The marketing landscape is very different from what it was decades ago. The pursuit of better technology paved the way for better ways to market products. One rising trend in this field is influencer marketing or the use of social media personas to promote goods and services.
Although proven to be an effective type of marketing, simply handing bloggers’ products to advertise is not what makes a good marketing strategy. Backed by another handy marketing tool, artificial intelligence (AI), advertisements and influencer marketing can reap more benefits and profits.
Artificial intelligence (AI) influencer marketing has now become a global trend in advertising, used by the biggest brands to reach wider audiences. What is influencer marketing, and what does AI have to do with it?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing strategy that uses online influencers to promote products or services. It subscribes to the human-to-human engagement that pegs the ad as a recommendation from an “expert” in the industry to their followers.There was a time when the only influencers promoting products were celebrities; today given the proper usage of social media, virtually anyone can be an
influencer. Influencers create content differently from the traditional display ads; they make marketing out to be an experience with the product that their followers can relate to.
Influencer marketing vs. corporate advertising
Over time, the advertising game has changed. From simply posting ads online, business owners have come to maximize the reach of influencers, to market their products.
The common denominator between influencer marketing and corporate advertising is the goal to connect with the audience and transform this connection into sales and brand loyalty. These two types of marketing strategies reach the audience in different ways.
Based on a survey by Mediakix, 71% of marketers say that the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other sources, like digital and paid media. It also reaches farther and deeper in Gen Z and Millennial circles because of their tendency to turn to trusted personas about product choices.
Influencer marketing is different from celebrity advertising. As opposed to celebrities that bank on their fame to make themselves seem credible about what they’re promoting, influencers are trusted industry experts with actual market knowledge.
For example, a beauty guru on YouTube is likely to be more credible about make-up recommendations than a movie star who’s known to be professionally styled. Influencers are specialists in their field, while celebrities are faces of the brand.
Influencer content shows how they experience the product (i.e. trying products and filming reactions and reviews). Users generally favor these types of content over traditional advertising.
Influencer marketing as an advertising phenomenon
Influencer marketing has blazed the trails in the field of advertising; it was worth USD8 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to a USD15-billion-dollar industry in 2022. Today, businesses spend as much as USD255 million every month for it. This says a lot about how brands see influencers as a crucial part of their marketing strategy.
Not only do these influencers help expand brand awareness and consumer loyalty, but they also play a part in authentic brand engagement in which marketers can see how users respond to and feel about their products. This is an important aspect business should look into, to gauge the effectiveness of their online marketing strategy.
Marketers can evaluate this by implementing a social media listening program. To put it simply, it is a way to find out what consumers think about your brand and why. It also provides insights into particular products, future campaigns, and overall brand identity. One way to catalyze this is to gather user opinions directly from them; this can be done with the engagement prompted by influencers.
Influencers are the human face of a brand; they’re not just promoters. They’re peers subtly recommending a product to their loyal followers. Through social media updates, they promote the product as part of their lives; and they converse with their fans, in the process, for opinions and suggestions. This engagement opens a platform for users to raise their concerns about products and services in which influencers can respond to.
Both the business owner and the influencer, however, cannot possibly take on the task of marketing, alone. There are aspects of promoting products that even the biggest staff cannot accomplish on their own, especially as the market transforms with the landscape of technology. Keeping up with consumers requires more hands on deck, not all of which are human; some require precise tech that reduces the risk of errors and does the job in the fastest way possible
This is where the use of artificial intelligence in advertising–particularly in influencer marketing–comes in.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a term that refers to programs that learn, whether assisted by human supervisors or alone. AI is developed to read, understand, and interpret data such as text and images all in real-time and in the blink of an eye.
Certainly, as technology catches up with what was considered sci-fi dreams such as a program that schedules meetings for you or a car that drives itself, AI has come a long way. Now, not only has it found its way into doing the smallest of chores for people, but it has also changed how advertisers play the field.
Advertisers, with the help of AI, have now learned how to accurately identify and classify particular audiences, develop optimal ad campaigns, secure revenue and cut down the costs all of this data crunching in such a short amount of time which cannot be done by humans. The data that AI collects and interprets can assist in monitoring engagement, targeting consumers or predicting trends in the industry.
How AI transforms influencer marketing
Combined with the authentic presence of influencers, AI can help business owners reach their goals and develop better ones for future campaigns. Furthermore, AI can help a business’s influencer marketing program reap more benefits with the data it collects about the campaign and the consumers. Below are six ways AI transforms influencer marketing:
Identifying the right influencers
Looking for the right influencers for your brand is not as easy as looking at the number of followers they have or the engagement they garner in each post. Marketers need the right tools to accurately tell who the best people are for their brand. These tools use AI to survey the analytics of influencer engagement to provide marketers with choices on who to pick for their campaigns.
2. Sifting through fake followers
The authentic influencer does not rake in thousands of followers overnight, but some online creators use follower bots to beef up their followers or engagement count. This cannot be identified at face value, because bots are designed to look authentic at first glance. To effectively counter this, AI can be used to sift through fake engagement and follower bots and identify influencers with organic reach.
3. Assessing relevant content
AI is actually one of the fastest and most accurate foundations of social media listening tools. It can help in identifying content that is most valuable to the influencers’ followers. Using data from past and present engagement in the influencers’ social media platforms, AI can determine what material users respond to the quickest, and how long it holds the consumer’s curiosity. And since AI is a learning machine, it can pinpoint which types of posts will gather the most attention–whether positive or negative–based on past mined data.
4. Creating and managing ads
There now exist influential AI programs that can make or partially create ads for businesses. There are social media platforms, like Facebook, that already use this kind of algorithm to suggest the types of ads that marketers should run based on what they are promoting. This can help optimize influencer content; so it adapts organically to the date collected by the AI programs about past ad feedback.
Some programs can even write ad copies for marketers based on natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG), which are both founded on AI.
5. Choosing the suitable platforms
Picking the right social media platform can also be tricky, in terms of advertising. No one site is wholly similar, with different demographics patronizing these sites and varying ad standards for each platform.
AI can help marketers choose what site houses most of their target audience. This can help identify where your influencers should post more and what kind of content they should create, based on the type of users marketers want to reach.
6. Calculating ROI
Business owners want to be sure that their ads are making bank. One way they could secure a profit or, at least, predict if they’re going to earn what they want with influencer marketing is to use AI to analyze data from past campaigns. This should be done, not only to the brand but also to its competitors, to find out what ad works and earns the best in the industry.
To do so would require mass number crunching in the fastest and most accurate way possible, which human error can compromise. The use of AI to predict ROI can help shape influencer marketing strategy in developing ad concepts and the profitability of the said influencers, based on the reach and engagement they have.
Marketing is an ever-changing field best navigated with all the right tools, two of which are influencer marketing and artificial intelligence. It all comes down to how business owners connect with their consumers by having admired and trusted influencers backed by accurate data analysis.
The strategic combination of the human face to brands and the intelligent algorithms that understand past actions and predict future trends, marketers will be able to conquer the advertising game in the swiftest way possible and reap the profits.