Thanks to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire world has been thrust into upping the ante when it comes to living much more digitally and often, virtually.

Not only are our usual get togethers being replaced by Zoom and FaceTime calls, but we are finding ourselves surrounded by technology in all aspects of life, and this will only continue.

Social media influencers kept the entire nation entertained throughout each and every lockdown, but now we’re seeing an influx in the number of virtual influencers filling our social media feeds, too.

A rise in artificial intelligence?

With the influencer marketing industry set to grow by 15% on a global scale, it is important for brands, agencies and influencers alike to adapt to the current times in order to see progression and boost sales.

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t something we would necessarily associate with influencer marketing, but it is fast becoming a crucial aspect of many industries and businesses. And with that in mind, it is something we must utilise and understand, rather than shy away from.

Thanks to the effects of 2020, we have been forced to completely digitise our businesses quicker than we could have thought possible – but we did it, as did everybody else.

With an influx of technologies becoming available to us, we’re able to develop our businesses and industries even further. Although an unlikely partnership, AI-powered tools and influencer marketing could become quite the powerhouse, changing the landscape entirely.

Measuring success with AI

Not only can AI, machine learning (MI) and natural language processing (NLP) help with the start of an influencer marketing campaign, but they also have the ability to collect data, analyse results and measure the levels of success.

Monitoring the results and performance of an influencer marketing campaign can be quite the task, and by using AI-powered tools, we are able to measure its success and more importantly, the return on investment (ROI).

When analysing a creator’s content and metrics, artificial intelligence is also able to examine the likes, comments, engagement rates and even conversion rates of a post, in whatever format.

AI has the power to predict ROI through performance benchmarking and forecasts, providing both influencers and brands with an estimated result based on their desired objectives.

AI and influencer marketing agencies

The relationship between artificial intelligence and influencer marketing has the potential to be quite literally, ground-breaking. If used correctly, AI can be used to streamline the jobs of marketers and agencies, allowing them to focus on the human elements within influencer marketing.

Artificial intelligence can hone in on problem-solving, data analysis and research, leaving the influencer marketing strategies to us, the experts.

AI-powered platforms can help agencies and brands identify fake followers, inauthentic engagement and unreliable social media influencers.

As well as this, AI is able to process and detect relevant and valuable content, and with the help of MI and NLP, can revolutionise the way brands and agencies conduct the way in which they work.

With the ability to generate likes, industries, demographics and interests of the influencer’s following, AI is not only beneficial for brands seeking to create collaborative campaigns, but also for influencers who are looking to understand their audience that little bit more. 

By developing a better understanding of their audience and social media followers, influencers are able to ensure the content they put out is relevant and useful. This in turn, helps brands decide who they should work with. 

A vision for the future

As we continue to see a rise in the use of artificial intelligence within the influencer marketing industry, we can also expect to see an influx in the number of virtual influencers filling our social media feeds. 

Yes, you read that right – virtual influencers are becoming a force to be reckoned with, competing against the likes of real-life influencers.

Despite the fact that they don’t really exist, these influencers have most definitely made their mark on the industry, some of which have even worked with global brands such as Nike and Fenty Beauty.

This new wave of CGI influencer is fictional and generated by computers, however they have very realistic characteristics as well as the personalities of humans, and what’s more, brands are lining up to work with them.

It isn’t just virtual influencers that are becoming much more prominent as we enter a new decade of influencer marketing, though. Virtual assistants are now a part of the influencer marketing industry, too.

Whilst we may not typically associate Amazon’s Alexa or its Google competitor with influencer marketing, they are in fact, influencers in a whole new form. Now, consumers use their virtual assistants to ask for advice, or for product recommendations and for those that have one at home, they become a live-in influencer. 

Whilst it may seem like AI can take over the roles of us as humans, it cannot replace the work we do, but rather, enhance it.  

If influencer marketing agencies utilise the tools available to us in the form of artificial intelligence, it allows us to streamline our processes, work closely with other people and focus on what we do best – building long-lasting relationships and partnerships whilst creating innovative and impactful campaigns.