We are all well aware of Instagram’s domination since entering the social media sphere in 2012. In fact – I’m sure most of you reading this right now have been guilty of one too many hours scrolling on Instagram.
But, it is needless to say, the utilisation of influencers as an Instagram marketing tool has proven itself to be incredibly effective.
Now more than ever, influencer marketing is a vital way to grow your business with the simultaneous fall of brick-and-mortar stores and rise of digital following COVID-19. Not to mention, the introduction of Instagram’s ‘shop’ in 2020 has introduced skyrocketing potential for engagement and conversion from influencer content than ever before.
Notably, influencer marketing comes in many forms, including; paid posts, giveaways, reviews, ‘ambassadors’ and the topic of this blog – influencer Instagram takeovers. So, let’s explore why takeovers will drive marketing success for your brand.
So, why use instagram takeovers?
1. Your Brand Controls the Content
Influencer takeovers can be either a;
- semi-account takeover; produced by the influencer and posted by your brand; OR;
- full takeover; involving the influencer logging in to your brands Instagram to post
A semi-account takeover grants your brand full control over what is posted and when it is posted. Influencer takeovers give you control over the content schedule, and while regular promotional posts may include a timing brief, posts on your brands page allow for last minute changes and increased flexibility on your content schedule. This is ideal to accommodate for consumer demands, trends and any impacts on influencer reputation (e.g. Nadia Bartel…) to maximise the potential of the takeover.
A semi-account takeover also enables your brand to curate and edit influencer content to further align with the brands values and Instagram ‘vibe’. This may be as simple as putting the final filter on posts, captioning to your communicative standards or including the relevant tags and formalities to keep consistency in your content.
What about option 2? Well, if your brand opts for a full takeover, your brand still has the ability to prepare a brief which outlines the format, colours, objectives of the takeover as well as the time that the influencer is entitled to be logged in to the brand Instagram. This brief will allow your brand to control the content, and allows for inappropriate content to be easily be removed when compared to posts on the influencers page.
2. An Opportunity to Engage with the Influencer’s Followers
Influencer takeovers also allow your brand to expand and grow its following by attracting the influencer’s audience to your brand page.
More specifically, it is likely your brand and the chosen influencer share an audience – this is the reason you chose the influencer! These shared interests or values pose a perfect opportunity to build your following of likeminded consumers interested in your products.
Why is this beneficial?
These takeovers allow you to target the growth of your audience through the selection of the influencer. This can be used alongside audience analysis to determine the optimal influencers to utilise to experience growth in followers and engagement.
Notably, a takeover is advantageous to grow both your brand and the influencer’s following, incentivising the influencers to view the takeover as a networking opportunity as much as a job.
The new consumers are also learning about your brand from an influencer they likely trust, arriving at your page with positive thoughts and wanting to know more.
3. Build Brand Affinity
Curating influencers for an Instagram takeover allows you to create or reinforce a message about your brand.
Brand affinity relates to the consumers who share personal values with your brand, and will feel connected to your brand in one way or another.
Collaborating with influencers that align to your brand values will cement the values to the consumers.
But how do influencer’s build brand affinity?
Well, an influencer takeover can be particularly advantageous to attract the desired audience to your brand’s Instagram.
For example; if your brand is a sustainable conscious, eco-friendly beauty brand, think influencer’s who advocate sustainability to their followers – particularly those with credibility in their beauty recommendations. By aligning the influencer values to the brand values, you enhance and strengthen the underlying values and objectives of your brand.
Remember, it is essential to choose your influencer’s with brand affinity in mind, as this can work for or against you!
4. Track and Measure Engagement
Instagram takeovers are simply that, a takeover on your own Instagram page.
Because content is posted on your Instagram page, you have the ability to track and measure engagement, and set goals to measure the success of the takeover.
The metrics you may choose will depend on the type of takeover you are hosting;
Post Promoting a Product
You may want to consider the conversion rate (number of sales over the number of visits), the website traffic (number of people who viewed your website as a result of the post) as well as impressions (total number of people who saw your content) and reach (number of unique people that saw your content) as a way to record the success of a takeover promotion post.
This will depend on the story content, but often these posts also involve product promotion, lifestyle videos or question and answers. While promotional stories may also involve measuring conversion or ‘swipe up’ links, other lifestyle content may be more relevant to consumer engagement. You might want to measure the story engagement, including the number of reactions, responses and shares to track the success of the story.
While this is a relatively new approach to influencer takeovers, live videos are a unique way for the influencer to directly interact with your audience. Live videos consist of tutorials or a ‘question and answer’ with the audience. The number of comments, viewers and ‘hearts’ could be used to set goals for live video success.
Whilst paid posts to influencers often retrieve metrics to be shared with your brand, posts on your brand’s Instagram page allows for direct comparisons to other posts and takeovers – allowing for reliable and comparable metric analysis.
5. Share Content New and Exciting to Your Brand
Takeovers on your brand’s Instagram are the perfect opportunity to diversify your ‘grid’ or story offerings to spark interest in followers. If your brand regularly posts product images or customer reviews, an influencer takeover could be an incredible way to keep your content interesting and gain understanding about how different content performs on your page.
Influencer content is expected to gain more traction than a regular post, so these posts allow for further analysis into what type of content your audience wants to see, and what engage with.
Not only does this diversify your content – and give a ‘fresh look’ to your page, it also establishes what successful content can look like for your brand. This can be done by developing relevant benchmarks to keep content exciting and unique for your audience.
Key Challenges to Consider + How to Overcome Them
Increased influencer rates; particularly in macro influencers (100k+) and mega influencers (1million+)
Consider micro and nano influencers. Despite having a lower follower count – these influencers often receive higher engagement and are effective to gain loyal customers. Not to mention, they are often more budget friendly!
Extensive time spent managing campaigns; creating a core brief that outlines brand values, formatting and themes will allow for detailed explanations to brief more specific campaigns. This reduces costs and time spent associated with content review due to detailed briefings.