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Social Media Marketing Tips: Instagram Takeovers


IG Takeovers

This October marks 10 years since the launch of Instagram, the popular photo and video sharing platform that is now owned by Facebook. As of July 2020, the platform reports to have around one billion monthly active users, making it a key platform in social media marketing strategies for many brands and organizations. Understanding how to use Instagram, and specialized platform features such as Stories, is critical for reaching target audiences and catching consumers attention in an oversaturated social media landscape.

One creative way to utilize Instagram and the platform's Stories feature is by producing an Instagram Takeover.

Who uses Instagram?

  • The majority of Instagram users fall between the ages of 18-24 with a relatively even split between male and female users.
  • The highest concentration of users are from the United States followed by India and Brazil.
  • Instagram is the second most popular social media app for daily use coming in behind Facebook. This means the majority of users log in to the platform at least once per day.
  • Daily users browse the app for an average of 53 minutes per day.
@WVUIMC Instagram Story

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories follow a similar format to Snapchat's Stories feature where a user can post short "snap shots" of their day, life or personality that are only available for 24 hours before they vanish. In 2020, Stories now have the capabilities to host live video feeds, have engagement features such as a "Question" and "Poll" option, Boomerang features and the ability to share content from other accounts and external platforms like music from Spotify.

While Stories are still built to only last for 24 hours, they can now be archived to a user's page as a Highlight. Overtime users can continuously add to profile Highlights via the Stories feature.

What is an Instagram Takeover?

An Instagram takeover is a social media event where a unique, guest user takes control of a brand's or organization's Instagram for an allotted amount of time. During this temporary time of access for posting content, guest users are instructed to post content to either the Instagram feed, Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, Instagram Live or a combination of these features.

Most brands utilize Instagram Takeover's to add content to their Stories and archive it to their profile Highlights for users to view later.

What brands use Instagram Takeovers?

Glossier: The popular makeup brand has utilize Instagram Story takeovers for partner and influencer collaborations. One successful example is the brand bringing in West-Bourne cafe founder Camilla Marcus to create recipes inspired by Glossier products and share them via a series of Glossier Instagram Stories. This collaboration was effective because of the similar missions of Glossier and West-Bourne for simplicity, sustainability and their appeal to millennial and Gen Z audiences.

Instagram Takeovers

National Geographic: National Geographic is one of the most followed accounts on Instagram. The brand frequently uses the Instagram Stories feature to share behind the scenes footage of photoshoots and exploration exhibitions. National Geographic also frequently uses the Stories feature to allow photographers and other nature experts to showcase their work and travels. One takeover by photographer Chris Hamilton Jones showcased behind the scenes footage and shots of a series he created on isolated people living in the Amazon. What was great about this takeover is that the clips were pre-recorded and captioned to aid in accessibility and allow those who watch the majority of videos with their sound off to understand what was happening.

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Meet the Author

Emily Zekonis

Emily Zekonis
Acquisitions Manager at Oliver and Barney

Emily is formarly a Marketing and Events Graduate Service Assistant for the Marketing Communications Online Programs through the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is currently the Acquisitions Manager at Oliver and Marketing Manager at Barney. She is an alumna of WVU's M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and has been working in marketing for over 3 years.

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