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Influencers

New JAR Editor

After eight years as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Advertising Research, Dr. John B. Ford is succeeded by Dr. Colin Campbell, Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of San Diego’s Knauss School of Business, effective September 1st. Read more »

JAR Update

New research insights are available in a report in the Journal of Advertising Research’s Insights Studio and on the Digital First section of its website.    Read more »

Influencer Engagement, Ad Disengagement, Co-Branding Recall and Sponsorship ROI

  • JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

At this Insights Studio, authors from India, Hong Kong and the U.S. showcased their work published in the Journal of Advertising Research on why consumers follow influencers, why people tune out of advertising, what triggers memory and recognition of brands that co-appear in ads, and whether brands are overspending on sport sponsorships. In the concluding Q&A, talking points included parallels of engagement and context effects between the different themes, KPIs in attention and sales outcomes, influencers’ roles as media and creative, and risks for strong brand personalities in sports sponsorships.

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  • Article

NYCU: What Makes Influencers Influential?

As influencer marketing becomes increasingly popular, marketers and influencers both need research-based insights to optimize the creative and the messaging in videos. For example, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that influencers acknowledge sponsorships, but when and how the brand appears is likely to affect consumer response.   With the exponential growth of influencer marketing on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, research that explores how elements of such videos (across text, audio and images) are related to outcomes that influencers and marketers care about, is becoming increasingly important. The Marketing Science Institute (MSI, now part of the ARF) and the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) have both published new research insights on this topic. A few takeaways:

  • A study reviewed by MSI found that a brand mention in the first 30 seconds of an influencer video results in a significant increase in attention to the brand–but also a significant decrease in positive sentiment towards the video (and by implication, the brand). Consumer electronics and video game categories seem particularly sensitive to the negative impact of early brand disclosure. Thus, adhering to FTC requirements, promoting the brand, while keeping viewers positively engaged, requires careful fine-tuning.
  • A study in the JAR found that consumers have different motivations for engaging with and purchasing from influencers. The researchers offer this segmentation based on why consumers follow influencers and how they react: Idea Seekers (32%), Silent Followers (20%), Entertainment-Driven Inspiration Seekers (17%), Spontaneous Entertainment Driven (13%), Influencer Unengaged (characterized by low levels of spend based on influencer recommendations, 11%), and Super Fans (high level of spend, 7%). The researchers recommend that brands select influencers who attract consumers with different motivations, rather than trying to appeal to all consumers and target those followers most likely to spend in response to influencer advertisements.
Sources: Manchanda, P. & Rajaram, P. (2021). Video Influencers: Unboxing the Mystique. MSI Working Papers, MSI. Campbell, C., Farrell, J., & Sands, S. (2021, December 1). What Drives Consumers To Engage with Influencers? Segmenting Consumer Response to Influencers: Insights for Managing Social-Media Relationships. Digital First, The Journal of Advertising Research.

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What Drives Consumers to Follow Influencers?

  • JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

Influencer advertising is on the rise, yet we know little about what prompts consumers to engage with the “star of the show”. A new study identifies six particular consumer segments that follow influencers, uncovering why they do so and how they react to influencer content—insights that serve as a guide to managing influencer/endorser relationships.

  • Article

NYCU: Podcasts Attract Hispanics in the US

“The Latino Podcast Listener Report” shows that both Spanish- and English-dominant Hispanics in the US are becoming an important podcast audience. Edison Research finds that 36% of US Latinos age 18+ (16 million people) have listened to a podcast in the last month, a 44% increase from 2020. This is narrowing the gap with the overall 18+ U.S. population, of whom 40% are monthly podcast listeners. New research shows that this dramatic increase comes from both English-dominant and Spanish-dominant listeners.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have contributed to the changes seen in the most recent study. Over half (54%) of Hispanic monthly podcast listeners say they began listening to podcasts during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 or after).
  • The number of U.S. Latinos reached daily by podcasts has increased dramatically since pre-pandemic times. Today, 21% of the U.S. Latino population listen to podcasts each day, up from 11% in Q1 2020.
Regarding monetization, 58% of U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners say they would pay a small fee to avoid hearing ads on the podcasts they listen to. That’s six million podcast listeners. In the current ad-based environment, U.S. Latinos show an affinity for brands advertised on Latino-based podcasts. And 75% say they are likely to purchase a brand on a podcast hosted by Latinos. Latino podcast listeners also have unique listening habits and motivations. When they listen to podcasts at home, 49% are spending time with family and friends – more than double that of the overall 18+ population (22%). Thirty-eight percent of U.S. Latino podcast listeners tune in to stay connected with their family’s country of origin. Source: Edison Research (2021, July 13). The Latino Podcast Listener Report. Edison Research.  

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  • Article

NYCU: Are Pandemic Viewing Patterns Here to Stay?

One important issue facing the entertainment industry today is assessing which changes in viewers’ behaviors during the pandemic will remain and which will change. The ARF will continue to address this topic in upcoming events. Here is a summary of one new study.  It’s no question that the pandemic changed the ways and the amount of time consumers engaged with content. But will any of those habits stick, now that those same consumers are emerging from an extended period of isolation? That’s the focus of a new study released today by United Talent Agency (UTA) IQ—the data and analytics division of the prominent, Hollywood agency. UTA represents artists and professionals in the entertainment industry. The survey (among ages 18-54) find that 84% report they spent more time with entertainment during the pandemic than in the previous year and 67% intend to spend more time-consuming entertainment in a post-COVID-19 world. Seven out of 10 consumers reported using multiple streaming platforms during the pandemic and the same number said they will continue to spread the wealth in the future. One in three respondents said that they plan to subscribe to or use more platforms; one in four plan to consume more genres and one in three plan to consume more international content and/or stories by diverse voices. One in five respondents reported that they are more willing to pay for exclusive content from celebrities/influencers now than they were before the pandemic. Meanwhile, half of consumers said that their fandom was strengthened during the pandemic. Joe Kessler, global head of UTA IQ explains, “What consumers are telling us is that now that they have formed many new habits, they won’t let them go.” Source: Gardner, C. (2021, June 4). Most People Say They Plan to Spend More Time Consuming Entertainment Post-Pandemic. The Hollywood Reporter.    

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  • Article

NYCU: In Brief - Influencer Marketing, OTT Churn, B2B, Upbeat Google

Influencer Marketing: The National Association of Marketers (ANA) has announced a new Influencer Marketing Advisory Board. The goal, increase “trust and transparency in influencer marketing“ by reducing fraud, improving measurement and spearheading industry commitments to advancing and improving the discipline.” Source: Oscar, Mitch (2020, December 14). Hocus Focus. OTT Subscriptions/Churn: Park Associates projects that the overall annual churn rate of OTT services in the US was 38% in Q3/2020, down from 46% a year ago. vMVPD churn dropped even more – from 84% last year to 49% in 2020. Source: Oscar, Mitch (2020, December 14). Hocus Focus. Think Before You SellIf you are in B2B, you are not selling to everyone. You are selling to people with very SPECIFIC needs who want clear ROI — so the question becomes, is your content and programs SPECIFIC enough? Source: Sangram Vajre, co-founder, Terminus (LinkedIn) Finally: Something Good about 2020 (from Think with Google US): “If there’s one positive thing that can be said about 2020, it’s that it forced us all to think differently. What worked before simply didn’t work this year. We’ve seen whole categories shift as people adapted — sometimes rapidly. Spending patterns, shopping behaviors, and digital habits all changed dramatically as a result.” Source: Zmuda, N., & Coe, M. (2020, December 14). The Update: Connect with new customers by tapping into intent. Think with Google.    

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Influencer Selection and Measurement — A Deep Dive (Event Summary)

  • Amy Laine of IBM, Co-Chair of the Social Council
  • SOCIAL COUNCIL EVENT

During the 2020 AUDIENCExSCIENCE conference, the ARF Social Council hosted a workshop that, in part, focused on social media influencer measurement. This virtual event built on that workshop to provide a deeper understanding of best practices for leveraging data and research to produce effective influencer campaigns. The Council presented perspectives and methodologies of a research company, media company and agency. Note: The full summary is available to members only.

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Is Your Influencer the Right Match?

  • Priska Linda Breves, Nicole Liebers, Marina Abt, Annika Kunze, (all at University of Würzburg)
  • JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

As the use of social-media influencers gains traction, marketers face a daunting task of choosing the best-suited ones to promote their brands. Researchers in Germany found that an influencer’s fit with the brand will affect his or her credibility and persuasiveness, but social interactions with fans may tip the balance.

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