Influencer Marketing is growing in popularity. According to a recent study conducted by Lippe Taylor, Influencer Marketing has confirmed ROI potential and is the fastest-growing channel for customer acquisition. A way to spice your social media strategy is to try your hand at an Instagram Stories takeover.
An Instagram Stories takeover is necessarily a form of influencer marketing. Sprout Social likes to say a takeover is “kind of like dipping your toes into the pool but not completely committing to it.” Takeovers are often used to increase brand exposure, give some entertainment to the audience and provide a different perspective and inside look into your brand.
Let’s take a look at a brand that’s doing takeovers correctly, shall we? Justin Timberlake’s band, “The Tennessee Kids” have hopped on the IG Stories takeover train since the start of “The Man of The Woods” Tour. For every show/ city they’re in, members of his band & dancers take over the TNKids Instagram account to give JT fans a behind the scenes look at the tour, how they get ready for each show, and fans also get to learn more about each member. By doing this, the audience feels as if they are part of the whole brand experience which no doubt helps collectively.
More prominent brands such as Target, Starbucks, GQ, The Golden Globes, have also been conducting takeovers. But on a much smaller local scale, you want to be sure you are holding IG takeovers correctly.
This post will walk you through the best steps to running a takeover. Let’s dive in!
Decide on a budget
Despite having been around for well over a decade, the rules of engagement for Influencer Marketing still feel as if they have yet to be written; there are still questions left unanswered, best practices not yet established and an overall pervasive wild west sensibility as many brands and marketers remain confounded.(LippeTaylor.com) When you’re working with “Micro-influencers,” a term for Instagram influencers that have 1,000-10k followers, don’t automatically assume awarding them with free admission, free drinks and food is the way to get them. Time is money, and if you’re looking for them to help your brand succeed, you have to do the same aka compensate correctly. VIA Transit did a fantastic job early 2018 with their budget. They knew they wanted to work with micro-influencers for their Codeathon event. They carved out a budget beforehand and selected only three micro-influencers to work with on the project. By working with influencers, they increased participation for their event from last year’s event by 50%. They also were able to form an intimate partnership with the influencers which helped for future projects.
Decide who’s doing the takeover
Just because you see an influencer who has “10K-20K” followers doesn’t mean they are going to give you a BIG ROI. Nowadays, some influencers purchase followers and have bots that auto like and auto comment. When deciding who you want to take over, always think of this question, “Do they go hand-in-hand with our overall brand mission, core values, and audience?” If you’re feeling risk-averse, start internally with an employee. Test out the waters and work out any issues before moving to outside the company.
This is one of the most important parts of running an Instagram Stories takeover. Creating guidelines should address the expectations around the takeover. How long will it be, how many posts will it entail and what is expected of the person taking over?
When you’re setting up expectations, be sure also to include any brand do’s and don’ts. Be careful in setting too many limitations. The point of a takeover is to have a person’s voice and maybe content speak from your brand.
Set Up Your Permissions
For Instagram Stories, you’re going to have to give them the password. Create a unique password for the people you trust that will be taking over the account. Once the takeover is done, you may change it back to your primary password, that way the influencer won’t be able to have access after.
Align Your Goals
One thing to keep in mind while you’re envisioning your takeover is to align your goals. Your brand’s goals should match with the takeover person’s goals. It’s a two-way benefit street.
Let’s look at Fiesta San Antonio 2018. Fiesta San Antonio commission was looking to increase brand awareness and brand exposure during the 10-day festival. 8-10 micro-influencers were brought on to highlight each event while also giving their own platforms exposure. Because of the takeovers, Fiesta San Antonio TRIPLED their engagement during the days Fiesta was happening. Each influencers stories had over 50K impressions in a 24-hour period.
(Note* SBG was brought on as a consultant by Fiesta San Antonio to co-lead and organize a team of 10 influencers for an influencer project. I will discuss in a larger SBG Case Study on my client’s page soon as well as, during the May Women in Digital SA Chapter Meet-up.)
Promote Your Takeover to Gain Traction
Once you’ve set the takeover up, it’s time to begin your promotion. Mention in an Instagram post on your feed by tagging the influencer’s handle and letting your audience know the time periods they will be taking over your stories. The influencer should have one opening “intro” post and one closing post. These two bookends will clearly define your takeover time.
Measure Your Analytics
What was the whole point of your takeover? Did you accomplish your goals? The success of this is incomplete without having your metrics tracked before, during and after. Did a lot of people watch the Live video? Was there a lot of engagement on the takeover posts? Did both parties gain some new followers?
In the end, hosting an Instagram takeover should be fun. You bring a fresh look to your accounts, and your takeover guest receives brand exposure. There are so many different ways to host one that it may take some experimentation to figure out which is best for your business.
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About The Social Butterfly Gal: I’m Christina, founder of The Social Butterfly Gal. I’m a online branding consultant, social media expert & community builder. I teach women entrepreneurs online strategies that help confidently grow their businesses. In between the sips of coffee, social media notifications and writing, you will find me living up to my brand name; being a social butterfly; attending various networking and local events around San Antonio, TX.