9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (2023)

Since its introduction over a decade ago, Instagram has grown into a social media staple across the world, boosted by its affiliation with Facebook. But, it’s not enough to just know the best days and times to post on Instagram, what’s key is knowing how to capitalize on your talents to become a must-click!

It’s a social media platform where people have either become overnight celebrities or outright brands thanks to their ever-growing following. Over time, these people and businesses reach a league of their own and are termed ’social media influencers’ or ‘influencers.’ And that term has taken on new meaning with the launch of TikTok, a platform that has been hailed as a game changer in the world of social media due to its reach, features and shareability.

Each of the influencers below serves as an inspiration for business on how they can build their brand on Instagram, becoming an example of self-sustenance.

Who Is a Social Media Influencer?

A social media influencer is someone who has established credibility in a specific industry, has access to a huge audience and can persuade others to act based on their recommendations. In fact, influencer marketing is fast evolving to become a key tool in a company’s arsenal when done right.

After all, influencers have the tools and authenticity to attract visitors consistently and can motivate others to expand their social reach. They may be anyone from a blogger to a celebrity to an online entrepreneur and capitalize on a niche to attain widespread credibility.

Since Instagram's content is easily digested as images or short videos, it encourages more peer-to-peer sharing, which helps brands leverage storytelling through Stories to improve their target audience reach. Their audience isn't limited to their actual followers; they can connect with the followers of their followers who share their content. As a result, they engage in many sponsored posts, allowing them to be paid for what they share on Instagram.

Since its inception, the number of brand sponsored influencer posts on Instagram has grown considerably from 1.26 million in 2016 to a whopping 6.12 million in 2020 Instagram influencers can have a significant impact on brand outreach considering influencers garner more social engagement than the advertising brand's account.

An influencer can work across various verticals, using posts, stories and reels to make a name for themselves over time. If their content and audience match what you're looking to promote or what your brand promotes, then they might represent a solid marketing tool. Partnering with an influencer opens your business to never-before explored avenues and many brands now set KPIs for their influencer marketing campaigns to measure impact.

(Video) Influencer Marketing | What is it?

As someone who wants to be a successful marketer and social media expert, these are nine names you should consider following on Instagram to inspire your own success.

1. Addison Rae

9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (1)

For those who have ever thought about being an internet personality destined for a TV deal, Addison Rae is the woman to follow. Her lip sync videos caused a storm when they dropped on TikTok and that success - along with 38.7 million followers on Instagram for her beauty focused posts - has led her to securing a Netflix show and releasing a debut single. Her friendship with Kourtney Kardashian (another big Instagram influencer) helped her gain popularity with an engaged audience.

Top tip: The secret to Addison Rae’s success is posting content that she is comfortable with and has a talent for. Look at your strengths to figure out what content suits the personality of your brand and create posts that reflect that.

Free Lesson: How to utilize Influencer Marketing

2. Huda Kattan/Huda Beauty

9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (2)

The Oklahoma-born makeup expert is one of the world’s most influential beauty experts, with a wide-ranging social media outreach. She started as a blogger and has transformed her Instagram page, @hudabeauty, to gain 49 million followers for the makeup tutorials she puts out.

If you're in the makeup and beauty sector, Instagram is the ideal outlet to promote your brand. After all, beauty is largely about appearance and Instagram is about visuals. Look at Glossier, a modern beauty brand that uses Instagram as its main social media channel and features user generated content to great effect. And Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line which focuses on providing makeup for “all skin tones” has 10.8 million Instagram followers and has made its founder a billionaire.

The keys to Huda’s success have been showing off successful makeup applications, establishing trends, sharing reviews, and creating how-to’s. She now has her own makeup line, and her profile is filled with videos showcasing people applying makeup, product plugs, occasional fashion advice, and more.

(Video) Top 10 things you need to know in digital marketing | Digital Marketing Institute

Top tip: How-to videos and reviews are very popular on Instagram and are very likely to be re-posted and shared by followers. So see if this format could work for you or your brand to engage and grow your Instagram base.

3. Khaby Lame

9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (3)

Surging up the Instagram influencer charts is a once Italian factory worker. After losing his job due to the coronavirus pandemic, Khaby Lame originally took to TikTok to post original content. He found his voice on Instagram collecting 35.7 million followers and counting.

His secret to Instagram success? He takes life hacks and makes videos that show his reactions helped by his hilarious facial expressions and sarcasm! His most famous video shows a complicated way to peel a banana with a knife which he follows up by simply just peeling the banana. Other posts are images of his girlfriend and friends.

Top tip: The key to Lame’s success is his authenticity (like what two chocolate brands did for Easter!). He may lack the production value of some top influencers on Instagram, but his personality and wit more than makes up for it.

4. Kayla Itsines

9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (4)

An Australian personal trainer, author and entrepreneur with over 13 million followers, Itsines regularly posts workout videos, inspirational messages, and diet tips on her page. She is the co-founder of Sweat and co-creator of High Impact with Kayla (formerly Bikini Body Guides) that feature 28-minute workouts to help women build strength and fitness.

Top tip: Fitness is an incredibly viable industry to promote on social media as workout videos and diet options are easy to follow on social media, even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic. Seeing results on social media can only serve as motivation for your own fitness goals. Use Instagram to grow your customer base to show how clients have benefited from your products or services.

Free Lesson: How to utilize Influencer Marketing

(Video) How to Use Influencer Marketing on Instagram to Accelerate Your Growth | Marketing Course | Part-9

5. Selena Gomez

9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (5)

The most followed person on Instagram for years until stars such as ‘The Rock’ and Cristiano Ronaldo usurped her, Gomez is a phenomenal celebrity influencer. With over 249 million followers, the award-winning singer has often used her social profiles to promote charitable causes such as her initiative against human trafficking, women’s rights, and protecting children from violence. Aside from obvious professional plugs, she also posts many personal photos and videos to interact with her huge fan base.

Top tip: It helps to already be famous to become a social media influencer, but Gomez demonstrates that you need to have a raw or personal touch and engage with your followers if you want to do well on Instagram.

6. Kylie Jenner

9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (6)

Kylie Jenner has become a powerful influencer thanks to her 252 million followers. Being a versatile woman, she flaunts her modelling, socialite status, and makeup empire through her Instagram posts. She also makes a lot of money off sponsored posts and held the record for the most liked Instagram post until being usurped by an egg! No mean feat amongst this esteemed list of social media influencers!

According to Hopper HQ’s Instagram Rich List, Jenner makes over one million dollars per sponsored Instagram post, making her one of the highest paid Instagram influencers around.

Top tip: Jenner promotes her own line of beauty products and is always seen showing off her latest makeup kits. It can be helpful for your business to show the people behind your brand, using or demonstrating your products. You can learn how to do this effectively by learning new skills and techniques with a social media marketing course.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo

9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (7)

No one has a bigger social media presence in the world than the Juventus soccer megastar and five-time Ballon d’Or winner. Ronaldo comes out top on the highest paid Instagram influencer list, making $1.6 million per sponsored post. His 318 million followers are privy to several of those sponsored posts, including his paid partnerships ranging from Nike to his own underwear line. He also shares various game and training posts as well as family photos. Wherever Ronaldo goes, the world is sure to follow.

Top tip: One thing that Ronaldo does well on Instagram is that he posts often. He keeps his fans committed to his content with regular updates on his life. Keep your followers interested in your content by consistently posting and sharing using influencer marketing to pump up your content strategy.

8. Zach King

9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (8)

Another internet personality, illusionist and filmmaker who found fame through his vlogs and other videos, Zach King has over 24 million followers thanks to his positive stories and ‘magic vines’ that make people smile. He posts random videos, comedic videos, and other fun visuals. Everything he posts is designed to get you to laugh or smile, making life's stresses easier to contend with.

(Video) Ahead of the Game Podcast Episode 19: Influencer Marketing Today | Digital Marketing Institute

Top tip: Zach King dominates the casual content game. People want to see light-hearted and fun content in their feed. Try sharing the occasional meme or quote that relates to your business and that shows the fun side of you and your business.

9. Nike

9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram | Digital Marketing Institute (9)

Last but not least is Nike, a brand that dominates on Instagram and manages to always stay ahead of the curve. With a whopping 168 million followers, Nike capitalizes on its partnership with sports teams and stars. The brand’s posts focus on the inspirational and feature sport personalities such as Rafael Nadal and Cristiano Ronaldo in Nike gear. Nike also uses the platform to whet the appetites of fans for new product launches.

Top tip: You don’t have to be a celebrity or even a person to wield influence on Instagram. Give your brand a personality that stands for something i.e. ‘JUST DO IT’ and watch your follower numbers creep up!

Free Lesson: How to utilize Influencer Marketing

Learn from Influencers in your Industry

Every Instagram influencer combines their brand awareness with a personal touch and consistent posting to draw users in. To become a successful social media marketer, you need to be well-rounded on Instagram and learn from the influencers above along with those leading in your industry.

The Digital Marketing Institute can arm you with the tools to become an industry influencer. Enroll now in our Social media course.

Learn the tools and technologies needed to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow on Instagram by becoming a certified Social Media Marketing Specialist. Download a brochure today to get started!

(Video) How Influencers Have Transformed Modern Marketing | Rachel David | TEDxVancouver

(Page updated September 2021)


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  • Glossier: A Thoroughly Modern Beauty Brand
  • Nike: Always Ahead of the Curve


Who are the top 3 influencers on Instagram? ›

The Most Popular Influencers on Instagram 2022
  • Lele Pons. 44M followers. ...
  • nusr_et. 35.6M followers. ...
  • Dan Bilzerian. 32.4M followers. ...
  • Amanda Cerny. 24.8M followers. ...
  • Zach King. 24.3M followers. ...
  • Chiara Ferragni. 23.9M followers. ...
  • pewdiepie. 21.7M followers. ...
  • Cameron Dallas. 21.6M followers.

Who is the biggest influencer of all time? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo

Who has the 1st highest followers on Instagram? ›

As of 23 November 2022 the most-followed person is Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with over 503 million followers, and the most-followed woman is American reality television personality Kylie Jenner with over 373 million followers.

Who is No 1 in Instagram? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo (496m followers)

We now reach our most followed human on Instagram: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Who is the 2 highest followers in Instagram? ›

Highest followers on Instagram in World
SNInstagram AccountFollowers [In Million]
1.Instagram573305374 [573.31 M]
2.Cristiano Ronaldo507985082 [507.99 M]
3.Lionel Messi384041419 [384.04 M]
4.Kylie Jenner373767910 [373.77 M]
75 more rows
3 days ago

Who is the No 1 digital marketer? ›

#01 Neil Patel:

Neil Patel is one of the top digital marketing influencers. Listed as the world's leading marketing ad consultant, and now boasts a track record as an investor and co-founder of software companies. For instance, Crazy egg and other startups.

Who was the first influencer on Instagram? ›

As mentioned, Wedgwood is arguably the first-ever influencer and leveraged his relationship with the Royal Family to success for his brand. But that's not the start of influencers as we understand them. The modern-day influencer didn't start on social media, but it did start in the digital world with mommy bloggers.

Who is the biggest female influencer? ›

There is just so much to celebrate on women doing what they love and thriving at it!
  1. iJustine. Followers: 1.6 Million. ...
  2. HallieTut. Followers: 23,700+ ...
  3. Jessica Iliana. Followers: 41,300+ ...
  4. Erin McGoff. Followers: 20,700+ ...
  5. Ana Lily Amirpour. Followers: 29,100+ ...
  6. Amma Asante. Followers: 23,300+ ...
  7. Emily Canham. ...
  8. Estee LaLonde.
6 Mar 2022

Who has the most followers on Instagram in 24 hours? ›

Instagram King V became the most followed person on the photo-sharing app in the first 24 hours of his debut. With this, V has surpassed Jennifer Aniston's record of 8.6 million followers after 24 hours. He also becomes the fastest person in history to garner 19 million Instagram followers.

Does Instagram pay influencer? ›

There are a number of factors that determine how much an Instagram influencer makes. They can earn anywhere from a few dollars to a million dollars per post. The amount you make depends on a few factors: Number of followers.

Who is the most famous person on social media 2022? ›

Instagram accounts with the most followers worldwide 2022. Cristiano Ronaldo has one of the most popular Instagram accounts as of June 2022. The Portuguese footballer is the most-followed person on the photo sharing app platform with 455 million followers, up from 440 million in April 2022.

Who is the first person to reach 250 million followers on Instagram? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo is officially the first person to reach 250 million followers on Instagram. The Portuguese football star is the most-followed account representing a human, only trailing behind the official @instagram account which sits at a whopping 382 million followers.

Who has more than 500 million followers Instagram? ›

Just recently, Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first person to reach the 500 million followers milestone on Instagram.

Who is the top 5 most followed on Instagram? ›

Who are the top 5 most followed on Instagram?
  • Instagram, @instagram (539 million followers)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, @cristiano (474 million followers)
  • Kylie Jenner, @kyliejenner (364 million followers)
  • Lionel Messi, @leomessi (356 million followers)
  • Selena Gomez, @selenagomez (341 million followers)
17 Nov 2022

Who has the most followers on Instagram in India 2022? ›

Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli has been the most followed celebrity in India for a really long time. With a following of 216M, the star enjoys the title of the most followed Indian. He ranks third after footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in most followed athletes in the world.

Who is the top 5 followers in Instagram in India? ›

Highest followers on Instagram in India
SNInstagram AccountFollowers [In Million]
1.Virat Kohli224810569 [224.81 M]
2.Priyanka Chopra83713342 [83.71 M]
3.Shraddha Kapoor76322317 [76.32 M]
4.Alia Bhatt73084253 [73.08 M]
110 more rows
27 Nov 2022

Who is hottest on Instagram? ›

Top 10 Hottest Models on Instagram in India 2022
  • Neha Malik. Neha Malik is the hottest and most beautiful and hottest Instagram model in India 2022 having more than 3 million followers. ...
  • Anveshi Jain. ...
  • Ketika Sharma. ...
  • Shivani Narayanan. ...
  • Sofia Ansari. ...
  • Garima Chaurasia. ...
  • Richi Shah. ...
  • Ruma Sharma.
5 Feb 2022

Who has the fastest 1 million followers on Instagram? ›

Congratulations to @jenniferaniston who now holds the record for the fastest time to reach one million followers on... Fastest time to assemble Mr. Potato Head ⏱️🥔 5.43 secs by Lim Kai Yi 🇲🇾... Fastest 5m on a scooter by a parrot 14.58 seconds by Chico 🇧🇬...

Who has the most followers on Instagram 2022 Top 10? ›

Top 20 Instagram followers in world the 2022
  • Instagram – 536 Million followers.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – 471 Million followers.
  • Kylie Jenner – 362 Million followers.
  • Lionel Messi – 353 Million followers.
  • Selena Gomez – 339 Million followers.
  • Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson – 331 Million followers.
  • Ariana Grande – 324 Million followers.
28 Oct 2022

Who is the No 3 Instagram followers in world? ›

3. Kylie Jenner. The young supermodel, entrepreneur, actor, and the youngest in the Kardashian-Jenner lineage, Kylie Jenner, ranks third in terms of total followers on Instagram.

Who are the top 50 most followed on Instagram? ›

Top 50 Instagram users by followers 🏆
2ndCristiano Ronaldo508,327,588
3rdLeo Messi384,573,891
4thKylie 373,812,979
46 more rows

Who are the 10 most followed on TikTok? ›

The 20 Most Famous TikTok Influencers In The World
  • Dominik - 53.5M followers.
  • The Rock - 52.8M followers.
  • Jason Derulo - 52.4M followers.
  • Michael Le - 51.4M followers.
  • BTS - 50.3M followers.
  • Younes Zarou - 46.6M followers.
  • Riyaz - 44.9M followers.
  • Kris HC - 44.1M followers.

Who is father of digital marketing? ›

The “father of digital marketing,” Philip Kotler, is often referred to as such. He is an American professor who is credited with founding marketing as an academic discipline and has produced over 60 marketing books.

Can I be millionaire in digital marketing? ›

With proper guidance and hard work, you can have many opportunities to kick start your career as a digital marketer and become rich.

Who is the king in digital marketing? ›

“Content is king”, a famous quote written and published by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in the year 1996. Although the quote is not new but due to the increased focus on content marketing strategies it becomes exactly relevant.

How much is 1k followers on Instagram worth? ›

Micro-influencers (between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) make an average $1,420 per month.

Who was the 1st influencer? ›

The 1760s. In the history of advertising, it is said that the Queen and the Pope used to advocate the use of medicine by common people. We can consider them the first known influencers.

Who are the 3 biggest female artist? ›

Female artists by reputed sales
  • 300 million or more records sold. Madonna. Artist. Country of origin. ...
  • 200 million to 299 million records. Rihanna. Celine Dion. Mariah Carey. ...
  • 100 million to 199 million records. Barbra Streisand. Katy Perry. Pink. ...
  • 75 million to 99 million records. Alicia Keys. Avril Lavigne. Reba McEntire.

Who got the fastest 10 million followers on Instagram? ›

Last December, V officially broke two Guinness World Records when he first revealed his Instagram account, setting new records for the fastest account to reach 1 million followers (43 minutes) and 10 million followers (4 hours and 52 minutes).

Who got 10 million followers Instagram? ›

K-pop powerhouse BTS has broken several Guinness World Records this year, and now one of its members, V, gained two more Monday after his personal Instagram account broke the records for becoming the fastest to reach one million, and then 10 million, followers.

Who has the fastest 50 million followers on Instagram? ›

Kim Taehyung is the fastest person to hit 50 million followers in Instagram history.

Does Instagram pay cash? ›

Most micro-influencers who have 5-10k followers make an average of ₹6,531 per post. Creators with 50,000 to 80,000 followers usually charge around ₹14,843 per post and as you move higher up the ladder creators with 250,000 to 500,000 followers charge around ₹49,725 per post.

How much does 10k Instagram followers make? ›

Influencers with a million followers can earn around $670 per post; a creator with 100,000 followers can make $200 per post; someone with around 10,000 followers can rake in $88 per post, according to Search Engine Journal.

How much is 20000 Instagram followers worth? ›

5,000 followers will cost you $445. 10,000 followers will cost you $899. 15,000 followers will cost you $1,349. 20,000 followers will cost you $1,800.

Who are the top 5 thought leaders of social media as per 2022? ›

Note: We updated this blog with new social media experts and insights for 2021-2022.
Top Social Media Experts
  • Jay Baer. ...
  • Sean Gardner. ...
  • Ann Handley. ...
  • Neal Schaffer. ...
  • Sujan Patel. ...
  • Kim Garst. ...
  • Neil Patel. ...
  • Mari Smith.
4 Dec 2021

Who is the most famous person on Social Media 2022? ›

Instagram accounts with the most followers worldwide 2022. Cristiano Ronaldo has one of the most popular Instagram accounts as of June 2022. The Portuguese footballer is the most-followed person on the photo sharing app platform with 455 million followers, up from 440 million in April 2022.

Who has the most Instagram followers in 2022? ›

The most followed individual user is Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who has approximately 474 million followers, as of August 2022. Kylie Jenner is the most followed woman on Instagram, with over 364 million followers.

Who got the most followers on Instagram in 24 hours? ›

Congratulations to Kim Taehyung AKA V from BTS! It's a new record for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers on... Fastest time to assemble Mr. Potato Head ⏱️🥔 5.43 secs by Lim Kai Yi 🇲🇾...

Who are the top 10 most followed on Instagram 2022? ›

The Top 20 Most Followed Instagram Accounts
  • Kim Kardashian (333m followers) ...
  • Ariana Grande (339m followers) ...
  • Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (347m followers) ...
  • Selena Gomez (356m followers) ...
  • Kylie Jenner (372m followers) ...
  • Lionel Messi (373m followers) ...
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (496m followers) ...
  • Instagram (567m followers)
15 Nov 2022

Who was the first famous influencer? ›

Technically, one of the first influencer collaborations was in 1760. Wedgwood, a potter, made a tea set for the Queen of England. [1] Since the monarchy was an influencer of the time, Wedgwood leveraged the tea set to success with “Royal-approved” branding, elevating it to luxury status.

Who owns Instagram now in 2022? ›

Originally launched for iOS in October 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, and 1 billion by June 2018. In April 2012, Facebook Inc. acquired the service for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock.

Who is the owner of Instagram now in 2022? ›

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta , which owns Facebook and Instagram, has been pushing into short videos, a market that TikTok dominates on mobile.

What is my Instagram username? ›

Once you log in, you'll be able to find your username at the top of your profile.

Who is the fastest to reach 50 million followers on Instagram? ›

Kim Taehyung is the fastest person to hit 50 million followers in Instagram history.

Who has the fastest 30 million Instagram? ›

Since then, V has set new records for the fastest account to surpass 20 million, 30 million, and 40 million followers—and he now holds the record for the fastest account to hit the 50 million mark as well. Congratulations to V! Check out V's record-breaking Instagram account here!

How much money does 1 million Instagram followers make? ›

Mega-influencers (more than one million followers) make US$15,356 (Rs 11.4 lac approx.) per month. Still, among holders of accounts with between 1K and 10K followers, only 22.99 percent report making money, compared to 68.75 percent of accounts with 500K to one million followers.


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