The top industries using Instagram

With 2 billion monthly active users — Instagram has posed to be a holy grail for brands in discovering new audiences and boosting revenue. It has played a pivotal role in increasing brand reach and transformed how brands position themselves. The top industries using Instagram have many strategies in common, especially when it comes to community-driven content. 

The top industries using Instagram marketing today are fashion, food, travel, beauty and skincare, and real estate.

1. Fashion industry

It would be safe to say that Instagram is dominated by the fashion world. 

Magazines and billboards are no longer consumers’ main sources of fashion inspiration Today, anything that’s trending on Instagram in terms of fashion creates a bandwagon effect. Approximately 50% of Instagram users engage with and follow accounts in this niche to discover new brands, buy products, and find outfit inspiration. Luxury fashion brands have leveraged Instagram exceptionally; Instagram contributes to a whopping 93% of their total interactions. 

The most successful fashion brands often make their Instagram posts shoppable — both on the app and on their own eCommerce websites.

2. Food industry

Food and Instagram are a match made in heaven. When was the last time you took a food picture for the gram before gorging on it? 

From fast-food giants to vegan food bloggers, all micro-niches are having their piece of cake. As per a study in 2019, “Food fans connect to Instagram an average of 18 times a day.”

As aesthetically pleasing and appetizing food photos have ruled Instagram, brands and individuals have shifted the needle to more behind-the-scenes storytelling, foodie influencer marketing collaborations, and, perhaps most notably, user-generated content (UGC). 

Levain Bakery on Instagram

Starting out as a local bake shop in New York, Levain Bakery is now a globally known brand, boasting hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers. Levain’s Instagram is well-known for sharing UGC in the form of gooey cookie breaks — a strategy that has helped the brand boost awareness and build community on social media.

CJ Hernandez, Partner Solutions Manager, Publisher & Lifestyle Partnerships at Instagram, told Forbes: "Instagram has transformed into an alternate type of Food Network in everybody’s handheld device”

The advent of IGTV and reels has skyrocketed impressions on Instagram in recent years. Furthermore, influencer marketing brings a whopping engagement rate of 7.38% to the food industry.

3. Travel industry

A recent survey found that as much as 40% of Instagram users under the age of 30 have prioritized the “Instagrammability” of the destinations before they plan a trip or make any purchasing decisions. Vacationers these days aren’t just looking for a good experience — they also want an experience catered to sharing on the ‘gram.

The impact of Instagram on the travel industry has been so profound that almost everyone has become an ambassador of the trips they take and the places they visit. Successful travel influencers are even able to build careers off of traveling to new destinations and Instagramming their vacays.

As audiences consume content from everyday consumers and their favorite influencers sharing content from their travels on Instagram, companies in the travel industry have grown their presences on Instagram. Destinations like Kimpton Hotels and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas partner with ambassadors and influencers to take advantage of this phenomenon, often resharing their content on the brand’s Instagram account.

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas influencer marketing example on Instagram

Travel influencers often take advantage of branded hashtags and mention the travel brands featured in their posts. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas uses Pixlee TurnTo [now Emplifi] to harness this high-quality community content, driving over 250 million impressions on social media and the brand’s site.

4. Beauty and Skincare industry

From social media marketing to influencers, the beauty and skincare industry took over Instagram way before others joined the bandwagon. In the year 2020, 90% of Instagram posts were by beauty brands. Clearly, Instagram is the No.1 platform for brand awareness for beauty brands. 

Similarly to the fashion industry, integration options like a shoppable Instagram feed have become popular in the beauty community. From IGTV and reels to stories and static posts, these brands make the most of their Instagram usage both on and off the app.

Glossier’s brand ambassador program across Instagram massively contributed to its success. The company chose beauty influencers within the beauty niche who had a good amount of influence over their followers. Glossier offered them discounts through their reps, and each time someone placed an order through them— they’d make a small commission. Many other successful beauty brands have picked up this eCommerce referral program approach on Instagram. 

Affordable, vegan, and transparent skincare brands are also making their mark on Instagram. 

Coming to trends and transparent skincare, K-beauty or Korean beauty is dominating the Instagram world. Wondering why? As per Korean tradition, their skin-care regime only constitutes natural and chemical-free ingredients and gives that glowy-dewy look that is trending in the beauty world. Korean skin-care routines do not just constitute a product or two. Typically they have 7-step processes, which adds to their popularity. 

Beauty and Skincare Instagram post examples

K-beauty powerhouse MBX uses Pixlee TurnTo across its five different brand accounts on Instagram, often resharing UGC to resonate with its diverse and engaged audience.

5. Real Estate industry

In 2020, Close reported that 44% of real estate agents got a new client just because they listed the property on social media. Social media sits next to referrals when it comes to obtaining listings. Since home selling is a visual process, Instagram fits in perfectly. 

One might wonder how an industry like real estate is flourishing on a platform dominated by millennials. The National Association of Homebuilders conducted a study on homeownership, and the findings were startling, to say the least. As much as 89% of millennials look forward to becoming homeowners.

Today, we see a surge in real estate influencers, too, showing off stunning properties, via images and videos. 

homestoloveau on Instagram

Instagram influencer and real estate agent Mellisa Vale explained how Instagram has played a significant role in growing her personal brand and real estate business; “I initially started growing my social media channel out of a desire to promote my listings and my real estate business in general. All the real estate firms encourage it. My fashion and beauty brand work happened as an extension of this.” 

While these five industries are incredibly popular on Instagram, brands in any industry have the potential to thrive on the app — especially when they embrace user-generated content and influencer marketing. 

Piyush Shah is a 6 figure affiliate marketer and has helped grow multiple businesses from nothing to making insane business figures. He is currently working as Head of SEO at Dukaan.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

More insights from Emplifi

Top image: 5 biggest customer expectations from those seeking social customer care

5 biggest customer expectations from those seeking social customer care

Emplifi Report - Social Media Customer Expectations

[Report] 7 key consumer expectations impacting social media success today

Emplifi Press: Emplifi Reveals Nearly 90% of Consumers Say Customer Ratings and Reviews Have the Biggest Impact on Purchasing Decisions

[Report] Meeting the demands of the modern customer

Forrester Consulting Study: Social Marketing Leaders Are In Critical Need of Integrated Data and Agile Technology

Forrester Consulting Study: Social Marketing Leaders Are In Critical Need of Integrated Data and Agile Technology

Emplifi Social Media Benchmarks 2024

The social media benchmarks to guide your 2024 strategy

Emplifi Authenticity Infographic

[Infographic] How customers pursue authenticity on the path to purchase and loyalty

Emplifi Report: Unleashing the Power of Video: Key Trends Driving Social Media Engagement in 2023

Unleashing the Power of Video: Key Trends Driving Social Media Engagement

Emplifi Press:  Report Reveals Untapped Opportunities for Influencer Marketing in Key Industries

The State of Influencer Marketing 2023

Emplifi Blog: The influencer marketing stats you need to know this year

[Infographic] The influencer marketing stats you need to know this year

Emplifi CX Index Main Findings blog post main image

Breaking down the key findings in the Emplifi CX Index

Emplifi newsletter

Sign up for the latest insights and best practices to elevate your social marketing, commerce, and care.

Just some of our recent awards

MarTech Breakthrough Awards 2023 - Emplifi (Influencer Marketing Innovation Award)
Emplifi -  AI Breakthrough Awards 2023 - Best Text Generative AI Solution
CUSTOMER Contact Center Technology Award 2023
TrustRadius Top Rated 2024 Badge
G2 Badge: Leader Enterprise Spring 2024
Logo - G2: Highest User Adoption (Spring 2024)
Logo - G2: Easiest Admin Mid-Market (Spring 2024)
Logo - G2: Enterprise Leader EMEA (Spring 2024)
Award - G2: Users Love Us