While the number of actual influencers is increasing and driving significant conversions, the number of virtual influencers is also growing. As the metaverse becomes more widely used, more and more firms are include it in their influencer marketing plans. Are people ready to vanish from TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms? Views diverge.
It would appear that being influential doesn’t require being made of flesh and blood. A increasing number of accounts are now using virtual influencers, frequently from Asia, as their muse, which benefits marketers and their followers.
On the numbers side, mixed results
According to a study conducted by Hype Auditor, in collaboration with Virtual Humans, on the 129 most followed virtual influencers on Instagram:
– Virtual influencers have engagement rates almost three times higher than real influencers.
– However, 57% of virtual influencers are slowly losing followers.
The cost, performance, and targeting quality of this group of influencers are the major factors driving marketers’ interest in them. The two American creators of Lil Miquela, a virtual influencer founded in 2016, Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou, do not hesitate to charge almost $7,000 to advertise goods, services, or even events to its 3 million followers. A significantly lesser fee than true influencers, who can charge up to $250,000 even for those with only one million followers.
Influencers with multiple advantages
Virtual influencers, created with 3D software, provide marketers more control over their tactics and enable them to change their campaigns in a much more flexible way.
In Asia, the virtual influencer industry is expanding quickly and bringing in substantial sums of money. The amount of revenue produced by virtual influencers is anticipated to more than treble in China by 2023, hitting €2.8 billion, according to projections by iiMedia Research.
On the right Mr OU by L’Oréal
and Livi by LVMH
Brands are aiming to reach Generation Z in particular using virtual influencers. Young people who were born between 1997 and 2010 have a strong thirst for virtual worlds that are based on technology and video games.
Are virtual influencers on the verge of completely replacing human influencers because they are adaptable, stylish, and multipliable?
These imaginary individuals provide identity and credibility issues, according to Nicolas de Dianous, associate director of the company We Enjoy Travel, who was recently interviewed by the media outlet tom.travel. “We require empathy and imperfection even more in light of the health issue.
An ethical risk exists as a result of this societal easing “He clarifies. He views the appearance of these characters, who are unaware of jet lag, migraines, or mood swings, as an invention rather than a step forward. A human will have experiences that a virtual influencer will never have.
So, it is the responsibility of brands to disclose when they are working with virtual influencers and to be open about it.
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