The Rise of AI Influencers
The next generation of influencers might not be found on reality TV, but in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). While human heavyweights like Cristiano Ronaldo and Selena Gomez still dominate follower counts, their engagement rates pale in comparison to the rising stars of the AI influencer scene.
In a world where the world’s first Bee Influencer (@Bee_nfluencer) boasts a higher engagement rate than the Kardashian-Jenner’s combined - you know it’s worth exploring what the Metaverse has to offer.
AI influencers are never tired or busy, they can churn out content 24/7. They are typically laser-focused on specific demographics and interests, ensuring that brands reach targeted audiences. Plus, they can be programmed to avoid making offensive or controversial statements - minimising risk.
Do the numbers stack up?
The title of the first AI influencer is often attributed to Lil Miquela (aka Miquela Sousa) a virtual model and musician created in 2016. She amassed a huge following on Instagram and became known for her fashion sense, activism, and collaborations with major brands like Prada, Givenchy and Chanel.
Lil Miquela now boasts an Instagram following of 2.8 million with an impressive average engagement rate of 4.8% and her creators earn up to $8,000 per post. By comparison, Selena Gomez has an average engagement rate of just 0.81% yet cashes in up to $1.5m per post - proof that brands are investing more heavily in real-life influencers.
Across the globe, AI influencers are making their mark in multiple industries. Shudu Gram, a hyper realistic digital model who has graced the pages of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, has an earning potential of $1,154 per post on Instagram. while Imma, a Japanese virtual idol, can raise $1,876 for just one post.
How AI and IRL influencers compare
AI personalities offer brands unparalleled flexibility and control, alongside highly engaged audiences for a fraction of the cost of collaborating with a real-life influencer - potentially saving brands millions.
Although, there is still a lot of room for growth - with the supply and size of IRL options still dwarfing their AI equivalents.
Will the sector grow? Is engagement as meaningful as IRL equivalents? Which brands will commit their budget into the space in the coming months?
We'll keep an eye out for the answers.