Influencer marketing has become a strategic part of the marketing mix, and brands are no longer satisfied with selecting influencers based on quantitative metrics. Today, brands are choosing creative influencers based on qualitative criteria, including brand affinity, quality of content, and how much the influencer can deliver creative in alignment with the brand message and values. As the influencer marketing industry moves in a more strategic direction, artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a key role in combining quantitative and qualitative metrics in a meaningful way. As the founder of an AI-powered influencer platform, I’ve seen how powerful this technology can be.
AI In The Workplace
There’s a lot of hype about AI right now, and while it’s a fundamental tool, the adoption of AI is exaggerated. When most people think of AI, they think of robots. But, in reality, AI consists of algorithms that conduct systems like data processing, that are too bulky and time-consuming for human capabilities. Despite not being widely adopted yet, the future belongs to AI because it enables business systems to operate with granular precision and scalability that simply isn’t possible at a human level.
The caveat: AI cannot completely replace human input. AI can simplify and speed up processes — it can even replace humans in certain repetitive and data-heavy processes. However, influencer marketing is a human-to-human activity, and as such, human interaction is still important. People are looking for engagement and meaningful experiences that AI alone just can’t provide. What AI does best is free up time for us humans to focus on value-adding activities, such as creativity.
AI-Powered Influencer Platforms
We might not be ready for a full AI takeover, but when it comes to identifying brand affinity, AI powered-platforms have proven to be excellent tools for matching brands with the right creators.
Brands can either work with an intermediary agency or work directly with an influencer marketing platform to get access to this type of technology. In other words, brands can opt for an end-to-end service, which provides a complete and fully-managed solution, or bring some of the platform functions in-house — for example, through an API or white-label product.
There are a few things to look for when choosing an AI-powered influencer platform:
• Quality Of Data: Having access to real-time, first-party data is essential when it comes to vetting influencers, selecting the right creators for your brand, and measuring the effectiveness of the campaign.
• Advanced Algorithms That Allow Scalability On The Inventory: Look for a platform that allows you to easily search through millions of influencer profiles, which will help you to spot talent and brand affinity in a fast and efficient way.
• Specialized Teams: Influencer marketing is about relationships — not just between the brand and influencer, but also between the brand and agency. When going this route, choose a partner that can offer end-to-end service and expertise — from marketing to social media and technology.
• Research And Product Development: The industry is rapidly evolving, and companies looking to integrate influencer marketing as part of their marketing mix should partner with platforms committed to investing in innovation.
• Strategic Consultancy: Whether from a partner or someone in-house, you still need human input. Technology is important, but it’s most efficient when paired with human brainpower and creative expertise.
• Transparency On Metrics: Ensure the platform can provide transparent metrics and solid tracking against your brand objectives.
The Future Of AI And Influencer Marketing
With the hype around AI, we’re seeing trends like virtual influencers. This is just evidence that influencer marketing is still experimental, but it’s hard to imagine the future of such initiatives and how scalable they’ll be. In fact, there are still some questions about AI — mostly about the ethics of its use. Is it right to use replace human activity with AI processing? And where do we draw the line between business automation and completely replacing the human factor?
AI does not need to replace humans altogether in order to play an important role in the future of influencer marketing. Going forward, AI could be helpful on the qualitative side of the briefing process: suggesting influencer content ideas that ensure alignment between creative and brand objectives. AI can also deliver real-time feedback during campaigns, prompting influencers to change or boost elements of their content, and even suggesting a different target to optimize performance and results.