Collaborating with influencers in the way of an Instagram story takeover is a great way to filter their followers onto your feed and in turn convert them into followers of your own. However, takeovers aren’t as simple as sharing your login details, and in fact require a significant amount of strategy and management.

What is an Instagram Story Takeover?

Instagram takeovers are by no means a new practice, but where they’re still in their nursing years, brand’s and agencies continue to learn and develop findings surround it every day. In a takeover in the let’s say the ‘traditional’ sense, brands arrange for individuals to post regularly on their main feed during a set amount of time (during a day or event, for example).

A story takeover differs slightly and is even newer (with stories launching at the end of last year). Story takeovers involve an individual taking over the account posts only on the ‘story’ – not on the feed. The brand’s followers will therefore need to select the ‘story’ bubble at the top of the page to see this content, and this will automatically disappear after 24 hours.

A brand will partner with an influencer to serve a variety of purposes, for example pushing a product or service, creating buzz around a launch or event, or hosting live Q&As. The influencer generally infuses their style and stamp into the posts.

#1: Find an on-brand influencer

An Instagram story takeover means partnering with another person (or brand). This individual will then generate content to post to your account directly or share with you for final execution. The person you therefore choose for this takeover will inevitably have a significant impact on the type of content that is presented in the story.

For example, an employee is ideal for showing a day in the life at your company. A happy customer can share a story about your product or service. Content creators and artists can tell a unique story that reflects their voice and aesthetic.

Once you have an idea of the type of person you want to target for this takeover, spend time to examine their Instagram bios and websites to get a deeper sense of their community, tone and previous collaborations they’ve been involved in, as well as to gather their preferred method of contact and idea of rates.

When it comes to making contact with potential influencers, come prepared with a budget in mind as most influencers with 20,000+ followers will require payment for this often time consuming marketing practice.

#2: Clarify terms for the takeover

The beauty of an Instagram story takeover is that it brings new, exciting and readily engaged voices to your account. Ensure that you give the person doing the takeover freedom to express themselves, but also make them aware of any parameters for this takeover beforehand. For example, you might ask them to avoid certain terms or dressing in a particularly opposing brand.

You’ll also want to have an agreement on the quantity of posts that the takeover will entail, whether it’s as broad as “all day”, or more number specific. The more clarity, the smoother the takeover.

#3: Find a tool for story execution

Once you’ve confirmed the influencer, fees and parameters of the takeover, you need to decide how you will execute this on the day.

To be on the safe side, it’s not advisable to give out your account password unless you personally know the influencer quite well. Instead, plan and collaborate on content using a tool like Trello or dropbox or using the Instagram management tool Planoly, which allows you to coordinate posts and approve prior to ‘go live’.

#4: Develop a plan for promotion

Seeing as you’re working in a digitally forward remit, the strong likelihood is that you’ll be working with a digitally savvy influencer. Collab with your influencer to create a promotion plan to benefit from maximum exposure to this takeover by promoting off both your channels and cross promoting via other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as well.

On the day of your Instagram story takeover, be on hand to respond to any messages that come in prior to, during or after the takeover. Alternatively, write into your agreement that the influencer will manage these. All engagement should be interacted with in order to strengthen your positioning as a brand in terms of takeovers and allow communicate to your audience that you are a valuable network to engage with when these stories take place.

Instagram story takeovers are a victorious blend of masterful content, fun interaction, and a new way to grow your Instagram account. Charm your followers with a guest that they will learn from and enjoy engaging with, and the benefits will come to both you as the brand and to your loyal followers.

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