In our modern digital era, social media influencers with millions of followers on Instagram and other social media platforms wield a lot of power.
They have a lot of influence on the purchasing decisions of their fans, and any time they recommend a product or service, you can be certain that their engaged followers are listening.
This presents an opportunity for business owners and marketers that can leverage the massive platforms of these individuals to promote their brands.
So, who are the athletes, musicians, politicians, supermodels, and content creators that have the biggest reach on Instagram?
In this article, you will discover the most followed influencers on Instagram and the best way to collaborate with them on a promotional campaign.
- What Is A Social Media Influencer?
- Who Are The Most Followed People On Instagram?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
What Is A Social Media Influencer?
Before we start reeling out names, let’s first consider what the term “social media influencer” really means and how a person can earn that classification.
An influencer is someone that has built a dedicated following on a social media platform or multiple platforms because of the credibility they have established in their niche.
The influencer can build that credibility because of outstanding accomplishments in their profession (e.g. athletes, actors, musicians, politicians, etc) or as a content creator who earned the loyalty and dedication of a specific audience by sharing humorous, provocative, or knowledgeable content consistently over a period of time.
Once the audience is hooked, they look up to that influencer for everything. They want to know all about their personal lives and interests.
Influencers have been able to leverage their reputation and the dedication of their eager fans to make huge sums of money advertising products for brands and promoting sponsored content.
Who Are The Most Followed People On Instagram?
I will first list out the top 10 mega influencers with hundreds of millions of followers on the platform before highlighting niche influencers that don’t have the global rich of the biggest stars but still command millions of followers in their industry.
The top 20 mega influencers on Instagram are:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Genre: Athlete (soccer)
Follower Count: 575 million followers
The Portuguese footballer is considered to be one of the greatest players to ever play professional soccer and has consistently topped the Instagram follower charts for the past few years.
His good looks and extraordinary success as a footballer helped him build a dedicated following of loyal fans on Instagram. He makes millions of dollars for each sponsored post, but his feed largely consists of photos of events in his day-to-day life.
2. Lionel Messi
Genre: Athlete (soccer)
Follower Count: 454 million followers
Another soccer star with a legitimate argument for being the greatest footballer of all time, Messi is an Argentine footballer that currently plays for the Paris-based PSG football club.
He has won over 32 trophies and several individual awards in a hugely successful career. He is one of the most recognisable and beloved individuals on the planet, and it’s not that difficult to understand why he has such a massive following.
3. Selena Gomez
Genre: Musician and Actor
Follower Count: 410 million followers
She became famous as a child actress on Disney television shows before parlaying that into a hugely successful music career.
Her songs have earned multiple top-ten billboard entries, and she has sold millions of albums worldwide. Her profile largely consists of pictures from her shows and photos of events in her personal life.
4. Kylie Jenner
Genre: Reality TV star and social media personality
Follower Count: 387 million followers
A member of the Kardashian clan, she and other members of her family became famous through their reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
In her case, she owns a cosmetics brand and has built a dedicated following of millions of teenagers on Instagram and other social platforms.
5. Dwayne Johnson
Genre: Entertainer (wrestler) and Actor
Follower Count: 374 million followers
He rose to global fame through his performances as a wrestler on the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) platform. Since pivoting to movie making, his popularity has only grown.
He has featured in several commercially successful moves, including Jumanji and the Fast and Furious franchise. His feed largely consists of pictures of him keeping that huge body fit in the gym and lots of shots of him on movie sets.
6. Ariana Grande
Genre: Actor and Musician
Follower Count: 365 million followers
Another child actor that evolved into a global pop star. Grande starred in several Nickelodeon shows as a teenager while building up her music career.
She has since sold over 70 million records and won several accolades, including a Grammy and two MTV awards. On her feed, she shares content about her concerts, hobbies, and day-to-day life with her legions of followers.
7. Kim Kardashian
Genre: Reality TV star and Social Media Personality
Follower Count: 352 million followers
Arguably the most famous member of the Kardashian family, she has built multiple careers outside the family’s TV show as a model, businesswoman, and actress.
Anything she does makes the tabloids, and she has leveraged her influence to earn millions as an ambassador for global luxury brands. Her feed largely features her photos and content about her family.
8. Beyonce Knowles-Carter
Genre: Musician and Actor
Follower Count: 304 million followers
One of the biggest pop stars of this era, she has released several billboard-topping songs, won multiple Grammys, and sold over 200 million records worldwide.
Before becoming a solo artist, she used to be the lead singer of Destiny’s Child—one of the most successful girl groups in history.
9. Khloe Kardashian
Genre: Reality TV star and Social media personality
Follower Count: 303 million followers
Another member of the Kardashian family, it would seem that every member of their clan has mastered the formula for becoming a hugely successful social media influencer.
Outside the family TV show, she owns an inclusive fashion brand which has been very successful.
10. Justin Bieber
Follower Count: 285 million followers
The heartthrob of female teenagers worldwide, the Canadian is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, and he has sold over 150 million records.
His high-profile relationship and subsequent break-up with Selena Gomez, another star on this list, also contributed to his notoriety. His account is more fun than that of other celebrities on this list, featuring pranks, goofy videos, and photos of his day-to-day activities.
Now, let’s expand our list to include niche celebrities from different categories, ranging from fitness to tech influencers. (Note: the table below will exclude members of the top 10 list even when they fall under that category)
|Name||Number Of Followers||Country|
|Taylor Swift||248 million||USA|
|Nicki Minaj||212 million||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Miley Cyrus||198 million||USA|
|Katy Perry||193 million||USA|
|Cardi B||148 million||USA|
|Jennifer Lopez||236 million||USA|
|Kevin Hart||162 million||USA|
|Ellen DeGeneres||130 million||USA|
|Gal Gadot||99.92 million||Isreal|
|Virat Kohli||231 million||India|
|Neymar Jr.||201 million||Brazil|
|Lebron James||141 million||USA|
|Kylian Mbappe||94.2 million||USA|
|David Beckham||76.9 million||England|
|Huda Kattan||51.7 million||UAE|
|Becky G||34.8 million||USA|
|Nikkie de Jager||17.5 million||Netherlands|
|Makeup by Mario||12.7 million||USA|
|Jaclyn Hill||8.1 million||USA|
|Chiara Ferragni||28.3 million||Italy|
|Camila Coelho||9.8 million||Brazil|
|Karen Wazen Bakhazi||7.8 million||UAE|
|Olivia Palermo||7.6 million||USA|
|Negin Mirsalehi||7 million||Netherlands|
|Arnold Schwarzenegger||23.6 million||USA|
|Kayla Itsines||15.7 million||Australia|
|Michelle Lewin||15.1 million||USA|
|Chris Bumstead||14 million||Canada|
|Ulisses Williams Jr.||8.8 million||USA|
|Marques Brownlee||4.1 million||USA|
|Lewis Hilsenteger||2.4 million||USA|
|Justine Ezarik||1.6 million||USA|
|Linus Sebastian||1.4 million||Canada|
|Arun Maini||1.4 million||England|
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Instagram Pay For I Million Followers?
Instagram doesn’t pay any of its users, no matter how popular they are; instead, major influencers leverage their large audience to earn millions promoting products and services.
The standard seems that be that influencers with at least 1 million followers charge at least $10,000 per sponsored post.
Who Is The Best Paid Influencer?
The highest paid influencer is Cristiano Ronaldo. He has the largest number of followers on Instagram, and he charges an average of $2 million per sponsored post.
Other popular influencers will hundreds of millions of followers, like Selena Gomez and Kylie Jenner, also charge millions per campaign.
It’s no surprise that the global reach of the Western entertainment and sports industries means that major players from those industries dominate the top ten list.
As a small business owner, it may not be realistic for you to work with mega influencers, given how expensive they can be. Micro-influencers in your niche with consistent engagement that have 100,000+ followers are more attainable targets.
Also, this kind of mid-tier influencer tends to have homogenous audiences that follow the content creator because of very specific interests. This narrow focus can be more valuable to brands than global celebrities that have a far more diverse audience.
As you collaborate with influencers, measure the results of your campaign, then take the time to share interesting nuggets with us in the comments section on your experiences and whether you will dabble into influencer marketing again in the future.