Influencer marketing has been a hot topic in the advertising industry for the past few years. Brands have been investing heavily in partnerships with social media influencers to promote their products and services. However, a new trend is emerging in the world of influencer marketing - virtual influencers.
Virtual influencers are computer-generated characters that look like real people. They have been created using AI technology and are designed to appeal to younger audiences. These digital avatars have been taking over the influencer world and brands are starting to take notice. In this article, we will explore the rise of virtual influencers, the advantages they offer to brands, and the potential impact they may have on the future of influencer marketing.
The Birth of Virtual Influencers
Virtual influencers first appeared on social media platforms in 2016. The first virtual influencer was a character called Miquela Sousa, also known as Lil Miquela. She was created by a Los Angeles-based tech startup called Brud. Miquela quickly gained a large following on Instagram and has since been featured in campaigns for brands such as Prada, Calvin Klein, and Samsung.
Since then, many other virtual influencers have emerged, including Shudu, Dagny, and Bermuda. These characters have been created by various companies and individuals using AI technology. They have become so popular that some virtual influencers have more followers than real-life celebrities.
Advantages of Virtual Influencers
Virtual influencers offer several advantages to brands that traditional influencers may not. For one, they are not limited by geography. Traditional influencers may only have a following in a specific region or country, while virtual influencers can have a global reach. This makes them ideal for brands that want to expand their reach beyond their current markets.
Virtual influencers also offer more control over their image and messaging. Brands can design the virtual influencer to look and act a certain way, ensuring that they align with the brand's values and messaging. This level of control is not possible with traditional influencers who have their own personalities and may not always align with a brand's messaging.
Another advantage of virtual influencers is that they can work 24/7. They don't need to take breaks or holidays, and they don't get tired or sick. This means that brands can have their virtual influencers promoting their products and services around the clock, maximizing their exposure.
Potential Impact on the Future of Influencer Marketing
The rise of virtual influencers raises several questions about the future of influencer marketing. Will virtual influencers replace human influencers altogether? Or will they simply complement them?
It's unlikely that virtual influencers will completely replace human influencers. Human influencers offer a level of authenticity and personal connection that virtual influencers may never be able to replicate. However, virtual influencers may become more prevalent in the industry, especially for brands that want to target younger audiences.
Another potential impact of virtual influencers is on the modeling industry. As virtual influencers become more popular, they may start to replace real-life models in campaigns. This could have a significant impact on the modeling industry, as brands may start to see virtual models as a more cost-effective and flexible alternative to real-life models.
Virtual influencers are changing the game in the world of influencer marketing. They offer several advantages to brands, including global reach, more control over messaging, and 24/7 availability. While they may not completely replace human influencers, they are likely to become more prevalent in the industry. The rise of virtual influencers also raises questions about the future of the modeling industry and the impact that AI technology may have on it. Overall, the future of influencer marketing is looking increasingly digital, and virtual influencers are at the forefront of this trend.