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The Rise of Virtual Influencers: How AI Is Transforming Social Media Marketing

Written by Jacob Salem

Virtual Influencers: Who Are They?

Virtual influencers are computer-generated models designed primarily by AI to interact with people through social media platforms. Some models are so realistic it might be challenging to distinguish them from human influencers. Their persona and appearance are entirely customizable, so brands can adopt specific personality traits or physical features to match their products.

Why Marketers Prefer Virtual Influencers

Researchers have found that promoting products through virtual influencers can increase sales. Unlike humans, digital influencers work around the clock and offer an opportunity to have total control over brand messaging. As such, working with virtual influencers ensures businesses have fewer associated risks regarding public relations, contracts, and behavior.

Using virtual influencers also allows marketing firms to reduce costs affiliated with human counterparts. Beyond the initial investment for developing these models, virtual influencers reduce salaries and/or shared profits, travel costs, and accommodation expenses.

Virtual Influencers are the Future

As we have seen, incorporating AI and creating virtual personalities hold many benefits and opportunities for businesses beyond the traditional modeling and influencer industry. As AI continues to grow rapidly, the future of the fashion, advertising, and entertainment sectors will lean heavily on these virtual characters. The rise of virtual influencers in social media has opened the door to a new channel to engage marketing audiences. It is no surprise that it has turned heads in the fashion industry, where digital advertising, as opposed to print advertising, is becoming increasingly necessary.

Now that you’re familiar with virtual influencers, let’s delve into 5 game-changing advantages they, along with AI, bring to social media marketing.

1. Increased Engagement Rates

Brands leverage social media influencers and followers to create buzz around their products. Today, AI has enabled virtual influencers to build relationships with their audiences. In turn, brands benefit from the increase in engagement rates. Virtual influencers are also not impacted by external factors that might affect real-life influencers, such as health issues, emotional distress, and scandals.

2. Consistency in Brand Image

Another key advantage of virtual influencers is that brands can maintain the desired brand image by owning the content created by these virtual celebrities. It isn’t easy to control the content produced by human influencers, which challenges maintaining consistency in brand image. Virtual influencers offer a way to overcome this limitation by ensuring that all content they share aligns with the brand image. AI allows marketers to design and program virtual influencers to meet brand standards.

3. Unmatched Creativity

AI makes it possible to create a wide range of virtual influencers, from young, trendy millennials to older, distinguished gentlemen, for example. This diverse set of virtual influencers means that marketers can reach a broad range of audiences while still speaking to their specific target market. Virtual influencers have no limitations and can be programmed to be anything. They can be designed to wear any kind of clothing irrespective of the current fashion trends, they can have a wide range of accents, and their language can be customized for each target market.

4. Cost Savings

Influencer marketing is a costly affair. However, when it comes to virtual influencers, it’s comparatively cost-effective. One key reason for this is traditional influencers need to be paid fees to promote products. On the other hand, virtual influencers are cheaper, as the brand owns the content they share, and it is easier to ensure they match the brand image. Today, businesses can save money on hiring physical influencers and instead create their own virtual influencer to promote their products. This will increase their engagement rates by a large margin due to their affordable rates.

5. Better Understanding of Customer Needs

AI technology is advancing daily and is very good at targeting customer preferences. Marketers collect valuable data using virtual influencers, including consumers’ preferences. Information such as consumer behavior, language, and habits can help businesses tailor different marketing strategies according to their target market. When marketers understand the needs of their target market, they have a higher success rate of hitting sales targets.

Advancements in AI and machine learning have revolutionized how brands and marketers can engage with customers. Virtual influencers equip businesses with attributes that seamlessly align with their brand and allow continuous operation. These digital personas have emerged as a fresh and exciting avenue for advertising, explicitly appealing to audiences who enjoy engaging within the digital realm.

As we continue to see AI develop, the future promises to hold exciting new alternatives to traditional businesses. Meanwhile, marketers should take advantage of the enormous potential that virtual influencers offer, which provides them with end-to-end control and saves on expenses. It’s exciting to see what the future holds as more Digital Influencers enter the market. To navigate these exciting changes and maximize your digital marketing efforts, consider partnering with EZMetrics. With our expertise in online campaigns, email marketing, and social media campaigns, we can help your brand stay ahead of the curve.