Update June 2020 — As of May 2020, Instagram has been downloaded more than 1.8 billion times. The photo-sharing platform launched in 2010 and has grown in both popularity and functionality adding video-sharing, Stories (thanks, Snapchat), live streaming, and longer form content (IGTV) capabilities.
Instagram remains hugely popular with social media influencers with many increasing content output on the platform by as much as 50% during COVID-19. Up till now, influencers leveraged Instagram to make money off the platform but a recent announcement revealed that soon influencers will have the ability to make tips (in predetermined amounts – $0.99, $1.99, and $4.99) off their live streams (IG Live).
Influencer marketing leverages the personal connection between social media influencers and their fans and has proved to be largely successful — in 2019 survey, Mediakix determined that 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective and 89% say ROI from influencer marketing is better than or comparable to other marketing channels.
Instagram provides a channel for these online creators to reach fans at scale and jointly, an avenue for brands to advertise products to consumers through influencer partnerships.
Here we’ve compiled the most salient Instagram influencer statistics demonstrating growth, prevalence, and clout of this new class of social celebrity:
1. $1.7 to $2.3 Billion Is Currently Being Spent On Instagram Influencers
A Mediakix study estimated that total spend on Instagram influencers would be $1.7 billion in 2019 and increase to $2.3 billion by the end of 2020. Previously, $800 million was spent in 2017 increasing to $1.3 billion in 2018.
2. There Are Over 15 Million Sponsored Posts On Instagram To Date
A new study found that sponsored posts on Instagram (using the FTC-approved hashtags, #sponsored and #ad) are increasing by 30% each year and totaled over 15.5 million (#ad = 12.3 million and #sponsored = 3.2 million).
As evinced by these two aforementioned studies, partnering with Instagram influencers for sponsored posts have been an effective advertising channel to share products and services with audiences worldwide.
3. Instagram Influencer Rates Range From $50 To $1 Million For A Single Sponsored Post
Across Instagram, influencers come in all different follower counts and tiers. From nano-influencers (influencers with a follower count of 1,000 to 10,000) to mega influencers (over 1 million in followers), each influencer tier has its own pricing for a sponsored post.
Top celebrities and pop stars can command half a million to a million per sponsored posts whereas top models (e.g. Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner) can net up to a few hundred thousand per sponsored post.
Nano- or micro-influencers may start around $50 and/or are compensated with products, freebies, experiences.
4. The Top 50 Instagram Influencers Have 4.2 Billion Followers Combined
When this article was first published (~ September 1, 2017), the top 50 Instagram influencers had a combined follower count of 2.5 billion. Fast forward nearly 3 years later — these top Instagrammers have added nearly 70% more followers to their audiences.
The top 50 Instagram influencers are made up of: 1) Pop stars/music artists, 2) Actors/Actresses, 3) Athletes, 4) Kardashians, 5) Comedians, 6) Internet celebrities, 7) Makeup Artists, and 8) Models.
5. The Kardashians’ Followers Make Up 16% Of The Top 50 Instagram Influencers & Celebrities
Out of the top 50 Instagram influencers and celebrities (including athletes, actors/actresses, pop stars), the collective Kardashian followers (Kylie, Kim, Kendall, Khloe, Kourtney) make up 16% of the above 4.2 billion total.
Whether a fan or not, the Kardashians are arguably some of the original social celebrities influencing cultural tastes, trends, and purchases for audiences beyond Instagram.
6. Sponsored Posts On Instagram Have Grown 30% Year-Over-Year
As marketing with Instagram influencers continually proves to be an effective advertising channel, so have the number of sponsored (#sponsored and/or #ad) posts on Instagram.
In fact, sponsored posts on Instagram have grown steadily to the tune of 30% YoY (year-over-year) since 2017.
7. 89% Of Marketers Report That Instagram Is Most Important To Their Influencer Strategy
In 2019, Mediakix’s Influencer Marketing Industry Benchmark Survey surfaced that nearly 90% of marketers (an overwhelming though not surprising majority) deem Instagram to be the most important social media channel to their influencer strategy.
The rise of influencers initially grew from successful bloggers (mommy and lifestyle) and YouTubers however Instagram’s features, functionality, and high rates of engagement have made it central to influencer marketing.
8. Content Is Up 50% By Instagram Influencers During COVID-19
Coronavirus has impacted life across the globe and influencers are also feeling its effects. While some influencers are opting to detox from social media, many others are taking this time to amp up content as much as 50%.
Influencers are creating goodwill content (content that helps donate or support causes/COVID-19 relief efforts), taking to IGTV to create more “at-home” centric tutorials, and/or sharing their fitness routines/challenges via Stories.
9. Sponsored Posts On Instagram Are Seeing 76% More Likes Amid COVID-19
At the onset of COVID-19, both influencers and advertisers were hesitant to market opting instead to pause or delay campaigns. Shortly thereafter, several brands adapted and launched new marketing campaigns in response or tailored to Coronavirus.
The silver lining? Sponsored influencer posts on Instagram saw an uptick of 76% more likes during this time suggesting that, done well, audiences are both receptive and responsive to influencer advertising during these times.
10. Search Interest Has Grown 3X For “Instagram Influencer” In One Year
According to Google Trends, search interest for “Instagram influencer” tripled between August 2016 and August 2017.
11. 93% Of Top Celebrities On Instagram Don’t Follow FTC Guidelines
A study found that while the top 50 celebrities on Instagram post an average of 58 sponsored posts per year, only 7% of those posts follow FTC guidelines.
As the influencer economy grows and both brands and influencers fail to disclose sponsored posts properly, the FTC has become increasingly stringent on adherence issuing warning letters and ultimately charging individual influencers for breaking disclosure rules.