Digital Influencers – How brands can provide differentiating experiences

July 13th, 2022
Every day, people see their favorite celebrities and influencers in the media promoting products and brands, perhaps tempting them to purchase items. According to a recent survey published in TechJury, 49% of customers rely on influencers’ advice, and 94% of marketers deem influencer marketing campaigns successful. However, the strategy of influencer marketing is currently facing challenges such as the influencers’ availability, costs, and consistency, their lack of training in advertising, and the careful balance between being hand’s off and not wanting to be painted in the wrong light. 

Digital influencers – a growing concept of artificially created digital personas that can grow their own brand or endorse the representation of another brand – can mitigate these challenges: they are available 24/7/365, predictable, and scalable. A recent study in the Influencer Market Factory reports that 75% of those aged 18-24 follow at least one virtual influencer. Also, virtual influencers have been shown to have a 3x higher engagement rate than the engagement rates of human influencers.

Why are virtual influencers in demand?

A virtual influencer brings more to a brand than just an AI avatar that is knowledgeable about its products and relatable to its audiences. The brand keeps total control of its messaging and has solid opportunities to promote its products and communicate its values in a new and memorable way. Their digital influencer is always on the top of its training, informed about the latest products, latest ads, and videos to show. The brand can adapt to new consumer behavior and expectations promptly and smoothly. Changes in its influencer marketing directives can take place without any revision of the contract with the influencer or its personal brand. They also have no risks of backlash due to unexpected behavior of the influencer or celebrity. Finally, the flexibility and scalability of a digital influencer is also cost-effective with no sales commissions, no travel expenses, and no time-off.

How Soul Machines Digital People can be high-value influencers
Soul Machines, a pioneer and leader in humanizing AI, has developed a technology to create hyper-realistic Digital People that are autonomously animated and emotionally responsive. In addition to their astonishing physical appearance, they are powered by a Digital Brain which allows them to hear, see, understand and respond with empathy and personality.

With Soul Machines’ Digital DNA Studio, brands can easily create and train their own digital influencers. They can also decide to generate the digital twins of celebrities endorsing their brand.

A look matching the brand and its audiences
  • Brands can design their own digital influencer with Digital DNA Studio and make it relatable and fashionable for their audience. They can also decide to build a team of digital influencers to represent multiple ethnicities, genders, and age groups. 
  • Digital People are animated with authentic facial and body gestures which is the best way to create engagement and drive awareness to the right audience.
Productive and entertaining conversations
  • Digital People are good storytellers, speaking clearly and in multiple languages.
  • They never get tired of being asked the same question and repeating themselves.
  • They can create content automatically using cognitive skills which let them search through the brand’s knowledge bases, social media channels, video libraries, and other digital assets.
Empathetic connections
  • Digital People are unbiased and empathetic making users feel comfortable opening up.
  • They help build trust and credibility for your brand.
Easy Trainability and Customization
  • Digital People can easily interface to Natural Language Processing platforms and other Enterprise tools.
  • They can be pre-trained with standardized conversations, communication skills, cognitive skills, and integration skills.  
Omni-channel presence
  • Digital People can be present across multiple channels including mobile and desktop platforms. They can be made highly visible in a dedicated UI or elegantly discrete in web widgets, always ready to assist either way.
  • They are content aware and can interact with objects by moving to the side of the screen to show a video tutorial on how to use a product, or pointing at infographics to guide you through a floor plan.
Valuable Insights
  • Digital People can collect zero-party data in a unique way through a natural conversation brought in at the right time to get to know the customer’s preferences, interests and feelings about the brand. 
  • They also capture first-party data such as demographic data, purchase history, social reach, and also empathy-centric data such as points of happiness or confusion during the customer’s journey. Brands can then pinpoint valuable customers to activate loyalty schemes, campaigns and affiliate programs.

Use cases

A multinational CPG Company has created a Digital Skincare Consultant and Brand Ambassador relatable to young women, so they feel comfortable asking for advice and discussing their skin concerns and problems. This Digital Ambassador has increased website conversions by a factor of 4.6X.
A worldwide non-profit organization has created a digital public health influencer to lead a campaign against the effects of tobacco – engaging youths, training health workers, and supporting nicotine replacement therapies. Its compassionate empathy influences smokers to commit to a cessation program while boosting their self-confidence and self-control.

Digital Twins – influencers for fan communities

Soul Machines’ technology can create the digital twin of people like celebrities in the entertainment and sports industry or heroes in science and technology.

The brands that use the Digital Twins of celebrities can quickly attract pre-existing fan communities and also expand their outreach to larger audiences by offering a connection with an iconic figure in languages other than their native language. Brands can also leverage the Digital Twin to diversify their activities and enter new markets like sponsorship at events, presentation, tutoring, and gamification.

“Putting Digital Twins of real celebrities in a digital world makes them available 24/7. They can connect and monetize their brand in ways that we’ve never imagined before” says Greg Cross, Soul Machines’ Co-founder and CEO.

At Collision 2022, NBA star Carmelo Anthony, along with Soul Machines, introduced Digital Melo, giving fans the opportunity to interact with Melo whenever they want and giving Carmelo Anthony the opportunity to expand his brand through this digital sponsorship.
Soul Machines also partnered with Nicklaus Companies to create a Digital Jack Nicklaus representing the golfing legend when he was in the height of his career in 1978. Digital Jack can be used as a presenter, an interviewer of other Golfers, a coach and a resource to engage with fans.

Conclusion

Digital People as digital influencers or Digital Twins of celebrities open up a world of possibilities. They can be used in all channels with applications in the worlds of entertainment, sports, retail, and education. It is now the time to leverage the power and scalability of Digital People to transform the world of influencer marketing and pave the way for engaging human-machine interactions in the metaverse.