Instagram Takeovers – Everything You Need to Know to Rock It!

Instagram Makeover Marketing Tips for Virtual Assistants by Emily Reagan PR

Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant Who Actually Does the Work

Whether you’re brand new to the digital marketing world or you’ve been around the block for a bit as a unicorn VA, you need to add Instagram takeovers to your client toolbox! And you’re in the right spot because I’m about to unload all of my latest tips for you. Grab a chair and get ready to take some notes!

I recently assisted with an Instagram takeover, and I had so much fun working with my client to plan out engaging content and execute the takeover. Generally, I enjoy playing with Instagram stories and nerding out on the numbers, but it’s really fun when I see tangible results and new followers coming in!

Now I want to help you be a unicorn virtual assistant who kicks booty at helping YOUR clients with Instagram!!!

So first things, first:

What is an Instagram Takeover?

It’s a promotional tactic to grow followers and especially convert active IG users from one account to another. Typically two people with similar sized Instagram accounts, “takeover” each other’s account with fresh content for several days.

The beauty of an Instagram takeover: it attracts the engaged and active Instagram followers from one pool and converts to followers for another account. Both accounts can grow their following by being introduced to authentic new fans. If done right, it can improve your client’s audience engagement rate for the long-term. It’s a much better tactic than the follow-unfollow game or paying for foreign followers. It brings legit followers from a new pool of fans that are genuinely interested in your content and niche topics.

It can also give a business owner a small break from the regular Instagram grind, while providing fun content for his/her IG audience. Win-win!

Yeah confetti celebration for Instagram Takeover by Emily Reagan PR

I some have valuable Instagram takeover tips to share with you! Keep these in mind when you are interviewing for a Instagram VA position or already have clients and want to come to the next staff meeting with hot new marketing tactics.

8 Things Digital Media Virtual Assistant (VA) can do to help with Instagram Takeovers:

1. Document the followers

Stupid obvious right? But take a screen shot of the takeover account’s current followers. It’s easy to forget and in case you don’t get access to the final stats, you can at least see how many new followers the account gained.

2. Document the profile insights BEFORE

This is important for you to start sharing your client’s content. I take screenshots of the profile insights (Mainly the “Activity”: Profile Visits, Reach and Impressions). This will show the engagement rates and information to compare your client’s work with. This will also help you gauge whether your client’s story takeover is effective or going well.

Instagram Insights Data for IG Takeover by Emily Reagan PR

*Note: The IG Stats can be a week delayed so try to get two sets weekly of data if you happen to get access to both.

3. Document the most recent Stories Insights

Again, on the account that your client is taking over, take a peek at the stats for the most recent stories. Pay attention to Interactions, Link Clicks, Profile Visits and Impressions. This will help set the bar for you and your client and know what to expect. Hopefully you are helping takeover an account that already has a great engagement rate. Take a peek at what stories get the most interactions, and be prepared to implement those same call-to-action tactics. If not, it can be more challenging to get the audience to interact, but that can also be fun!

4. Hashtag Research

Save both your client’s and your own TIME. Do the hashtag research ahead of time and have your hashtag bank ready to go so it can be copied and pasted into feed posts and stories.

*Note: Feed posts can have 30 hashtags and story cards can have 10.

? Unicorn VA Tip: If the takeover spans a few days, I suggest having a hashtag just for the takeover so fans can follow and not miss stories. And here’s my secret tip for hiding those hashtags in IG stories:

5. Tag your client in EVERY SINGLE VIDEO CARD.

It gets oh-so-monotonous and time consuming but this is how you will maximize your client’s content and get profile clicks. Not every Instagram follower will make it through the story so having that option to follow the client early on is CRUCIAL. Use text tags or sticker tags.

Plus you can go back and share these stories later on in your client’s account if they are tagged.

6. Archive as You Go

Get your client’s efforts to live on and archive the stories into one highlight button in the takeover account. Ask the takeover account to keep it up a week or two. Worst thing they can do is, delete it. But if you coordinate it beforehand, both parties will appreciate the effort it takes to do this.

7. Evaluate Interactions

While the takeover is in progress, closely follow the takeover account’s story interactions to see what is working. What is getting clicks and tags? What is getting exits? Give your clients the feedback and ideas on the call-to-actions that work. Your client can work backward with content that feeds into successful and varied call to action: polls, quizzes, follows, swipes.

8. After: Action Report

Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3, but this time with your client’s data. The nerd in me loves to look at the stats afterward and see what worked. I look at every single story and post and grab screenshots. I let my client know any information I can extract from it. Obviously the most important data is how many new subscribers she gained. And numbers to show if it was worth it!

*Note: Those profile stats can be a week delayed so you want to keep access to the takeover account until those become available.


Take all the video stories and make an IGTV episode for your client for anyone who missed it. Make sure you tag the takeover account so they want to work with you again, use it to showcase the companies’ brands and takeover accounts for future collaborations. (Just don’t forget to save the videos!!! ) Don’t forget to use my IGTV design tips and you’ll be ready to roll. You’ll look like a GENIUS!!!

The Takeaway to Instagram Takeovers for VA’s

If you read this article before your first takeover assist, you will be ahead of the game. Kudos to you! You’re going to rock it with this knowledge!!! If it’s your first takeover, my best advice is to fake the confidence. Seriously. Have fun with it. If you already know Instagram and how to engage audiences, then you can do this! It’s tad scary to be on a takeover account. I’m always fearful of screwing things up. Documenting those starting numbers is crucial, and if you forget you will look like a rookie. If you know the things to do, you can get the job helping clients online.

I have tons more advice for takeovers and all other things digital media marketing, so please follow me on facebook or instagram, and subscribe to my blog. I don’t want you to miss out on insight and tactics for digital marketing virtual assistants that will put you ahead of the game.

Where to Get Started Online

If you want to help clients with Instagram, but you’ve never done it, my VA Crash Course is the place to be. I have an entire module dedicated to teaching you must-knows about using Instagram for business. Grab a spot on my waitlist now because the course only opens a few times a years. You’ll also learn other topics that a stellar VA needs to know to get hired!

Not sure if Instagram is the best place for you to focus right now? No problem, because I have a list of 10 different virtual job tasks for you right here. Go check it out to get started in the online space, and I’ll let you in on exactly what clients need right now. They’re coming to me asking for help for these specific tasks, and if you get those skills, you’ll be ready to jump right in with clients of your own.

See you on Instagram!

-Emily, Digital Media Consultant (and Virtual Assistant …)

I help smart women learn the in-demand digital marketing strategies and tech skills to get hired as a unicorn virtual assistant.

Connect with Me!

Did you know? I have a Facebook community for digital media VAs. Come join us! –>

Want to learn the skills to become an in-demand Digital Media VA?

For anyone who is thinking about taking my Digital Media VA Crash Course, please get on the waitlist. You’ll be among the first to know when doors are open again (which will be soon! )

Further Reading:

The #1 Thing You Can Do To Help Your Client On YouTube

But I’m Not A Graphic Designer…

Five Retargeted Facebook Ads and Designs

Design Elements You’re Probably Not Thinking About With IGTV

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Meet Emily

Emily Reagan is a jill-of-all trades when it comes to digital marketing and techie skills. She’s worked as a behind-the-scenes digital marketing implementor and strategist for a decade for online biz owner clients.

She’s a mom of four, Air Force wife, and founder of the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School, where she teaches smart women the in-demand, highly-coveted digital marketing skills to get flexible, online work.

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