All You Need to Know About the Role of Artificial Intelligence in Influencer Marketing

by Rithesh Raghavan, Acodez

Rithesh Raghavan, Director of Acodez, explains how you can optimise your influencer marketing strategy using artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has rewritten the rules of marketing, thanks to massive investments in research and technology. The most apparent benefit of AI is speed; you can achieve a lot within a concise timeframe. Should you go the influencer marketing way, you also get to immensely cut down on your operations budget associated with conventional marketing forms. 

Analytics means everything

A few years ago, any marketing team’s success was primarily determined by a combination of financial muscle and creativity. Fast forward to today, three things make a substantial impact within a short timeframe at a fraction of expense, namely algorithms, data, and analytics. 

With the three in your possession, you can engage with the right influencers and reach out to the masses. “AI is a game-changer in digital marketing, especially influencer marketing. Brands are now able to pinpoint their target demographic precisely and speak to them directly. Technologies like voice recognition allow us to identify what topics influencers are talking about on YouTube and Instagram TV.” That is according to the co-founder of Amra & Elma, Elma Beganovich.

The evolution

Influencer marketing is not a new thing; it has been in existence for quite some time, and the rise of reality TV shows immensely fuelled its growth. The rising popularity of social media turned influencer marketing into the industry it is today. One obvious thing is that influencer marketing through social media constantly evolves. 

That shouldn’t worry you, not with the availability of AI at your exposure. It is possible to keep track of the ever-fluctuating trends and make the most of them.  

Data rules

Initially, influencer marketing seemed lawless, and it was perceived as the least driven data-orientated section of the popular digital marketing industry. It was all about the numbers; all you needed to find out is which influencer is better among the many. There was just no known way how you, as a marketer, would accurately gauge your return on investment. 

That led to the rise of a breed of dodgy influencers who only needed to buy fake followers in their several thousand. Today, thanks to the power of AI, you can analyse several influencers and prove how genuine they are. Besides that, you get to gauge their possible performance among their followers. 

Virtual influencers

For years, influencers have been synonymous with the term “fake.” Fake lifestyle, fake followers, and fake likes, but there is a way of getting it right without appearing a villain. Welcome to the world of virtual influencers. Elma Beganovich of Amra & Elma confidently states virtual influencers are “a genuine game-changer, with millions of followers and A-list clients.”

As the rest of the influencers and digital marketing continues to evolve, virtual influencers also match the changes. With the constant evolution of AI and its effectiveness in gaining valuable data and algorithms, virtual marketing is also getting better and more effective. 

Listed below are some of the applications of AI in influencer marketing.

1. AI in determining influencer incentives

If you are a marketer, you may be grappling with an uphill task of determining influencer incentives, which can sometimes affect your marketing goals. You can use AI to determine a sound incentive system depending on their past and present performance data. This also promotes positive and highly effective working relations. 

2. Find and deliver relative content

No matter how good an influencer is, if the content is not relatable to the audience, all efforts go down the drain. Once you successfully identify your ideal influencer and the right incentive system, AI can help you get content relatable to your clients or target audience.

Start with understanding what type of information is out there for your potential or existing target audience.

3. Gauge the performance of an influencer

Picture this; sifting through the performance of an influencer the old-fashioned way. Tiresome. Right? It also means you will need to spend more on getting the job done. AI can gauge every post your preferred influencer has made in the past and give you insights into their strongest points.

Besides that, AI can give your organisation detailed information about an influencer’s performance over a specific time. Again that depends on your projections, among other factors such as the target audiences or related metrics.

4. Identifying and working with genuine influencers

There are influencers out there who are fake; they have fake followers, lifestyles, and even fake likes. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure you only work with reputable and genuine influencers. AI can seamlessly help you distinguish the computer-generated influencer metrics and genuine ones.

Then there are the professionally made computer-generated influencers. Thanks to AI, they can promote your business without breaking both the moral and business rules. And as mentioned earlier, they are here to stay. 

5. Determining the return on investment ROI

All departments in organisations have ultimate goals, and putting them into action needs a certain investment level; marketing is not an exception. However, you must note that this is not always pegged on making profits. Return on investment can also translate to the set goals’ actualisation within a specific timeframe.

Back to AI, it helps you keep track of a specific influencer’s performance over a specific period. Should there be any slowdowns, necessary adjustments may be made in the campaign after necessary deliberations. Secondly, an influencer’s performance can be tracked.

6. Flagging posts that don’t follow guidelines

Your influencers and marketing team are bound by a material link, which ultimately helps you implement your marketing team’s goals. Effectively actualising the goals entirely depends on following specific guidelines. Sometimes, an influencer may opt for cutting corners or not honouring specific guidelines, which can sometimes not be noticed easily until it’s too late.

Material links come in many forms, among others, monetary incentives and lasting business relationships. Most importantly, there are set guidelines that apply to both marketers and influencers. AI can detect violations of the set terms or guidelines and prompt necessary action.

7. AI in getting rid of spam bot and fake engagements

Spambots and fake engagements can give you a false illusion of required metrics, which negatively affects your decision-making. If wrong, your decisions can trigger a chain of financial losses to your business and eventually lose its grip on the market share. Sometimes you might find it challenging to deal with these two headaches the old-fashioned way, which is where AI is beneficial. 

It helps in determining the actual metrics relating to a specific brand. Examples include the number of likes per post and the number of followers emanating from a specific post. Should there be a drawback, you can develop solutions that fuel the brand’s growth.

8. Image recognition with artificial neural networks (ANN)

AI can help you sort through millions of images within a short time and give you ample information compared to humans. This can be achieved through AI software, cameras, and machine vision technologies. 

Machine vision technology gives an accurate analysis of when influencers post images to their audiences through various platforms. This helps you save on the research costs and helps you identify and work with just the right influencers.

Choosing the right AI marketing platform

The first and probably most imperative thing you need to know when choosing an AI platform is not always a plug and play product. Start with understanding your ultimate goals and having the product that suits you best, if possible tailor-made. For example, in 2018, an estimated 75 per cent of all marketers described determining return on investment as their topmost challenge.

AI helps in getting quantifiable outcomes of marketing plans, which makes influencer marketing effective. Besides analysing the basics, AI can do years of useful analysis of specific influencer content. That gives insight into how effective influencers are driving sales.

The future of AI and influencer marketing

Although it is still in its infancy, the future is full of possibilities for influencer marketing and AI. The evolution of technology and the ever-changing marketing trends make it clear that influencer marketing and AI are not limited to the metrics. It boils down to marketers analysing vast data and coming up with effective marketing strategies.

As much as AI has proved useful when working with influencers, there is still considerable potential to unlocking brands’ potential to reach out to their clients and beyond.