Current Issue Summary
March 2022 (Vol. 62, Issue 1)
What Drives Consumers to Engage with Influencers? Segmenting Consumer Response to Influencers: Insights for Managing Social-Media Relationships.
Influencer advertising is on the rise, yet we know little about what prompts consumers to engage with the “star of the show.” This study identifies six consumer segments that follow influencers, uncovering why consumers do so and how they react to influencer content. The resulting insights serve as a guide to managing influencer/endorser relationships. In developing their research hypotheses, Justine Rapp Farrell and Colin Campbell (University of San Diego) and Sean Sands (Swinburne University of Technology) asked:
- Does consumer heterogeneity exist in terms of motivations for following, and behaviors related to, social-media influencers?
- If so, how do segments differ in their motivations for following social-media influencers, and in their resultant spending behaviors related to influencers?
After surveying nearly 1,000 consumers across five social-media platforms, the researchers used latent class segmentation to uncover six consumer segments. Each differs in why they follow and how they react to influencers: Idea Seeker (32% of survey participants), Silent Follower (20%), Entertainment-Driven Inspiration Seeker (17%), Spontaneous Entertainment Driven (13%), Influencer Unengaged—characterized by low levels of spend based on influencer recommendations (11%), and Super Fan [high level of spend(7%)]. Among the insights:
- “Influencers’ marketing campaigns would be well served by leveraging deal seeking, entertainment and inspiration as mechanisms for connecting with audiences.
- “Rather than trying to find a set of influencers that service all consumers, there may be an advantage in purposefully searching for influencers who attract consumers with different motivations.
- “If resources are limited and a company is seeking to increase sales, the findings enable more precise targeting of those consumers who most likely will spend in response to influencer advertisements.”
Read the full article here.