Author: Gao, Yi
Title: Influencer authenticity
Advisors: Gu, Fang Flora (MM)
Leung, Fine Fanni (MM)
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2021
Subject: Internet personalities
Internet marketing
Consumers -- Attitudes
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Management and Marketing
Pages: vi, 92 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Influencer Authenticity (IA) is a consumer-perceived fundamental characteristic of influencers and is the very logic that governs social media communities. However, what exactly IA is and upon what criteria it should be assessed remain unknown. Based on a mixed-methods approach, this research conceptualizes IA, identifies its dimensions, develops its measurement scales, and investigates its impacts on consumer behavioral outcomes. Using a literature review and two qualitative studies, I conceptualize IA as a multi-dimensional construct containing passion, interactivity, symbolism, originality, and transparency. Through a questionnaire and several online surveys, I generate, develop, and validate the measurement scales of IA. In the final field study, I show that IA positively affects customer engagement with the influencer's sponsored post and the sales performance of the influencer's sponsored post. I further consider influencer characteristics including influencer's follower size and expertise, as well as brand characteristics including brand popularity and brand premium. I find that IA is more important for influencers with larger follower size. IA also matters more for more popular brands but less for premium brands. Additionally, my findings also reveal that customer engagement predicts better sales performance. The findings enrich both the influencer marketing literature and the authenticity literature by introducing a new type of authenticity, formally conceptualizing it, empirically testing its impacts on consumer behavioral outcomes, and providing managerial implications to guide marketers in evaluating and selecting authentic influencers.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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