Why Do These 5 Types of Instagram Influencers Do So Well?

Posted on September 23 2020

Have you ever thought about becoming a social media influencer? Don’t know where to start? Do you have basic questions about how to manage your social media accounts? If you’ve answered yes, then this article is for you. We’ll be discussing Instagram specifically because as visual learners it is our go-to social media platform (but Tik-Tok and Youtube also work for us!). Most of us use Instagram to see the social lives of our families, our friends, and our co-workers, but how is it used by social media influencers? How do we become one of them? 

Let’s go over some of the key terms professionals use to discuss social media influence. 

What is a social media influencer? A social media influencer is someone with a large social media platform that shares their expertise about any given topic. Their platform could reach anywhere between 10k into the hundreds of millions of followers. 

What is an influencer marketing hub? This is a place that is specifically designed to drive media platforms through various different avenues of interest. It is a hub that basically covers all of your public relations (PR) needs for your particular platform. I’m thinking of companies like Daily Dose who have really changed the online landscape for so many major companies as well as individual influencers worldwide.

Now that you know the terms let’s discuss which platforms reach the largest audiences.

What Type of Accounts Have Us Tagging, Liking, and Following?

Fitness & Coaches

Before Instagram, we took our fitness advice from our doctor, family, friends, and whomever the local trainer was at your favorite gym. Times have certainly changed. Now there are a number of ways that fitness influencers can help you reach your fitness goals. There are online coaches (coaches that are so popular on Instagram that they are now fitness influencers, people like Kayla Itsines). Her page, like many others, stems from a previous career as a coach that then turned into a massive online following. It’s not just personal coaches who succeed in this arena online, fitness campaigns marketed by healthy food product lines also do very well. And finally, and of course, there are the social-media-marketing platforms (or social-multi-level marketing) that are run by your ‘best-friend-Suzy’ who has been trying to get you to join her team for over a year.  All of these fitness platforms have given way to choose and that choice is an extremely positive aspect of social media, just in case you were looking for one. Let me explain.

Some online coaches, or fitness influencers, inspire through ‘before and after’ pictures of client success stories, and other fitness influencers inspire via body positivity messaging. While that trend might be due to social changes in body images as a whole, Instagram has served to drive those ideas home in a way that it was never done before. In general, these body-positive messages have largely amplified the world of fitness via influencers in a really unique way. The main message is that anyone can move and have a healthy body and that in and of itself has served to broaden the world of fitness.

A really unique aspect of Instagram influencers is that they don’t exclusively sell you on product or theme. One day they might be selling fitness equipment and the next day they’ll be promoting their latest downloadable fitness video. By strategically implementing marketing campaigns that include aspects of the influencers’ personal lives that aren’t necessarily strictly about fitness, those campaigns have worked to engage with followers who only follow food pages or mom-life pages. In this way, fitness has the ability to cross genres online. After all, what good is your fitness page if it is only talking about fitness?   

Besides fitness, what other platforms work well on Instagram?

Food & Diets

The term ‘food-porn’ happened naturally because voyeurism and desiring what someone else is cooking are closely connected. Instagram does a great job of providing a platform for hungry people. We can’t taste someone’s dish but we can certainly imagine what a flavor combination might be on someone’s Instagram page. It’s not just product lines selling you the latest version of Mac & Cheese, it’s world-renowned chefs creating live events on the internet, it’s BBQ displayed as gourmet, it’s grandma’s recipes brought to life by grandma herself. Mostly though it’s entertaining and it sells. 

While some Instagram food accounts focus on healthy recipes (fad-diets, low-carb diets, and disease-related diets like - diabetic diets - for instance), other accounts focus on what your children might be eating. If you’re having a hard time feeding your family of 10, a simple hashtag search will help you find an account that can help. 

If cooking or baking is your passion and you’re looking to create a platform in that arena, you won’t be alone and you’ll be welcomed! The foodie community on Instagram is large! Check out CookingwithMima for inspiration on the type of niche Instagram accounts that inspire and delight!

It has been said that people learn in these different ways, visually, auditory,  reading/writing, and kinesthetically. It has also been said that visual learners are the vainest, can we agree that that’s ok?

That leads me to the next highly successful platform on Instagram. 

Makeup & Beauty

Just like fitness and food pictures, before-and-after pictures of makeup makeovers are addicting to watch. Seeing someone transformed from bland to glam in a matter of seconds is completely engaging and that is why Instagram accounts that focus on makeup tutorials and skincare tips do so well on the platform. Let’s look at an absolute favorite Instagram account by Japanese artist Naomi Watanabe who combines her personality with makeup tutorials (tips/before-after), TikTok videos, family-fun-videos, and her all-around life-advice. Her Instagram account reaches 9.3 million followers. This is probably because her Instagram account provides visual learners with the whole spectrum of content. You aren’t just learning about one particular aspect of Japanese culture when you visit her page, you’re getting the whole world through her eyes… it’s really quite engaging! 

Instagram has made it so that we can easily reach for popular hashtags for accounts with large followings before we try new products. For example, J A C L Y N (Jaclyn Hill) has 6.5 million followers whose tutorials on Youtube have helped her launch several of her own product lines. This particular ability, to market a new product to millions of viewers who are already engaged is called influencer marketing - and it’s important! It’s also the reason that fitness trainers and chefs who have large social media followings will eventually come out with their own product line. It’s only natural if you already have an audience-in-waiting.

 When it comes to our skincare routines and deciding what face masks to try (this one’s my favorite) we turn to experts, and in the Instagram world, an expert is someone with a real platform who knows what they're selling and why. A product with a large number of reviews (and most of them being positive) is a great way to know whether or not you’ll like a product. The same is true for fashion. 

Fashion, You Say?

Few things are more engaging than a runway show, am I right?  The couture fashion, the lights, the celebrities (more on them in a bit), and the models, are all ripe with excitement and click bait. Now, because of Instagram, you can follow the designer, the promoter, and even the individual models, ultimately becoming part of the event. Marketing campaigns for fashion labels begin online and every look is curated with models, lights, and #moods. All of it for the ‘gram.

Who’s your favorite fashion icon? How about your favorite skincare product? Are you following them on Instagram? What content are they providing on their social media accounts?  Chances are you could be learning so much more about your favorite products. 

Starting an engaging Instagram account could be daunting but everyone starts somewhere. Yes, even famous people had to start with a handful of followers (even if that only lasted a few hours!). 

Do famous people have an easier time creating social media accounts online?

Fame and Followers

Of the four account types I mentioned above, it seems fair to suggest that celebrity accounts seem to be a combination of each of these. Some accounts like the Kardashians or Beyonce’s account seem to be about a little bit of each. Some post family photos, some food, some makeup, some fitness, and yes their own personal selfies. Each of those posts reaches into the millions of likes and comments. Do you have to be famous in order to have a popular Instagram account, absolutely not, but it sure doesn’t hurt. 

There are a million ways to become famous, but if you’re only looking to grow a platform online, or become an influencer to market your ideas, you might only have to do one of the previous four ideas I’ve mentioned above. Sticking with a particular niche might be your best bet!

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 Olga Rosales Salinas

She writes about her passions; health, fitness, family, and skincare. She loves Japanese products specifically because they promote holistic health and beauty lifestyles.

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