As brands seek to connect with their audiences in innovative ways, they now face the challenging decision of choosing between two distinct types of influencers; virtual and human. We explore how each type brings unique strengths and challenges to the table, influencing how brands strategise their campaigns and ultimately engage with consumers. 

Virtual Influencers

Virtual influencers are computer-generated characters managed by digital agencies or brands. These digital personas, such as Lil Miquela and Shudu, have gained substantial followings and collaborate with high-profile brands like Prada and Fenty Beauty. 

The appeal of virtual influencers lies in their ability to be available 24/7, maintain consistent messaging, and avoid the unpredictability associated with human behaviour. They can be programmed to align perfectly with a brand’s image and values, providing a high degree of control and creativity in campaigns (The Goat Agency) (elink Blog) .

However, virtual influencers face significant drawbacks. A primary concern is authenticity. Consumers often perceive virtual influencers as less genuine because they cannot genuinely use or experience the products they promote. This lack of real-life experience can reduce the effectiveness of endorsements, especially for products where personal experience is crucial (UF J-School) . Moreover, the ethical implications of promoting unattainable beauty standards and potential biases programmed into these virtual entities pose additional challenges (elink Blog) .

Human Influencers

Human influencers, on the other hand, bring a sense of authenticity and relatability that virtual influencers struggle to match. These influencers, often specialists in their fields, can provide genuine reviews and experiences, which resonate more deeply with audiences. Their ability to engage in spontaneous interactions and adapt to changing trends adds a layer of dynamism that virtual influencers lack (elink Blog).

Nonetheless, human influencers come with their own set of challenges. They can be unpredictable, and their personal lives can sometimes lead to controversies that negatively affect brand campaigns. Additionally, managing human influencers can be costlier and more complex due to their need for compensation, scheduling, and personal considerations (The Goat Agency).


Both virtual and human influencers offer distinct advantages and disadvantages. Virtual influencers excel in consistency and control, making them ideal for highly curated brand images and campaigns that require round-the-clock engagement. Conversely, human influencers offer authenticity and relatability, crucial for products and brands that thrive on genuine personal endorsements. Brands must carefully consider their specific goals and audience preferences when choosing between virtual and human influencers for their marketing strategies (elink Blog) (UF J-School).