Hot take: Influencer already has a durable moat for AI 🤖
In fact, I see two moats - one for organic and one for paid.
1️⃣ Organic: The feed/The profile - anything coming from a specific profile denotes proof of ownership and authenticity.
2️⃣ Paid: Allow-listing or "Branded Content Ads" - attaching ads to a specific creator profile connects the proof of authenticity chain.
An influencer could, of course, let AI take over their feed. However, that places substantial risk on their greatest asset i.e. authentic and genuine relationship with their audience. I would also argue a strong influencer sourcing team would be able to catch this, or have tools to help flag risk, and look elsewhere for authentic partnerships.
One relevant data point: We see branded content ads (Meta term) outperform standard ad formats featuring UGC content by 10-20%.
That's not to say standard UGC doesn't also perform quite well - in fact I'm all in on UGC in the short/medium term. But this potential future state has value for marketers.
One Final Thought 🤔:
The social platforms should build a proof of ownership system, perhaps through blockchain tech - the same way ad transparency works currently on meta, a user could quickly see if a creator post was AI-generated or not. Mark Zuckerberg what do you think?
How else can we preserve the authenticity and value of influencer?