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Who to find to endorse? Evaluation of online influencers among young consumers and its implications for effective influencer marketing

Wai Sing Tsen (College of International Education, Hong Kong Baptist University School of Continuing Education, Shatin, Hong Kong)
Benjamin Ka Lun Cheng (College of International Education, Hong Kong Baptist University School of Continuing Education, Shatin, Hong Kong)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 17 May 2021

Issue publication date: 7 July 2021

2492

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify the dimensions used by young consumers to evaluate effective online influencers; determine the impact of demographic segmentation – that is, gender, behavioral segmentation and whether young consumers often follow the advice of online influencers to make a purchase – on the evaluative dimensions. The results will inform advertisers regarding the types of online influencers that they should feature to endorse their products to create desirable promotion effects.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a multistage method. This study first conducted eight focus groups with 48 participants between 18 and 24 years of age to explore their evaluation of online influencers. This study then conducted a survey with a questionnaire developed from the focus group results. This study used convenience sampling and administered the questionnaire to 475 participants (mean age, 19.5 years).

Findings

The results of factor analysis revealed seven dimensions used by young consumers to evaluate online influencers. The most salient dimensions were credibility, appearance and content production techniques. The results of t-testing also show that gender and behavioral segmentation variables had an impact on these evaluative dimensions in the four tested product categories.

Practical implications

This study provides advertisers with a set of criteria to select appropriate online influencers in various advertising settings, such as the promotion of gender-specific products, and in various product categories that target young consumer markets.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to examine the dimensions used by young consumers to evaluative online influencers in relation to product endorsement.

Keywords

Citation

Tsen, W.S. and Cheng, B.K.L. (2021), "Who to find to endorse? Evaluation of online influencers among young consumers and its implications for effective influencer marketing", Young Consumers, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 237-253. https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-10-2020-1226

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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