Instagram is like any other social media platform. It is a place for people to connect but it’s also an incredible advertising vehicle for brands and companies. Although not everyone is excited about the idea of product placement, Instagram does have an advantage in this department over Facebook.
Instagram doesn’t flood users with targeted ads. Instead, brands that advertise over Instagram tend to raise brand awareness by relying on influencers and celebrities. It’s a much more transparent and less invasive form of advertisement.
Influencers vs. Celebrities
It can be hard to make a distinction between these two terms. Why? Because celebrities like famous artists, athletes, and actors, are also influencers to some degree.
What is an influencer? An influencer is someone with a huge following, someone who can reach a wide audience, and offer advice on what products or services to use and what lifestyle choices to make. Of course, if the followers trust the person offering the advice, then the term influencer can be used.
With that in mind, not all celebrities are influencers – and vice versa. There are plenty of popular influencers that only have followings of a few hundred thousand users or maybe in the low millions.
Which of them is more reliable is debatable. While A-list celebrities can certainly reach a larger demographic, everyday influencers are considered more trustworthy. It is one thing to get a piece of advice on fitness products, and beauty products by someone who’s considered an expert in that niche, as opposed to getting that same advice from someone you know is getting paid top dollar to showcase products and services.
Celebrities are often unique brand ambassadors while influencers, as more regular folk, will often promote more than one brand, which is why they’re often viewed as more trustworthy and knowledgeable. If you want to read more about the most popular celebrities on Instagram, check out our article over celeb-influencers.
Popular Non-Celeb Influencers
Here’s a list of some of the most popular influencers on Instagram who became famous mostly because of their expertise.
When it comes to the adventure travel niche, Hawaiian native Jay Alvarrez is one of the most popular influencers. His Instagram posts almost always contain daredevil activities in exotic places. Because he’s also a model, Jay sometimes promotes brands he did modeling work for, like Calvin Klein, Express, Bonds Swimwear, and others.
Alexa Chung has over 3.4 million followers. She founded her own clothing line and consistently posts professional-shot and personal photos for the fashion & style niche. It was her relentless online presence and on-point choices that gained her the status of an influencer and earned her millions of followers.
Brad Lau, also known as LadyIronChef is one of the most influential online personalities in the food industry. He is a Singaporean food writer, an online personality, and the founder of ladyironchef.com, one of the most popular food and travel websites. If you’re interested in healthy eating, recipes, must-have kitchen accessories, and guides on how to find the hottest places to eat, Brad Lau is one of the top influencers in this nice.
While many know him for his “Follow Me” style photos others recognize him as a leading authority in the photography niche. His choices of scenic locations and expertly edited photographs exhibit a level of quality that many can only dream of. He’s also one of the few Russian-based photography influencers that can reach a worldwide audience.
It has become the norm to see female role models in the fitness industry. Massy Arias is the perfect example of moms that rock it. Her Instagram following is roughly 2.6 million followers strong. Most of her posts feature training habits, family time, as well as some well-placed advertisements for supplements. Massy is a renowned health coach too, which is one of the reasons why people listen to what she has to say.
This Italian fashion influencer had a modest beginning as a blogger. Ferragni uses Instagram as a platform for posting photos of clothing lines and trusted brands. She also offers plenty of tips on how to look great, how to design, and how to make it in the fashion industry.
Huda Kattan made a lot of bloggers and beauty experts jealous of her popularity. Initially, Kattan started with makeup tutorials and product review videos. Since then, she has amassed a following of over 1.3 million followers on Instagram. Her popularity helped her create a cosmetics empire and a company that has been estimated at over $1 billion.
A Special Mention
Although there are plenty of foodies and food gurus on Instagram, as well as plenty of Michelin Star chefs, there’s probably no influencer with as much authority as Jamie Oliver. Although he first achieved success in the culinary world and then became a celebrity and influencer, there’s no denying that his laid-back attitude, fun outgoing personality, and flair for simple, healthy recipes make him on of the most popular celebrities/influencers on Instagram.
Big Brands Can’t Make It Without Them
Influencers have become a massive advertising tool for brands in almost any niche. They’re often experts in their fields, which is why people trust them. Let us know if any Instagram influencer ever steered you towards a product, service, or a lifestyle change that really helped you turn things around for the better.