On the internet, nobody is human, and the emerging virtual influencer industry capitalizes on this reality
By Christopher Travers, July 22, 2020
Welcome to influencer marketing, a multibillion industry (US$15 billion projected this year) where influencers — from top-tier celebrities and athletes to the wannabees — use their power over dedicated followers to hawk various products from big brands to one of the thousands of Amazon Sellers. While this is no different from your traditional celebrity endorsement, influencer marketing is targeted and more authentic, using acknowledged experts in a niche field as endorsers. And of course, there is the use of social media platforms, instead of just traditional print, TV, or online ads.
But now imagine if a brand opted for a more innovative approach. What if instead of getting a real-life brand ambassador to connect with their community, they elected for a digitally-created personality to engage with their audience? This is the next wave of influencer marketing. Say hello to virtual influencers.
In nowadays, virtual influencers are becoming more commonplace every day, with some even going as far as to earn a verification badge. Virtual influencers spawn from every corner of the world, from Brazil to Korea and more. Surprisingly to some, fans want to be closer to virtual influencers across social media. Even with massive, global followings, virtual influencers experience on average 3x engagement from fans than your typical human influencer.
So who are the most followed names this year? Let’s check them out.