Twenty-six billion dollars. That is the amount that U.S. brands spent on influencer marketing in 2023 alone1. And the holiday shopping season has just begun.
So, what is influencer marketing? It is where behemoth and startup brands alike pay individuals with a following on social media (influencers) to promote their products. Brands spend between $10,000 to $100,000 to an influencer per post or “campaign.” And brands save more than they spend because they are cutting out the production cost of what would have otherwise been a television commercial ad.
Artificial intelligence is threatening this industry as a creative competitor. What is stopping these content creators from turning to AI to come up with a script or marketing strategy to film for these brands? Why does it matter to the brands whether influencers do so? Brands engage influencers based on organic growth and whether their followers are monetizable. If influencers turn to AI to write their pitch to these brands, suddenly the pivotal piece of authenticity is lost. Trust is lost. This threatens both influencers’ livelihood and brands’ bottom lines. Influencing is born from consistency of voice. If an influencer starts to deviate from the comforting, familiar voice they built their following on, the following will leave.
The solution is simple. Safeguard against AI generated content by building it into the brand contract. Every contract between a brand and a social media influencer should contain an air-tight provision to protect both the brand and the influencer from the temptation of artificial content creation.