Social media is in a constant state of evolution, with new trends emerging day by day. One of the latest developments is the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) influencers. These AI influencers are created using artificial intelligence technology, managed by a human team working behind the scenes (Izea, 2023). Notable AI influencers on Instagram include Miquela (@lilmiquela), boasting 2.7 million followers, and Imma (@imma.gram) with 400,000 followers. They have collaborated with luxury brands like Prada and Dior, and some of them even have their own clothing line. But, what are the impacts of AI influencers on Marketing?
Influencer Marketing & Its Growing Popularity
Social media influencers have long been a driving force in shaping online culture and consumer behaviour. It has evolved into a new marketing strategy, influencer marketing, which is a collaboration between social-media users of a certain following, and brands to promote the brands’ products or services (Mckinsey, 2023).
The emergence of AI influencers marks a significant development in the world of social media. It is the result of a convergence of creativity, technology, and a novel way of engaging with online audiences. Utilising AI influencers is an innovative approach. It offers a fresh perspective on influencer marketing, where the line between reality and the digital landscape blurs.
Advantages & Disadvantages of AI Influencers
There’s a reason as to why brands are starting to shift their budget on influencer marketing from real life influencers to AI influencers. Firstly, these AI influencers are more cost-effective, and scalable (Frolov, 2021). While it is expensive technology, you would not need to spend the budget on photo shoots or accompanying costs that comes with hiring an actual human being. For example, you would not need to pay for air tickets and a videography team to depict someone in another country. AI allows for the team behind the AI influencers to bring them to these locations online. Furthermore, you also have complete control over these influencers because the brand can provide the team with information required for them to create the scene for the AI influencer.
Conversely, AI influencers may also defeat the purpose of influencer marketing, which is to create a connection with the audience. An advantage of utilising influencer marketing is to build authentic relationships. Influencer marketing allows for brands to reach out to influencers who embody the same values and interests. However, as AI influencers are, well, artificial and derived from technology, there is a lack of authenticity. This makes it challenging for them to establish true and authentic connections with their audience (Lou et al, 2022). This might broaden the emotional gap between the brand and the audience, pushing the target consumer away rather than drawing them in.