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By whom do you like to be #influenced? : The effect of the source, the reach and the content of the message on trust, online engagement, product liking and brand trust

Tolij, F van (2018) By whom do you like to be #influenced? : The effect of the source, the reach and the content of the message on trust, online engagement, product liking and brand trust.

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Abstract:Since social media has gained so much impact on everybody’s everyday life, it is important for marketers to respond rightly to this. One strategy that can be used is influencer marketing. Prior research shows that the use of an influencer is better than using a brand as the source. Micro influencers are better at earning trust than macro influencer because they seem to have less commercial motives. Next to this, the combination of the source of the message and the content of the message is important. It is important because the content can bind the target group closer to the source. According to prior research, a two-sided message (both positive and negative aspects) is best to use. This results in the following research question: To what extent do the source of the message, reach of the message and the content of the message influence trust, online engagement, product liking and brand trust? This study focuses on the usefulness of influencer marketing by manipulating the independent variables. For this study a 2 (source: brand (Nokia) vs. influencer) x 2 (reach: micro vs. macro) x2 (content: one-sided vs. two-sided) online between-subjects design was used (n = 244). Trust, online engagement, product liking and brand trust are the dependent variables in this study. Mediating variables in this study are perceived usefulness and source credibility. Interestingly, the results showed that Nokia scored higher than the influencer on trust related variables. This is contrasting with prior research. That is why it is questionable if it is really necessary to use influencer marketing. It is possible that this outcome is due to the brand personality of Nokia. Therefore future research with other brands is suggested to find out if other brands also score higher. Another finding is that the two-sided message is best to use, especially when it comes to trust, perceived usefulness and product liking. This is equal to the existing literature. But when the brand is used as the source, it is best to use a one-sided message. This combination is most congruent and clear for the consumers.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/74880
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