Storytelling in the age of ephemeral content creation has given rise to a new form of interactivity . Capturing content in 10-second increments requires certain expertise, and those that do it well can impact business and communities in a positive light.
As it’s important to produce consistent content, the implementation of takeovers — where someone takes over another brand or person’s Instagram account temporarily to share their content — has become a major part of social media strategy. Takeovers are a win-win because brands can diversify their content with user-generated posts and the hosts can expand reach and gain new followers.
Now anyone, whether they have one hundred or one million followers, can work with companies to create Instagram story takeovers. To make it happen, you can cold email outreach the social team, direct message on Instagram, or fill out a form on the website. Make sure the companies you reach out to align with your brand and message. If approved, you will need to show that you are a strong storyteller and can bring in results.
Here are five tips for creating an effective Instagram story takeover.
Promote Your Takeover
Viewership is key in delivering results. You can promote the takeover in a variety of ways which could include: posting a descriptive photo or video on your Instagram grid, utilizing Instagram Live to share about the upcoming event, direct messaging your followers with a link to the brand’s page, and cross-promoting on social channels like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. An additional way is to put advertising spend behind the Instagram Post so that an audience beyond your followers will know of the takeover.
Go the extra mile and create a branded hashtag so that your takeover is searchable across all social media channels, as well as, within all of the Instagram story content.
Show Your Day
As the adage goes show don’t tell — use this mindset as you take viewers along with you throughout your day. Make sure to introduce yourself properly in the first post with your Instagram handle and background. Provide elements on the takeover that are memorable, which could include: interviews, tips for the audience that prove your expertise, and encouraging the community to ask questions. Lilian Charles, who has done takeovers for brands like Revere and Cyc Fitness notes, “I always start the story off by showing my alarm set for 5am when the hustle begins. It’s so important for me to show the real daily moments on my takeovers and the struggle that isn’t glamorous to entrepreneurship . These harder parts are how, as humans, we connect with one another and strip away the veneer of perfection which Instagram Stories is currently doing.”
Provide A Unique Experience
To stand out in a sea of content — there are 300 million Instagram Stories created daily— go above and beyond to have viewers checking in for more. Ani Acopian, who has worked with brands like Chipotle and Red Bull, was hired by Everlane to fly to Canada and create Instagram story content alongside filmmaker Red Gaskell for three days to test how the Puffer jackets faired in cold weather and to document the experience. “We chose to go to places we knew that their followers would find novel (hidden ice caves and floating bridges) and did it in our own unique filmmaking style (cinematic and quirky). We cut down our three days-worth of photos and videos into a two-day narrative Instagram story for Everlane's channel that was posted to announce the launch of the Puffer jacket.”
Use The Instagram Capabilities
Increase reach and add creativity using the Instagram product features. To gain a larger audience throughout your story add a location tag, up to six hashtags that could include your branded hashtag and popular ones such as #nofilter #instagood, and tag people in your post to make sure they see it. Shrink the hashtags and @ handles as to not clutter your content.
To make the story more fun, add in facial filters for selfie photos and videos, ask viewers to vote in a poll to guide the story along, include emojis, and overall, produce content that is native to Instagram to make the audience connect with you.
As you’ve taken viewers throughout your day and provided entertainment and value, remember to end the story with a strong call-to-action. You can ask the viewers to screenshot the next post and then in that post include your website, handle, or other pertinent information. If you have 10,000 followers and access to the Swipe Up feature, you can include a link that goes to your content.
Since you are working with a company that most likely values success off of qualitative and quantitative metrics, remember to provide them the company with an analysis including the number of screenshots, amount of viewers who watched the story throughout, the questions that were asked, and the increase in new followers.
Overall, content creation and execution can increase the bottom line of companies and brands. If you want to expand your reach and build stronger relationships with a community that is parallel to yours, use Instagram story takeovers as a way to do so.