Over the past few years, Instagram has turned into a media giant. Owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), Instagram has been the premier photo sharing app for more than a decade. From keeping up with our favorite celebrities to finding new recipes to cook, the app has made the social media landscape easy to navigate and convenient for all users.
Beyond daily snapshots, the app has become a breeding ground for brands to advertise their products to a wider audience with brand partnerships. Utilizing top talent, many brands pay influencers to promote their products in posts, stories, or live streams. A masterclass in promotion, collaborating with influencers who have a large platform increases sales, brand trust, and popularity.
We’ve tracked some of the top Instagram ads since October 1st, measuring influencers involved, posts that users have loved, and brands who have benefitted from them. Let’s dive into the data.
Notable influencers with brand partnerships
It’s not surprising that most brands target influencers with upwards of hundreds of thousands of followers for maximum exposure. Since October 1st, the most notable personalities getting attention from their Instagram ads include Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner, podcaster Joe Rogan, and country music legend Dolly Parton. Among the top ads of this time period, every influencer has 2M+ followers, maxing out at Kim Kardashian’s 263M.
Variety is a strength when it comes to advertisements, as brands branch out towards different influencers to cover different audiences. An influencer like Kendall Jenner will appeal to millennial and Gen Z fashionistas while actor Will Smith will cover an older demographic. Brands must strategize where they are putting their money and who they are trusting to sell their product for a successful campaign. By paying these influencers with money, products, or experience, they’re looking to profit, not simply break even. But, as many of these influencers have millions of followers, it’s much harder for brands to fail in terms of exposure.
Success also comes in droves of devoted fan bases. The Kardashians, a family worth almost billions, have skyrocketed into the stratosphere of pop culture infamy because of their dedicated group of fans who have stuck around since the early 2000s. From KKW Beauty to Good American jeans to Kylie Cosmetics, each sister has perfected using the allegiance of their fan bases to sell their own products. When it comes to selling for other companies, the already established trust they have with their fans will benefit any brand.
Popular types of posts
Both beauty and technology posts also generated massive amounts of likes, from Will Smith’s collaboration with Fitbit to Shay Mitchell’s promotion of Tresemme. Technology advertisements totaled 15% of the advertisements, including posts about online banking from 21 Savage or Beats headphones from Daniel Ricciardo, while beauty posts totaled 13%, usually centered around promoting skincare treatment like Kiehl’s or La Mer.
The “other” category included cars, television shows, sports, and music. Many of the advertisements in the other category were made by athletes or sports teams, while posts about fashion, beauty, and technology were made by more stereotypical influencers or actors.
Which brands stood out?
Kendall Jenner’s paid promotions dominated the charts. As a high end fashion model and reality television star, most of Jenner’s advertisements are centered around wearable fashion or beauty products. Other fashion brands that performed well in ad space included Shein, White Fox Boutique, and Burberry. Posts ranged from just wearing the brand’s clothing and offering a discount code to product giveaways to followers. Giving consumers incentives to shop or win will only build brand loyalty and prove ads effective.
Luxury motor vehicles also benefited from advertisements, like Alexandra Daddario’s Porsche ad reaching 973k likes. Bugatti ran its own advertisements to promote the CHIRON Super Sport car’s arrival in London. These ads were well marketed as the descriptive captions helped elevate the already high-definition photo of the car to consumers. Ferrari also jumped into the mix by promoting its partnership with popular Formula One driver, Charles Leclerc.
Instagram advertisements are proof that if companies take advantage of those with influence, their brand will see an influx of interest from the public. By collaborating with popular celebrities, brands can push themselves ahead of the competition and expose themselves to a multitude of audiences. This is just a minuscule look at how Instagram advertisements work, but as the platform continues to grow, so will the benefits for willing brands.