Influencer Marketing Effectiveness

Fine Leung, Fang Gu, Yiwei Li, Jonathan Z. Zhang, Robert W. Palmatier

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Influencer marketing initiatives require firms to select and incentivize online influencers to engage their followers on social media in an attempt to promote the firms’ offerings. However, limited research considers the costs of influencer marketing when evaluating these campaigns’ effectiveness, particularly from an engagement elasticity perspective. Moreover, it is unclear whether and how marketers might enhance influencer marketing effectiveness by strategically selecting influencers, targeting their followers, or managing content. This study draws on a communication model to examine how factors related to the sender of a message (influencer), the receiver of the message (influencer’s followers), and the message itself (influencer’s posts) determine influencer marketing effectiveness. The findings show that influencer originality, follower size, and sponsor salience enhance effectiveness; posts that announce new product launches diminish it. Several tensions arise when firms select influencers and manage content: Influencer activity, follower–brand fit, and post positivity all exert inverted U-shaped moderating effects on influencer marketing effectiveness, suggesting that firms that adopt a balanced approach along these dimensions can achieve greater effectiveness. These novel insights offer important implications for marketers designing influencer marketing campaigns.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Marketing
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2022

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