Instagram has become synonymous with influencers. It’s by far the most popular social media platform for influencers to use, and in 2018, a staggering 92 percent of influencers prefer to use Instagram. Instagram’s format lends itself to creative expression, especially for sponsored content.

With support for a variety of different types of content, like photos, stories, and even long-form video, it’s no wonder Instagram is the place for influencers.  As the new year picks up, let’s take a look back at some of the most engaging sponsored Instagram posts from digital influencers in 2018. The following list was created using Julius’ Content Search feature:

1) James Charles for Ipsy

  • 2,531,909 engagements
  • 29 percent engagement rate

James Charles, a beauty vlogger, collaborated with Ipsy, a makeup subscription service. Using a variety of makeup from an Ipsy box, James created a look that evoked good and evil, with one eye made up to be blue and white with a halo above his eyebrow, and the other red and black with a devil’s tail winding through his eyebrow.

 

2) Ninja for Samsung

  • 1,332,139 engagements
  • 11 percent engagement rate

The popular Fortnite streamer, Ninja, was featured in a widely released Samsung commercial. While playing Fortnite Mobile, Ninja danced his way through a hair salon, annoying his fellow customers. The video on his profile garnered over 8 million views.

 

3) Alissa Violet for boohoo

 

View this post on Instagram

 

chillin. @boohoo #boohooontheroad #ad

A post shared by Alissa Violet (@alissaviolet) on

  • 1,026,203 engagements
  • 11 percent engagement rate

Alissa Violet, an actress who found her fame through Vine, collaborated with fashion brand boohoo throughout 2018. She wore a boohoo dress to Coachella, racking up millions of engagements along the way.

 

4) Loren Gray for Fashion Nova

 

View this post on Instagram

 

@fashionnova ☁️ ps angel is my mood today #ad

A post shared by queen (@loren) on

  • 1,451,358 engagements
  • 10 percent engagement rate

Loren Gray leveraged her Musical.ly fame to secure a release on a major record label and a high profile collaboration with Fashion Nova. Fashion Nova is known for its robust influencer strategy, targeting everything from nano and micro influencers to accounts as large as Loren’s.

 

5) Bretman Rock for Fashion Nova

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I feel like I’m raising my bestfriend sometimes 📸❤️ pants from @fashionnovamen #ad #shewouldntletmedoherhair

A post shared by Bretman (Da Baddest) Rock (@bretmanrock) on

  • 1,179,576 engagements
  • 11 percent engagement rate

Bretman Rock, an LBGTQ+ comedian with a penchant for fashion, showed off his new digs with his sister in matching outfits courtesy of a collaboration with Fashion Nova.

 

6) Brent Rivera for Facemoji Keyboard

  • 749,201 engagements
  • 7 percent engagement rate

Brent Rivera, a sketch comedian on Instagram, created a funny video using his dog for the Facemoji Keyboard app. Using the Facemoji Keyboard app, Rivera tried to win back his dog’s affection after he was caught playing with another dog.

 

7) Zach King for Nerf

  • 849,021 engagements
  • 4 percent engagement rate

Known for his impressively edited and outlandish videos, Zach King created a video for Nerf that racked up over 5 million views on Instagram. In the video, King used his own brand of humor to showcase Nerf toy rifles.

 

8) Savannah Labrant for Lulus

  • 650,157 engagements
  • 15 percent engagement rate

Fashion and mommy blogger Savannah Labrant weaves her favorite brands into her family-centric posts. She worked with Lulus to show off a maternity dress to the delight of her followers.

 

9) Lea Elui for LEGO

  • 228,126 engagements
  • 2 percent engagement rate

Lea Elui is another influencer who rose to fame on Musical.ly and TikTok. The fashion Instagrammer performed a dance routine with her friend, Lucas Ginet, to the song "Everything Is Awesome," from the upcoming LEGO Movie. Lea asked her followers what their favorites toys were, implying LEGO was one of her favorites.

 

10) Lele Pons for Google

  • 228,126 engagements
  • 2 percent engagement rate

Lele Pons, the Vine superstar turned Instagram darling, teamed up with Google to show off their line of Google Assistant products. Though the post was just a cheeky teaser for a longer commercial that Pons directed, it racked up over 4 million views on Instagram.

 

These influencers leveraged brand sponsorships as a platform for exceptional social media post engagement. By weaving brands into their authentic content, whether it was a lifestyle post or a comedic sketch, each influencer achieved significant returns. Brands who select the right influencers for their audience, and allow them some creative license, can attract millions of engagements with sponsored content. We’re excited to see how influencers will use their creativity to help brands stand out in the marketplace in 2019.