Marketing in Essex.

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Marketing in Essex.

Social Media Marketing in Essex: The Rise Of The Virtual Influencer . Ten years ago, the word ‘influencer’ hadn’t entered everyday speech. Now, it’s a vocation.

Ten years ago, artificial intelligence was still in its infancy, relatively speaking. Now there are AI programmes that have been able to fool the world-famous Turing Test. The past couple of years have seen a rise in something both remarkable and, some would argue, unsettling. The virtual influencer.

The fact that computer processing and artificial intelligence has got to a point where this is even possible, is frankly astonishing. However, influencers hold very real power in today’s world so for that power to be lain in the hands of a virtual account could be seen as somewhat insidious, especially when you’re unaware of the potential agenda being touted by those who run these accounts.

On the other hand, is that mystery part of their appeal? We’ll aim to figure out why these social media accounts are on the rise; we’ll also try to ascertain whether they’re a force for good in the marketing world. Read on to find our social media marketing in Essex thoughts…

What Exactly Is A Virtual Influencer?

Social media influencers and marketing

Virtual influencers are exactly that – influencers that operate in the same way as human ones… just without the human part. Typically run by a digital or content marketing agency and usually on Instagram, these accounts often feature a photorealistic avatar, either fully CGI or a CG-enhanced human model.

They’re employed by fashion magazines, big brands and luxury companies in the same way that any human influencer is. These agencies are now worth big money. Brud, responsible for virtual influencers such as Lil Miquela, has recently been valued at $125 million. Not bad for something entirely virtual, right? These influencers are getting followers reaching into the hundreds of thousands, and some (such as Lil Miquela) even into the millions.

What Virtual Influencers Offer WHaT Human Counterparts Don’t.

Just like crocs worn with socks, you may find yourself asking the question, why? Well, as much as their near-narcissism complexes would allow them to believe, human influencers aren’t infallible. They’re prone to making mistakes just like we all do. They have moments where they’re caught off-guard, where they make comments that don’t read well in today’s world.

Ultimately, the human influencer’s image is entirely fragile and susceptible to scandal. As such, these online personalities will always present a degree of risk to any brands looking to employ them. Human influencers only put out their ‘best life’ on social media; unfortunately for them, they still have their off-screen lives which provide ample opportunity for slipping up. Virtual influencers don’t have that problem. Their ‘best life’ portrayed on social media, is their onlylife. Virtual influencers have no need for a rebranding agency, because they can be effortlessly rebranded themselves. They’ve no need for a reputation management agency, because their reputation is squeaky clean. They provide all the answers where human influencers do not.

The Benefits Of The Virtual Influencer

marketing and PR for influencers

So, you can see, from what we’ve established, just some of the appeal of the virtual influencer. Their benefits are manifold; one of the main benefits is that they can be made as a truly multi-faceted individual. The only real limit to who they can be or what they can represent is the breadth and depth of the team behind them. Further to that, virtual influencers garner seriously impressive engagement rates, they don’t end up having PR disasters (as alluded to previously) and they’re beginning to access every level of the influencer market. In a previous blog, we touched on the importance of the micro-influencer going forwards; micro-influencers build trust and loyalty within smaller communities in a way that mega influencers are simply unable to do.

What with computing and graphics technology becoming ever cheaper, and a greater proportion of digital business’ budget being spent on these influencers; virtual influencers are sure to be cropping up on the more niche end of the influencer spectrum.

The Upshot

Ultimately, these are curated digital accounts as opposed to AI-run profiles or bots, and in reality,ironically enough, they pose no more of a threat than human influencers do. The influencer market is huge business and shows no sign, whatsoever, of slowing down. These influencers, whether completely photorealistic or designed in a Japanese animestyle, are attracting the same attention, engagement and followers that their human counterparts do. Perhaps it’s scary, perhaps it’s exciting; whatever you think, virtual influencers are here and they’re here to stay.

If you’re in need of assistance with your social media marketing in Essex, then get in touch with the friendly team, or by giving us a call on 01376 386850.