As Influencer Marketing Evolves, will Companies and Agencies experiment with new content tools such as bots?

Marketing agencies and brands are delving further into influencer marketing, collaborating with everything from Artificial Virtual Influencers to Micro-Influencers on Social Media. Initially, there were some doubts about the reliability of these investments, but as the industry matures, companies are learning how to strategically leverage creator content and reach new audiences.

The rise of influencer marketing has become a driving force in the industry, and the demand for this type of marketing is only continuing to increase. According to Statista, the global influencer market is projected to reach $16.4 billion in 2022, up from $13.8 billion in 2021 and $9.7 billion in 2020. Results from HubSpot’s 2023 marketing strategy and trends report confirm these findings, showing that 89% of marketers currently use the influencer marketing plan to either maintain or increase their budget for influencer marketing in the upcoming year.

Brands large and small are now actively seeking out influencers with smaller followings, hoping to engage more specialized, niche audiences. Micro-influencers, those with followings in the thousands to tens of thousands range, were emerging as the go-to for reaching hard-to-pinpoint audiences. According to HubSpot, more than half of all marketers investing in influencers were working with micro-influencers.

The 2023 Brandwatch marketing trends report predicted a surge in the use of virtual influencers, which are computer-generated characters or bots that interact with users on social media to promote products or services. By 2022, almost four in ten American consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 had made a purchase based on the recommendation of one of these virtual influencers, according to Brandwatch.

For example, the Luxury brand Prada constructed an artificial celebrity, ‘Candy’, who shot to fame after the launch of the fashion giant’s signature perfume bearing the same name. Meanwhile, clothing store PacSun created their own virtual influencer, ‘Lil Miquela’, who collaborated with the store to share their hashtag #pacpartner. Before long, Lil Miquela had achieved a large following, with a whopping 2.9 million Instagram followers – even more than the PacSun main account, boasting 2.7 million followers.

But with its recent surge in popularity, competition for top influencers is growing and prices are rising. Small businesses are struggling to keep up as deep-pocketed tech companies offer more lucrative deals to content creators, driving the cost of influencer marketing higher and higher.

And this is where bots and other such tools, one of the hottest topics in the world of digital marketing and advertising, come into the picture. Many agencies are eager to get in on the action and try out new content tools that use bots but there are a few things that still need to be kept in mind. 

First, bots are not a replacement for human writers. They can help with the ideation and creation process, but they’re not going to be able to create an amazing, compelling copy on their own. Second, it’s important to remember that not all bots are created equal. There are a lot of bad bots out there, so it’s important to do research and find a reputable tool. Finally, there is a need to experiment. Bots and other such tools are still relatively new, so there’s no need to be afraid of trying something fresh. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to your old methods.

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