The integration of AI into various fields has revamped how brands run marketing campaigns. One significant trend emerging is the adoption of AI influencer marketing. The number of AI influencers is expected to soar, creating new opportunities for brands to partner with them.
This guide predicts how brands will harness AI tools in their influencer marketing strategies to automate tasks such as influencer research and collaboration management to thrive in this evolving landscape.
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AI influencer marketing trends
While the number of AI influencers is not as abundant as real influencers, the same cannot be said for the future. The number of virtual influencers is constantly growing and it is not very far-fetched to say that these influencers will find their way into the audience's lives. Let’s take a look at the trends in AI influencer marketing and how they can change the future of the same.
1. Influencer discovery and research
Looking for the right influencer has been an important part of brand influencer marketing campaigns. Manually looking for influencers and filtering through the millions of options available, including all the social media platforms out there, can be a highly engaging task.
Brands have to take into consideration many metrics when picking an influencer for their campaign.
Number of followers
Number of likes and comments that influencer’s posts receive
The kind of content influencer posts
History of the influencer
The social media platform the influencer uses
The kind of audience that follows the influencer
AI tools help brands discover influencers and thoroughly research them before choosing. AI tools help identify relevant influencers based on audience demographics, interests, brand affinity, etc. It can also detect fake followers or engagement, protecting the brands from fraudulent influencers.
This trend of using AI to select influencers will become more mainstream in the future as AI becomes more capable of suggesting the best-matched influencers for individual campaigns.
2. Measure influencer marketing metrics
Brands with more than one campaign can find it very difficult to monitor the performance of their campaigns due to the number of posts each campaign contains. Moreover, when brands collaborate with multiple influencers, tracking the ROI received from each collaboration becomes difficult.
AI tools help brands monitor individual campaigns' performance in real-time. They help with social media reporting and analysis. Upfluence, for instance, helps you to measure important metrics such as reach, engagement, follower growth, impressions, and conversions in real-time.
The monitoring of these campaigns will be completely monitored by AI and it will be able to provide not just the reporting but also suggestions on improving the performance of individual campaigns by maybe replacing a particular influencer with a more closely matched one.
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3. Use of virtual influencers
Virtual influencers are becoming normal for brands to connect more closely with the newer generations and adopt AI in their campaigns. We have seen big brands collaborating with AI influencers to launch new and upcoming products to give them a hint of futurism.
Virtual influencers like Miquela have also become more active than the real influencers out there. She has actively collaborated with brands like Calvin Klein, Prada and Samsung and has even released her own music and been featured in magazines.
The future will see these virtual influencers as more common and realistic in appearance and interactivity. They will also become more specialized and niche specific to cater to specific communities.
Virtual influencers: Gimmick or great idea?
Sometimes brands may not find the right influencer to promote their campaign. There are always some adjustments from both ends in a collaboration. Also, the use of AI influencers or virtual influencers is the newest use case of AI in the marketing field.
Virtual influencers are computer-generated characters. They are built using animation, 3D modeling and artificial intelligence. They are used to promote brands and products on social media just like a regular influencer would.
In the context of virtual influencers, it is important to know that virtual influencers can be seen as both good and bad.
- Creative freedom: Brands have the freedom to be as creative as they can be with virtual influencers. Since they are computer generated, they may be designed to be suitable for a specific audience or campaign or brand image.
For instance, your virtual influencer can be a skateboarder or a school student or even an astronaut living on Mars. You can have a virtual influencer whose backstory can be as detailed and specific as you would like it to be to appeal to your target audience.
- Flexibility and consistency: Unlike real influencers, virtual influencers do not get tired or need to sleep and rest. Virtual influencers can keep working 24 hours a day and 7 days a week without falling sick.
This allows for a consistent presence on social media, thereby providing a better social media appearance for brands.
- Cost-effective: Virtual influencers are more cost-effective as compared to real influencers in the long run. The cost-effectiveness comes from the lack of need for travel expenses and accommodations.
- Lack of authenticity: Not everyone finds it comfortable to see virtual influencers representing brands and trying to connect with the audience. So there are many cases where virtual influencers are unable to connect with the audience on a personal level, which is a crucial point in influencer marketing.
For instance, virtual influencers may seem like avatars and may appeal more to the younger generation because of their familiarity with similar products. On the other hand, the older generation may find these influencers childish and may not take their recommendations seriously.
- Expensive production cost: Creating a virtual influencer requires significant investment. Funds have to be invested in software development, design and animation.
Not to mention each virtual influencer needs a lot of data to run on, which must either be fetched from somewhere or fed into it. This requires a lot of investment of time as well as professionals who are trained in the field of machine learning when starting off with a virtual influencer.
- Lack of transparency: Virtual influencers are the end result and the face of a team that works to create them. The virtual influencers are designed specifically to appeal to a target audience; hence the virtual influencer may represent a specific tribe or class of people.
What’s concerning here is that the audience of that class may connect with that virtual influencer, but the team behind the influencer may not belong to that particular class of people they’re targeting.
This creates a sense of false belonging and raises ethical questions about whether this practice is right.
4 AI influencer marketing tools for your business
We’ve seen how there has been a rise in the number of AI tools daily for various tasks. The AI tools use machine learning algorithms to analyze large amounts of data and provide insights to stakeholders to make more data-driven decisions. Here are some AI tools you can use for your next influencer marketing campaign.
HyperAuditor is an AI-powered influencer marketing tool that helps brands discover and manage the right influencers for their campaigns.
It lets you discover the best influencers from various social media platforms like Youtube, Instagram and Tiktok.
Refine the audience list based on demographic, interests and engagement metrics
Detect fraudulent influencers to protect brands from influencer fraud
Automate contract and payment management
Emplifi uses machine learning algorithms to help brands find the right influencers for their social media campaigns. It supports social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok and more.
Automate tracking influencer details, communication history and campaign performance
Automate follow-ups to maintain relationships with influencers
Content scheduling, publishing and community management
Consolidated view of the reach and engagement across SM to measure return on investment and even tie influencer posts directly to sales
💡Related guide: How AI in Social Media Is Shaping the Future of Marketing
Uplfluence is an AI-powered platform that allows businesses to find influencers, manage campaigns and measure the performance of the campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitch, TikTok, etc.
Automate outreach and manage relationships with influencers
Manage payments to influencers
Offers performance analytics to measure the ROI of your campaigns
Integrates with e-commerce platforms to seamlessly track influencer-generated traffic and sales and optimize campaigns accordingly
Klear is another AI-powered influencer marketing platform that helps brands discover the right influencers with the right audience for their campaigns for multiple social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch.
Discover and filter through influencers based on demography and gender and provide real-time recommendations
Automate managing influencer relationships, tracking campaign performance and analyzing ROI
💡Related guide: 9 AI Tools for Small Businesses to Make Teams More Efficient
Role of AI in influencer and brand collaborations
Brands have started to invest heavily in the AI aspect of influencer marketing and have noticed the growth. Take a look at how some of the brands are using AI in their marketing campaigns.
1. Kyra with boAt
Kyra is India’s first meta-influencer from Mumbai. In 2021, boAt sent a unique product box with audio and visual effects to influencers, celebrities and even their competitors and also collaborated with Kyra to promote their product Rockerz 330ANC through a virtual campaign. The campaign was a unique approach to appeal to the audience and presented a more futuristic brand image.
“We are very excited to be experimenting with the virtual world to launch our much-awaited futuristic Rockerz 330 and Rockerz 333 ANC by partnering with India’s first meta influencer. As a young, dynamic brand, we like to move with our TG, who has recently been experimenting with the virtual world. We strongly believe that our product and KYRA’s unmatched storytelling potential will certainly be a treat for our boAtheads.”
-Aman Gupta, Co-Founder and CMO, Imagine Marketing Limited
2. Miquela with Samsung
Samsung, who is known mainly for providing quality products but competes, collaborated with Miquela, a virtual influencer from Los Angeles whose target audience is Gen Z and Millenials to promote their products.
Their main objectives were to change Samsung’s user image and drive awareness and positive engagement with Gen Z and Millennials. The campaign generated 126 million organic views and 24 million engagements, increasing Samsung’s popularity among the targeted audience.
3. Imma with Lenovo
Imma is a virtual influencer from Japan. Lenovo had hired her for a new campaign, ‘Yoga For All of Us’ in Japan to encourage people to express and embrace their creativity.
“Our Yoga line is designed to take into account the diverse needs of our customers, who hail from a range of backgrounds and personalities. Imma, with her larger-than-life style and dauntless attitude, is a perfect partner for us in our quest to celebrate each customer’s uniqueness and spark their creativity.”
-Xiqiao Liu, chief marketing officer for Japan at Lenovo.
The campaign sees Imma appear in a video along with other Japanese human influencers to share a message. Imma has also found collaborations with other brands like Ikea and Adidas Tokyo.
AI in influencer marketing will rise further to the point where brands do not have to worry about getting duped by fraudulent influencers and real influencers can be offered a fair price for their efforts.
The entire influencer marketing process will be more transparent than it already is today. Hopefully, there will be a balanced use of real and virtual influencers.
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