Virtual Influencers: What Are They & How Do They Work?
The technological advancement has led to a revolutionary phenomena of what we call as Virtual Influencers. They are virtual humanoids influencing people with their actions in the digital space. When a digital character is made using CGI( Computer generated imagery) to mirror human-like qualities and personality that gives birth to the era of virtual influencers.
This phenomena is very unique. The virtual influencers are completely in charge of their tone and reactions, and they stay current and up to date with online groups and audiences to cater to the preferences of their intended and targeted audience.
Some of the famous virtual influencers are Imma,Noonoouri,Maya Gram,BinXie to name a few.
The three key features for a character to be counted as a virtual influencer are as follow:
- It must be CGI model that is Computer Generated Imagery
- It must possess and mirror human-like qualities
- Must influence the audience’s decision making ability
Benefits of Virtual Influencers
- In contrast to real influencers, virtual influencers provide a new and unique method of reaching their audience. Furthermore, because virtual influencers are so adaptable and can save marketing expenses, businesses can fully control them and they can prove to be cost effective. It has been observed that,Virtual influencers can influence the choices of the audience to a large extent.
- Celebrities have a greater impact on a company's success or failure but that comes with the risk of facing backlash if anything were to go wrong. Virtual influencers, in contrast, are a safer option because every publicity stunt they execute is meticulously thought out before being broadcast and they do not come with any risk factors like controversy or backlash.
- Virtual influencers are well virtual—the developer has complete control over how they are used and showcased. Unlike real people, VIs' activities can be precisely tailored to their developer’s objectives. However, while bringing on a celebrity or popular figure, a brand must take into consideration their comfort, worries, and exhaustion but with virtual influencers you can customise or personalise the humanoids.
Disadvantages of Virtual Influencers
- An ethical issue with the use of virtual influencers is that all of these CGI characters' recommendations are effectively deceptive advertising because they lack the senses of taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. Hence, that emotional or personal touch is lost.
- With the rise of deepfake technology, we cannot completely rely on virtual humanoids as they have few practical limitations.
Future of Virtual Influencers
Virtual influencers can garner millions of followers on social media, just like real-life influencers do, and give marketers a number of ways to reach their young target audiences. However, as actual connections are still valued highly and human influencers possess the quality of feelings and emotions, the true impact of these computer-generated influencers is yet to be seen. As much as the virtual influencers are on the rise this is still a relatively new phenomena and if they can fully replace humans is still something that is being debated.
Looking to connect with influencers? WhizCo is India’s leading influencer marketing agency. WhizCo bridges the gap between creators and Brands and helps brands execute unforgettable influencer marketing campaigns and helps them grow online. WhizCo offers a complete solution to brands for running campaigns- from shortlisting, evaluating and onboarding influencers, to gathering feedback and performance tracking- All this coupled with years of expertise in managing thousands of creators and executing multiple campaigns at once.
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