And Why They Matter To Brands...
As the world around us changes rapidly, so does marketing. Marketers are constantly trying to think of new ways to promote their products, and more and more companies are turning to social media influencers to help gain new customers.
Social media influencers are now becoming celebrities in their own right. And because of this, their fans are ready to support them in any way. What better way to capitalize on this than starting a partnership with the next up-and-coming influencer? In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the top 15 highest-paid Instagram influencers and their brand deals.
#1: Lele Pons
Lele Pons is a comedian, actress, and singer best known for her short slapstick comedy skits on Vine (and now YouTube). With 49.2 million followers and counting, Pons has become a powerhouse influencer who makes over $180,000 per sponsored post.
With branded deals from the likes of MTV, Budweiser, Google, and Tinder, Lele has made herself indispensable when it comes to reaching the Gen Z audience. While her videos are mainly comedy ones, her Instagram is filled with intimate posts about her daily life. Because of this, beauty brands like CoverGirl and Tarte have tapped her to work with them. In 2017, she was named CoverGirl's newest ambassador, and in 2019, she took part in a collaboration with Tarte to create her own line of eyeshadow, lip gloss, and false lashes.
Pons' versatile talents, as well as brand deals, make her the perfect influencer to partner with; she doesn't box herself into specific products or industries when it comes to sponsorships!
Photo Credit: Corbin Baer
#2: Charli D'Amelio
The 18-year-old TikToker earns about $172,700 per Instagram post. Considering that she is the most followed person on TikTok (with 145.8 million) and that she has 49 million followers on Instagram, these numbers make perfect sense. She has quite a presence on social media and a strong pull on Gen Z.
In the past, she has done partnerships with Hollister, Dunkin' Donuts, Pura Vida, EOS Skincare, and Sabra Hummus, to name a few!
Photo Credit: Charli D'Amelio
#3: Huda Kattan
Huda Kattan is a makeup artist, beauty blogger, and entrepreneur. While she majored in finance in college, she was always interested in makeup and began her career as a celebrity makeup artist in 2010. As she continued her makeup artistry career, she started her own beauty blog called Huda Beauty. From there, she grew her empire! Shortly after gaining a large following from her work as an MUA and through her blog, Huda started her own false eyelash line. Her line of false lashes catapulted to the mainstream overnight when Kim Kardashian was seen wearing them, and from there, history was made!
Huda now runs a multi-million dollar makeup company while still regularly updating her Instagram with beauty tutorials. She now makes an average of $158,515 per sponsored Instagram post.
Photo Credit: Huda Kattan
#4: Addison Rae
The southern sweetheart earns about $155,800 per post and has about 40 million Instagram followers. Aside from being an influencer, Rae is also a singer and actress. Back in March 2021, she made her music debut with her hit single "OBSESSED," and in late August 2021, she made her way onto the big screen with her debut film He's All That, which is a remake of the late 90's classic She's All That.
She has partnered with brands as big as American Eagle, OLAY, Chipotle, SHEIN, and more. Similar to Dixie, she also made an appearance at the 2021 Met Gala and was invited by Team YouTube. Though she is new to the scene, she is becoming increasingly important and relevant in pop culture.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of AEO, Inc
#5: James Charles
James Charles is one of the most widely-known Instagram and YouTube beauty influencers. He started his career on YouTube in 2015 and has grown to be the most-subscribed to beauty YouTuber with 23.9 million subscribers. He currently has 22.7 Instagram followers and averages about $150,733 per sponsored post.
James is no stranger to sponsored content; from Morphe to Ole Henrickson, James has been able to partner with beauty brands around the globe in order to promote his persona and their products. Through his brand deals, he has been able to break barriers and stretch his creativity; he became the first male spokesperson for CoverGirl in 2016, and in 2019, he created his own line of makeup brushes and eyeshadow palettes for the beauty brand, Morphe.
Even though James is working on his own merchandise products and no doubt has other surprises for fans in store, his personal brand and massive following are perfect for beauty and fashion brands around the world.
Photo Credit: Bryan Bedder | WireImage | Getty Images
#6: Rosanna Pansino
YouTuber and baker Rosanna Pansino is most well-known for her baking show, Nerdy Nummies, on YouTube. In this show, she bakes pastries and baked goods from and inspired by typically "nerdy" shows and video games. With 4.5 million followers on Instagram (and 13.8 million subscribers on YouTube), Rosanna rakes in around $108,000 per sponsored post.
While most of Rosanna's sponsored posts come from baking-related brands, she has expanded her horizons to home decor, health, and beauty. She has done partnerships with Wayfair, Ritz crackers, Sensodyne, and Fleischmann's Yeast and even partnered with Wilton to create her own line of baking tools and decorating products!
That being said, Pansino is notoriously very picky about which brands she partners with, stating "whenever I decide to partner with a brand, it has to be a brand that I absolutely love and I use in real life." Although this may prove difficult for some brands to start a partnership with her, the authenticity that her way of thinking brings is vital to a successful partnership. Fans know that she won't endorse a brand unless she truly believes in it, and that makes her fans more eager to purchase the products that she advertises.
Photo Credit: Roy Rochlin | Getty Images
#7: Dixie D'Amelio
Similar to her younger sister, Dixie D'Amelio also rakes in a whole lot of bucks on IG. She earns about $99,800 per post and has almost 25 million followers on the app. Aside from being an influencer, Dixie is also a musician. While she didn't have the smoothest start entering the music industry, Dixie is slowly but surely, proving herself to be a rather qualified artist.
Dixie has collaborated with a number of top-performing brands, such as Hollister, Morphe, and Chanel, and has made her way to A-list celebrity status (she was even invited to 2021's Met Gala!) Companies all around have leveraged Dixie's celebrity stardom to bring in the bucks. And, of course, why wouldn't they? While not everyone is a fan of the D'Amelio family (and TikTokers, in general), there is an undeniable charm about Dixie, as many love her for her relatability, authenticity, and tough nature.
Photo Credit: Nylon | Steffanee Wang
#8: Sommer Ray
Sommer Ray is a model and fitness Instagrammer with 26.3 million followers. She is best known for her short workout videos and relatable content and she brings in an average of $86,000 per sponsored post.
Although she has her own activewear brand (Sommer Ray's Shop) and subscription box, she still isn't shy when it comes to partnering with other brands that align with her online persona. She is a big fan of all things fitness and has her own training program through the app FitPlan. Ray was also the face of PrettyLittleThing's workout wear campaign. She also partnered with Apt2B.com to help furnish her new apartment and has had a years-long deal with underwear brand PSD Underwear.
Ray's goofy personality and honesty through her social media posts allow fans to easily relate to her. Because of this, many of her fans are quick. to support her when it comes to branded deals or even her own business endeavors, which makes her an ideal candidate for your next partnership!
Photo Credit: Barry King | Getty Images
#9: Zach King
Zach King is a filmmaker and editing "wizard" whose claim to fame was on the short video-sharing app, Vine. Although that app shut down in 2016, he moved his skills over to TikTok, where he has amassed 69.2 million followers, making him the sixth most-followed creator on the app. King shares his videos on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, where he has 24.5 million followers and where he makes an average of $81,000 per sponsored post.
King has made thousands of visually stunning videos that have helped him gain a strong following, so it's no wonder that he has had his fair share of brand deals! His fans vary in age immensely, but when making videos, he thinks first "about kids, inspiration, creativity, and color." Because of this, his brand deals mainly cater to his younger audience.
He has had brand deals with companies as big as Coca-Cola, Disney, and Crayola, and these partnerships have proved successful for both parties. King's unique ways of creating magic-like videos keeps his audience interested and keeps brands excited to work with him!
Photo Credit: Picture Perfect | REX | Shutterstock
#10: Bretman Rock
Bretman Rock is a beauty influencer and social media personality. He rose to fame through YouTube and Vine, where he would post makeup tutorial videos. As his fame grew, so did his business prowess. He now has an eyewear collection and a makeup collaboration with beauty brand, Wet N' Wild, and, in this past year alone, he made history by being the first openly gay man to be featured on the cover of Playboy. With 18.4 million followers (and counting!), sponsored posts with Bretman average $75,000.
Photo Credit: Sara Weiss
#11: David Dobrik
David Dobrik is a YouTube star and the founding member of "The Vlog Squad," a group of comedy content creators. His pranks, sketches, and vlogs with friends helped propel him to superstardom, and he now has 11.8 million followers on Instagram, alone. His relatable content and inside look at his life via social media consistently bring in new followers from all walks of life, which makes him one of the most sought-after influencers when it comes to branded content; at an average of $70,000 per post, you too can become one of David's most talked-about brands!
Most famously, Dobrik regularly partners with ticketing app, SeatGeek. Many of David's videos are sponsored by the company, helping fund some of his crazier pranks and gifts to friends. Along with SeatGeek, Dobrik has long-standing partnerships with Chipotle, the Honey app, and Electronic Arts. While "long-term partnerships are where the money is," Dobrik also has done one-off deals that are just as successful. From Curology to Nerf, all of Dobrik's branded content is a slam dunk.
David's nonsensical pranks and killer giveaways (anyone want a Tesla?) keep fans coming back for more. And because of this, brands do the same. All of David's branded content is extremely successful, and there is truly no downside to working with him!
Photo Credit: David Dobrik
#12: Chiara Ferragni
Italian fashion influencer Chiara Ferragni rakes in almost $60,000 per sponsored post. While that may seem like a steep ask, with 27.7 million followers, her posts reach people all over the world. Ferragni started off her career with a fashion blog and quickly gained traction in the fashion world through it, getting attention from high-end fashion brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton. Throughout her career, she has gotten extremely close to Dior, working with them on their Dior fragrance and beauty campaigns. She was also recently named the international ambassador for Amazon Fashion.
While she now has her own clothing and shoe company, Chiara still runs her blog and is always open to new partnerships. Her authenticity and aesthetically pleasing posts make her the perfect influencer to partner with, whether it be fashion, food, or family products!
Photo Credit: Christian Vierig | Getty Images
#13: Paul Nicklen
Paul Nicklen is a nature photographer, a regular contributor to National Geographic, and a marine biologist. His absolutely breathtaking photos have graced the covers of magazines, books, and even a Pearl Jam album cover! With his stunning shots, it's no surprise that he has 7.3 million Instagram followers and that he garners around $44,000 per sponsored post.
That being said, Nicklen won't partner with just anyone; in an Instagram post, he explained that "I am very particular about who I work with – relationships must be organic and align ethically." He really only gets into partnerships with brands he is familiar with and who fit his goal of sharing beautiful art while educating followers about the environment.
However, just because he's particular about his sponsored posts doesn't mean that he hasn't had successful brand deals. He's worked with brands like Lowepro and Gitzo to promote their camera bags and equipment, has created stunning posts for Zodiac watches, and even famously endorsed Sony as his new go-to mirrorless camera after strictly using Canon for years.
Even though the majority of Nicklen's partnerships are very specifically catered to photographers, his shots are nothing short of awe-inspiring and have introduced his followers to new brands.
Photo Credit: Cristina Mittermeier
#14: Michelle Lewin
Michelle Lewin is an Instagram fitness influencer, model, and entrepreneur. She got her start on Instagram after posting fitness tips and health advice, and has grown exponentially ever since. With 14.4 million followers, a book deal, her own online fitness platform, and a fitness wear line, Lewin has made herself a pillar of the Instagram fitness community!
On average, Michelle makes over $33,900 per sponsored post. However, she is now starting to step away from sponsored posts because she is so busy with running her own businesses outside of social media!
Photo Credit: Michelle Lewin
#15: Jen Selter
Jen Selter is an Instagram fitness influencer and model who is passionate about wellness and positivity, and who uses her voice to speak up about social issues that are important to her. With 13.5 million followers (making her the 53rd most-followed person on Instagram), Jen makes an average of $27,400 per sponsored post.
As Instagram quickly gained popularity, so did Jen. She was quick to start using the social media app upon its release in 2010, and after a year of using it, she started getting partnership offers from fitness and wellness brands. Since then, she has partnered with brands like Vital Protein, BlendJet, FitTea, FitPlan, and Sprint (among many others)!
Her quick rise to fame inspires many, while her workout videos and healthy food recipes allow her fans to have accessible ways to become their best selves! Now, who wouldn't want to work with someone who so positively helps people reach their full potential?
Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan | Getty Images
The Next Steps
Social media doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. And because of that, now is a better time than any to explore influencers for your next brand partnership! Be sure to check out our blogs below to learn even more about influencer marketing.
- What Characteristics to Look for When Hiring an Influencer
- Covid-19 Marketing: Leveraging Social Media and Influencers
- An Insider's Guide To Social Media Influencers
- Why Social Media Engagement Is Important For A Brand's Social Influencer
- The Top Food Influencers and Brand Partnerships
Interested in learning about how to become an influencer, yourself? Look no
further than Hollywood Branded's very own Influencer Marketing School!