Why you should invest in Instagram Stories

Want to appeal to new audiences? Go partner-hunting on Instagram Stories, says this inveterate publicist. Your point of entry is the “account takeover” via Instagram.

Instagram Stories have only been around for several months, but some good Instagram marketing opportunities have emerged. For starters, consider “account takeovers.”

An “account takeover” is a close collaborative partnership, almost like teaming up with another you, which lets you appear in each other’s stories. Unlike a collaboration on Snapchat (where you must log in to the other person’s account), all you do is send the host account a photo or 10-second video for them to upload. These takeovers are a 50/50 value exchange—a partnership that’s mutually and equally beneficial.

A takeover is the same as getting a cool guest to appear regularly on your podcast or YouTube show. If someone with influence shows up in your domain, their appearance has the same effect as an endorsement.

Here’s how it works

Whether you have an account as a business, as an influencer or just as a PR pro, any takeover will help your brand. From the perspective of the person who hosts the takeover, you introduce someone who brings additional value to your audience.

For the outsider doing the takeover, there’s also high endorsement value. Takeovers are a backdoor access to new demographics: You tap into an audience that another has already built.

For example, if you own a catering company and you have a friend who’s a wedding planner, you can show off your food styling on her account. All her clients (who are probably interested in your services) can see your work there. The people who follow her for wedding tips get your expertise.

The marketing side

Marketers,: Take advantage of Instagram’s value exchange because it’s an easy way to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness. This opportunity reminds me of Twitter’s early days, when influential users and brand-builders would spend hours engaging with their audience. It’s an opportunity to delve into new demographics, too.

If you start doing Instagram Story takeovers, approach them from a Thank You Economy standpoint. Find the right audience and provide value. Story takeovers deepen relationships, garner exposure and raise awareness.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a CEO, entrepreneur, investor, speaker and best-selling author. A version of this story originally appeared on his blog.

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