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Social influencers in the digital environment : The effect of social media influencer's gender and age on credibility and purchase intention

Ermiş, Cansel (2021) Social influencers in the digital environment : The effect of social media influencer's gender and age on credibility and purchase intention.

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Abstract:Nowadays, marketers are focusing on influencer marketing as influencers play an increasingly dominant role in shaping the buying behavior of consumers. The decision to select the appropriate influencer is a major concern, as it is challenging to find out which specific characteristics of influencers are effective in terms of advertising efficiency. In this context, perceived credibility seems to play a crucial role in the persuasiveness of influencers on consumer’s behavior. Also, gender and age are seen as base tools for the segmentation of the market. These factors also have a dominant role in shaping perceived credibility.The current study aims to identify to what extent an influencer's gender and age affects the perceived credibility and the purchase intention of consumers when considering a certain product. The study takes the effect of distinctive product types into consideration. The setting of this experimental study is the promotion of a smart watch and an analog watch by an influencer on the social media platform Instagram. A 2(gender) x2(age) x2(product type) between-subject experiment was conducted in order to test the hypothesis. A total of 258 Dutch-speaking participants who are older than 18 years were recruited by using the snowball sampling method. The main study includes 8 mock-up Instagram posts in which the social media influencers will promote the product. Participants were randomly exposed to one of the eight conditions. Previously validated measurements will be used to measure the items on a 7-point Likert scale. This study showed that the influencer’s age and gender have an impact on perceived credibility. A younger social media influencer was perceived to be more attractive than an older social media influencer. This study also pointed out that a female social media influencer was perceived to be more attractive than a male social media influencer. This study can support companies in a way to find innovative ways to promote their products and services and have a clear understanding of the purchase decision-making process. It is crucial for marketers to take influencer’s age and gender into consideration when selecting an endorser. Marketers’ preference should be on younger social media influencers as well as female social media influencers when endorsing a product.
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/85807
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