As influencer marketing is expanding rapidly, several businesses are experimenting with new ways to leverage creator content.
A decade ago, influencers constituted A-list celebrities who endorsed products or services among their followers. Today, almost anyone and even digital characters can be an influencer. That includes virtual influencers powered by bots that can act as brand advocates. Or micro-influencers who have a niche yet loyal fan following.
Thus, it’s not surprising to note that the global influencer market is poised to reach $33.20 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 38.2% through to the forecast period.
Social Media Today’s study predicted that virtual influencers will be an emerging area of influencer marketing. These virtual influencers are computer-generated characters, or bots, created for social media that interact with users online, as part of a service or promotion. In 2022, 58% followed at least one virtual influencer and 35% of American consumers bought a product or service promoted by a virtual influencer, according to Social Media Today.
Whether be it micro-influencers or virtual bots, fans feel a strong sense of connection and prefer such peer-to-peer recommendations more than scripted promotions. Take, for instance, Lil Miquela, the Instagram virtual influencer who has collaborated with top fashion brands such as Prada, Calvin Klein, and PacSun. As of 2022, Miquela amassed over 2.9 million Instagram followers. She was also hailed as one of Time’s 25 most Influential People along with fellow fashion peers and celebrities.