With 108 million followers, Kylie Jenner has purportedly broken the record for commanding the most expensive posts on social media. Social media analytics firm, D’Marie Analytics, reports that each of Jenner posts are now worth USD 1 million in “ad equivalent value”, which makes Kylie the “highest-valued influencer currently on social media today”, surpassing Beyoncé, who was the last to hold this title.
So what makes the 20-year-old influencer, entrepreneur and now, mother-of-one’s posts worth so much?
I. Arrival of Stormi Webster
There is an open secret to increasing any influencer’s Instagram engagement: having a baby. Beyoncé‘s announcement about the impending arrival of Sir and Rumi Carter, for an example, is the most liked post of Instagram in 2017.
Italian influencer and businessperson, Chiara Ferragni‘s posts often see higher engagement when they feature her newborn. In fact, all of Ferragni’s top posts (those that receive the most number of likes) in the last three months feature either her newborn or her pregnancy.
If that’s not quite enough proof, one of Singapore’s largest influencers, Xiaxue, once joked that she ought to give birth to a second child in order to increase her engagement and follower count. She then got creative and posted a series of photographs over the next two days, hashtagged #dash2point0, photoshopping old photographs of her son into more recent ones, pretending that she had indeed had a second child.
I have a brilliant idea ok hear me out 😂 So when I tell people I have instacancer they always jokingly say go have another kid lol 👶🏻 Not that instagram followers should matter that much or having them should be the sole purpose of having a kid of course (God forbid people do that)…. but it hit me…💡I DON’T NEED TO HAVE ANOTHER KID. I JUST NEED TO *LOOK* LIKE I HAVE ANOTHER KID. I have over 20,000 photos and videos of Dash, and I barely posted 5% of that. 😂 I have enough to do another round of Dash pics from birth!! Hahahaha!!! . So I’ll just post Dash 2.0 which is just old pics of Dash lol!! 😂 What do you think of my plan? I’m quite excited coz BABY DASH IS SO CUTE! #我疯了 I think I might just be finding excuses to post more BB Dash photos 😂 . Ok so here it is… photo of Dash 2.0, our newborn! He was born with stormy blue eyes… and yes Mt Elizabeth is very progressive they using pink wraps on both boys and girls. What should we name him? 😂 #dash2point0
But let’s not forget the topic at hand–Kylie Jenner’s Instagram posts. Given that Jenner has just given birth and regularly posts photographs of her newborn, it is no surprise then that her posts (particularly those that feature her newborn) are experiencing a sudden surge in engagement. Take a look at her top posts from the past three months below:
8 of 15 top posts feature Stormi Webster, which means that 8 of the 9 photos containing her newborn that Jenner has posted in the last three months has made it onto her top posts. The final one, shown below, contains neither Kylie’s nor Stormi’s faces, and yet still managed to garner more than 6.5 million likes as of the time of writing.
While Jenner herself has been a model influencer, receiving a very high percentage engagement for the size of her following, the arrival of Stormi Webster has, no doubt, helped to further increase her media value.
II. Steadily Increasing Engagement
While many influencers who have large followings find their engagement decreasing or stagnating over time, the same cannot be said for Jenner. Take a look at the number of likes she has received each month over a two year period below:
While Stormi’s arrival clearly bumped up the total number of likes Jenner received per month, we can still see a distinct upward trend in Jenner’s total likes per month over the last two years. This means that even if Stormi had not come onto the scene, it is highly likely that Jenner’s would still have been performing well as an influencer.
Since engagement is part of the measurement of an influencer’s media value, it is quite clear that Jenner’s media value has been and continues to be on the rise. That it managed to surpass Beyoncé’s, especially at this point in time, is likely due to the addition of the new family member.
III. Steady Audience Growth
Other than a healthy, increasing engagement, Jenner’s reach has also been rising steadily over the past two years. Take a look at a graph of her audience growth below:
Although her audience growth did stagnate in the few months Jenner disappeared from Instagram, it was quickly jump-started when she made her first post explaining her absence (highlighted in the pink box above) and has seen a clear increasing trend since then. This is in contrast to the general trend seen by mega-influencers on Instagram, whose follower growths either stagnate or go in the red.
Jenner’s consistent audience growth over a two-year period is certainly also a factor contributing to her publicity value. It is also worth noting that Jenner’s media value outstrips Beyoncé’s, despite the latter have more followers not just on Instagram, but on all social media outlets, suggesting that while follower count is important, it certainly is not the deciding factor in one’s value as an influencer.