Who Are the Top 10 Instagram Influencers in the World?
Instagram has become one of the world’s most important social networks, with the most successful users generating millions of followers and eye-watering engagement on their posts.
This online photo-sharing platform might have started out with humble beginnings, but it’s given rise to the concept of Instagram influencers and their invaluable reach and trust with audiences.
Alongside Instagram Ads, savvy brands from every walk of life can form partnerships with the ideal influencers to create stellar interest in their products and services.
If you’re ready to make Instagram a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy, consider the world’s most successful Instagram influencers and how they create and share content.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 419M Followers
Second only to the official Instagram account, Portuguese football icon Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s most-followed person, with a mind-blowing 419 million followers.
Having risen to global prominence with Manchester United, his move to celebrated European football clubs like Real Madrid and Juventus cemented his enormous fan base.
With the looks to back up his talent on the pitch, Ronaldo commands an estimated $2.3 million NZD to endorse a product.
Thanks to his brand that screams success, world-renowned companies such as Armani, Tag Heuer, Egyptian Steel and Herbalife have all sealed sponsorship deals.
2. Kylie Jenner – 322M Followers
With a personal fortune estimated in the billions, reality TV star and cosmetics powerhouse Kylie Jenner is perhaps the star most associated with the emergence of Instagram influencers.
Having appeared on the hugely popular series Keeping Up with the Kardashians from 2007 to 2021, Kylie soon managed to transition from celebrity to businesswoman.
Her company, Kylie Cosmetics, has proved an international success with beauty obsessives loving the brand’s products, which often sell out as soon as they become available.
Supported by her socialite siblings, Kylie Jenner’s vast Instagram fame is hardly surprising given the social media platform’s youthful audience.
3. Lionel Messi – 315M Followers
Argentinian footballing hero Lionel Messi is the next most popular account on Instagram, with a staggering 315 million followers. Frequently described as the world’s best player of the world’s most widely played sport, his goals have inspired billions internationally.
Emerging from the junior ranks of Catalonian giants Barcelona, he remained at the iconic club for 16 seasons before controversially transferring to French club Paris Saint-Germain in 2021. In fact, the first photoshoot at his new club generated 22.1 million likes – the ninth-most ever on the social network.
With endorsements from Adidas, Pepsi, Gillette and Turkish Airlines, Messi charges $1.7 million NZD for each sponsored post.
4. Selena Gomez – 307M Followers
From a young age, Selena Gomez was destined to become a massive celebrity. Appearing in Disney TV shows like Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place, these early jobs earned her increasingly prominent roles in films and television series.
Gomez has also embarked on a successful music career, releasing three albums with her pop band Selena Gomez & The Scene. Plus, a string of wildly popular solo recordings hit the top of the charts.
Beloved for her laid-back attitude and global appeal that resonates with audiences far and wide, her prominent relationships with celebrities like Nick Jonas and Justin Bieber also catapulted her to the top of Instagram’s influencers.
5. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – 306M Followers
Dwayne Johnson, aka ‘The Rock’, is one of Hollywood’s biggest names, having established an enormous fan base that can’t wait to catch his latest blockbuster movie.
However, his fame was already big from his days as the leading WWE wrestler during the company’s peak. With appearances in various movies and shows throughout the early 2000s, his cinematic break came in 2001 with a leading role in The Mummy Returns.
Known for his friendly persona, philanthropy and all-around charisma, Johnson is recognised as Hollywood’s highest-paid actor, while his incredible influence means social media endorsements demand a juicy fee.
6. Ariana Grande – 302M Followers
American singer, songwriter, and actress Ariana Grande is undoubtedly one of the platform’s most influential voices. Starting out in theatre, Grande grew to widespread popularity with a role in the Nickelodeon series Victorious.
However, it would be the music industry where her fame would achieve its pinnacle. Renowned for her four-octave vocal range, her debut album ‘Yours Truly’ debuted at number one on the US Billboard charts, while four of her next five albums also achieved the same result.
Besides a high-profile relationship with rapper Mac Miller, Grande has twice been named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
7. Kim Kardashian – 296M Followers
Rising to fame as a close friend and stylist to iconic socialite Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian reached international success as the leading personality behind Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
With her personal life making headlines in America and around the globe, her marriage to recording artist and fashion designer Kanye West pushed the couple’s celebrity to stratospheric heights.
Across several TV series, cosmetic brands and endless endorsements, Kim Kardashian is considered the face of modern celebrity culture, with an Instagram audience of 296 million followers.
8. Beyoncé – 246M Followers
Beyoncé is yet another pop icon on this list. Like many, her career has taken numerous twists and turns, as she first came to global stardom as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child – one of the all-time bestselling girl groups.
Yet her fame only continued to grow after turning to a solo music career, with numerous albums delivering a wealth of number one hits.
Alongside leading roles in popular films such as The Pink Panther, Dreamgirls and The Lion King, Beyoncé is undeniably an icon of her generation.
9. Khloé Kardashian – 229M Followers
Like her siblings, Khloé Kardashian achieved success following Keeping Up with the Kardashians. As a beloved media personality, she has grown her celebrity by appearing on television shows like X-Factor and Celebrity Apprentice.
Meanwhile, she’s also presented several spin-off series focused on her personal life, including Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami and Khloé & Lamar.
Khloé has also earned acclaim on the runway, strutting the catwalk for renowned high-fashion labels such as Fendi, Marc Jacobs and Victoria’s Secret. Named the highest-paid model of 2018, she charges over $800,000 NZD per sponsored Instagram post.
10. Justin Bieber – 227M Followers
Justin Bieber is one of the best examples of celebrities rising during the digital age, with his musical talent being discovered on YouTube in the early days of the platform.
Releasing his debut pop album in 2010, the album soared to the number one spot, making him the youngest solo male act to accomplish the feat in 47 years. Nowadays, he has over 150 million global record sales.
Bieber’s reputation as a hugely influential celebrity continues across social media, with his diehard fanbase supporting every new song release and endorsement.
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