By Sofia Kumpumäki
The influencer marketing industry is interesting for several reasons including its innovative nature and the fact that the scene is always changing with new apps, tools, and influencers to follow. However, one of the most interesting aspects of the social media market today is that it is completely dominated by women. In fact, when it comes to social media influencers, no one does it as well or as big as female influencers, and there are no signs that this trend will slow down. What is also interesting is that women dominate the overall influencer market as well as smaller regional markets. In other words, influencer marketing is one of few industries in the world where women continuously outperform men.
But how come women are dominating the market? And, more importantly, who are the biggest female influencers in the world as well as in more regional markets?
Instagram is Home to the Largest Influencers
In order to make this post as accurate and relevant as possible, we’ve decided to only focus on Instagram and Instagram influencers. The reason for this is that Instagram is de facto the largest platform for influencers and it’s where the largest influencers are active. Also, other platforms such as Snapchat, YouTube, and Twitter usually have more specific influencers and niches which makes it hard to compare the with each other.
According to most experts, there are two ways to check who the biggest influencers on Instagram are. Firstly, you can check the actual number of followers to see who has the most followers out of all. It's simple but not optimal. The other option is to check how quickly somebody is growing, how big their reach is, and try to evaluate their actual influence. To give you an idea of how that can look we have listed some of the world's biggest female influencers further down on this page.
But first, we'll answer the million dollar question:
How Come Women Are Dominating the Industry?
As you can imaging, this is a topic that many like to speculate on and there seems to be a million answers as to why women are dominating Instagram, mostly based on personal feelings. However, there are also some theories based on facts. For example, the biggest categories on Instagram at the moment are fashion, fitness, food, lifestyle, and travel. And the biggest groups of regular users within those categories are women. Naturally, women are more inclined to follow and support female influencers.
Moreover, there are certain social settings that help women in the field. Fashion, beauty and fitness are three things that are sold using models, or in this case, with the influencers as models. And the truth is that we as consumers as well as the brands themselves are used to selling clothes using female models. Another reason why this has happened and how influencer marketing became one of the few female-dominated industries in the world has to do with the influencers themselves. The idea of using influencers to market and sell products and brands on social media began with women. Users and at the time semi-famous people like Kim Kardashian were quick to realize the potential that social media had and they did not wait around. In turn, this resulted in the use of female influencers from the beginning.
In other words, it’s the targeted demographic groups using these social media platforms as well as the interests that bring them there that create an industry that is very accepting of women. Better yet, there is nothing indicating that this would ever change, and even though there are more male influencers now than ever before, they are being crushed by their female competitors in every way possible.
Regardless of how you measure their influence, you will end up with a list of mostly women. We’ve put together a list of 5 of the most influential Instagram accounts further down with an explanation of why their the biggest and how they got there. But to provide you with an example of just how big women are on Instagram, we’ll take a look at the biggest accounts out there.
Who Are the Biggest Influencers on Instagram?
If we only look at the actual number of followers, both the top 10 and top 20 list on Instagram are dominated by female influencers.
At the time of writing, the number 1 position was actually held by the football player Cristiano Ronaldo (151 million followers) but he is the exception that proves the rule. Besides Ronaldo, there are only two other male influencers on the top 10 list and only 5 males on the top 20 list.
For the past couple of years, there has been a close fight between the top influencers on Instagram for who could be crowned the Queen of Instagram. For the longest time, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian were running neck in neck and both Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande have gotten their time in the spotlight. However, in the last year or so, the field has been dominated by Selena Gomez as well as Kim Kardashian and her half-sister Kylie Jenner.
Does the Biggest Account Mean the Biggest Influence?
That’s a good question that a lot of people are asking. As you can see, the top 10 and even top 20 lists of the largest accounts on Instagram consist of exclusively famous people that got famous for other reasons than their Instagram accounts, with the exception of the Kardashian/Jenners clan who can thank most of the fame to social media. Because of this, it’s important to also weigh an influencer's reach, the speed of growth, and other aspects to decide who’s the biggest one. In an attempt to give our own take on the most influential Instagram accounts we put together a top 5 list. This list consists of the 5 biggest and most influential female influencers on Instagram right now.
Kylie Jenner is one of the influencers who has actually gotten famous more or less through social media. Yes, her sisters are also some of the most famous influencers in the world and she did partake in the TV show Keeping up with the Kardashians. But she has never had a major role in the TV show and nowadays she is mostly known for her make-up empire that was built almost solely on Instagram and Snapchat. With over 125 million followers, Kylie Jenner has one of the all-time biggest Instagram accounts ever. In addition, Kylie Jenner’s make-up line has managed to make her a net worth just shy of $1 billion, making her the youngest ever self-made billionaire according to Forbes.
While some might be more familiar with her older sister Kim Kardashian, there is no doubt that Kylie Jenner has risen to become even more influential than Kim. As a result, Kylie's success story will continue to inspire young women around the world for many years to come.
Note that Kylie Jenner’s four sisters Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and Kendall are all on the top 20 list of the biggest Instagram accounts.
2. Selena Gomez
Despite here young age, Selena Gomez has had a long and impressive career in show business that’s resulted in one of the biggest Instagram accounts of all times with more than 144 million followers. In fact, Selena Gomez has been the largest female Instagrammer for quite some time.
With a successful career as an actress on the Disney Channel as well as an even more impressive career as a singer and producer coupled with a high-profile relationship with fellow performer Justin Bieber, it comes as no surprise that Selena Gomez is as influential as she is on Instagram. Social media users tend to follow and adore users that they can either relate to or look up to, and Selena Gomez offers a combination of the two. For millions of young girls around the world, Selena Gomez is proof that anyone can make it.
3. Huda Kattan
As we continue on with the list, you’ll notice that the number of followers will drop slightly although the amount of influence will increase. Huda Kattan is one of the leading American Instagram influencers with over 32 million followers. Kattan is a make-up artist turned fashion blogger and entrepreneur who has been actively promoting beauty products and her fashionable lifestyle online for years.
As you probably know, how-to videos and reviews are one of the hottest trends of 2018 and 2019 and Huda Kattan is one of the best when it comes to how-to make-up videos. Similar to Kylie Jenner, Huda Kattan has launched her own make-up collection, and by the looks of it, she will be a force to be reckoned with for many years. Also, in 2017, the New York Times published an article called “Is Huda Kattan the Most Influential Beauty Blogger in the World?” and since then she has grown to almost double here Instagram following as well as more than double here global influence.
4. Nikkie de Jager
As mentioned, the trend of women dominating social media is a global phenomenon that happens everywhere, and Nikkie de Jager who is originally from the Netherlands is the perfect example. Nikkie de Jager is a major Instagram influencer and beauty blogger with more than 11 million followers. de Jager first rose to fame after a video of her showing herself before and after makeup went viral. She is also considered a plus-size model which sadly is not common in this field. That being said, de Jager has helped countless women and young girls feel more comfortable with themselves.
Today her Instagram account is quickly growing, and she has millions upon millions of views across her YouTube account, and she is not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.
5. Michelle Lewin
We mentioned earlier that one of the biggest categories of influencers belongs to the fitness world, and when it comes to fitness on Instagram, few users are as influential as Florida-based Michelle Lewin. With 13.3 million followers on Instagram, this Venezuelan born fitness model is sharing her fitness story and favorite products with the world. What is even more impressive is how quickly the development went for Lewin who literally went from working at a local clinic in Venezuela to being the biggest fitness influencer in only a few years time.
The Biggest Social Media Influencers in Sweden
To offer you an insight into how influencers work abroad, we’ll provide a brief summary of the 5 biggest Instagram influencers in Sweden based on numbers collected from Beatly's own platform.
What is interesting about the Swedish influencer marketing industry is that the biggest influencers are not famous people with an Instagram account, but Instagram influencers who have gotten famous.
Similar to the rest of the world, it’s fitness and fashion that dominate the Swedish market.
- Anna Nyström with 7.4 million Instagram followers is a health and fitness blogger with a large international reach.
- Rachel Brathen has 2.15 million followers and is also into fitness. Brathen became an international sensation and yoga influencer after her book “Yoga Girl” became a New York Times Bestseller.
- Linn Löwes is a cancer survivor and certified fitness instructor with 1.8 million followers on Instagram.
- Kenza Zouiten was and still is the most important and influential fashion blogger in Sweden and today she has 1.8 million Instagram followers. For many years, Kenza ran the most visited blog in Sweden and today she handles a massive fashion empire with several of her own collections created in collaboration with major fashion brands from all over the world.
- Janni Delér is a Swedish fashion and travel blogger based in Monaco. She has 1.3 million Instagram followers with whom she shares fashion advice as well as content from her many trips around the world.
As one of the few industries in the world that is completely dominated by women, the influencer marketing industry continues to impress us. Not only are the biggest Instagram accounts in the world mostly owned by women, but the most influential Instagrammers of the world are also women.
And as long as fashion, fitness, and lifestyle continue to attract millions of readers and users, women will continue to dominate the market.