The authenticity of influencers is being watched extremely closely, with episodes from Fyre Festival and the BBC Panaroma shaking up the industry - some might even say it’s a bit of a wild west. But what happens if the influencer isn’t real? In Activate’s 2019 Influencer Marketing Study, they found that 30% of brand professionals said they were likely to use CGI influencers in their influencer marketing strategy this year. As the industry continues to mature, TBP have noticed that brands are looking to test the waters with unconventional influencers to see what works and what doesn’t.
Meet Miquela Sousa, the teenage Brazillian-American who has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. She was Notion magazines front cover girl last year, works with luxury brands like Chanel, drops new tracks on Spotify and iTunes and fronts three different charities. Pretty cool right? Yes, but she’s not real. Miquela is a fictitious, digital character. And with Influencer Intelligence’s Study saying that 61% of consumers want to see relatable content on social media, it might be difficult for consumers to relate to and be persuaded to purchase something by a robot.
Brand’s might think they're onto a winner using virtual influencers for their next marketing strategy, as they’re solely able to control the messaging themselves. But with the amount of control allowed, it makes it inauthentic and unrelateable to consumers. Here at TBP, we’re not sure how long the novelty of virtual influencers will last for, but are intrigued to see what happens next.
If you are a brand looking to use influencer marketing as a way of increasing traffic, awareness and ultimately boosting sales for your brand, then get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org