irtual influencers are infiltrating the brand partnership space. In 2020, IKEA, Samsung, VOGUE, Rock the Vote, WHO, and more have worked with at least one leading virtual influencer, with a variety of other brands penning partnerships with up-and-coming virtual talent.
Let's review—you can...
- Sponsor a virtual influencer
- Sign a virtual influencer
- Create a virtual influencer
Today, we focus on the simplest steps you can take to sponsor a virtual influencer.
Start by Doing Your Research
It's up to you to identify the goals for partnering with a virtual influencer before you reach out. On that front, you can explore the many educational articles we publish regularly to help you get up to speed with the industry.
You should try to become as familiar as possible with how the virtual influencer world works before diving in, such as getting familiar with the definition of ‘virtual influencer’, or perusing our comprehensive aggregation of all virtual influencers with more than 1,000 fans.
What is the definition of “virtual influencer?” A virtual influencer is a digital character created in imaging, animation, or rendering software. The digital character is then given a personality defined by a first-person view of the world, and made accessible via popular media platforms. They can be humanoid, doll, cartoon, anime, or another design style, so long as the being adopts an unwavering first-person personality. Got it? Great.
In this key stage of research, ensure to align your brand with the right influencers to reach the right demographic. Also identify what message you hope to send. Many virtual influencers are highly adaptable with regard to the brands they can promote thanks to the dynamic power of fictional storytelling. Virtual influencers can alter their storyline to your needs within a short period of time, ensuring your target demographic is effectively engaged.
Stand-out storytellers include Lil Miquela, Imma Gram, and Knox Frost, all of whom have worked with respected organizations using the power of storytelling at the forefront of their campaigns. Reach out, and tap in. If you need help getting in touch with any given virtual influencer, we are connected to a growing database of world-renowned virtual influencers, and can make an introduction. Contact us.
Other virtual influencers leverage raw glam to “wow” fans, and by partnering with these visually stimulating virtuals, your brand image can coincide with that star power as well.
A few of the more ~suave~ virtual influencers out there include Noonoouri, Shudu Gram, Binxie, and more. At VirtualHumans.org, we provide the crux of your needs as it pertains to researching the virtual influencer industry. We also want to ensure a smooth transition to the next important step…
We've built a contact form for most virtual influencer teams, making your job as seamless as possible. To reach out, visit any virtual influencers' profile on our site and look for the Partner button on the left side. If you don't see a button, we recommend you open your Instagram app and send the influencer a DM from your brand page directly, or drop a comment letting the team know you want to partner.
When reaching out to a virtual influencer, keep in mind the actual recipients of your messages are the architects behind the influencer. It’s vital to craft your proposal to be concise and direct. After all, these influencers are on the rise and have a multitude of messages coming in.
Be direct. The simpler and easier to read your message is, the faster the response.
While it’s necessary to highlight why the partnership would be beneficial to both parties, you may want to focus on expressing what services you bring to the table that will propel the exposure of the virtual influencer forward. That should serve as the hook to reel in the virtual influencer for your campaign—PR speaks.
If you are unable to find any contact information for the influencer, we have direct connections to many virtual influencer teams and can make an introduction if required. All you have to do is shoot us a message.
Get Creative and Sit Back
The last step largely falls on the creative team managing your virtual influencer of choice. Once you have established the creative direction for your campaign and how you see the virtual influencer fitting into the story, it’s time to let the creator work their magic.
When working with virtual influencers, it’s imperative the team executes the campaign to sell something beyond just a product or idea: sell the overall story of why this campaign matters. Sell the purpose.
In the PR and advertising realm, leading a campaign with purpose will accrue greater results, compared to leading a campaign for profit alone. If the creative team isn’t able to administer the story in a meaningful manner, the purpose will be lost—a major issue, and one you want to avoid.
People engage with stories. Stories are wavelengths consumers can relate to on an emotional level. While the virtual influencer you work with may not be real, real people relate to them and heavily engage with their content. It’s key you get past the mindset that a fake person cannot have real influence. More on that here.
Including PR in your virtual influencer strategy will captivate the influencers’ large audience, and amplify the impact of the campaign among the influencers’ existing fans, and prospective fans.
Strategizing a campaign with a virtual influencer that successfully sells a creative story can be a difficult task, especially if this is your first time working with a virtual influencer.
Don’t worry, VirtualHumans.org is here to serve as a resource and fill you in on what does and doesn’t work when launching the right virtual influencer campaign, as well as answer any blockers or questions you may have.
As industry insiders, we are here to share our insights with you in a bid to aid you execute your campaigns flawlessly.
If you want to partner with or create a virtual influencer, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's explore this new industry together.