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The rise of Influencer Chatbots

The rise of Influencer Chatbots

The rise of influencer chatbots

Not long ago on this very blog, I discussed the growth of intelligent chatbots as one of the top UX trends to look out for in 2017. Chatbots with responsive AIs can assist users with a variety of requests online, from searching for the perfect item of clothing to helping plan a shopping trip.  Now, it seems, they can do one better than that.

The concept of influencer chatbots is a relatively new one, which has its roots in another modern phenomenon: the human influencers of Twitter and Instagram. These online celebrities, made famous by thousands and sometimes even millions of faithful social media followers, set trends, determine fashions, and generally have the last word on what’s hot and what’s not.

In some cases, companies have hired these influential social media gurus to help humanise their brand. But with the advent of influencer chatbots, they may no longer need to.  Influencer chatbots are AIs designed to promote brands in an informal, accessible manner by copying the tactics of human social media influencers. The hope for marketers is that these chatbots will make products appear on-trend to a younger, more social media-savvy generation of consumers, a goal that clunky, conventional advertising can’t seem to achieve.

There are many ways in which this approach could backfire, but initial results have been promising for companies hoping to cash in with influencer chatbots of their own.  The Kalanibot, an influencer AI designed for the makeup brand Covergirl to mimic the tone and content of posts by popular Instagrammer Kalani Hilliker, was received positively by 91% of users.

In fact, posts by the Kalanibot sparked an average of 14 times more interaction than Hilliker’s own status updates!
Influencer chatbots have already gone from being a futuristic pipe dream to outperforming human social media celebrities: what’s next for this innovative form of marketing?

Written by Louise Carey


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