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Content marketing in e-commerce platforms in the internet celebrity economy

Ruibin Geng (School of Economics and Management, Xidian University, Xian, China)
Shichao Wang (Department of Data Science and Engineering Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Xi Chen (Department of Data Science and Engineering Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Danyang Song (Department of Data Science and Engineering Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Jie Yu (University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 28 January 2020

Issue publication date: 22 March 2020

16837

Abstract

Purpose

With the popularity of social media and, recently, live streaming, internet celebrity endorsements have become a prevalent approach to content marketing for e-commerce sellers. Despite the widespread use of social media and online communities, empirical studies investigating the economic value of user-generated content (UGC) and marketer-generated content (MGC) still lag behind. The purpose of this paper is to contribute both theoretically and practically to capture both first-order effects and second-order effects of internet celebrity endorsements on marketing outcomes in an e-commerce context.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducts a cross-sectional regression to evaluate the economic value of internet celebrity endorsement, and a panel vector autoregressive model is adopted to examine the relationship between celebrities’ and consumers’ content marketing behaviors and e-commerce sales performance. The authors also adopt look-ahead propensity-score matching technique to correct for selection bias.

Findings

The empirical results show that the content generation efforts of marketers and the interaction behaviors between marketers and consumers will significantly influence the e-commerce sales, which refers to the first-order effects of internet celebrity endorsement. Moreover, interactions within the fan community exert second-order effects of content marketing on sales performance.

Originality/value

This paper provides new insights for e-commerce retailers to evaluate the economic values of internet celebrity endorsement, a new content marketing practice in e-commerce platform.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos 91546107, 71821002 and 71902152), the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (No. LR16G020001) and MOE (Ministry of Education in China) Project of Humanities and Social Sciences (No. 19YJC630042). The authors are grateful to the editor and reviewers for their invaluable and insightful comments that have greatly helped to improve this work.

Citation

Geng, R., Wang, S., Chen, X., Song, D. and Yu, J. (2020), "Content marketing in e-commerce platforms in the internet celebrity economy", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 120 No. 3, pp. 464-485. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-05-2019-0270

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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