9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram

Author Carla Rivera

Since its introduction in October 2010, Instagram has grown into a social media staple across the world, boosted further by its subsequent affiliation with Facebook. It’s a place where people have either become overnight celebrities or outright brands thanks to their ever-growing following. Over time, these people and businesses reach a league of their own and were termed "social media influencers" or just " influencers." Each influencer serves as an inspiration for business and brands on how to become reputable through Instagram, becoming an example of self-sustenance.

Who Is a Social Media Influencer?

A social media influencer is a user who has established credibility in a specific industry, has access to a huge audience and can persuade others to act based on their recommendations. An influencer has the tools and authenticity to attract many viewers consistently and can motivate others to expand their social reach. An influencer may be anyone from a blogger to a celebrity to an online entrepreneur. They must simply capitalize on a niche to attain widespread credibility.

Since Instagram's content is easily digested as images or short videos, it encourages more peer-to-peer sharing, which helps brands improve their target audience reach. Their audience isn't limited to their actual followers; they can connect with the followers of their followers who share their content. As a result, they engage in many sponsored posts, allowing them to be paid for what they share on Instagram.

Sponsored posts mainly feature photos, with 76% of sponsored posts done in photo format during 2018's first quarter. The remaining 24% were split between video posts and carousel posts. Instagram influencers can have a significant impact on brand outreach considering influencers garner more social engagement than the advertising brand's account. An influencer can work across various verticals, using both post formats and stories to make a name for him or herself over time. If their content and audience match what you're looking to promote or what your brand promotes, then they might represent a solid marketing tool. Partnering with an influencer opens your business to never-before explored avenues.

As someone who wants to be a successful marketer and social media expert, these are nine names you should consider following on Instagram to inspire your own success.

1. Daily Dose

Daily Dose

With over 1.4 million followers on Instagram, this digital marketing agency is one of the first and biggest motivational accounts on the social medium. Its content features powerful messages that are shared daily, and they tailor posts to everyone from those in the Fortune 500 world to the everyday person just looking to find their way.

Daily Dose founder, Tim Karsliyev, has a reach spanning over 200 million people, a quarter of the total amount of people who use Instagram worldwide. His vision for Daily Dose is to focus on making a difference as opposed to hoping things will change. From pictures to memes to other visual formats, Daily Dose uses a simple yet effective method to relate to Instagram users. The occasional inspiration quote or just a quote, in general, may be something you can adopt. It's a highly shareable and relatable kind of post.

2. Huda Kattan

Huda Kattan

The Oklahoma-born makeup expert is arguably the world’s most influential beauty expert, with a wide-ranging social media outreach. She started as a blogger and has transformed her Instagram page, @hudabeauty, to gain 29 million followers for the makeup tutorials she puts out.

If you're in the makeup and beauty sector, Instagram is the ideal outlet to promote your brand. After all, beauty is largely about appearance and Instagram is about visuals. Her keys to success have been showing off successful makeup applications, establishing makeup trends, sharing reviews, and creating how-to’s. Huda now has her own makeup line, and her page is filled with videos showcasing people applying their makeup, product plugs, occasional fashion advice, and more. Many people are searching for the tips and tutorials she shares, and that's as relatable as you can get and a big reason for her success.

How-to videos and reviews, especially when re-posting or sharing reviews from your followers, can both be informative and entertaining posts to share. 

3. Cameron Dallas

Cameron Dallas

For those who have ever thought about being an internet personality who might secure a TV deal down the line, Cameron Dallas is the guy to follow. Though he was more popular on Vine and YouTube than he is on Instagram, his over 21 million Instagram followers suggest he isn’t doing too shabby there either. His videos range from shorts to song previews as he also dabbles with music. His internet fame even landed him a show on Netflix, Chasing Cameron. His posts have charismatic, personal touches to them, which helps users connect with him. Dallas proves that showing off your personality and interests can gain you a significant fandom.

4. Kayla Itsines

Kayla Itsines

An Australian personal trainer and entrepreneur with just under 10.5 million followers, Itsines posts several workout videos, inspirational messages, and diet tips on her page. Named by Time magazine as one of the Top 30 Most Influential People on the Internet, Itsines creates posts that feature her Bikini Body Guides (BBG), showing herself or other women on the program.

Fitness is an incredibly viable industry to promote on social media as these workout videos and diet options are easy to follow on social media. Also, seeing results on social media can only serve as motivation for your own fitness goals. Use your social media to show how clients have benefited from your products or services.

5. Cooking with Mima

Cooking with Mima

Much like fitness, food is another thing you can easily promote on social media and attract a diverse following. With 2.4 million followers, owner Marian Ezzedine makes her page a one-stop source for easy-to-make recipes, with particular emphasis on healthier food options. From Chili Lime Shrimp to Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps, every dish is presented in an aesthetically-pleasing way to satisfy all tastes and preferences. Her page is well-organized, inviting, and also features recommendations and travel videos for variety.

Though Cooking with Mima is about culinary efforts, the page does have some variation to keep visitors interested. That’s a tip all marketers can follow. Provide the quantity and quality of posts to appeal to a wide range of people, like foodies, who have diverse interests.

6. Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez

The most followed person on Instagram for three years until soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo recently usurped her, Gomez is a phenomenal celebrity influencer. With over 144 million followers, the award-winning singer has often used her social to promote charitable causes such as her initiative against human trafficking and protecting children from violence. Aside from obvious professional plugs, she also posts many personal photos and videos to interact with her huge fan base. It helps to already be famous to become a social media influencer, but she demonstrates that you need to have a raw or personal touch and engage with your followers if you want to do well on Instagram. 

7. Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner has become a powerful influencer thanks to her 118.5 million followers. Being a versatile woman, she flaunts her modelling, socialite status, and makeup empire through her Instagram posts. She also makes good money off sponsored posts too. According to Hopper HQ’s Instagram Rich List, Jenner makes one million dollars per sponsored Instagram post, making her the highest paid Instagram influencer around.

Jenner promotes her own products. She is always seen showing off her newest makeup kits. It can be helpful for your business to show the people behind your brand, using or demonstrating your products.

8. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

As mentioned, no one has a bigger social media following in the world than the Juventus soccer megastar and five-time Ballon d’Or winner. Ronaldo ranks third on that highest paid Instagram influencer list, making  $750,000 per sponsored post. His 145.3 million followers are privy to several of those sponsored posts, including his paid partnerships ranging from Nike to his own underwear line. He also shares various game and training posts as well as family photos. Wherever Ronaldo goes, the world is sure to follow.

One particular thing that Ronaldo does well on Instagram is that he posts often. He keeps his fans committed to his content with regular updates on his life. Keep your followers interested in your content by consistently posting and sharing good content.

9. Zach King

Zach King

Another internet personality and filmmaker who found fame through his vlogs and other videos, Zach King has over 21 million followers thanks to his stories that make people smile. He posts random videos, comedic videos, and other fun visuals. Everything he posts is designed to get you to laugh or smile, making life's stresses easier to contend with.

Zach King is dominating the casual content game. People want to see light-hearted content in their feed. So try sharing the occasional meme or quote that relates to your business but will make your followers smile and maybe even send it to their friends.

Learn from Influencers in your Industry

Each Instagram influencer combines their respective brand awareness with a personal touch and consistent posting to draw users in. To become a successful marketer, you need to be well-rounded on Instagram and learn from the influencers above as well as those leading in your industry.  The Digital Marketing Institute can arm you with the tools to become an industry influencer. Enrol now!

Carla Rivera
Content Marketing Executive