Top Instagram Influencers - What Makes Them Outstanding
If there is a marketing concept that has proven itself in a very short time, it’s the influencer marketing. It has consistently continued to evolve from an art method of working with social personalities in various social circles to one of intense strategic marketing of larger social audience with more accurate targeting such as the one happening through the top Instagram influencers on various niches.
A study done in 2018 showed that 39% of marketers consider increasing their budget on influencer marketing. The ad-spend according to Business Insider’s Intelligence Report shows that it could get to between $5billion to $ 10 billion by 2022. To better understand this huge growth, here are some details.
What is Influencer Marketing?
This is simply devoting more marketing effort and time on people that have significant impact on your potential audiences’ decisions and opinions. They most likely may not be very popular, they however have this ability to influence how your target audience views and feels about your product or service. So, instead of targeting a general audience, these influencers offer specific targeted audiences that are interested in a particular niche.
For the purpose of this article, an Instagram influencer is a user with the right tools and the authenticity to captivate a consistent (and growing) number of viewers and can easily persuade them through recommendations. Most top Instagram influencers are not even celebrities, rather ordinary people that have built a great following in specific niches, be it business advice, food, inspiration or travel, there is such a wide range of influencers on Instagram that offer their followers unique aspects of various things with top notch content.
Why Is Instagram Influencer Marketing Such a Success?
First of all it’s because Instagram is influencers’ platform of choice. A study by Klear showed that 1 out of 3 Instagram ads was a story, this is boosted by the swipe up feature that allows users to link out from Insta-stories making shareability even easier. With this said, hitting success as an Instagram influencer needs a fierce approach, you have to run your account as part of a larger social media strategy, it involves effectively using all the Instagram tools as you keep up with the trends to retain a robust presence. As an Instagrammer, your efforts go beyond garnering a huge following; it’s about engagement and authenticity.
Here is why Instagram Influencer Marketing is a huge deal:
a. Credibility and Trust
Did you know that over 47% of people use ad-blockers today? Well they do, this is mainly because ads are now considered untrue, irrelevant, annoying and even intrusive. And it’s for this reason that users prefer something that they can believe, something credible like a review from someone who has used whatever product or service they’re looking for. They believe each other more.
b. Greater Reach With More Relevant Content
When you find influencers in the right niches, you’re effectively able to reach to your target audience better. When a user’s own desire takes them to Instagram, they meet your content so naturally without feeling like it is being forced onto them. When this content is done right, it will help them reach out to your product. The key thing is to identify the right influencer for your business.
c. Quality Lead Generation
As indicated above, when an influencer successfully leads a user to your site, it means they have already created interest and a positive outlook about your business. Converting here becomes truly easier since these people have already been won over, halfway.
With such benefits, it’s no wonder Instagram influencer marketing is where the real action is. So, before looking at some of the top Instagram influencers on various niches, it’s important to understand that these people have back stories of inspiration, stories that led them to where they are and the enormous efforts they all put individually to amass such huge influence and followings.
Some major niches where Instagram influencer marketing thrives include:
1. Fashion and Lifestyle
2. Travel and Photography
4. Health and Fitness
5. Business and Tech
6. Family/ Parenting/ Home
9. Motor Industry
Top Instagram Influencers in Various Niches
Beauty – Hudda Kattan
Perhaps when she was majoring in Finance at the University of Michigan- Dearborn, Huda never imagined she would rise to such fame in the beauty industry. But this Iraqi-American mogul in the beauty industry started with a blog on Wordpress called “Hudah Beauty” where she posted makeup tutorials and tips; this would later translate into the famous cosmetics line with the same name that went forth to be worn even by celebrities.
She has over 35 million followers on Instagram (2019) and was ranked number 1 in influencer Instagram rich list in 2017, earning about $18,000 for each post of sponsored content.
Huda has been recognized by Forbes as part of “ten most powerful influencers in the world of beauty”, while Time magazine chose her as one of the “25 most influential people on the internet”, both happening in 2017. She continues to soar especially considering Instagram and beauty are a perfect match made in heaven.
Travel and Photography - Murad Osmann
Are you a wanderlust? Do you love adventure touring different parts of the world? Then the influencer to follow on Instagram is Murad Osmann. He is a Russian that is best known for the “Follow Me” project that he started in 2011, in Barcelona, Spain.
Though he has a degree in civil engineering, Osmann loves photography and as indicated earlier, each influencer has an inspiration and a story behind his journey, Osmann’s story begun when he was dating his girlfriend Nataly (now his wife) and she would always get impatient each time he had to stop to take a picture, she would always pull him but he would take the picture anyway and that is what inspired the “follow me” series. Today he’s a great Instagram influencer in the travel industry along with his wife Nataly.
He has over 4.1 million Instagram followers. And here is some inspiration; his first photos were done on an iPhone, meaning one can start with just what they have.
Tech and Business - Marques K. Brownlee
MKBHD is his professional name both on YouTube and Instagram (from his initials). Marques is a 25-year-old American tech guru who rose to fame when Vic Gundotra, former senior VP of Social for Google termed him as the “best tech reviewer on the planet” in 2013.
Marques’ journey started while in high school, he would upload videos of products that he already owned or products that were just new in the market, he would eventually be approached by companies to review their products and get paid for it, he would pick the hardware or software that was relevant to his audience and review them. He is known to have very high engagement rate with his viewers and has over 8.8 million subscribers on YouTube and over 2 million on Instagram.
Health and Fitness - Jen Selter
Jen is an American with an inborn passion for everything health and fitness. She debuted in Instagram in 2012 but got the spotlight in 2014 due to her super inspiring transformation photos. She particularly showed the changes in her derrière and this is how “belfie” was born.
Jen has over 12.8 million followers on Instagram and from this fame, she now offers her own fitness classes and collaborates with health brands and charges an estimated 80,000 dollars for a single sponsored post.
Food - Jamie Oliver
Most best chefs come from Europe. Is that up for discussion? Well the first position in the top Instagram Influencers for the food industry is this British gentleman called Jamie Oliver. You may have heard of him because he’s an OG in the culinary industry. Oliver has been a chef most of his life, he has popular TV shows such as the “naked chef” and “Jamie’s Kitchen”.
He’s very popular for his garden-fresh approach where he devotes himself on using organic ingredients. He has over 7.3 million followers on Instagram and is known to take advantage of IGTV Insta-stories to constantly whet the appetite of his viewers and share his content with folks all over the world.
Sports - Brandon Zingale
Brandon Zingale rose to fame in vine long before vine died. He had over 700,000 followers then. Later he migrated to Instagram and even though this meant starting from zero again, he has so far reached close to half a million followers on Instagram due to his authentic and funny approach to sports.
Brandon is special because the sports influencer market is filled to the brim with celebrity sports men and women who have millions and millions of followers, but with just his marketing and sports journalism education background and a passion for comedy, he has mastered a way to capture his followers eye-balls and engage them in such an effective way that some brands would rather partner with him than the A-list celebrities.
Gaming - Pewdiepie
A famous quote by Lyman Beecher says no great advance has been made in science, politics or religion without controversy. Then Miley Cyrus put a cap on it when she said people like controversy because that’s what sells, and for Felix Kjellberg, this is so relatable. He is one of the biggest gaming influencers both on YouTube and Instagram; his anti-Semitic comments that saw him lose partnerships with big brands like Google and Disney, notwithstanding.
And as he works on restoring his reputation, Pewdiepie keeps gaining followers and new collaborations.
Automobile - Salomondrin
It would have been great to find one influencer that covers all automobiles in general, but again, this is the beauty of social media targeting, people classify themselves in very specific niches, and this is why under automobile you may have to spread the search wider for sport bikes, off roaders, sports cars and so on. But meet Alejandro Salomondrin, a Mexican car enthusiast with the largest following on Instagram and top Instagram influencer for this niche.
Before following his passion, Salomondrin was a film maker. But later he ditched that and started his own YouTube channel called Salmondrin where he talks everything cars, especially sports cars, this is how he worked his way up and later got into Instagram where he has over 2 million followers.
He is most loved because of his high engagement rate.
Parenting - Father of Daughters
Simon Hooper without a doubt has won the internet with his chronicles of his extra chaotic life of raising daughters. He was motivated by the feeling that men’s hard work behind the scenes was not appreciated or recognized enough. He thought the best way to include the much-needed man’s voice in the parenting conversations was show his own side of the story.
With close to a million followers on Instagram, the FOD as sometimes referred, has become a great Instagram influencer and they love him.
Fashion and Lifestyle - Aimee Song
Aimee started her journey over a decade ago as an interior design blogger, but her fans got more intrigued by her sense of style and fashion taste, and this is how she got into the fashion industry and with over 5 million followers on Instagram, it’s clear she indeed has some major influence.
This self-made fashion queen also has her own jewellery brand and partners with big companies such as Lacoste.
Brian Kelly- Travel Influencer
With over 220k followers on Instagram, and founder of The Points Guy, Brian has dedicated his time to offering his followers great information on travelling. If you’re wanderlust, he’s the Instagram influencer to follow.
His website produces quality content on travel, points and miles, aviation and such information. Brian has partnered with companies such as Capital One.
Sophie Gray - Real IG TV
Sophie is a popular influencer that started her journey as a fitness guru where she earned close to half a million followers due to the six-pack and healthy lifestyle she portrayed. The reality, however, was that she was a very unhappy human being on the inside. She felt insecure and only depended on Instagram likes to feel validated. One day she got tired of the unhappy girl that she was and stopped showing off her bikini body. This lost her close to a hundred thousand followers.
Today Sophie remains a popular influencer with over 320k followers but with a sunnier side and is out to inspire real-ness in the lives of her followers. She no longer posts the six-pack but she posts inspirational and motivational aspects of staying healthy and fit even as you’re able to enjoy delicious meals at the same time.
Manny Khoshbin - Real Estate and Luxury Cars
Manny’s humble beginning is the kind of inspiration that fuels the engine of motivation. He moved to America from Iran with his family at the age of 14 and for the first few months they lived in a Datsun station wagon while they waited for their dad to get a job after which he rented a two-bedroom apartment.
Today after many years of hard work, he’s a top mogul in real estate and is also in the business of collecting luxury cars. As an Instagram influencer, he has close to a million followers where he encourages his followers to never give up on the American dream.
One major reason that Instagram is creating such stars is because it’s been shown to give the highest engagement rates compared to all the other social media platforms. Brands are running more successful campaigns with less risks, this explains the surge in Instagram influencer marketing. Check out these top ten marketing Instagram influencers.
Top Marketing Instagram Influencers
Remember this list may not necessarily have the crazy million number of followers like celebrity accounts, but these influencers in marketing are recognized for the work they do in the marketing space.
Gary started creating marketing content way back in 2006 on YouTube, coupled with his marketing skills, he grew his family business from just $3M to a whopping 60M in just 6 years. In 2011 with the rise of social media, Gary left the family company and started Vaynermedia, a social media digital agency.
Gary keeps growing strong and has over 6 million followers on Instagram, even though his advice to people is to not focus too much on follow count, rather on quality and value of what you’re offering them.
Steven Bartlett - Inspiration
When you first look at his Instagram page, you’re automatically set on a motivational roll. But Steven is more than that; he runs a social media agency called Social Chain. He brings on board clients who want to improve their social media campaign. He has over half a million followers on Instagram.
Neil Patel - Tech and Business
If there is a marketer whose influence has been recognized for his great work, it’s Neil. Obama recognized him as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under 30, WSJ refers to him as the topmost influencer on the internet, the UN has recognized him as well and this list doesn’t end here.
Advice Monkey was Neil’s first online venture in his early teens, and when this gave him a bit of a struggle to pick up, he started learning better ways to draw traffic to his site and this is how his marketing career begun.
Neil co-founded Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics and Hello Bar, besides these he partners with big names such as Amazon, HP, Viacom, GM and even NBC. So, as said earlier, sometimes influence goes beyond the number of followers on Instagram.
Jasmine Star - Photography
People love authenticity and this is something Jasmine uses to inspire and motivate her 300k plus followers. She’s a professional photographer and a business strategist, her mission as per her bio, is to support entrepreneurs grow their social platforms through branding and marketing on Instagram through leveraging what the platform offers.
She may have dropped out of law school, but Jasmine’s career took a turn for the best when she picked up her camera and used IG TV to influence her followers, she’s been featured on Forbes and had been listed under top ten best wedding photographers in the world.
Casey Neistat- Tech and Business
This top marketing Instagram influencer has over 3.2million followers and has partnered with Mercedes Benz, Samsung and even Nike. But he wasn’t always at the top, even though dropped out of high school, Casey started as a restaurant worker before he got into filming which is how he got his first break with his first film “IPod’s Dirty Secret” in 2003.
Today he remains big on YouTube and other social media platforms such as Instagram where he offers technical advice for digital marketers.
Lilach Bullock- Social Media Marketing Influencer
Lilach may not have millions of followers on Instagram, but as a marketer, she’d curved her own status as one of the leading influencers in digital marketing. She’s been listed on Forbes as one of the top 20 female social media influencers.
Whether you’re just a regular Instagram user, or trying to find influencers on Instagram as a brand or business, the truth is that Instagram has changed our lives and revolutionized how business is done. No better app has been as useful in identifying and understanding the client base the way Instagram has done it.