Social media influencers are increasingly approached by marketers to advocate brands and products. This practice is commonly called ‘influencer marketing’. Influencers can take advantage of their reach and importance for consumers’ decision making by obtaining rewards from marketers. At the same time, consumers are increasingly aware of this practice. In this context, the perception of an influencers´ authenticity is key when it comes to his/her ability to persuade others. In this research, we shed light on the nature of the influencer authenticity construct, its boundaries as well as its relationships with brand-related variables responsible for consumers’ buying decisions. Using an experimental approach (n = 163), we demonstrate that especially influencers’ uniqueness and consistency increase their authenticity. Furthermore, our results show a strong impact of influencer authenticity on purchase intention, which is partially mediated via brand authenticity and brand attitude.
- Social media marketing
- Social influence