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# Sponsored-influencer marketing: effects of the commercial orientation of influencer-created content on followers’ willingness to search for information

Thilini Chathurika Gamage (Department of Marketing Management, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya, Sri Lanka)
Nicholas Jeremy Ashill (School of Marketing and International Business, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 30 September 2022

Issue publication date: 31 January 2023

6298

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the increasing popularity of influencer marketing, there exists a lack of understanding of how content created by social media influencers stimulates the pre-purchase behaviour of followers. Based on the stimulus-organism-response framework, this paper aims to address this lacuna by examining how influencer-created content affects the willingness of followers to search for more information related to the posted product.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional research design uses a web-based questionnaire among Instagram users in Sri Lanka. Structural equation modelling with analysis of moment structures 27 and SPSS PROCESS macro are used for hypothesis testing.

Findings

Findings indicate that the commercial orientation of influencer-created content reduces follower trustworthiness towards them and the perceived credibility of the content. Mediation results demonstrate that the commercial orientation of influencer-created content negatively affects follower willingness to search for more information related to the posted product through trustworthiness and perceived credibility.

Practical implications

When adopting influencer marketing to stimulate information search behaviour, marketing practitioners should carefully examine the commercial orientation of the content of the messages posted by social media influencers to maintain high levels of follower trustworthiness towards the influencer and positive follower credibility perceptions of the message.

Originality/value

This paper adds to influencer marketing literature by demonstrating the underlying process through which the commercial orientation of influencer-created content impacts follower willingness to search for product-related information.

Keywords

Citation

Gamage, T.C. and Ashill, N.J. (2023), "# Sponsored-influencer marketing: effects of the commercial orientation of influencer-created content on followers’ willingness to search for information", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 316-329. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-10-2021-3681

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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