Influencer Marketing: How the popularity threshold of Instagram influencers impacts consumer behaviour and the moderating role of purchase involvement

Julie Messiaen
Influencer Marketing:
How the popularity threshold of Instagram influencers impacts consumer behaviour and the moderating role of purchase involvement

Influencers zijn niet meer weg te denken op Instagram, maar laten wij ons echt zo gemakkelijk beïnvloeden?

Influencers zijn niet meer weg te denken op Instagram, maar laten wij ons echt zo gemakkelijk beïnvloeden?

Influencer Marketing op Instagram

Meer en meer bedrijven maken de laatste jaren gebruik van Influencer Marketing. Influencer Marketing focust op het bereiken van influencers, individuen die een grote invloed hebben op de doelgroep en de beslissingen van anderen kunnen beïnvloeden omwille van hun autoriteit, kennis of positie. Een veelgebruikte vorm van deze influencer marketing campagnes is dat bedrijven influencers gaan betalen om hun producten of diensten te promoten op Instagram. Vaak doen marketeers beroep op een influencer met een hoog aantal followers, het aantal personen die de Instagram influencer volgen, omdat ze menen dat dit zal leiden tot een groter bereik. Maar dit betekent niet dat de followers ook geëngageerd zijn om op hun boodschap in te gaan. Dus, de ratio van het aantal followers op het aantal followees, het aantal personen die de influencer zelf volgt, is een betere maatstaf om de effectiviteit van een samenwerking met een Instagram influencer na te gaan.

Heeft een Instagram influencer wel degelijk invloed op consumentengedrag en zijn het aantal followers en followees hierbij een bepalende factor?

Wij vroegen ons nu echt af of zo’n Instagram influencer wel degelijk invloed heeft op de gemiddelde Belgische consument en of die veelgebruikte influencer campagnes wel hun nut hebben.
Daarom ging onze studie de impact na van die ratio op de opeenvolgende stappen van consumentengedrag; namelijk op de geloofwaardigheid van de influencer, de houding tegenover de Instagram post, de houding tegenover het gepromote merk, de viral intenties en de aankoop intenties van de consumenten. Viral intenties omvatten de intenties om een Instagram post te sharen, te liken of om iemand over de post te willen vertellen.

Ten eerste konden we vaststellen dat een hoog aantal followers leidt tot hogere geloofwaardigheid, terwijl een hoog aantal followees leidt tot lagere geloofwaardigheid. Meer specifiek, een influencer met een hoog aantal followers tot een laag aantal followees (HL) wordt beschouwd als meest geloofwaardig, gevolgd door een influencer met hoog aantal followers tot hoog aantal followees (HH) en een influencer met een medium aantal followers tot een laag aantal followees (ML). Wij zouden geïnteresseerde managers dan ook ten stelligste afraden om beroep te doen op een influencer met medium aantal followers tot hoog aantal followees (MH), omdat dit type beschouwd wordt als minst geloofwaardig. Dit suggereert dat consumenten zullen handelen zoals hun peers of herkenbare personen, want als ze zien dat veel personen een bepaalde influencer volgen, zullen ze die automatisch als meer ervaren en oprecht beschouwen. Bovendien zien consumenten een hoog aantal followees als een teken dat de volgersbasis bestaat uit personen die de influencer hebben gevolgd nadat die hen eerst heeft gevolgd en dus als het ware volgers ronselde.

De volgende resultaten toonden aan dat hoe geloofwaardiger de influencer, hoe leuker de consument de Instagram post vond en hoe positiever de houding tegenover het gepromote merk. Daaropvolgend bleek dat hoe positiever deze houding, hoe hoger de viral en aankoop intenties.

Laten wij ons voor elk product beïnvloeden door een Instagram influencer?

Aangezien we op Instagram overspoeld worden door influencers die allerlei producten aanbevelen, hebben wij ook het effect op consumentengedrag nagegaan naargelang drie producten (auto, camera, smoothie). Elk product heeft een verschillende purchase decision involvement niveau. Dit betekent dat de beslissing om een auto, high involvement product, te kopen, meer nadenken verwacht en meer risico aan verbonden is in vergelijking met een camera, wat een medium involvement product is. Beslissen welke smoothie, low-involvement product, je zal kopen, vergt uiteraard minder nadenken en het brengt ook geen risico indien er een verkeerde beslissing gemaakt werd. Er is gebleken dat een Instagram influencer die een low of medium involvement product als geloofwaardiger wordt beschouwd in vergelijking met een influencer die een high involvement product promoot. Dit suggereert dat consumenten zich niet rap laten ‘vangen’ door een gesponsorde Instagram post voor een auto en al zeker geen beroep zullen doen op die influencer. Wellicht omdat de consument dit een belangrijke aankoop vindt en verkiest om online te zoeken naar verdere info of om dit aan experts te vragen. Alhoewel we dit nog vaak zien op Instagram, zal een influencer campagne voor auto’s geen goede resultaten geven.

Een trend die we ook vaak in de praktijk zien zijn Instagram influencers die gezonde drankjes promoten. Fit Tea, bijvoorbeeld, is een Amerikaans bedrijf dat heel vaak beroep doet op influencers om hun detox thee te promoten. Wij hebben dus kunnen vaststellen dat voor dit type (low-involvement) product een influencer campagne wel goed werkt.

Image removed." Het effect van de ratio op consumentengedrag "Welk type persoon heeft meer kans om beïnvloed te worden door een Instagram influencer?

Ons onderzoek legde ook het verband tussen enkele demografisch kenmerken van de consument en hoe beïnvloedbaar we zijn door een Instagram influencer. Een persoon die een grote interesse heeft in de gepromote product categorie, zal logischerwijze meer beïnvloedbaar zijn door een Instagram influencer. Maar interessanter is het feit dat iemand die een Snapchat account bezit, of iemand die het vrouwelijk geslacht heeft, ook meer beïnvloedbaar is, in vergelijking tot iemand die niet aan deze eigenschappen voldoet. Dit kan verklaard worden door het feit dat Snapchat gebruikers zich aangetrokken voelen tot visuele en snelle berichten en door naar de Instagram post te kijken, ervaren ze de influencer als geloofwaardig. Bovendien, doordat in de praktijk veel personen influencers volgen op Snapchat hebben ze het gevoel dat ze echte vrienden zijn, omdat ze een inkijk hebben in hun eigen leefomgeving. Daardoor ervaren ze ook andere Instagram influencers als geloofwaardiger in vergelijking tot iemand die geen Snapchat account bezit. Daarnaast, zijn vrouwen ook meer beïnvloedbaar door een Instagram influencer in vergelijking tot mannen. Dit wellicht omdat vrouwen influencers meer gaan geloven en zich verbonden voelen met hen, omdat ze meer geven om persoonlijke relaties.

 

Dus ja, de gemiddelde Belgische consument is beïnvloedbaar door Instagram influencers. Hoewel dit afhangt naargelang het aantal followers en followees en naargelang het type gepromote product.
En aan de vrouwelijke Snapchat gebruikers… wees gewaarschuwd en laat je niet vangen!

 

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Universiteit of Hogeschool
Master of science in the Business Economics - Marketing
Publicatiejaar
2017
Promotor
Steven Hoornaert
Kernwoorden