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The 19 Instagram Accounts With the Most Followers (& What Marketers Can Learn From Them)


When Instagram was first released, it was thought of merely as a fun, visual social media network. Nowadays, it’s also used as a major content promotion tool for brands and influencers.

In fact, according to Sprout Social, 80% of Instagram users follow a brand, and one of the three most-viewed Stories of all time was posted by a business account.

Along with business accounts, influencer marketing is also on the rise. For example, 93% of influencer marketing campaignstook place on Instagram in 2018.

By introducing key product updates like video, tales, and IGTV, Instagram now boasts over 1 billion monthly active users who expend close to an hour scrolling through the app each day they log in.

Instagram’s popularity lets most brands forge an emotional connection with a massive audience. Some brands are so good at visually engaging and resonating with Instagram users that they’ve attracted tens of millions of followers.*Bonus Content* Click here to unlock 20 powerful strategies & hacks for  increasing Instagram engagement.

To help you learn from the platform’s best of the best, we’ve compiled a listing of 19 accounts with the highest number of users — as well as a few key takeaways from each.

Because the accounts with the most adherents belong to influencers and celebrities, we’ve split this rundown into two sublists that are brand and influencer specific.

1. Instagram

Followers: 303 Million

Instagram situateds a great example for brands who truly want to engage an audience on their app. By curating and reposting their users’ most captivating content on their own profile, Instagram shows their followers that everyday people can meet their creative and artistic potential on the platform.

This inspires brands and normal Instagram users to spend the time and endeavour required to craft visually gripping content that will instantly hold an audience’s attention.

2. National Geographic

Followers: 111 Million

National Geographic hires the most talented photographers in the world, so their Instagram posts of landscapes, cityscapes, and the surround life always seem to be awe-inspiring. But their stunning visuals aren’t the only reason why they’ve attracted over 100 million followers.

National Geographic is a historic magazine that’s famous for their credible journalism and obligating storytelling. In each post’s caption, they are able to craft fascinating narratives about the photo or video, usually in a way that spreads awareness for a relevant environmental issue.

Breaking down these roadblocks between fan and player builds Real Madrid’s fan base feel like they actually know their favorite players on a personal level, which develops a more intimate and loyal relationship between the two.

5. FC Barcelona

Followers: 71.1 Million

Like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona updates Barcelona fans with athletics photography, season-related stats, information about Barcelona players, and other fun tidbits related to the team and season.

They use a mix of content styles with videos, action shots, and posed photos, but they always use many tags, hashtags, and eye-popping emojis in their captions.

NASA’s Instagram Stories and IGTV channel also educate their adherents about interesting space insights, like the views of the sunlight and Earth, the search for life in space, and NASA’s new technology launches

NASA’s popularity on Instagram demonstrates that you can actually create educational content that doesn’t sacrifice any entertainment value.

8. UEFA Champions League

Followers: 41.3 Million

In the last year, the Champs League outstripped the NBA’s account in Instagram followers. Like the other soccer brand accounts we’ve noted, the Champions League regularly posts action and squad shots, as well as updates related to upcoming and past games.

Along with regular updates and action shoots, some of the account’s regular posts include stats like “Top Scorers, ” behind-the-scenes videos, and squad roster images.

Harnessing the power of the past is one of the most effective ways to evoke an emotional response from your audience and forge a connection with them. With that in mind , nostalgia should always be in your marketing arsenal.

1. Cristiano Rinaldo

Followers: 170 Million

So, who has the most followers on Instagram? That would be Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s been called the world’s best football player( or futbol player ).

Along with the anticipated football action shots, his Instagram strategy largely involves paid partnerships and cross promotions. Here’s just one example:

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