← Back to Blog
Instagram, Marketing

How To Run a Successful Instagram Stories Takeover

Hosting an Instagram Stories takeover is one of the easiest ways to organically reach new followers and build your brand on Instagram.

And the best part? They’re a win-win collaboration for both brands and influencers.

If you’re thinking about running an Instagram Stories takeover, but you aren’t sure how to do it, this post will teach you everything from how to choose a partner to how to measure the success of your Instagram Stories takeover!

Instagram Stories Takeover

How Do Instagram Stories Takeovers Work?

Instagram Stories takeovers typically involve a person or brand temporarily “taking over” your Instagram account to give followers a look inside your company or products from a new perspective.

As a business owner, you have two options: you can partner with an influencer to have them take over your account, or you can partner with another business and take over their account.

So why do these Instagram Stories takeovers work so well?

Let’s say that an influencer with a large following takes over your account for the day, sharing a ton of great content that aligns with your brand. This is a big win-win for both the influencer and your business! While your influencer guest host will gain exposure to your audience (and likely some new followers), your business will also have access to your host’s following by inviting them to tune into the takeover on their Instagram account!

To create hype around a new product launch, Glossier often invites beauty bloggers to takeover their Instagram Stories to show off their skincare routine. For example, beauty blogger Namvo recently shared her “glow tips” on the brand’s account:


The goal of an Instagram Stories takeover is to bring a new voice to your Instagram account, so don’t be afraid to give your host some creative freedom! You want to make sure the partnership feels authentic while still staying true to your brand.

Ready to step up your Instagram Stories strategy? Watch our free Instagram training course, on how to Use Instagram Stories for business!


How to Run a Successful Instagram Stories Takeover

There are a ton of different ways you can run your Instagram Stories takeover, but regardless of the format, you’ll want to make sure to create a unique experience for your audience!

Here are a few of the more popular styles of Instagram Stories takeover:

  • Share a day in the life: Give your followers a sneak peak into your host’s life for a day. If you choose an influencer to take over your Instagram Stories, just make sure their lifestyle aligns with your brand.

For example, if your business sells hair products, partner with a beauty blogger who can show off their morning routine, touch-ups throughout the day, and products they use before heading out for a night on the town.

The easy to-go makeup brand, Nudestix features guest influencers to takeover their Instagram Stories account nearly every week, showing off their morning makeup routine with a link to shop their products:


  • Host a Q&A: Hosting a Q&A is a great way to engage with your audience and help educate them on your brand! Businesses can ask followers to submit questions ahead of time, either on a post or by responding to your story. Just make sure to remind them to tune in for the answers!
  • Take your audience behind-the-scenes: Your followers are much more likely to convert into loyal fans when they have a clear view of what your company is all about. By bringing more transparency to your business with Instagram Stories, you’ll have the opportunity to build deeper connections and trustworthiness with your audience.
  • Capture an event: Booked guest list? No problem! Take to Instagram Stories and bring your followers along from the comfort of their own home.

This year, Who What Wear’s senior editor, Gina Marinelli invited the brand’s audience to follow along on their trip to New York Fashion Week:

Whatever type of takeover you choose to run, make sure to keep your followers engaged and clicking through for more! Here are some more tips on how to run successful Instagram Stories takeover:

Set Goals For Your Instagram Stories Takeover

Setting clear goals and expectations will help you make sure your Instagram Stories takeover runs without a hitch.

Your business and host should settle on an agreement before the takeover takes place. Set clear goals about what your business wants to accomplish with the Instagram Stories takeover, what points to cover, and any topics to avoid.

A document clearly outlining your guidelines should be shared with your host ahead of time and signed off on before the takeover goes live. Your host should also be able to provide you with a rough outline of their plan so there are no surprises along the way. It’s important to have all the details sorted out in writing so both you and your guest host can reference them later on. If  you’re discussing your Instagram Stories takeover guidelines over the phone or in-person, send a quick recap email outlining the details following your meeting.

If you’ve hosted a successful Instagram Stories takeover in the past, share it with your new host! You can easily upload the takeover story to YouTube (this is also a great way to repurpose your content!) and send them the link. 

Create a List of Posting Guidelines

While your host should have the freedom to share their personality and creativity on your account, make sure to clearly define your posting guidelines before getting started. What topics are important to cover? How often should your host be posting? Are there any hashtags or handles to include? These are the kinds of questions you need to answer beforehand.  

You’ll also want to create a rough timeline for your Instagram Stories takeover, outlining the intro, topics to focus on throughout the story, and how to sign off.

Your Instagram Stories takeover should also include both an intro and exit slide. Begin your story by introducing the guest host, including their Instagram handle, background, and what your followers can expect to gain from watching the takeover. Your guest host should also let followers know once the takeover has ended and thank them for following along!

It’s important that your host shares content that aligns with your brand, while also having the freedom to share their own experience and expertise. Trust that they know what they’re doing — you chose them for a reason after all!

Choosing the Right Host for Your Instagram Stories Takeover

Speaking of, choosing the right host is key to running a successful Instagram Stories takeover. Once your company has a clear set of objectives in mind, it will become much easier to determine which host is right for your takeover.

It’s important that your business chooses a strong storyteller who is already sharing great content on their own channel.

Choosing an Instagram influencer to host your account is a great way to increase your brand exposure by tapping into their audience. You’ll also earn some “social cred” by getting the stamp of approval from an expert in your industry.

Another great option is choosing someone within your company to show off a behind-the-scenes look at your business. For example, you can give your followers a tour of the office, a quick product tutorial, introduce team members, or simply show off your company’s day-to-day.

To promote the launch of the brand’s highly coveted planners, Bando’s team took to the company’s Instagram account to show off their new product:


The Bando team shared the new planners on their Instagram Stories takeover with the hashtag #MyBandoPlanner, talking about all its fun new features and inspiration behind the design. By giving their audience a sneak peak from the brains behind the new products, they were able to show off their brand’s personality and give customers an in-depth look at what’s inside. Remember, your team members know your company best — don’t forget to tap into their knowledge and love for your brand!

Spread the Word: Promoting Your Instagram Stories Takeover

You need to let your followers know about your Instagram Stories takeover before it happens. Otherwise, you run the very real risk of no one tuning in!

Announce the upcoming takeover on Instagram Stories and your feed, and make sure to ask your guest Instagrammer to do the same! Instagram Stories takeovers are a great opportunity to tap into a niche audience and bring followers over from your host’s account and it’s vital that they promote it as much as you do.

For example, Glow Juicery introduced their host Laura Poburan in an Instagram post, letting followers know what they can expect by tuning in:


Your business can also spread the word across your other social media accounts! Use your Instagram Stories takeover as a way to entice follower’s from other platforms to check out your Instagram as well.

Posting Your Instagram Stories Takeover

Typically there are two different options for sharing content for an Instagram Stories takeover — your host can either post directly to your account or share the content they create with you beforehand.

Although it may initially feel scary to hand over the keys to your account (temporarily, of course), don’t be afraid to embrace the expertise and influence of a seasoned content creator to provide your audience with a unique perspective.

However, if your company has strict posting policies or branding guidelines, it may be best to have your host send over their content before the takeover.

The most common method to collect content for your Instagram takeover is via email, Dropbox, or text message. But you can also use Later’s Contributor’s feature to seamlessly collect content from your community.

Contributors lets your brand ambassadors and influencers quickly submit content to your Later account through the email address: [companyname]@submit.media. The photos are delivered to your Later inbox and can be downloaded directly to your phone when it’s time to post.

This process is super helpful when it comes to managing content and collecting the photos for your takeover!

Repurposing Your Instagram Stories Takeover Content

Sharing your Instagram Stories takeover once it’s ended is just as important as the takeover itself, and one of the best places to do this is Instagram Stories Highlights.

Posting your takeover to highlights is a great way to keep your takeover content “active” once your story has ended. You should also let your audience know where they can find it in case they missed it in your story.

You can also upload your Instagram Stories takeover to your other social networks. For example, Later’s takeover with photographer Jeff Mindell has received over 22K views on YouTube since the original takeover went live!

This is why you’ll want to make sure to give your audiences access to these valuable pieces of content and continue promoting outside Instagram Stories’ 24-hour limit.

Tracking Your Success with Instagram Stories Analytics

Testing different types of Instagram Stories takeovers can help you identify trends, monitor “wins,” and help you create a fine-tuned takeover strategy that truly resonates with your audience.

To learn more about tracking your Instagram Stories takeover success, check out our post Instagram Stories Analytics: Every Metric You Need to Know!

While Instagram Stories analytics provides you with the data, it’s up to you to keep testing and tweaking your content strategy! And as with all of your social media marketing efforts, performance data should be measured to see what drove the best results (and why), and then used to inform how you run future takeovers.

With the proper planning, running your own Instagram Stories takeover can give you a leg up on the competition and help you step up your social media marketing strategy this year!

Written By

Lexie Carbone

Lexie is a content marketer at Later. She’s helped dozens of brands build their social presence and take their content strategy to the next level. You can connect with her on Instagram @lexiecarbone.