Not even two decades ago, the concept of the ‘Instagram influencer’ would have been absurd to most. Yet here we are, living in a world where all kinds of people can build a fanbase and make millions by posting content on the internet.
Social media platforms present individuals and brands alike powerful businesses and opportunities. Beyond even traditional media, Instagram, in particular, has developed into one of the most effective platforms for marketing, and it will continue to hold that mantle for the foreseeable future.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the top Instagram influencers and how they have used the social media platform to profit.
The title’s pretty self-explanatory, but we’ll go over it anyway.
@doyoutravel is one of the top travel Instagram Influencers
Instagram is a social media platform initially designed as a ‘gallery’ for pictures and short-form video content. More recently, they’ve expanded their features to include live streaming and temporary uploads called ‘Stories.’ Travel, beauty, and fitness are the most popular content categories or niches on the platform.
‘Influencer’ nowadays refers to social media personalities—individuals who’ve built followings, small or large, via Instagram, Facebook, and so on. Traditional celebrities have taken to social media as well, using it as a way to connect with fans but also promote their work or sponsors.
Now combine the two terms together.
An Instagram influencer is a content creator who has built their following primarily through, you guessed it, Instagram.
|For an in-depth article on what defines a social media influencer, check out ‘What is an Influencer? Defining the Spokespeople of Tomorrow.’|
We don’t claim to know exactly what it is about Instagram that makes the most effective marketing channel available. Nevertheless, we found some key metrics (as of 2020) that present a convincing case for why Instagram influencers, in particular, will continue to be the premier marketing partners.
Instagram has 1+ billion users.
And 89% of those users reside outside of the U.S. That means Instagram influencers/brands have ample opportunities to reach a global audience, not just an American one. The market size increases for many simply by the diverse demographics you can target through Instagram.
~80% of Instagram users are 13-34 y.o.
There’s no use fighting the mysterious forces governing the world. If print’s going out of fashion, there’s little use investing money in that marketing channel.
There’s little reason to think the shift to digital will be reversed. Social media is and will be interwoven with all of our lives, especially with the youth. The kids born after the late 2000s won’t even know a world without Instagram and Facebook. Adapting now rather than later would probably be a good idea.
For those of you aspiring to be an Instagram influencer, you’ve made the right choice. Considering the data out there, we guarantee those increased influencer marketing budgets are primarily going to go to Instagram influencers.
No different from any other social media platform, Instagram is, supposedly, an accurate and authentic representation of who you are. It’s well known, however, that social media content is and always will be curated by the influencer. In other words, followers see only what the influencers post.
Those concerns aside, the point is Instagram influencers (and social media influencers, in general)are especially powerful marketing partners because of the trust they’ve built with their following.
The trust comes from the influencer having to build an audience from scratch. Over time and with much effort, they have to consistently deliver free content that catches and sustains the attention of total strangers. That is, in most cases, extremely difficult to do.
As the influencer reveals aspects of themself and their life via social media, their growing following grows to feel like they know the person. So when your favorite Instagram influencer partners with a brand in their niche, their advertisements can seem almost like personal recommendations from a trusted friend. That’s exactly what makes Instagram influencers powerful marketing partners.
We noticed many of the articles on this topic only showcase the most prominent Instagram influencers out there. In reality, many brands may avoid working with big names because of the cost involved. The more active followers you have, the more you can probably demand. We just wanted you to know that there are great sponsorship opportunities for small influencers as well.
A micro-influencer with just over 1,000 followers, @madaidental uses Instagram to post about all things dental health. Brands will often partner with smaller, niche Instagram influencers to lower marketing costs as well as target a narrow but highly interested audience.
Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has the largest Instagram following in the world (not including Instagram’s own page). As a Nike athlete, he often posts promotions advertising the company’s soccer boots. That’s 225 million people that could be looking at the product.
Kayla Itsines is a fitness influencer who has used Instagram to build a following of over 2 million. She has recently been promoting her app SWEAT, an exercise app targeted to women. She is smartly advertising her own product to her loyal followers who are, for the most part, the target audience of SWEAT.
While you won’t necessarily make millions from it, becoming an Instagram influencer can be a great alternative source of income. It takes effort and dedication, but there’s—at least for now—room for everyone.
Acquiring 1,000 followers can often prove difficult, but if you’ve defined your niche well, you may have brands scrambling to work with you. It will be tempting to take any and every deal you get, but if you want to keep the trust of your followers (your major selling point!), you should be selective.
|Looking to make a bit of extra cash? Take a look at our guide on the Amazon Influencer Program to learn more about how you can generate supplementary income from the comfort of your home.|
Gaining traction is hard. You post content you’ve worked hours on, and nobody is finding it. With your job, your social life, and many other responsibilities, you can barely spare the time to create quality content, let alone learn how to get it seen. You’re screaming out to the void (and your eternally supportive mother).
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