The Art of Delivering Niche at Scale: AI’s Role in Influencer Marketing

By Ritesh Ujjwal

Artificial intelligence has created a powerful impact on almost all modern industries, speeding up processes, improving the quality of work and increasing productivity and has revolutionized the way we live, work, and interact with each other. Forbes has projected that the global artificial intelligence market is set to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37% from 2023 to 2030. This growth is expected to catapult the industry to a massive $1,811 billion by 2030. We see this impact on influencer marketing as well, where the integration of AI is ushering in a new era of influencer marketing for brands, redefining content production, optimisation, and distribution.

Transformative role of AI: Unlocking a new segment in influencer marketing

AI and ML Roadmap to Influencer Marketing Strategies

The incorporation of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies has significantly streamlined campaign management complexities for brands, providing AI-led analytical tools and platforms that autonomously track and optimize campaign life cycles. Integrating Influencer Relationship Management (IRM) software ensures meticulous oversight of influencer tasks, covering engagement, metrics, content, and results. In the past, marketers heavily relied on Facebook’s Open Graph to efficiently scout target audiences and identify ideal influencers instantly. However, following Facebook’s closure of this functionality, marketers dealt with the challenge of murky data, resulting in inconsistent outcomes. This shift has prompted the industry to explore alternative strategies, emphasizing the importance of adapting to new technological solutions, such as automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to maintain effective and reliable influencer marketing practices. AI facilitates strategic matchmaking, pairing brands with the right influencers based on well-defined success factors. ML acts as a feedback loop, pinpointing areas of improvement and guiding an ideal course of action. Additionally, Natural Language Processing (NLP) analyzes content sentiment and ensures compliance, while Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) predicts optimal incentives and identifies lookalike creators, collectively enhancing campaign reach. Ultimately, this technology-driven approach aims at fostering genuine connections between influencers and their audience, delivering value through tailored and engaging content.

The Generative AI Approach to Effective Marketing: The proliferation of AI applications has brought about a significant transformation in influencer marketing. One such application that has gained immense popularity is generative AI, which allows creators to generate realistic and high-quality content, including texts, videos, and pictures, thereby enabling them to engage with audiences more effectively. As per Statista’s report, over half of the marketers, which is about 55 per cent, have been making use of ChatGPT to meet their marketing needs. Similarly, 42 percent of marketers have been relying on, which is essentially a natural language processing software that generates social media content and product descriptions, to achieve the same goals. Moreover, AI has ushered in a new era of virtual influencers like Lu do Magalu, Lil Miquela, K/DA, and others. These digital entities, crafted through computer graphics software, possess unique personas, effectively functioning as influencers across various social media platforms.

The Authenticity Imperative

The rising popularity of influencers can be largely attributed to the genuine, relatable nature of their content. Thus, it is crucial to achieve a harmonious balance between human authenticity and AI automation. While artificial intelligence serves as a valuable tool for optimizing workflows and generating data-based insights, human interaction and customization continue to act as essential components that sustain the appeal of content creators in the modern era.The potential impact of artificial intelligence as a creative competitor is a topic of discussion within the influencer marketing industry, sparking concerns about content creators turning to AI for scriptwriting and marketing strategies. Brands often collaborate with influencers based on factors such as organic growth and the monetization potential of their followers, giving significance to authenticity. If influencers adopt AI for crafting pitches, the authenticity central to influencing may be compromised, resulting in a loss of trust for both influencers and brands and potentially affecting their livelihoods and financial performance. Considering the consumer perspective is vital, as user preferences play a substantial role in shaping the trajectory of influencer marketing. However, a nuanced dynamic emerges, with consumers showing a preference for both entertainment and authenticity on social media, blurring the lines between content generated by humans and AI. Additionally, legal concerns arise as AI usage, both in generating content and creating AI influencers, raises issues such as intellectual property, liability, and copyright problems.

Final Thoughts

The emphasis on authenticity in influencer marketing has primarily originated from consumer preferences rather than industry initiatives. This highlights the importance of influencers collectively addressing concerns related to AI misuse on social media. The term “AI influencer” itself introduces a paradox, as it challenges the historical consumer demand for authenticity in influencer marketing. The industry faces the ongoing challenge of balancing technological advancements with consumer expectations to ensure a harmonious evolution in influencer marketing practices. While AI has certainly assisted influencer marketing operations, relevant and authentic influencer appeal continues to be a crucial element that modern-day consumers actively consider. As marketers prepare for an AI-dominated influencer marketing business, it is this delicate balance that will drive development and success.

(The author is Ritesh Ujjwal – Co-Founder, Kofluence, and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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