an individual’s community and build their brand awareness.

An Instagram story takeover is different in the first place because Instagram story images don’t even appear in your viewer’s newsfeed. They will appear in a special story grid at the top of the screen. Additionally, viewers won’t see the content in an Instagram story unless they go out of their way to click on it.

How to Run an Instagram Story Takeover

A story takeover is extremely time sensitive because this second stream of content will disappear after 24 hours. Therefore, it’s important to plan out when you want to take over an Instagram story for the best results.

You can run an Instagram story takeover with an Instagram influencer to preview a new product or create a buzz for your launch. This is your opportunity to work with your Instagram influencer to infuse their creativity and style into your thought out post. You could even do a quick Q & A session, depending on your target audience.

SEE ALSO: A Cheat Sheet For Working With Social Media Influencers

Instagram Story Takeover Tip #1: Find Someone Who’s Story Aligns with Your Brand

It goes without saying that running an Instagram takeover will mean working with another person or brand. It will be their Instagram account, so more than likely they will create their content, maybe even sharing it with you beforehand. The person you choose will have complete control over how you are portrayed to their audience, so who you choose to work with is a huge decision.

Some examples of people who may be willing to work with you, and put out a great story would be employees, customers, content creators, and artists. Each of these people will be able to highlight a different aspect of your brand, from working with you, shopping with you, to designing for you. It’s all still part of the story of your brand and can be highlighted in their Instagram story.

How to Run an Instagram Story Takeover

No matter who you think you want to work with though, you need to check out their Instagram bio and website first. This will be an easy way to see if your ideas align with their audience. You’ll also get a look at their preferred mode of contact.

If they don’t happen to have provided any contact information, you can still talk to them through Instagram Direct. If you use this type of contact though, you’ll have to let them know in an Instagram post that you’ve messaged them to make sure they know to look for it.

This is a great example of how to reach out to your potential influencer:

Hi [name],

My name is [your name] from [your brand]. I really enjoy your Instagram posts and am impressed by how well you’ve done with [their company name].

I’m reaching out to you because I have a [product or business] that I think your audience would appreciate. Would you be willing to participate in an Instagram story takeover with me? I would also be interested in featuring your company on my Instagram page.

Please let me know if this is something that you’re interested in.

Thanks for your time,

[your name]

Have a Budget in Mind

Just like you don’t want to work for free, they won’t either. Having a budget already in mind is respectful of the time and energy they have devoted to their Instagram followers. Show them that you want to work together instead of having them work for you.

Instagram Story Takeover Tip #2: Clarify the Parameters of Your Takeover

How to Run an Instagram Story Takeover

The goal of an Instagram story takeover is to bring a new voice and style to your Instagram account. This means that you need to give the person you’re working with the ability to express themselves. However, if there are any parameters you want to put on your story, you need to state them right away.

This can be a something as simple as how many times they are allowed to post. Set up your parameters so that they can know if they are allowed to post all day, five times, or just once. Being clear will ensure that your takeover goes smoothly.

Something to consider when planning out your parameters is whether or not you want to swap accounts. This would involve them posting on your account, and you posting on theirs. This is a great way to get dual exposure.

Instagram Story Takeover Tip #3: Find a Tool For Planning and Exchanging the Instagram Story Content

Figuring out how to execute your Instagram stories is the next step after finding someone to work with. Your Instagram stories have to be uploaded within the past 24 hours to your camera roll to be added to your Instagram app.

For your own safety, it’s important to remember not to give out your Instagram passwords to the influencers you work with. This is why you’ll want to find an outside tool for planning and exchanging your Instagram story content. This is just another part of your digital brand management to consider.

Sites like Trello and Dropbox are great neutral ground to meet at and work on your Instagram story takeover. Trello provides organizational tools, like being able to map out your story on a board. Dropbox is a safe space to share documents to upload.

Planoly is another tool that allows you to plan your story within the allotted 24 hour time frame and includes its own tools to order and schedule your post.

This program lets you add more than one person on your account, so you can add your partner or other people important to your brand to it to work on your Instagram story together. This gives you better control over planning your content, both before and after your takeover.

With this program, you can include a post that announces you as a guest, and one that includes answers to questions afterward.

Instagram Story Takeover Tip #4: Develop a Plan for Co-Promotion and Engagement

Planning for your Instagram story takeover means that you should have a smoother running event. This will also make it easier drive traffic from social media to your event. Working together will enable you to ask your influencer to post about the event on their social media accounts as well.

How to Run an Instagram Story Takeover

When the day comes for your takeover, get ready for a few posts to announce your takeover. You’ll also have to be ready to answer any questions or messages that come in for you. Your activity will generate greater engagement which will work towards getting the increase in audience that you’re looking for in your Instagram story takeover.

When thinking over your engagement goals, you can also consider implementing a story take over on other social media platforms.

Smartphones are getting more attention than tv lately, so working with some great Millennial influencers on the various social media platforms can get your brand name out there.

SnapChat is an easy segway after Instagram, in fact, you might even be able to reuse your same Instagram takeover visuals. Plus, they are a fun and creative way to be able to interact with your target audience.

Final Thoughts

Instagram story takeovers introduce fun content, interactions, and a new way to grow your Instagram account audience. Being a guest or swapping accounts will help you to connect with people who are interested in similar brands. Finding the right person to work with though is key. Plus, it’s important to remember to be courteous and lay out all the parameters before getting started. You shouldn’t expect this to be free publicity, but you can expect it to be fun publicity.

What is your main concern with having an influencer takeover your Instagram story?

Written by
Juntae DeLane

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