How to Run an Amazing Instagram Takeover Campaign that Drives Sales in 6 Simple Steps

Are you looking for a new way to generate traffic, leads, and sales on Instagram? While Instagram Takeovers aren’t exactly new, there are many new exciting growth hacks and techniques to skyrocket your Instagram takeover campaign’s ROI.

Before we get started, for any of those late to the Instagram marketing game, you’re never too late to benefit from it’s 500 million daily active users, 90% of which follow a business! Let’s cover some Instagram takeover basics, such as: what is an Instagram takeover? Different types of Instagram takeovers, and how to do an Instagram takeover. 

What is an Instagram Takeover? 

Instagram Takeovers come in a few different shapes and sizes. 

In a nutshell, you are giving someone (usually an influencer or someone with a decent-sized following for your target market) the keys to your IG account usually for 24 hours or less for cross-promotion purposes. 


By hiring a popular influencer in your industry niche, you are tapping into that person’s following to greatly increase your engagement, brand awareness, and conversions — but you have to do it right. 

The best Instagram takeovers are mutually beneficial. It’s good to have someone running your account that is motivated beyond the fee you agree to pay. 

This can be a person, a brand, an influencer, or even one of your employees! It just depends on your goals. 


Increase social media ROI through instant engagement, audience monetization, and time saving tools for creators, coaches, influencers and social media managers. Activate InstaChamp superpowers for Instagram and Facebook for free this week!

Different Types of Instagram Takeovers

As I had mentioned earlier, depending on your goals, you might want an employee to takeover your company’s Instagram account for the day. Which is an amazingly authentic way to add personality build brand awareness via a VIP behind-the-scenes look at your operations. But what if you are trying to generate leads or mass brand awareness? 

There are two basic types of Instagram takeovers for you to choose from. And then we’ll dig into some of the best types of Instagram Story takeovers next.

We repeat, always choose to include IG Stories in your Instagram takeover campaigns.

  1. Full account takeover – this is the traditional method, tried and true. However, some people are leery of it (there are ways to protect your account, such as backup files and of course, legal contracts). 
  1. Semi account takeover – this is when your guest does your Instagram Takeover campaign in advance and sends you the photos and captions to share on their behalf. This option is going to require more management and labor for your team. Whereas, the full takeover is practically “set it and forget it” after the initial strategizing and collaboration. 

Some of the most effective types of Instagram Story Takeovers to choose from:

1. Daily Vlog 

Have your Instagram takeover guest(s) share a day of their adventures and travels with both of your audiences. 

2. Educational

Be a resource for your audience, and offer helpful information by hosting an expert in your industry or in your niche. 

You can have them host a Q&A session in your Stories. 

Not only is it incredibly engaging and a great resource for your audience, but it builds your brand credibility and authority.

49% of customers depend on influencer recommendations, and by simply associating your brand with an influencer takeover — you’re earning trust, which is everything these days. 

3. Behind the Scenes

Perhaps you’re gearing up for a product launch or book release, or maybe it’s time to unveil your brand’s newest award or employee. Brands like Sprout Social and HubSpot have done a fantastic job with this as an employee Instagram takeover template to utilize. 

Whatever is happening at your office, warehouse, factory, or kitchen is of high-interest to your customers. Believe it or not, they want to get to know you better… the real you, not the polished and advertised you.

There is no better place to do this than with an employee or team member Instagram Stories takeover campaign. 

Hubspot is a great example for this. Check out #humansofhubspot for a sample.

As well as #hubspotemployeetakeover for some Instagram takeover ideas:

4. Events 

Are you headed to the next big industry conference? Or perhaps taking a vacation or team-building event? Share each step of the journey with your following!

This is an easy opportunity to get active on Instagram Stories without hiring external help. However, if you’re looking to grow your following, why not have an influencer takeover and represent your brand? They can take your following along for the ride to a big event. 

How To Do An Instagram Takeover

The best way to approach an Instagram takeover is to define your goals at the very beginning when it’s still in the idea stage. 

Otherwise, you’re liable to become “influenced” by your hired influencer. Whereas, you want to maintain some control and direction over the takeover to meet your KPIs and goals. 

Some potential goals might be:

  • Grow your overall following.
  • Drive targeted traffic or leads to your social pages or website.
  • Boost sales with a promo code as an Instagram Story takeover. 

Next, decide which method is best for you. The traditional takeover, a highly engaging Instagram Story Takeover, or some combination between the two — but you don’t have to take my word for it:

“Instagram Story Takeovers are a backdoor approach to accessing new demographics.”

– Gary Vee

Instagram Stories are wildly popular, with 500 million daily active users every day. Pair that with marketing agencies reporting 2-3X more engagement with IG stories than other forms of social media… It’s a good place to focus your takeover campaign. 

Unicorn Instagram Takeover Growth Tip: Never waste an opportunity to have an Instagram Takeover campaign include some action with Stories. Not only is it your most engaged audience segment, but there are tons of other organic Instagram growth hacks available to your guest within IG Stories

After you’ve defined your goals, narrow down your options and choose your takeover guest!

1. How to Find and Hire the Best Instagram Takeover Guest 

This step is going to be a bit subjective depending on your industry niche. However, there are a few golden rules to follow for the best Instagram takeover results. 

If you’re going to go the “behind-the-scenes” route and select an employee, consider choosing a team member with good humor. The life of the watercooler parties, if you will. 

For just about any other purpose, you will want to run an influencer takeover in your respective target niche. 

An influencer is someone who has a large following that is highly engaged on social media. 

There are over 500,000 influencers on Instagram in various industries, and 49% of customers depend on influencer recommendations. 

Naturally you’ll want to choose the influencer with the most clout for your industry, so how do find and choose them? 

A great place to start is your favorite or most effective hashtags. Let’s say you’re a dog toy company, such as Kong.

Instagram takeover

I would venture to guess that you’d be thinking about influencers who can recommend your dog toy products to a happily engaged audience. Perhaps a popular dog trainer or whisperer or Insta would be the perfect win/win fit. 

The next step, in this example of DIY Instagram influencer marketing research, you’re going to want to find some popular hashtags for dog trainers.


Choose a post with lots of engagement and find out who is behind it. Often, you’ll find an influencer that falls into one of these categories:

  • Nano-influencers (500 to 5,000 followers)
  • Micro-influencers (1,000 to 10,000 followers) 
  • Power influencers (30,000 to 500,000 followers)
  • Mega-influencers or celebrities (over 5 million followers) 

You can expect to pay a higher premium for the larger followings. It becomes much more competitive to find a 50/50 value proposition with a mega-influencer. But perhaps your company has something to offer that they’d benefit from. 

A great strategy is to go more local or micro, in different ways. You can choose less common hashtags during your research and find someone who regularly posts to your target audience and garners some engagement. 

This is especially important if your customers tend to be regional or local, and at that point you can be using location hashtags and location stickers in your Instagram takeover stories. 

Check out our blog post on Instagram influencer marketing to learn more about how to determine a quality influencer to hire for your Instagram takeover campaigns. 

In our Kong dog toys example, we hypothetically selected the post with the two golden retrievers based on the high view count and comments. 

instagram takeovers

And upon further inspection, after clicking the poster’s profile link, we discover that @tao_my_winky is a fantastic option for a power influencer with just over 50k followers.

how to do a instagram takeover

Not only that, but the cuteness factor is huge in Instagram marketing — who doesn’t love an adorable blind dog and it’s fluffy seeing eye cohort? The story and imagery is highly engaging and the authentic and cute nature of this has viral potential written all over it. 

I think Kong owes us for this research. 

Now look at this… this influencer is already partnering with dog treat companies! Double-whammy! 

instagram takeover

Clearly, @tao_mr_winky is open to collaborating with businesses. And now it is time for Kong’s marketing team to contact this influencer via DM from their business account. 

Just for fun, to get away from dog toys and treats for a moment, here is an example of a successful Instagram takeover. You could use this or any other successful takeover as an Instagram takeover template to follow. 

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City took to social with a new angle during their closure at the onset of the pandemic in 2020. They had Tim the social media-inept Security Guard takeover their accounts. 

Tim’s goofy posts would spell out words like “Hashtag” and other awkward but delightful social media fails. This was Tim’s first social media post: 

“My team and I will also continue to protect and monitor the museum and grounds. Thanks, Tim We are required to smile in our official photos. Send.”

– Tim, Head of Security for The Cowboy Museum. 

If you missed this in 2020, it’s worth revisiting for a good laugh, or some lighthearted and fun Instagram takeover ideas. Perhaps you have a “Tim” of your own to feature as an employee Instagram takeover? 

2. Choose Your Instagram Takeover Format and Timing

As I mentioned earlier, an Instagram takeover can take many forms. Such as during an event, which could last days or weeks. 

However, the most common Instagram takeover lasts for one full 24 hr time period. 

Unicorn Instagram Takeover Growth Tip: Choose your highest engagement day for your social media takeover. Find your best time to post on Instagram with the handy infographic below. 

instagram takeover

The darker colored time slots are globally the best times to post for engagement, according to Sprout Social. The worst day to post is Sunday, so whatever you do, don’t voluntarily have your takeover land on a Sunday. 

You can also host your Instagram takeover guest for just a few hours, it doesn’t have to be an entire day. It’s up to you to decide what will meet your goals. 

In-feed vs. Instagram Stories Takeover – this may be a difficult choice, but I suggest combining the two for the best of both worlds. 💥

Develop your plan to have your guest include a few in-feed posts as well as IG Stories. Perhaps lean heavier on Stories since we know they have the most engagement (and growth hacking opportunities! Keep reading…).

Instagram Stories Takeover Growth Hack Tip #1: Ask your guest or influencer to add a link to Instagram Stories with a CTA to drive massive traffic to your web or social pages.  

Bonus Tip: Create a highlights reel on your profile after the Instagram takeover has finished so your audience can revisit and you can recapitalize and repurpose the content down the road. 

social media takeover

3. Create an Engaging Content Plan

You will definitely want to brainstorm some content ideas beforehand with your influencer or guest. Take a look at their most popular posts, and try to recreate a winning photo/caption combo. 

Perhaps you want them to feature a certain product, so be sure to send them the product in advance. Ask them to do an Instagram takeover post announcement to their followers on their own account. This helps to build awareness and anticipation. 

Instagram Stories Takeover Growth Hack Tip #2: Set up an Instagram Comment Auto-Responder and utilize it with your takeover posts to boost your Instagram takeover campaign’s visibility and engagement. 

instagram takeover

4. Create an Instagram Takeover Hashtag

This is more of a social media takeover best practice than a required step. But if you want a successful Instagram takeover, it is wise to take advantage of the power of Instagram hashtags. 

This will make your takeover easily searchable and simple to find for your guest’s followers or anyone interested in following the takeover. 

Develop a hashtag that is short and simple. Don’t get too wordy, and keep it relevant to your guest and takeover audience. Follow our list of hashtag marketing best practices for a guaranteed increase in reach and engagement.

Hashtags always help boost engagement and they can be used within Instagram Stories as well. If you are considering regularly hosting takeover events, whether it’s internal with your employees or external with celebrities, you could use a broad hashtag like #TakeoverTuesday. 

5. Schedule Your Instagram Takeover and Spread the Word! 

Once you’ve decided on a date, and be sure to do this early for your guest to have time to self-promote it. Get out there and pound the digital pavement!

This is where you put your social media marketing into high gear. Both your guest and your company should make at least one official announcement post. 

Don’t stop there, keep building the momentum by regular mentioning the upcoming takeover in your captions and Insta Stories. Ask your guest to do the same!

Instagram Story Takeover Growth Hack Tip #3: Use explosive Instagram tools by asking your Instagram takeover guest to prompt followers in IG Stories to mention or DM you with an answer to a question or other CTA. Then, take advantage of the recent API updates by signing up for MobileMonkey to autorespond to Story mentions and DMs. 🚀

instagram takeover

6. Set Some Guidelines for Your Instagram Takeover

This is where you protect your interests from an unwieldy influencer. Nobody wants to accidentally post a photo of Bam Margera’s rear end on their company’s feed… or do they? (Skateboard companies are nodding their heads). 

So what are some Instagram Story takeover guidelines and best practices? 

  • Set expectations in writing, it doesn’t have to be a legal contract per se. But just make sure you and your takeover guest are on the same page. 
  • Include any trackable links or hashtags you’d like your guest to be sure to utilize during the takeover. 
  • If you want prepared content, be sure to specify that you plan to publish the takeover content yourself. However, giving your guest account access will allow them more creativity with off-the-cuff Stories. It is also necessary for a live Q&A if that is in your plan. 
  • Photo shooting specs, such as lighting, style, background, music, etc. Do their posts need to be within your branding guidelines or are you okay with the influencer’s own style?
  • Delivery timeline on files and preferred file formats and collaboration tools. Will you utilize Google Drive, zip files, .png’s, is there a specific resolution you’d like? 
  • Would you like them to include GIFs, videos, or only static images or graphics? Make sure this is all clear up front. 
  • Any disclosures or confidentiality notices and agreements. 

Of course the safest route is to ask your influencer or guest to send over all of the assets in advance. Then let your social media team handle publishing. 

But, there are situations where giving the influencer your credentials and full access will be necessary. Such as a live Stories Q&A etc. 

Just remember to change your password when your takeover campaign concludes. 

Bonus Tip: Always measure your results and report back to your guest or influencer, and decide if you were able to achieve your KPIs. If not, perhaps you can develop a new plan with solutions for your next takeover campaign with that guest or a new guest.

Keep Growing When the Instagram Takeover Campaign is Over With MobileMonkey Instagram Growth Tools

Did you find the Instagram Stories Growth Hack Tips 🥚 sprinkled throughout the article? Here they are again, in summary, with a grand finale growth tip at the end:

Takeover Growth Hack Tip #1: Have your influencer or guest add a CTA with a link in your Stories (and theirs!) to drive insane traffic to your site! 

Growth Hack Tip #2: Set up an Instagram Comment Auto-Responder with MobileMonkey and utilize it with your takeover posts to scrape a massive list of targeted leads and boost your engagement and followers! 

Growth Hack Tip #3: Take advantage of the new MobileMonkey 100%-Approved Instagram Tools by asking your Instagram takeover guest to prompt for mentions or DMs and use a DM autoresponder to walk them through your sales funnel!🔥

Create an Automated Instagram Lead Gen Funnel with One Simple Tool 

With MobileMonkey Instagram Tools you can quickly and easily create a fully-functioning and automated lead gen funnel. You should definitely set this up before your Instagram takeover campaign begins in order to scrape lead contact info during the takeover. 

How does it work? 

First, sign up for MobileMonkey (it’s still free! Depending on when you are reading this… a little bird told me the Free Forever Edition will soon retire, but you can get grandfathered in right now!)

Utilize one of MobileMonkey’s simple chat widgets and have your takeover guest incentivize engagement with a keyword. 

instagram takeover

Every time someone comments on your post with the keyword, in the above example “Inbox”, your MobileMonkey Comment Autoresponder will send a DM.

You can then keep track of all of the emails and contact information you’ve captured in one easy to use inbox. 

MobileMonkey is your catch-all Messaging tool that collects all of your Instagram and Facebook DMs, mentions, SMS, and Web Page messages in one convenient place! 

media takeover

Still not sure? Take it for ride! Click here for an example of a real life automated Instagram DM Drip Campaign.


Increase social media ROI through instant engagement, audience monetization, and time saving tools for creators, coaches, influencers and social media managers. Activate InstaChamp superpowers for Instagram and Facebook for free this week!

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