The influence of social media virtual characters has emerged as a new form of digital communication. It has become a profitable way to inspire large audiences and reach younger users. They also engage with millions of attentive and socially savvy consumers.
In recent years, brands have collaborated with “regular” influencers to create valuable and entertaining content to expand their brand awareness and spark conversations. However, virtual influencers are beginning to gain popularity as a social media trend and are currently changing marketing strategies.
How Is Social Media Changing Because Of Digital Influencers?
Due to new technological developments, CGI personalities are becoming promising partnerships for brands. Artificially generated models achieve more new daily followers on social platforms, especially on Instagram.
Characters range from hyper-realistic renderings to cartoons. The current top virtual influencer is Lil Miquela, who has 3 million followers. In addition, a doll-like character named Noonoouri has reached 375,000 followers.
They are a new form of fiction — a story invented and told through a post on social media. Furthermore, they are also trendsetters for millennials and Generation Z consumers, where most brands are looking to target.
Creative Ways A Digital Influencer Is Being Used
Stories can be linked to the character’s fictional life, from opinions about trending topics to an ongoing narrative. For example, Barbie uses her platform to discuss social issues and educate her young audience to make them a part of the conversation. Therefore, brands can use their digital influencers to champion their brand and its philosophies.
Barbie sheds light on current issues with her friends on YouTube
Invading the Entertainment Industry
A digital influencer comes alive with the latest technologies. With high-quality images and videos, characters are more realistic than ever. Some virtual models have even featured in advertising campaigns alongside their human counterparts. Similarly, virtual pop stars are already exploring the music industry.
Japanese virtual YouTuber, Kizuna Al, launched her first album on Spotify, combining both music and social media entrainment content.
Virtual characters tend to be more niche influencers. A part of their appeal is the ability to inspire specific audiences that can identify with their content. Having this profit increases a higher engagement rate by maintaining a closer relationship with followers. Partnering with a digital influencer is a proven strategy to appeal to a younger generation on social media platforms.
What’s Next for Digital Influencers
The future of virtual characters and their presence in social media looks promising. Their popularity will increase as virtual reality and motion graphics become more sophisticated and accessible to produce. Successful influencers like Lil Miquela and Imma have reached millions of followers. They are the handbook for marketers wishing to involve brands in this new age of social media.