Profit Producing Blog

Dakota Routh

Founder | CEO

Welcome to the Profit Producing Blog – your go-to hub for all things business, sales, and marketing. I'm Dakota Routh, and I bring 25 years of hands-on experience in the sales and marketing industry. Back in 2010, Google gave me a nod as a top 1% small business advertiser for lead and sales generation using Google Ad's. In 2023, I was awarded the SaaSpreneur Award. It was a great addition to my 2 Comma Club award for raking in a cool million through one single sales funnel.

But it's not just about awards – it's about sharing real-world insights. Hosting the "Profit Producing Activity (PPA) Podcast" is my way of giving you a front-row seat to the ever-evolving world of business and entrepreneurship.

I've turned all my knowledge and experiences into several blog articles, which you'll see below. As you dive into these blog articles, I hope that you find value in each article. If you have any questions, please reach out to my team by using the chat widget in the bottom right hand corner.

So, buckle up and get ready to glean some knowledge. These blog articles aren't just about my journey; they're about helping you carve your own path in the world of sales, marketing, and business innovation. Let's make some moves together!

Artificial Intelligent

AI-Generated Influencers: Fad or Threat?

December 10, 20234 min read

With the global influencer marketing industry hovering around $21.1 billion, it is clear that influencers and creators aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

But increasingly, are these influencers humans or AI-generated characters? 

AI-generated influencers, or virtual influencers, are computer-generated fictional digital characters. They are created by an individual or team using computer graphics software. The messages and “backstory” may also be crafted using AI tools. 

This is one of just many ways that AI is changing how brands and agencies market. 

As more brands, including big brands, incorporate virtual influencers into their marketing, many are wondering — are these AI-generated influencers a fad or the future of marketing? 

How Many AI-generated Influencers are There?

Virtual influencers and digital personalities aren’t new. In fact, the first virtual personality could be considered the Japanese popstar Kyoko Date, created in 1996. 

But, the interest in and use of AI-generated influencers is growing, turning virtual influencers into a new area within the influencer industry. 

The Influencer Marketing Hub’s AI Marketing Benchmark Report 2023 found that 63% of respondents plan to use AI or Machine Learning in their influencer campaigns, and 25% are thinking about it.

Currently, estimates suggest that there are over 150 virtual influencers on Instagram. But, the actual number of current AI-generated influencers across all social media platforms has yet to be discovered.   

Top Signs that AI-generated Influencers May be a Passing Fad

As industries and consumers adjust to these recent AI advancements, the intense interest and curiosity may also wane. Here are some signs that virtual influencers may be more of a passing fad.

Lack of trust in AI-generated content.

A survey by the Canadian Journalism Foundation found that 58% of Canadians believe they’ve personally encountered false or misleading information on social media or online that was AI-generated. 

Additionally, a U.S. survey found that only 34% of consumers surveyed trusted virtual influencer content the same amount as a human influencer.

While these surveys are only snapshots of consumer opinions, they highlight possible barriers among at least some consumers regarding their ability to trust AI-generated content, which is something brands will need to consider.

No authentic connection with followers

Effective influencers create a genuine connection with their audience. It’s what keeps consumers following them. 

But virtual influencers may struggle to build a human connection since their “backstory” isn’t real. Virtual influencers don’t actually overcome life obstacles or face real-life challenges, making it harder for a genuine connection — especially after the novelty of AI-generated characters subsides.

Questions regarding the transparency of AI-generated content

Human-like virtual influencers exist in an unusual space. They give the perception of being human but aren’t real. 

Additionally, as AI technology improves, the line between virtual reality and reality will get blurrier. If creators of virtual influencers and brands aren’t transparent that the influencer is digital, it can lead to trust issues and backlash from their audience. 

Top Signs that AI-Generated Influencers are Here to Stay 

Here are several advantages that make it likely that virtual influencers are here to stay and may pose a real threat to actors and human influencers. 

It is More Cost-Effective  

Virtual influencers can be more cost-effective as well as predictable than partnering with influencers. For instance, brands may be able to eliminate or reduce many of the expenses incurred when using a human influencer, such as travel and logistic costs. Coordinating brand collaborations among digital influencers may also be easier.  

More Influence  

About 42% of respondents in the Influencer Marketing Hub’s AI Marketing Benchmark Report 2023 believe incorporating more AI may allow human marketers to have more control of high-level strategy and decision-making tasks. 

As a result, brands and marketers can provide more input on the virtual influencer, which can also lead to more brand consistency in messaging and delivery.

Many AI Influencers Already Have a Large Following 

As of 2023, many top virtual influencers have significantly more followers and recognition than popular human influencers. For example, digital character Lil Miquela was named one of TIME Magazine’s 25 most influential people on the internet in 2018, has worked with top fashion brands like Calvin Klein, and debuted a music video at Lollapalooza’s online festival this year.

Additionally, a 2022 study found that 75% of respondents ages 18 – 24 were already following at least one AI-generated influencer. Additionally, 67% of respondents aged 25 – 34 and 35 – 44 also followed at least one virtual influencer.

More Adaptable 

Since AI influencers are created, their digital persona can be more easily modified to adjust to evolving trends, consumer preferences, and industry changes. This is an advantage for marketers and brands as it allows the virtual influencer to remain relevant and more on-brand.

Additionally, virtual influencers may be less likely than actors and human influencers to be involved in controversies that may reflect poorly on brands. But, it is important to remember that humans are behind these digital characters, so there may still be some risk. 


In our opinion, AI influencers are likely here to stay as the virtual world and reality continue to blur as technology advances. But it’s unlikely they will ever fully replace human influencers. Instead, it’s more likely for the two groups to continue to coexist.

Chances are if you made it all the way to the end of this post, you’re as interested in the state of AI for sales and marketing as we are.

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