Instagram influencers come in all shapes in sizes. From the massive accounts with over a hundred million fans to the micro-influencers who post to a few thousand followers, influencers on Instagram are vital to the platform’s rich tapestry of content.
Many influencers focus on specific niches, whether it’s globetrotting or sharing the latest memes. Though content is varied and diverse, there are a few common types of influencers on Instagram. These influencers have tapped major audiences and areas of interest on the platform and are using it to create effective, innovative content. Here are the six most popular types of influencers who are defining the Instagram content universe.
The biggest celebrities on Instagram don’t necessarily post within a single niche, but rely on their public persona, personality, and personal life to drive interest and engagement from fans. Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, and The Rock have over 422 million fans between them, and their posts are known for being legendary, sometimes racking up a million or more likes.
From exclusive events and parties to behind-the-scenes content from concerts and film sets, icons are all often the mainstream celebrities that build massive followings on social platforms. Many of them come from the worlds of TV, film, music, and sports, but the best of them use their fanbases to build online followings and then, in turn, use their platforms to better their careers and to communicate with fans.
Instagram focuses heavily on aesthetic, and as an aspirational platform, it’s long been home to some of the most beautiful and arresting travel photography on social media. Enthusiasts on Instagram are looking for something more substantial than vacation photos, though. They’re looking for photos that tell a story and that capture a sense of adventure.
Whether it’s a snowy tundra beneath the Northern Lights or the view from the trail at the bottom of the Grand Canyon at dawn, travelers and adventurers who take stunning photos in the course of their excursions often find large audiences who follow, like, and share their work. Adventure and travel Instagrammers and photographers like Chris Burkard have gone on to write books and make films, and many successful Instagram photographers find their way to high-paying commercial work through increased exposure on the platform.
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As it adds more features and content opportunities, Instagram becomes a more powerful platform for stepping outside of the narrow box that once included only square photographs. Now, using videos, Stories, galleries, and Boomerangs, a new type of influencer has joined the fray. Chefs, DIY experts, life hackers, and fix-it fiends have found ways to use Instagram to share tips, tricks, and tutorials on everything from peach tarts to floating pool coolers.
Some of these influencers may also have YouTube channels and blogs for more in-depth content and use Instagram as another method for sharing and making themselves discoverable to new audiences. As Instagram continues to improve and add new features, these expert influencers will likely find more ways to innovate content and change the way that they teach and communicate with audiences.
The gurus are like instructors in that many of them share tips and how-tos with audiences, but they’re not explicitly instructional, and most of them cover very specialized topics. Beauty influencers typically cover makeup and skincare routines and products, providing followers with tutorials on things like how to contour or get the perfect smokey eye. Fitness influencers may share workout routines and tips with followers, including proper kettle bell techniques and plank challenges.
????♀️ My Full Body Pregnancy Workout!?? – This is what I did and I have clearance from my Doc to do so. If you are pregnant I suggest you also get clearance from your doc to perform exercise. X . – It was tough getting back into it and my hips, glutes and pelvis area were a little sore after – I’m assuming it’s my ligaments softening! Or the fact I’ve had some time off training. I took it easy as I have literally trained only a couple of times in the past 3 months. I’ve lost a heap of muscle but I know I can get it back later so I’m not concerned. Having muscle and being lean is not my priority at all right now, being healthy and active when I can for my baby is. . I had a good day with my eating today! ? I managed to eat a vegan salad, had some (cooked) sushi, an organic berry protein shake, 2 oranges ?? (my current obsession) and some rice cakes with butter & veggie spread. This is a lot better than the burgers, fries, cookies & donuts I’ve been eating lately. ???? – I’m feeling a little proud of myself haha! ??? – ??Pregnant ladies, what are your food cravings at the moment and are you working out during your pregnancy? Xx . Outfit: @reebok . @emilyskyefitness . A post shared by Emily Skye – Health & Fitness (@emilyskyefit) on
Not all gurus are instructional, though. Lifestyle and fashion influencers are known for their #goals content that features beautiful clothes, luxury items, and idyllic vacations.
These influencers may specialize further, with lifestyle influencers who focus on their lives living in Brooklyn or West Hollywood or rural Montana. Fashion influencers might hone their focus in on anything from bold patterns to classic staples. Gurus may operate within a few key categories, but they’re many and varied in their content and their specific niches.
Gurus may operate within a few key categories, but they’re many and varied in their content and their specific niches.
Just posted a FULL Brow and Facial Grooming video using the #TweezermanxHudaBeauty Collab products ? I kind of became obsessed and got in a little too deep on my facial grooming routine, but I know the #DELUXEFAM won’t judge! ? These are now available on Tweezerman.com & Sephora.com! If you want these ? tools yourself @Tweezerman and @hudabeauty are working with me on a giveaway! To enter: follow me, @tweezerman, @tweezermanca and @hudabeauty and comment below your go to brow tool *UPDATE!!!*** @tweezerman has announced the winner! congratulations @stinaxoxo_ ?? #ad #TweezermanPartner #HudaBeauty #Tweezerman
Just as the instructors are pushing Instagram content forward, creators are doing more than posting selfies and hiking pics. Zach King, Lele Pons, and more are using Instagram to post photos and videos that go beyond documentation and aspiration and move into art.
Many former Vine stars (like King) have found their way to Instagram and are using the platform as a kind of evolution of the Vine platform. Instagram videos can be longer and influencers have more robust tools and avenues to discovery, but the way they use Instagram is very different from the way that fashion influencers use the platform.
What do you think I was saying underwater?? ??? #magic #instagram #summer #swimming A post shared by Zach King (@zachking) on
With Zach King’s “digital sleight of hand”, pranks, and comedic shorts, creators are innovating the format and making it place for sharing super short films and creations that stand alone and have mass appeal even outside of the context of the influencers themselves.
Entertainers are known for their personalities. YouTube has probably given rise to this type of influencer more than any other platform, but as Instagram introduces more ways to create and share, entertainers are finding new opportunities. They’re often comedic personalities, making jokes or commenting on popular culture (be it films, games, music, etc.) in a humorous way.
A post shared by Lele Pons (@lelepons) on
They aren’t all funny, though. Successful entertainers may also be confessional, known for sharing parts of their lives with followers.
These influencers are personable and make audiences feel like personal friends. They might make let audiences in on their everyday lives and routines, adding unique perspective to feeds, or even make short vlogs through regular Instagram videos or Stories. In fact, a number of these confessional entertainers may have gotten their start on YouTube and now use Instagram as a more casual, immediate way to connect with fans through livestreams, Stories, regular posts, and comments.