Instagram has seen dramatic growth in the last year, expanding its feature set and adding over 200 million monthly active users. With the introduction of Stories, a Snapchat-like ephemeral content feature, Instagram has become one of the most important and relevant social media platforms in today’s landscape.
Plenty of creators are on the platform looking to capture the attention of Instagram’s massive user base and usher in their own share of Instagram success. These Instagram influencers amass large followings through compelling content and their ability to connect and engage with their followers. Instagram influencers come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be a key asset for marketers trying to target active audiences.
Influencers on Instagram are creators who share content on Instagram, building communities around topics and niches. Instagram is a visual platform, and as such, visually dynamic content performs best. Content creators covering travel, photography, fashion, beauty, fitness, food, and more find success on Instagram, as do lifestyle influencers and celebrities who share aspects of their personal lives on the platform.
Instagram influencers’ followings range in size from 1,000 or fewer followers to millions or even hundreds of millions, as in the case of top celebrity influencers like Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande. Micro-influencers (influencers with followings in the 1,000 to 100,000 follower range) may not reach as many users as macro-influencers (influencers with 100,000 or more followers), but what they lack in reach they may sometimes make up for in engagement.
Personality and authenticity are central to the success of influencers on Instagram. Though Instagram’s an aspirational platform that’s founded on sharing the most beautiful, perfect, and #goals-worthy moments, users look to creators who share genuine pieces of themselves on the platform and who use it to speak honestly about everything from beauty products to fitness routines.
Instagram influencers have proven deeply effective in reaching engaged audiences through Instagram. Because they build authentic connections with followers and are experts in content that performs, Instagram influencers can help brands communicate with audiences with targeted, tailored messaging. Whether they’re boosting brand awareness, promoting specific products or events, or driving engagement, marketing with Instagram influencers helps brands reach audiences on a platform they already look to for inspiration and recommendations.
As Instagram adds new features and reaches more users, new ways for brands to partner with Instagram influencers arise. Sponsored content is huge on Instagram, and it’s one of the most popular ways in which brands work with influencers. Sponsored content might take the form of product placement or sponsored series and experiences that tag and/or link to brand accounts.
Brands may also work with influencers on sponsored content for Instagram’s Stories or Live features, and some brands may do account takeovers with popular influencers, allowing the influencer to control a brand account and content for a set period of time to drive interest and engagement.
Sponsored content or #SponCon on Instagram is growing all the time, and Mediakix’s careful analysis of posts marked with #ad, #sponsored, and other forms of disclosure found that influencer marketing on Instagram is on track to be a $1 billion industry in 2017, and a $2 billion industry by 2019. That growth brings some pitfalls, though, and improper disclosure of sponsored content according to FTC regulations still plagues Instagram.
Related Post: Marketing With Instagram Influencers: A Brand Guide
1. Alex Lange
With over 1.5 million followers, 16-year-old model Alex Lange is already a leading Instagram influencer, and his many followers keep coming back for his inspiring and uplifting content. He’s leveraged his popularity to secure modeling partnerships with companies like Brandy USA and Subdued.
Kayla Itsines specializes in motivational fitness content, and her ability to connect with fans through routines and a peek inside the ideal #fitspo lifestyle on Instagram has helped her create her own fitness empire, complete with apps, ebooks, and partnerships with Cosmopolitan, Apple, and more.
Chris Burkard has a natural talent for capturing nature and stunning landscapes all over the globe. Scrolling through his Instagram is a stimulating journey to the most beautiful places in the world. Burkard’s partnered with a number of brands on his Instagram channel and has authored several books.
4. Desi Perkins
Desi Perkins is a lifestyle and beauty influencer who specializes in YouTube vlogs and Instagram modeling. She started her career as a freelance makeup artist and later decided to take her talents to online with beauty tips and content where she showcases her unparalleled beauty expertise.
For more information on Instagram Influencers, see our lists of top Instagram accounts to follow, the top Instagram influencers for 2017, and the top 50+ Instagrammers in fitness, fashion, and more.