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“I will buy what my ‘friend’ recommends”: the effects of parasocial relationships, influencer credibility and self-esteem on purchase intentions

Nicky Chang Bi (School of Communication, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, USA)
Ruonan Zhang (Department of Communication and Theatre, Auburn University at Montgomery, Montgomery, Alabama, USA)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 25 February 2022

Issue publication date: 21 March 2023

6161

Abstract

Purpose

Influencer marketing is a newer interactive marketing model that has attracted the attention of scholars and marketers. The study aimed to examine the mediation role of influencer credibility (IC) and the moderation role of self-esteem in the effects of individuals' parasocial relationships (PSR) with YouTube influencers on their product attitudes (PATs) and purchase intentions (PIs).

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers used an online survey to test a sequential mediation model and moderation mediation models using Hayes PROCESS modeling.

Findings

The researchers revealed a sequential mediation model that IC and PAT mediate the association between PSR and PI. Individuals who perceived IC to be low were more likely to buy an endorsed product when their self-esteem got lower. When their self-esteem is low, individuals tend to purchase the endorsed products if they have stronger PSR with the influencers. However, they are less likely to buy the endorsed products when their self-esteem gets higher.

Originality/value

The study expands the dimensions of IC. The persuasive power of IC and influencer-user relationship was affected by individual differences, namely, self-esteem. Brands should pay attention to customers' personalities, motivations and preferences when designing strategies to market their products via social media.

Keywords

Citation

Bi, N.C. and Zhang, R. (2023), "“I will buy what my ‘friend’ recommends”: the effects of parasocial relationships, influencer credibility and self-esteem on purchase intentions", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 157-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-08-2021-0214

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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